In the summer and early fall, heat and humidity can keep even the most dedicated runners inside as temperatures creep toward the triple digits. The roads and streets that used to teem with athletes may empty out during the day, but that doesn’t mean that these folks aren’t getting their exercise: the second the sun goes down, and in the hours before it rises, people are lacing up their shoes to enjoy the cooler air.
Running or walking at night or in the early morning isn’t the safest, however. Cars zoom around corners without expecting you, and tree branches become invisible until they say hello with scrapes as you go by. As much as we hate to admit it, we don’t have superhuman vision and we need a little help to make our workouts less dangerous and more enjoyable. The GoMotion LiteBelt 100 answers that call.
The problem with most headlamps is exactly that: they go on your head. Every time you look down a sidestreet or react to a passing sound, your light moves with you and turns the path back into a shadowy guessing game. The GoMotion LiteBelt instead wraps around your waist so that it stays steady with a body’s center of gravity. The light, which is fixed onto the front of the belt, maintains its focus in front of you rather than wherever you shift your gaze – a big plus for an easily distracted runner like myself. No matter what steals my attention on the sidelines, I can trust the LiteBelt to keep me from tripping on those sneaky curbs and rocks that seem to multiply in the dark.
The light itself is quite powerful. It casts a wide beam and shines far enough ahead for you to feel confident in your future steps. The lamp is bright and sharp, and features a replaceable battery in its own pocket around the back of the belt. You can also choose from three intensity settings, or adjust the angle and focus of the light. Plus, red LEDs are installed on the battery pocket and flash behind you so that you’re visible from all sides.
I’m personally a very minimalist runner. I prefer to wear the lightest clothes and shoes possible, and carry nothing with me. But that attitude can be pretty unrealistic when I need to run after hours during these next few warm weeks or in the winter when sunset comes earlier, and the LiteBelt is the best option I have found. The extra weight is balanced by the helpfulness of the light and the added pockets on either side of the battery that I need as I ramp up my distances. The mesh belt is also breathable and flexible so that I don’t have to worry about it being uncomfortably hot around my waist or digging into my sides. Because I don’t want to feel at all burdened on my run, these are essential qualities for me in a product like this. Overall, the LiteBelt serves a good purpose and is a good option for any runner in need of a guide through the dusk or dark.
The GoMotion LiteBelt 100 sells for $59.95 through GoMotion Gear.
–Blue Ridge Outdoors intern Lucie Hanes is a runner, climber, paddler, and is making a very strong addition to the BRO digital editorial team.