KENMARK SPORTS ARMBAND WATER BOTTLE
TEST SERIES BY CHARI DAIGNAULT
May 29, 2013
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT
chari DOT daignault AT gmail DOT com
Orlando, FL USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
135 lb (61.20 kg)
I've been a light hiker for 41 years. I've hiked all the Florida State Forest trails in Central Florida, backpacked the Na Pali coast on Kauai, and climbed Mt. Fuji in Japan. I have hiked dry & sandy, rough & rocky and wet & boggy trails and as a result, have found what does and doesn't work for me in terms of equipment and clothing.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Kenmark Sports
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: Kenmark Sports
MSRP: US $29.99
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 18 oz (510 g) (Aluminum Bottle with cap, armband and detachable pocket)
Listed Volume (Aluminum Bottle): 16 oz (473 ml) Liquid
Measured Volume (Aluminum Bottle): 16 oz (473 ml) Liquid
Color: Aluminum Bottle, dark blue; armband and detachable pocket, black
|Kenmark Sports Armband Water Bottle|
The entire armband package (empty) feels lightweight enough to me, but once filled, I'm sure the aluminum bottle will weigh considerably more. The armband fits nicely on my upper arm and although my initial impression was that it would be bulky, it actually does not feel that way. It is bigger than anything I've worn there before and I'm curious how it will feel with the water bottle completely filled with liquid. The cap of the water bottle screws on and off and although it has a small hole in it through which a key ring could fit, there doesn't appear to be any way to keep it fastened other than when it's screwed on -- a potential for loss.
|Aluminum bottle and cap|
The two arm straps are made of a stretchy, soft material and have hook and loop fasteners on the ends. I'm able to adjust the tightness of the straps two different ways; by shortening the length of the straps and by stretching the straps tightly around my arm prior to fastening them. The body of the armband, which holds the aluminum water bottle, is made of soft, thin Neoprene and has a flap with a hole in it on top, which pulls over the top of the water bottle when inserted, allowing the cap to poke out of the hole. The flap then fastens to hold the water bottle in with a hook and loop fastener. This flap can fasten either to the face of the armband itself, or to the top of the detachable pocket. The detachable pocket fastens with hook and loop to the face of the armband and is thin, see-through plastic on the outside. Although the manufacturer advertises that a smartphone or iPhone can fit in this pocket and actually be utilized, it is in reality a very tight-fit even for my small Samsung Exhibit, which is roughly 2 1/4" (5.72 cm) wide by 4 3/4" (12 cm) high and 1/2" (1.27 cm) thick. The pocket would however, work very well for me to hold an ID card, a credit card and a car key all at once. (There is also the issue of attaching headphones, for which no allowances have been made.)
|Armband and detachable pocket|
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Instructions were on a small slip of paper stashed inside the armband, underneath the water bottle. The instructions are basically for the use and care of the water bottle itself. Below are the recommended uses and care tips for the aluminum water bottle:
1. Wash all parts in warm soapy water before using
2. It is not for microwave use (ed. note: good idea since it's aluminum)
3. Do not use bleach or cleansers containing chlorine to clean
4. Hand wash only. Dishwasher may damage
5. Do not overfill. Hot liquids can scald the user
6. When filled with hot liquids keep out of reach of children
7. When drinking hot liquids, please allow to cool to a drinkable temperature before securing the lid
8. CAUTION: Hot liquids will increase temperature of exterior wall
Other than the above noted tips, there were no other instructions. However, using the armband appears to be pretty intuitive to me and I haven't found anything I'm not sure how to use or that seems confusing.
Overall, this appears to be a useable product for me on trail runs and short hikes. I believe I can even use it while doing some cross-training workouts which consist of push-ups, pull-ups and other strength-training exercises that don't involve any equipment. It will allow me to take some water along on dog walks without having to use a hand to hold a bottle -- which is a Good Thing, since I have two dogs!
I'm curious to see if the bottle sweats when filled with cold liquid and if it does, how that affects the comfort of the armband during exercise. Whether any skin irritation may occur is always something I look out for as well.
Things I Like
Soft feel of the materials
Aluminum bottle (Eco-friendly)
Things I'm Not Sure About
Storage pocket (too thin for my smartphone)
Whole thing seems bulky
Possible weight issue when bottle is full
Water bottle cap is not lashed to the bottle
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the past five months, I've worn the Kenmark Sports Armband for trail runs, day hikes and boot camp-style workouts. All were done in Central Florida, east of Orlando.
15 Trail runs, 3 to 4 miles (4.8 - 6.4km) in length in temperatures between 60F - 83F (15.5 - 28.3C).
3 Day hikes, 4 to 6 miles (6.4 - 9.7km) in length in temperatures between 67F - 79F (19.4 - 26.1C).
2 General workouts - burpees, squats, jumping jacks, push-ups, box jumps
Winter did not appear to arrive here in Central Florida this year, so I've not had to wear the sports armband over any clothing the entire testing period.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I had no issues with leaking during the testing period. Although a screw-top cap is not my choice for a sports water bottle, I didn't have any issues with the cap other than the extra time it took to unscrew it to take it off and then rescrew the cap back on. Because the cap was not attached to the bottle, I did drop it in the dirt several times, which lead to sand in the threads. I used some of the water from the bottle to clean the cap off before attempting to screw it back on. This was water I would have prefered to drink.
Once I had the bands adjusted to my liking, I did not experience any issues with them loosening during use. The hook and loop fasteners worked well. While I understand the size and bulk of the bottle necessitate having two bands for stability, having to put them both on and take them both off proved cumbersome at times. They would sometimes stick to each other and I'd have to feel with my fingers to find where to peel them off so I could situate them correctly. The bands were soft enough that they did not visibly irriate my arm while wearing the armband, even during heavy workouts and excessive sweating.
|Wearing the Armband|
The bottle now has a slight dent and is missing a bit of paint near the neck, where I accidentally dropped it while out on the trails. My hands were sweaty and it slipped and dumped itself out. I learned to wipe my hands on my shorts or shirt prior to removing the bottle from the armband for drinking.
My phone is also my mp3 player. Due to the size of it (Samsung Galaxy S3), it would not fit in the plastic holder. My ID would fit, but I wear an ID wristband so that I don't have to carry an ID and risk losing it. Since I wasn't able to realistically use the holder, I removed it for most of the testing period. There is also no way to hold earbud wires, so even if I could fit my phone into the holder, the earbud wires would have driven me nuts. I have a separate armband in which my phone does fit that has a little hook and loop fastener on the side to hold the excess earbud wires. Wearing two armbands may seem a bit silly, but it did even out the tan lines on my arms. :) I don't listen to music while hiking, but I do wear my ID wristband.
The weight and size of the bottle, especially when full, is something that was very noticeable to me during runs. Although it was relatively comfortable and didn't slip or move about, I could still feel the weight and hear the water sloshing around (although with my earbuds in, the music would cover it up). While hiking, it didn't bother me as much, although the extra bulk on my arm took a bit of getting used to.
During bootcamp-style workouts, I found the best way to use the water bottle was to remove the armband with the bottle and set them nearby. Jumping up and down and waving my arms about while wearing a water bottle on my arm may not be conducive to convenience, but definitely is to bonking myself in the side of the head.
The weight and bulk of the bottle will keep me from using this product on any trail runs of any length longer than 4 miles (6.4km). Any further, I prefer to wear a hydration belt with flasks. I really do want to like this product -- again, it isn't uncomfortable and it does what it's supposed to do. But it just doesn't work for me.
Comfortable and soft
Holds good amount of water for short distances
Smartphone holder too small
No earbud wire holders
This concludes my Long Term Report. Thank you to BackPackGearTest.org and Kenmark Sports for the opportunity to test this product!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer
Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.