Last Updated on July 9, 2023
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My kids have enjoyed participating in Girls on the Run 5Ks through school, and the running bug has made its way through my entire family. It even got me. I never thought I was a runner until a few months ago. I’ve done a lot of outdoor walking for years, and when the weather is bad I ride an exercise bike and use kettle bells, soft weights, and other gear in our basement. But based on some unpleasant experiences I had as a teen in school sports, I had long been convinced I couldn’t run well, so I didn’t.
Then I saw how much my kids enjoyed running. When we’d go to the school track so the kids could get some training in, I’d walk laps. Eventually, instead of walking the whole rectangular track, I began to experiment with running the long sides. That gradually turned into running a few whole laps without stopping. I wasn’t fast, but I decided maybe I could sign up for the next Girls on the Run 5K and it would be a nice accomplishment even if I didn’t win any prizes for speed.
That’s how I ended up running my first 5K last fall. I ran two of them, actually. I noticed a Harry Potter-themed 5K in my area scheduled for three weeks before the big Girls on the Run event, so we made that one of our practice runs. Ultimately, I finished the Girls on the Run 5K in less than 35 minutes and was happy with my time.
All of that to say, while I was learning how to run, I also realized you need certain gear to run. You don’t need a lot, but you need a good pair of running shoes to avoid foot, leg, and even back pain. You also need a way to stash your stuff like a house key and/or a phone, or even car keys, depending on where you’re running. A lot of running shorts or leggings don’t have large pockets, although the options are better than they used to be, especially for women.
I can fit my phone and house key into the large side pockets on some of my running leggings. I’ve also found a waist pack that I like from Target. It’s an All in Motion pack and is very roomy, with plenty of space for a phone, keys, and cards, and I’ve even stuffed some thin touchscreen gloves inside it and still had extra room.
When I saw someone on a running thread recommend packs from Five Below, I was curious to try them. In my local Five Below, I found both a waist pack and an armband pack. I bought both because I prefer waist packs, while my husband likes armbands. Here, I’m taking a closer look at the armband pack. (You can read my full review of the waist pack over here.)
The Series 8 Fitness Universal Active Armband cost $5 at Five Below at the time of publication. Most things at Five Below cost $5 or less, although they do now have a section of the store called Five Beyond that offers higher-priced items. Five dollars is pretty inexpensive for an armband phone holder. Similar bands mostly start in the $7 or $8 range and go up from there at Walmart. I couldn’t find any better prices at Target or on Amazon either.
Series 8 Fitness is a Five Below private label that includes various exercise gear, including fitness balls, step platforms, resistance tubes, yoga mats, kettlebells, dumbbell hand weights, and more.
The armband I found in my local store came in a heather gray, but I don’t know if other colors might be available in other Five Below locations.
Here’s more information about the armband, according to the package:
- Fits XL devices
- Compatible with iPhone 8 Plus/7 Plus/6s Plus/6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus/Note 8 and all extra large devices up to 6″
- Features a breathable ventilation window to allow your skin to breathe through the armband
- Offers full phone screen access and touch screen functionality
- Includes vents for earbud cords, along with a Velcro tab to help keep cords out of your way
- Includes a key pocket
- Features an adjustable armband
- Comes with reflective accents for safety to help keep you visible at night
- Sweat resistant; ideal for any workout
- Made in China
This armband has a Velcro strap that can go through one of two holes for a custom fit around your arm, as shown below. The armband does not have much stretch to it, so where you position the strap is where it should stay.
This armband is different from the Five Below waist pack in several ways. Namely, the armband has no zippers of any kind. It has one large phone compartment that is open on the top, with a flap that can fold around the top of the phone to help secure it. The outer-facing part of the phone compartment has a clear window so you can view and, possibly, use your phone screen. The inner side of the phone compartment is black fabric.
My phone is about 6.2 inches and is a little larger than what this is designed to carry. It fit all right into the phone compartment, although I couldn’t pull the top flap over my phone quite as neatly. It works in a pinch, though, especially considering that I haven’t been able to find armbands in stores (Walmart, Target, and even some specialty local running shops) that are made for phones any larger than 6 inches. If getting a pack that fits your phone well is important, you’ll find more options if you shop online rather than in a brick and mortar store.
The armband also has one key compartment that is good for holding a house key but is too small for a standard vehicle key. The key pocket does not have Velcro or a zipper, but my house key is a pretty snug fit in the pocket. The pocket is also deep enough that I don’t think a house key is going to fall out if you’re just running or walking.
I took this armband out on a short two-mile run through my neighborhood. I wore it over a long-sleeved active wear shirt and it didn’t slip, or if it did slide down, it was so minimal I didn’t notice. It took a little fumbling to initially get it strapped around my arm (which is why I tend to prefer waist packs that I can fasten on using both hands), and you may want to experiment with how tight you strap it on so you don’t cut off circulation. Otherwise, this was comfortable enough to wear. I’m not sure how comfortable it would feel with short sleeves. I may update this post after I’ve done some running in warmer weather with the armband.
The Series 8 Fitness Universal Active Armband fits phones up to 6 inches, has a slot for a house key, and offers an easy way to carry your phone and house key while running or doing other physical activities. It has a window that displays your phone screen and includes vents for earbud cords. It works fine, is comfortable to wear as far as armbands go, and is cheaper than just about any other armband you’ll find on the market. If you need something to carry your stuff, this will do the job.