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Bellroy All Conditions Phone Pocket review

Verdict:

Brilliantly made product that keeps rain, mud & sweat away from your smartphone and money, and is barely noticeable when in a jersey pocket

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
• Excellent waterproofing • Slides in and out of jersey pockets with ease • Quality construction • Sleek appearance
Against 
• One less excuse to leave the phone at home

Cycling can be a great escape from the cesspit of social media, the irritation of constant communication and the dependence on technology that pervades every element of modern life. But taking that one step further and leaving the smart phone at home just isn't realistic.

Come off on a wet corner, get completely lost on unfamiliar roads or suffer one more puncture than the number of tubes you're carrying and you might just need that mobile for assistance - to look at a map or send a grovelling text to someone for a lift home. What good will it be if it's waterlogged in a soggy jersey pocket?

True at all times of the year but especially in winter, keeping your phone and money safe and dry is an essential consideration and so a decent phone case or wallet is a necessity you'll only get away with overlooking for so long.

All conditions really does mean all

The Bellroy All Conditions Phone Pocket has coped with a wide range of testing weather conditions and varying riding types, and has done so with ease.

Heavy rain penetrating outer clothing has barely touched the Phone Pocket meaning its contents have always stayed dry, even when the case sat in a wet pocket for hours on end during rides.

The 2018 RideLondon was a prime example of this. Six hours in torrential rain and stormy winds but my iPhone and event rider card (a small square of paper with essential details written on) remained dry throughout, even when the Castelli Gabba the Phone Pocket was stored in had long since passed the point of saturation.

This is also true of sweat that sees base layers and jerseys soaked through. This kind of treatment is shaken off by the All Conditions leather and YKK water-resistant zip, ensuring the contents are protected from moisture coming from the body as well as the sky.

What's more, I used the Pocket for mixed terrain rides such as the 2017 Rapha Cross Prestige, where I put the Bellroy All Conditions Phone Pocket in the middle pocket of my jacket. It was right in the firing line of anything coming off the rear tyre, but it shrugged off mud, road spray and splashes from dirty puddles very well.

Pocket slide

Another point that's worth noting about this product is the ease with which it can be taken from and returned to jacket and jersey pockets.

The rounded edges meant it avoided getting snagged when taken out and the bulk of a phone gave the Pocket enough weight to hold its shape when putting it back into a jersey.

Material and size variations

The Phone Pocket comes in a range of colours but also in a choice of two materials. The more expensive leather option was reviewed here and would be my first pick over the woven as its aesthetic is better and it looks more sturdy, but the woven would still deliver the same level of phone protection.

On the point of size, the product can be bought in standard or large to accommodate ever-growing smartphones.

Price

Some may see the price of this product and think a sandwich bag in jersey pocket system is not so bad after all, and that will work to an extent.

The price of the Phone Pocket - £49 woven, £79 leather (as mentioned, the latter looks to be the better of the two) - will stop a number of riders in their tracks, opting instead for alternatives.

That much money for somewhere to put your phone and cash while riding is on the steep side, no doubt, but using the product goes a long way to justifying it and does not undermine the product's quality to enough of an extent to dock it any stars from the overall rating.

It's up to each individual how they spend their money and this is a review not an advertisement, but in many long months with this product I'd be happy to spend that much on a replacement - which is unlikely to be needed unless you seriously mistreat the first one.

Conclusion

Overlook any initial scepticism the price might invoke and make the most of a quality product that complements any jersey or jacket pocket on rides long and short.

Price: 
£49 woven, £79 leather