Perhaps it’s a sad reflection of the times that we live in, but every time I go out for a ride I take my phone with me. Long gone are the halcyon days heading off into the Bowland Fells with nothing more than a map and a water bottle. Nowadays, it’s as if I’ve gone out half dressed if I leave my mobile behind! Of course, having a mobile with you can be very useful, not to mention being an effective safety device should something go wrong. For me, there are two reasons why I take my iPhone with me on a ride:
1) To take photos – many of the photographs on this site were taken with an iPhone, the old saying “the best camera is the one you have on you” is never more apt than here
2) To record my ride on Strava or Cyclemeter using the inbuilt GPS function.
A key factor when taking a smartphone out on a cycle ride is where to keep it. Jacket pocket, rear pocket on jersey or maybe mounted on the handlebars. Whatever you choose, the phone needs to have some protection from the elements. In a rear pocket, a phone will be fine in good weather, but once it starts raining, it’s going to need to be kept dry. Until recently, I used a well worn plastic ziploc bag to give a modicum of protection to my iphone. Whilst I had a freebie Wiggle phone case (from a New Forest Sportive) it was a little on the non-pliable side to be useful, not to mention not being quite wide enough. Then, recently on Twitter, I spotted someone sporting a Pocpac iPac.
What caught my attention was the fact that the Pocpac is made to fit specific devices, it’s available for not only the iPhone, but also Android devices as well – such as popular models from Nokia, Samsung and HTC (a useful chart showing which Pocpac is best for your device can be viewed here).
Pocpac phone cases are quoted as being “weatherproof”, which is a rather generic statement that covers a lot of bases. Perhaps this “weather proofing” is best explained via what Pocpac say on their site – “(the case) allows you to keep your phone dry but still usable in the dampest of conditions.” It should be made clear however, that the case will not save your phone if you drop it in a puddle / lake / foaming cauldron or make that most basic Maurice Moss school boy error.
The closing mechanism seems sturdy enough and the red zipper is a nice touch. It’s also possible to access the top button on the phone, though less so for the volume and mute switches.
It’s very easy to use the phone whilst in the case (bar touch id) and it’s perfectly possible to take photos as well, thanks to the window area on the back which gives the lens unimpeded access to the outside world. In my basic tests, keeping the phone in the case did not have a detrimental effect on photo quality, but did have the added bonus of protecting the camera when it’s raining. There is also a divider built into the case, should you want to pack a credit card or a fiver for the cake stop.
There are a range of styles to choose from and ordering and delivery were very straightforward. Quality seems good and the level of protection vs usefulness means that it’s now a key part of my ride kit.
Find out more here: www.thepocpac.co.uk