What is the most effective way to attach two eager swimrunners to one another? Read on for our in depth Swimrunners Pull Belt Review and decide for yourself.
Swimrunners is a Denmark based company that develops gear for swimrun and was founded by swimrun athletes. The Swimrunners product line includes a modular race belt system that is compatible with a variety of different add-ons including tow lines of different strengths, zippered pouches for gear and nutrition, and pull buoys that come pre-rigged with attachments to the belt system.
The belt system comes in two versions: “guidance” which uses a less robust cord connection designed just for visual connection during swims but not rated for load bearing or towing, and “support” which uses a pull cord that is strong enough to use for towing a human on land and in water. This Swimrunners pull belt review summarizes testing done with the belt and our own pull cord (that integrated just fine with the belt system). Our cord has the same specs as the “support” cords sold by Swimrunners, and we used the system frequently for towing during testing.
Disclaimer: Swimrun Labs did not receive any payment from Swimrunners or its competitors to write this product review, and acquired the product through purchase at market value.
- Weight: 120g (4.2 oz)
- Sizes: S, M, L
- Moisture regain: 0.4%
- Material: Polyester webbing, plastic buckles
- Color: Black
- Fit: Fit is highly adjustable, for the very small waisted the alignment of the “thong” strap (not visible in product photos, but it’s there) gets a little crooked when the belt is cinched all the way down, but not a huge deal.
- Sizing: Due to the adjustability, we suspect the three sizes of the belt well encompass the full spectrum of waist girths out there in the swimrun community except perhaps extreme outliers.
- Aesthetics: Subtle. Black blends in well with all wetsuits.
- Perceived value to the swimrunner: The value of this belt system is in the upgrade it offers over DIY webbing belts that do the job but leave much to be desired in terms of integration with kit and stay-put-ability while training and racing. Yes, you can make your own belt for super cheap, but the benefits offered by this product are arguably worth the investment.
Testing Results Breakdown
Something worth noting before we go any further with this review is one small feature mentioned above that is not apparent in photos: a flat elastic segment that goes between the legs and attaches on both the front and back of the belt creating a “thong”. THIS IS THE CRUX OF WHAT MAKES THIS BELT GREAT. Other belts on the market that are just a loop of webbing with a buckle bounce, jostle, ride up, and twist both on land and in the water. The “thong” strap on the Swimrunners pull belt eliminates this issue completely. It enables the belt to stay put. Period. As mentioned above, our testers who were on the small end of the size range had to cinch the belt way down and had a slightly crooked thong strap, but no biggie.
I will reiterate: Thong strap for the win! Especially for the teammate being pulled in the water, it’s a real game changer to have the belt anchored from below to avoid having it end up at your rib cage or armpits over the course of a long swim. The size adjustment buckles work well and also do not allow for any slippage of the webbing. Once you set the belt circumference you can trust it will not slip over the course of your session. The belt material retains a negligible amount of water, and does not stay waterlogged after swims. There is a fixed rigid attachment loop at the front and back of the belt for the pull cord, and this effectively anchors the cord from sliding around during the swims and getting caught on arms or legs.
We tested the belt with the integrated pull buoy attachment and the Piraya pull buoy . The integration system is pretty slick, as it allows for nearly hands free management of the pull buoy during transitions. Slightly less seamless: adjusting the system to switch which partner is in front and which is behind. The attachment cord connects via a carabiner to a fixed rigid loop on either the front or back of the belt. This requires some fine motor skills that may not be available if hands are very cold, and are also made more challenging while trying to manage paddles as well. Overall, though it takes a moment to make this adjustment, the system is relatively easy to adjust in transition as needed.
Though we have not had the opportunity to test the Swimrunners pull belt over a full season, we have little doubt that it will hold up to the rigors of training and racing for many years to come. We can’t speak for the pull cords, as we didn’t test these, but the belt itself is of burly construction that shouts quality. Consider it an investment piece that may very well last years to come.
We loved the Swimrunners pull belt, and would consider it one of the pieces worth investing in (rather than creating a DIY version) to maximize teamwork, efficiency, and enjoyment during swimrun.