Freetrain V1 Vest Review: Phone Harness For runners

The name of the game to operating – which is basically a unpleasant solution to spend one’s time – is distraction. And when you depart the TV-filled health club, you might be closely dependent for your telephone and a suite of operating headphones to stay the dangerous ideas at bay.

However the place do you set the telephone? Issues fall out of wallet, fingers get sweaty, and purses are impractical. One possibility is an armband, despite the fact that that may make it tricky to perform the telephone in transit; a extra complicated albeit dearer choice is a full-torso harness, just like the Freetrain V1 Vest.

Freetrain V1 Vest review

Design and are compatible

The V1 incorporates a versatile V of perforated subject material for your again, and every other for your entrance with a pouch to your telephone, all hooked up in combination by way of two straps over your shoulders and a stretchy belt. The shoulder straps comprise two very small wallet for keys and an identical, one sealed with velcro and the opposite with a zipper.

I examined the black type, however the harness may be to be had in ultra-reflective silver (that model is named the VR Vest). That could be larger for street protection when operating in city environments, despite the fact that the black model does have some reflective patches too.

Freetrain V1 Vest review: VR model

The primary problem is getting inside of. Over extended use I have discovered that the most efficient way is fingers first, with head to practice, however some undignified tugging and wriggling is most often required. As soon as the harness is on it is pleasingly comfortable and infrequently strikes; there may be just about no bouncing round and exactly 0 threat of it falling off.

(The makers declare the V1 is unisex, however are compatible and luxury will to a big extent rely on frame form. The harness’s place isn’t neatly suited for other people with massive breasts.)

You’ll be able to make access more uncomplicated by way of adjusting the period of the belt straps, however this can be a double-edged sword: it additionally makes the are compatible looser and extra bounce-prone as soon as you might be inside of, and the placement of the strap adjusters is to this point around the again that it is nearly unimaginable to tighten them as soon as it is on – what you truly want is a knight’s squire that will help you out. I might subsequently suggest maintaining the straps shortened and sacrificing a couple of seconds of dignity to verify a pleasant protected are compatible.

Freetrain V1 Vest review: Female model

The V1 sits moderately prime at the torso – or a minimum of, it did on mine – with the belt across the backside of the ribcage somewhat than sitting decrease at the waist. I moderately like the best way that appears (it faintly inspires the ones mini coaching tops you every now and then see worn by way of sportspeople earlier than a large sport), but it surely brings the telephone somewhat nearer for your face than is most likely fascinating; extra on ease of use within the subsequent phase.

Speaking of aesthetics, my spouse screwed up her face when she first noticed the V1 in motion, and knowledgeable me that there are better-looking possible choices in the market. So it should divide opinion.

Final of all, elimination. The primary time I took the V1 off (with the straps in a decent place, consider) I nearly threw out my shoulder making an attempt to succeed in throughout at a clumsy perspective. I have since discovered that it is essential to succeed in at once over your head with each fingers, directly backwards, seize the again phase, and pull it forwards over your head. This may make your glasses fall off when you forgot to take away them first, however it is another way painless and efficient.

How neatly does the V1 paintings?

The speculation is that you simply slip your telephone into the pouch on the entrance, which protects it from the weather however nonetheless permits you to use it typically. This works to some extent.

To start with, I discovered it swiftly tricky to get the telephone in. The makers boast that they “can expectantly say that the pouch will are compatible 99% of contemporary telephones”, however my iPhone 12 Professional was once a decent are compatible even after eliminating its silicone case, and I’m really not satisfied {that a} 12 Professional Max, or one of the vital greater Android telephones, would make it inside of in any respect. I might recommend contacting the corporate to invite about your particular type if it is at the massive dimension. An insert is integrated for smaller gadgets.

The pouch is stitched to the harness on the backside, and attaches by the use of a popper on the most sensible. When the popper is connected the pouch sits flat towards your chest and the telephone is invisible to passers-by; whilst you detach it the pouch hinges downwards and you’ll be able to get entry to the display screen via a clear plasticky sheet at the internal.

Freetrain V1 Vest review: Pouch open

No matter they have made this sheet from, it really works neatly, and I had no bother the usage of the iPhone’s touchscreen. Oddly sufficient the {hardware} buttons have been significantly extra of a subject, for the reason that black-and-grey pouch encompass conceals them and makes it tricky to get tactile comments.

Merely turning up the quantity on a podcast was once way more of a bother than standard (I like to recommend controlling this by the use of an Apple Watch or an identical if you’ll be able to), and at one level I were given perplexed and hit the ability button such a lot of occasions that I contacted emergency products and services by way of mistake. That one’s more than likely on me.

It isn’t simple to regulate the telephone and stay operating on the identical time, as a result of you must criminal your neck and glance moderately sharply downwards; it might make sense to a minimum of decelerate considerably whilst deciding on your subsequent podcast to keep away from bumping into somebody or one thing. I additionally discovered the collection of a popper not up to optimum, as it takes a relatively robust tug to get it free after which is tricky to near up once more afterwards. Perhaps velcro, which is utilized in different portions of the V1 (together with the hole of the pouch) would were more uncomplicated, however alternatively it would no longer be capable of reliably take the load of the telephone.

Freetrain V1 Vest review: Rear view (of silver VR version)

The sweat drawback

After I at first examined and reviewed the Freetrain V1, throughout various weeks within the wintry weather, I used to be blind to an issue that is since change into placing all the way through summer season use: sweat.

In scorching climate, the pouch overlaying will get damp from sweat, and this moisture may cause bumps towards the runner’s chest to be interpreted as faucets at the display screen. I have discovered that songs and podcasts on occasion soar swiftly, which is anxious, however way more severely my iPhone has locked up on a couple of instance as it idea I used to be making an attempt (and failing) to position within the passcode.

I have get a hold of a workaround that solves this drawback: you wish to have to enter Settings earlier than you get started the run and disable each Faucet To Wake and Carry To Wake. That manner display screen touch shall be disregarded except you first press the ability button. (I am not an Android skilled however there shall be an identical purposes on non-Apple gadgets.) The makers of the vest have been not able to supply any fixes past this.

The repair in large part solves the issue, despite the fact that it stays a gentle faff having to show the ones two options off earlier than each and every run and again on once more afterwards, and makes the telephone itself rather extra awkward to make use of while you are out. It is not at all a deal-breaker, however this factor ended in a drop from a ranking of three.5 (when at first reviewed) to three.


I have carried on the usage of the V1 Vest lengthy after finishing sufficient checking out for this evaluation, which is a competent signal that it is a cast product general.

The telephone’s {hardware} controls will also be tricky to get entry to at the move, and opening up the pouch to do any roughly navigation is extra of a bother than I might like. You can additionally wish to disable Faucet To Wake and Carry To Wake (or the identical on Android) to keep away from unintended display screen inputs in sweaty stipulations.

Nevertheless it appears to be like sensible (in a rather dorky type of manner), feels powerful and breathable, and is probably the most handy resolution I have to this point discovered to the issue of the usage of a telephone whilst operating.

The sticking level is also that £29.99/$39.99 ticket. Operating armbands are to be had for round a 5th of that, and whilst that is without a doubt a better choice, you’ll be able to wish to be a lovely critical runner to justify the additional value.


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