Marathon Running: Pros and Cons of Wearing a Fanny Pack

It’s a personal choice, ultimately. I prefer a running belt, but I’ve explored the pros and cons of wearing a fanny pack in this article.

Benefits of Wearing a Fanny Pack


As someone who has run several marathons, I can confidently say that convenience is critical when carrying essentials during a race.

A fanny pack lets me keep my phone, energy gels, and other items close at hand without stopping and digging through a backpack or shoulder bag.

Plus, with the pack securely fastened around my waist, I never have to worry about it bouncing around or getting in the way of my stride.

Another convenience factor of wearing a fanny pack is its size. Most packs are compact and lightweight, making them easy to wear and barely noticeable during a run. This means I can carry everything I need without feeling uncomfortable.


Accessibility is another significant benefit of wearing a fanny pack during a marathon.

With everything I need within arm’s reach, I can quickly and easily grab an energy gel or take a sip of water without slowing down or stopping.

This can be especially important during longer races where every second counts.

Additionally, wearing a fanny pack allows me to keep my hands free, which is crucial for maintaining proper running form and avoiding unnecessary strain on my arms and shoulders.

It also means I can easily access my phone or other items without fumbling around with a backpack or shoulder bag.

In conclusion, wearing a fanny pack during a marathon can provide several benefits, including convenience and accessibility.

By keeping everything I need close and quickly accessible, I can focus on my race and perform at my best without unnecessary distractions or discomfort.

Drawbacks of Wearing a Fanny Pack


Wearing a fanny pack during a marathon can have its flaws.

One of the main concerns is comfort. Fanny packs can be bouncy and cause discomfort significantly if not appropriately adjusted. In addition, the bouncing can lead to chafing and irritation, which can be distracting and painful.

Additionally, fanny packs can cause sweating in the area where they are worn, which can further contribute to discomfort.


Another drawback of wearing a fanny pack during a marathon is the style issue. Fanny packs are often associated with a certain fashion sense and may not be considered stylish by some individuals.

This can be a concern for those who are looking to maintain a particular aesthetic while running a marathon.

Furthermore, fanny packs may not be the best choice for those concerned with their appearance during the race.

While fanny packs can be a convenient way to carry items during a marathon, they have some drawbacks. Comfort and style are two of the main concerns, and it is essential to consider these factors before deciding whether or not to wear a fanny pack during a marathon.

Alternatives to Wearing a Fanny Pack

Running Belt

A running belt may be a good alternative if you dislike wearing a fanny pack during a marathon. Running belts come in different sizes and designs, but they all have one thing in common: they are designed to carry your essentials while you run. Some running belts have a single pocket, while others have multiple pockets.

Some are made of stretchy material, while others are more rigid.

When choosing a running belt, consider the size, number of pockets, material, and fit.

You want a comfortable, secure bell that won’t bounce or chafe as you run. Look for belts with adjustable straps and reflective details for safety.

Hydration Pack

A hydration pack may be a good option if you need to carry more than just your essentials. Hydration packs are backpacks or vests with a hydration bladder or bottles.

They allow you to carry water, sports drinks, other fluids, snacks, extra clothes, and other gear.

When choosing a hydration pack, consider its size, weight, and capacity. You want a comfortable pack that only adds a little weight or bulk. Look for packs with adjustable straps, breathable materials, and easy-to-use hydration systems.

Finding an alternative that works for you and your needs is critical. You may need to try a few options before finding the one that feels comfortable and secure.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fanny Pack

Size and Capacity

Size and capacity are important factors when choosing a fanny pack for a marathon.

You want a large pack to hold all of your essentials but not so large that it becomes cumbersome to run with.

Some fanny packs come with multiple compartments or pockets, which can help organize items like energy gels, your phone, and keys. Look for a group big enough to hold what you need but not so big that it bounces around or gets in your way.

Material and Durability

The material and durability of a fanny pack are essential considerations, especially if you plan to use it for more than one marathon.

Look for a pack made from a durable material like nylon or canvas that can withstand wear and tear. Water-resistant materials can also be helpful if you are running in rainy conditions. Additionally, some fanny packs come with reflective materials or lights, which can help keep you visible during early morning or evening runs.

Fit and Adjustability

The fit and adjustability of a fanny pack are also essential factors to consider. You want a package that fits snugly around your waist but not so tight that it restricts your movement or breathing.

Look for a pack with adjustable straps or buckles to help you find the perfect fit. It’s also a good idea to try on the pack before buying it to ensure it feels comfortable and secure.

When choosing a fanny pack for a marathon, it’s essential to consider factors like size and capacity, material and durability, and fit and adjustability. Considering these factors, you can find a pack that will help you carry your essentials comfortably and securely during your race.

Final Thoughts

After researching and considering the pros and cons of wearing a fanny pack during a marathon, I have concluded that it ultimately depends on personal preference and individual needs.

For those who need to carry many items, such as energy gels, keys, cards, cash, and other essentials, a fanny pack can be a convenient and practical solution. It allows easy access to these items without stopping or slowing down during the race.

However, some runners may find fanny packs uncomfortable or restrictive and prefer to use other methods of carrying their belongings, such as a hydration belt or vest. Therefore, finding what works best for you and your body is essential.

Additionally, it is essential to consider the race rules and regulations regarding using fanny packs or any other type of gear. Some races may prohibit certain items, so checking with the race organizers beforehand is essential.

The decision to wear a fanny pack during a marathon should be based on individual needs and preferences. Finding a solution that allows you to comfortably carry your essentials and perform your best during the race is crucial.



Slightly obsessed middle aged runner.