If 'be safe, be seen' is your motto, then the Visijax Backpack Cover certainly won't disappoint. The high-vis yellow material with big reflective arrows is eye-catching enough, but its USP is the super-bright LED lights that you can see a mile off (well, almost).
It's quick and easy to fit and will also protect your pack from showers. At £29.99 plus £6 p&p it's not cheap, though – especially considering Visijax sells an LED backpack for the same price.
The 11 LEDs – three each side, five on the rear – are powered by a rechargeable battery inside the removable power unit, which tucks into its dedicated pocket. It takes about three hours for a full charge with the supplied USB lead.
There are three light modes: flash, fast flash and steady. The latter lasted eight hours on a fully charged battery, while flash kept going for 47 hours – more than double the website's claimed 20 hours!
It's easy to pull the cover on with its elasticated rim, and two sturdy webbing straps keep it in place. Each of these has not one but two big backpack-style plastic buckles, which seems overkill. Also, they are positioned so the buckles rest against your back – not a problem if your pack isn't too full, but when it is they dig into your skin.
The adjustable straps mean the cover will fit a range of sizes, but although the site says up to 35 litres, it was stretched on my 25L pack when full.
The cover has a Teflon coating to make it waterproof so it keeps your pack dry – to an extent. In use it didn't fully extend over the top of my pack (as the shoulder straps push it down) so this part was exposed to rain. I found the mesh pocket useful for stuffing bike lights in at the end of my commute; I'm not sure what purpose the mesh lining serves.
The cover sports an ICEid tag (In Case of Emergency), plus a bonus ICEid helmet sticker, which 'first responders' can scan to find out your medical and contact details – as long as you've registered on the ICEid website and activated the tag, of course. Not a bad idea, especially if you suffer from epilepsy or are allergic to certain medicines, for example.
Overall, the Visijax Backpack Cover covers all the safety bases and makes a good fist of keeping out the weather, though it doesn't do so cheaply.
Supremely high-vis, with LED lights providing extra safety measure, but it's pricey
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Visijax Backpack Cover
Size tested: Single-size, stretch fit, up to 35 Litres.
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Visijax says: "Our stretch Backpack Cover allows you to quickly transform your current small or mid-sized backpack, up to 35 litres, into a highly visible beacon to other road users. It also acts as a lightweight, waterproof cover for unexpected showers."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Single-size, stretch fit, up to 35 litres
11 red LEDs on side and rear panels
Two-tone hi-vis yellow and black
12 months warranty
Machine wash 30
Slightly over-engineered if anything – with mesh liner and twin buckles on both straps that add weight and bulk.
Buckle position means they can sometimes dig into your back.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It certainly makes you very visible, both day and night, and it does keep the worst of the rain off too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I felt no driver was going to miss seeing me with it on!
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The buckles sometimes dug into my back if my pack was particularly full.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
If you want a high-vis backpack cover then they don't come much more visible than this one with its super-bright LEDs, but it's marked down for the strap design and also it's quite pricey – it costs the same as Visijax's backpack.
About the tester
I usually ride: Marin Point Reyes 29er My best bike is: Giant Anthem X1
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, mountain biking, audax