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Essentially two products in one, the Respro Hump reflective backpack cover has justly become something of an institution amongst urban warriors thanks to super tough, weatherproof construction and eye-catching designs.
Arguably the electro luminescent version represents the Holy Grail for those seeking to emulate the proverbial Christmas tree on acid but our Camo Light design held it's own whether snaking through the urban jungle or tearing up the trail. Better still, with no electricals to worry about, it can be tossed in with low temperature civilian washes come time the sludge and grime feel that little bit too authentic.
What we have here is a waterproof nylon cover with taped seams and elasticated corners that rolls atop bags and panniers between twenty-five and forty litre capacities. This locks in place around the belly, or pannier sides in an X formation courtesy of webbed straps with press-studs. Acres of fat Scotchlite detailing ensure 180degree visibility when negotiating the town planner's finest works and the two parallel strips run top to bottom so the rucksack faithful won't disappear off the radar when riding low on the drops in bombing mode. Besides you can always slip an LED or two aboard the capacious mesh pocket's collar for good measure.
This gobbles all manner of overspill and impulse supermarket purchases from keys through to one-litre milk cartons, although mine gave way to my son Joshua's burgeoning colony of plastic aliens. Being an aspiring paramilitary dictator, the pixelated camouflage livery met with my approval and assimilates dirt and grime into its pattern very effectively between machine washes. Hosepipe testing revealed no apparent weaknesses but partially submerging a budget Codura pannier during a spot of river riding saw water sneak behind the elastic- absorbed slowly but surely by the bag's fabric. Inconvenient when hauling a change of clothes but potentially ruinous with camera and similarly sensitive electricals en tow... let's be fair though that's probably a slightly extreme test.
Practical illumination upgrade for rucksacks and panniers, fun too
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Make and model: Respro HUMP Reflective Back Pack Cover
Size tested: Camo Light
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?
"The Respro Hump™ backpack cover is a simple and unique product that performs several functions at the same time.
It fits over an existing backpack and fastens around its waist. It also features an elasticated edge that grips the backpack stopping it from flapping around.
The Hump™ is available in a range of styles all including Scotchlite™ for night-time visibility
Optimum visibility whilst on the road
Adds space for more items
Suitable for most backpacks
Makes cyclists highly visible
Easily fitted over most backpacks
No need to buy a product specific bag
Clings to donor bag".
No quibble here
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
100% waterproof nylon cover, tapered seams,elasticated sides Scotchlite detailing. Fits panniers and rucksacks between 25 and 40 litre capacities.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Nothing is 100% waterproof in my experience and a river crossing saw water creep above the elasticated sides, working its way inside the host's Codura fabric but this is an extreme and isolated incident. Day to day soakings have made zero impression and Scotchlite detailing has been extended to the base, addressing some earlier criticisms about sudden rider invisibility when wearing a rucksack and crouching low on the drops.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fits in a flash, waterproof and very visible
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)