Fuel Belt: I looked on their website to find that they don't even make the kind that I have anymore so I couldn't get a better picture. But you can see it here, without the bottle. It has just one water bottle and one small bottle for a recovery mix. It also has a big zipper pouch behind the bottles.
Here's my breakdown:
-Big water bottle means water doesn't get warm so quickly
-Huge zipper pouch means I can carry all my junk-key, pepper spray, Gu, chapstick, cellphone
-One big bottle means that the weight is not evenly distributed around my waist.
-Uneven distribution equals bouncing! bouncing! bouncing! and frequent readjustments and all that friction leaves my skin skin raw and sore (that could be 3 cons)
-I don't use the small bottle for anything, so that's wasted space
On to the new belt. With the help of my new friend Eric over at Fleet Feet, I chose the Amphipod RunLite 4 Hydration Belt.
As you can see, the design is very different. It has 4 bottles and one small pouch.
-4 bottles mean a more even weight distribution
-The belt is totally adjustable in so many ways. The bottles can move around the belt, come off the belt or lay sideways on the belt. They can even slide off and on, if you prefer fewer or more bottles
-You can also add additional or larger pouches, if more space is needed
-The water does get warm pretty quickly
-While the idea of the snap-back-into-place bottles seems great, I could never really get the hang of it. At least half a dozen times, when I thought they had clicked into place, they wound up dropping to the ground.
And that's it. Although I've only used the Amphipod belt once, it is the clear winner. Comfort wins, hands down. It's also convenient and adjustable to meet my needs. Now I just have to remember to freeze my water bottles and practice that clicking motion!