By Sam Parker
Unlike marathon runners who enjoy the luxury of water stations every few miles, most athletes are forced to carry handheld water bottles or to wear water backpacks while exercising in order to hydrate. Often times, these hydration items are bulky and unnatural, forcing runners, bikers and hikers to readjust their workout routines.
Kendall Thompson, founder and creator of Kenmark Sports, grew tired of these cumbersome and distracting water belts, handhelds and vests as well.
The Idea behind the Kenmark Sports Armband Water Bottle
“I’m an avid runner who grew frustrated searching for a lightweight, portable water bottle that was comfortable, practical and an all-in-one fit for my essential items,” Thompson said. “Through research and personal experience, I discovered that runners like me had issues with existing hydration products on the market, including hindrance of running style, inaccessibility while running and discomfort, bulk or too much movement.”
With the desire to create a durable yet easy-to-use hydration product for all athletes, Thompson began experimenting with different water bottle designs. In the fall of 2011, he introduced the Kenmark Sports Armband Water Bottle, an adjustable, lightweight arm attachment for runners looking for a more functional hydration system.
The breathable, neoprene armband features an aluminum, 16-ounce water bottle and slim, detachable pocket to carry essentials like your MP3 player, smartphone, keys, credit cards or cash, Thompson said. The attachment is adjustable to fit all arm sizes, the water bottle includes a screw top and finger grips and the detachable pocket is clear so users can easily adjust digital electronics.
With the product’s launch, Thompson offered prototypes to athletes so they were able to test the water bottle while running, biking, hiking and performing other physical activities. Through their feedback, he enhanced the product’s design to include a 3-in-1 style function.
Functions of the Armband Water Bottle
The first style function includes a Velcro security strap that is located over the top of the water bottle to provide additional support to ensure it remains in place while exercising, Thompson said. The strap also folds down on the top half of the detachable pocket so the items inside are protected. The second style function allows for easier access to the water source as athletes can tuck the security strap inside the armband water bottle case. And lastly, the third style function allows users to remove the pocket from the band while working out without removing the entire attachment, making switching songs on your iPod easier.
Though the product has only been on the market for less than a year, Thompson said the company has received positive feedback since its launch. Through the use of online marketing, traditional public relations practices, Facebook and YouTube, the Kenmark Sports team has been able to promote the armband water bottle to the public.
The product is currently available on the Kenmark Sports website for $29.99, and Thompson is hoping to expand the product’s reach to retail buyers later this summer.