Published by Andrew on 5 October 2018
Richard Peace reviews a Vaude handlebar bag and smartphone pocket combination that's useful for cycling in the rain.
I was keen to road-test this combination of very light handlebar bag and waterproof phone pocket as it promised to solve the problem of having your smartphone on the handlebars and operable but in a waterproof cover – not a problem I have seen addressed very often by the many smartphone mounts out there.
The bag itself mounts quickly, easily and securely using the longstanding and high quality Klickfix system that leaves a permanent mount clamped around the handlebar stem, allowing you to remove the bar bag at the press of a button.
The bag itself is just the right size for small items such as food snacks, compact cameras and the like. The BeGuided waterproof cover fits quickly and easily on top. It makes a handy pocket for a smartphone with its haptic-friendly transparent cover, meaning you can control the phone touchscreen through it.
Like the Vaude Karakorum pannier set I’ve also reviewed previously, the materials are lightweight but the bag itself is extremely well made. There are also extra zip pockets in the front and top for very small items.
In use the BeGuided cover itself worked pretty well, allowing me to use the touchscreen through the plastic – I could even press in the side button on the phone to wake it up after the screen saver had kicked in, though this needed a bit of concentration and so isn’t something you want to be doing in busy traffic.
My only niggle was that the transparent cover is quite shiny and produces a lot of reflection in full sunlight (and even some when it’s overcast). However, this didn’t stop me seeing a map screen, for example, and being able to navigate from it with a bit of care and concentration.
There’s also a waterproof cover with its own transparent panel and it’s possible though not particularly easy to control the phone through both covers.
I’ve a feeling this is going to be on my ‘must have’ list for longer tours from now on, if only because it will allow me to navigate by phone in all weathers whil providing a welcome bit of extra storage space in a handy location.
Weight: 495 g
Volume: 6 litres
Dimensions: 18 x 24 x 15 cm
Max. recommended load weight: 7 kg
About the Author
Richard Peace is the author of the official English-language guidebook to the Veloscenie Paris-Mont-Saint Michel bike route and the Sustrans guide to the London-Paris Avenue Verte. He also contributes to A to B magazine, Bike Europe and Eurobike Show Daily.
More cycle kit reviews on Freewheeling France:
- Ortlieb panniers
- Vaude panniers
- Arkel panniers
- Vaude Moab bike shoes
- Sena R1 Smart Helmets
- Haibike SDURO Trekking 4.0 electric bike
- Raleigh Motus Grand Tour e-bike