It’s always good to have new kit to help streamline our training and hopefully help us perform better. How about something that holds your keys, phone and other items in one place?

I was recently given a Freetrain V1 Vest to try out and here’s my review.

This is my honest opinion on the product. I’m not on commission or stand to benefit in any other way from writing this other than the fact that I’ve got the vest.

Freetrain V1 Vest Review | Steve Bonthrone Fitness

What is it?

It’s a product designed for runners, cyclists and gym goers to carry essential items like keys, phone, cards and gels. It’s billed as “the product you don’t know you need until you have it”. I’d agree.

A run is no longer just a case of shoes on, go out the door and run. We listen to music or podcasts, take photos along the way (that’s me!) as well as a selfie at the end. If we don’t take a selfie and share it on social media, how will everyone know we’ve been for a run? ;-) Keys, gels, tissues, bank card are all essentials these days with the latter for emergencies or for a coffee/cake at the finish.

We need somewhere to store them all and that’s not easy. We’ve used armbands, waistbelts, jacket pockets but the downside is that we often need more than one of them to carry everything, can be cumbersome and bounce when we move.

Step forward the Freetrain vest. It’s designed with many pockets so everything is spread out and not stuffed in one pouch. It also has adjustable straps to fit any frame.

It reminds me of the vests that professional footballers wear under their tops to measure their data while they play. I’m not sure if this product has been designed along similar lines or is just a coincidence.

The Good

I’ve tried it a few times and I’m really impressed with it!

It fits snugly and stays in position the whole time you’re moving. I’ve tested it on both road and off-road and sits in position perfectly even on rugged ground.

The phone pocket is good. It has a snap fastener to attach the top bit to the main vest so you can open it up and check/send messages etc without having to take it out. The pocket does bounce (impossible not to) but the way it’s designed, you don’t actually notice.

Another good feature is that it has reflective strips so you can be seen in the dark. They also have the VR model which is largely made with reflective material so you’ll be even more visible in the dark.

The Not So Good

My only gripe is that the clear film in the pocket that protects your phone screen and allows you to still use it, also sticks to the screen so it’s not so easy to take your phone out to take a photo mid-run if you happen to see something nice. Probably no more awkward than trying to take your phone out of existing accessories to do the same thing though.

Overall Opinion

This is a great piece of kit that instantly solves the problem of storing valuables while you train. It’s perfect for the typical run where you can have all essential items with you in one place.

I’d say it’s great for distances up to Half Marathon where you’re only likely to need one gel. I’d like to see additional gel loops either on the straps or maybe a slightly bigger pocket for a few gels for running longer distances.

If you’re looking a new piece of kit to help you on your winter runs, I’d highly recommend this vest. It costs £29.99 and worth every penny. With the darker mornings and evenings, I’d say the VR vest would be your best option, especially in poorer lit areas, but the V1 is good enough.

If you’re interested in buying one, just click on any of the links or the image above. 

Happy running!


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