With a little trial and error, whether you’re listening to music or tracking your data, this running armband locks your phone securely into place and makes it easy to carry comfortably on a run
Stays in place when you run
Can be worn over clothing or next to skin
No weather protection
Requires purchase of separate phone case
Takes a little trial and error to get comfortable
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Quad Lock Running Armband: first impressions
Whether you like to carry your phone when running for safety, entertainment or data, there's one big question: where do you keep it? The resounding answer from Quad Lock is in its running armband (opens in new tab), which locks your phone into place and fastens it securely on your arm, no matter how fast you’re going. To use this armband, you’ll also need to purchase one of Quad Lock’s compatible phone cases (the company seems to have one for every smartphone under the sun) but once you have your setup, simply strap the armband on and attach your phone with one click.
• List price: $39.95 / £29.95
• Sizes available: One size, adjustable to fit any arm size between circumference 17cm - 38cm or 6.5" - 15"
• Unisex: Yes
• Materials: Nylon/Lycra strap
• Colors: Black/blue
• Best use: Running, hiking
Once your phone is locked in, there’s no possibility of it escaping, even on the roughest of trail descents. The sturdy construction and robust Velcro of this phone holder mean it will last for years and it stays in place on your arm without needing to be fastened too tightly. You can wear this armband against your bare skin with no chafing, or over clothing, and while your phone will be exposed to the elements if you’re not wearing it under a waterproof jacket, in light rain you can simply turn it so it’s behind your triceps for protection. There are lots of ways to carry a phone while running, but if an armband is your choice, you won’t find a sturdier one than this.
Quad Lock Running Armband: in the field
The last time I wore a running armband I was living in New York City, Katy Perry had just kissed a girl (and liked it), and I was listening to music on an iPod. So, it’s been a while. It’s not that I’ve stopped carrying my device when I’m running, I’ve just got into the habit of trail running with my phone in the thigh pocket of my Gym+Coffee running leggings, because it’s so convenient. I do, however, often end up with a sweaty phone, so I was eager to try out the Quad Lock Running Armband, which promised industrial-level security.
Basically, this is a thick, sturdy Velcro strap with a plastic lock on it that is compatible with a Quad Lock phone case. Just order the case that fits your phone, pop your phone, strap the armband on, then click your phone in and off you go. It’s super simple, but I made a couple of mistakes up front.
First, I clicked my phone in when I wasn’t wearing the armband, which meant I put it in the wrong way. Once I put the armband on, my phone was perpendicular to my arm instead of the top of my phone pointing towards my shoulder, which isn’t very aerodynamic. It doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but as I discovered, it was almost impossible to then get the case back off the armband without breaking the lock. So, don’t do what I did. Put the armband on first, then it’s really easy to figure out how your phone should go in. It’s pretty easy to just click my phone in now, though it always takes me a couple of attempts.
For my first run, I wore the armband mid-bicep, probably because that’s how it looks in all the stock images of runners wearing armbands. However, my arm started to ache after three miles. I loosened it, which helped for about a mile, then it started hurting again. I was a little discouraged, but I tried it again two days later while wearing it down lower, closer to my elbow, and it felt great, with no aching or rubbing. So, all this is to say, there’s a little trial-and-error that goes into finding the right position, but once you do, it won’t hurt or cause any discomfort.
When I’m running with this armband, it really is amazingly secure. My phone is totally locked in, and even though I usually wear mine over my North Face Lightriser Futurelight running jacket, it doesn’t slip at all – and I don’t even fasten it all that tightly. Of course, when it rains, which is does a lot in Scotland, my phone is going to get wet since my jacket sleeves aren’t big enough to go over it (and I wouldn’t want them to as then I would be able to reach my phone to change the tunes), but in light rain I just spin it around so it’s behind my bicep and it stays dry. It’s definitely a bit more difficult to use my phone when it’s on my arm, as I’m typing in my password upside down, but that’s true of all running armbands.
To remove the phone, I just press down on the release button and twist my phone out. Easy.
I haven’t had to wash it yet, and since I’ve been wearing it over clothes I don’t expect it to get smelly any time soon, but when yours does, you can hand wash the strap.
Because you need to buy a compatible case, the whole package does add up to a pretty penny, but if you know that you want to rung with a phone in an armband, I can’t imagine you’ll find one you’re much happier with.
Here’s where we tested the Quad Lock Running Armband:
The Strathblane Pipe Track is a classic fell running track just outside of Glasgow at the start of the Highlands that follows the route of the pipe that brings water from Loch Katrine to Glasgow, at the foot of the Campsies.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.
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