Fanny Pack Chafing


Experience From -
Eric Larkin , Gary Krystyniak , Mike Palmer , Sean Greenhill , Recumbent Slug , Kristine Hinrichs ,

Eric Larkin

I've searched the ULTRA archives and found no discussion about fanny pack chafing. I've run two marathons this year (still an Ultra virgin!) and use a generic small pouch 1-bottle fanny pack that irritates the small of my back to the consistency of raw hamburger over the miles. The lunch runners at work must think I do funny things in my bedroom to have these large palm-sized raw & scabbed areas on my lower back / upper bum.

Any suggestions on fanny pack makes/models? Are some pad materials better than others? Leather? Chamois? What things can you do to prevent this? Or do I suffer stoically on the trail and smile at the locker room crowd like my love life is completely wild and shamelessly passionate?

Sore but single...

Gary Krystyniak

The lunch runners at work must think I do funny things in my bedroom to have these large palm-sized raw & scabbed areas on my lower back / upper bum.

Why are The lunch Runners looking at your upper bum?...

I've used Bag Balm on the areas that come in contact with my water Bottle carrier. That has been working well for me.

Mike Palmer

I have the same problem. You may want to try using a tape that breathes, like Elastikon or Micropore, and see if that helps. I have friends that use duct tape but this sticks to your skin more than the other tapes and doesn't let perspiration evaporate. My physician prescribes diprolene for the irritated skin. This clears up the chafing fairly quickly but it doesn't help to toughen the skin to prevent further chafing. You may want to try coating your skin with benzoin.

If all else fails, you may want to use a Camel backpack or one of the Ultimate Direction backpacks where most of the weight is placed on your shoulders instead of your lower back. You have to fool with refilling the bladder during a race but the runners I know who use these packs tell me that this isn't a problem.

Sean Greenhill

Stop using the bum bag and switch to a Camelbak style backpack. You don't have the same bouncing problem and the smaller models fit/ ride well enough that they won't sap your speed or performance. If you don't like sucking on a tube, remove the bladder and replace it with a few bottle holders- I've used that set up in several ultra distance runs now and found it works just fine.

Alternatively, start running with a hand held bottle. You'll get used to it.

Recumbent Slug

Bulky waistbands on running shorts between the water belt and tender skin or bony projections such as prominent vertebrae can offer some pretty nasty, point-localized problems. The tailor in a local dry cleaners can do a great job of eliminating / minimizing seams in the back of my shorts for about six bucks. Always worth his price. I wish more sport shorts were sold with the elastic restricted to the sides and a flat seam without belt loops at the middle back. For very long runs, I always put a large Compede over a frequently bothersome sacral vertebra.

Kristine Hinrichs

Try the Ultimate Direction single bottle pack with the larger pouch in back - the Solo or Solitaire (I forget). This model rides 1 1/2 to 2 inches lower than the others - bounces less, creating less chafing. Also try Body Glide - very effective, non staining and not as messy as bag balm. Both products available from Ultra Fit (no interest...)