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The LEDwear Rucksack Cover is a sensible addition to any commuter's kit giving you the added visibility that comes from the built-in LEDs and decent amounts of reflective material to boot.
The pack cover will happily engulf medium sized rucksacks and packs that range up to around the 35 litre mark, but this would depend to a certain degree on the shape of your pack, so try first if possible.
It is secured using two press-stud elastic strips that cross between your back and the pack. These make it quick and simple to fit and remove when you need to. I have been using it over a 25 litre Lowe Alpine lightweight pack and the cover has plenty of room to spare. I even managed to fit it over a full size rear pannier, although this is not the intended use. The cover also gives a good level of shower proofing, although this is a bonus on top of its more important visibility benefits in traffic.
The LEDs are arranged in a hexagonal pattern in a sensible location towards the middle, at the back of the pack and are controlled via a push switch that can be pressed through the fabric of the pack cover itself. There are several settings, as seems to be customary with LEDs, which allow you to choose between 2 different speed flashing modes and continuous light.
The fact that the lights sit at roughly the level of your lower back make them highly visible, especially in queuing traffic, where a lower mounted rear light might be obscured by a car bonnet. The battery pack is in a small fabric pocket that sits at the base of the pack cover and it really isn't that bulky or noticeable at all.
The fabric itself is fairly rubbery and its yellow colour does pick up the dirt quickly if used without mudguards. However, it does clean-up fairly easily and retains a good bright colour for a long while. A couple of the clear plastic covers protecting the LEDs popped-off the test pack cover when inadvertently brushed against a gate, so longer term durability could be an issue.
If you regularly commute or ride with a bag on your back then this might well be just what you need for night riding or for other situations where you just need to be seen.
Useful & clever extra commuting visibility although there may be a slight question mark over long term durability
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Make and model: LEDWear Rucksack Cover
Size tested: Illuminous
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?
LEDwear Ltd is a brand who's mission is to develop market leading clothing which incorporates LED lighting technology to increase visibility and safety. The backpack cover definitely makes you more visible on dark nights and offers extra weather protection to boot.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Here's what the makers have to say on that one...
"The LED backpack cover offers the same LED technology as our other products, and is fitted in an elasticated cover so that you can wear it over your backpack of choice whilst cycling, without reducing your visibility at night."
Definitely increases your visibility.
A couple of the LED covers didn't seem too well attached, and fell off. Otherwise it performed well throughout the test.
It's hard to put a price on increased visibility, but for a pack cover and some extra rear lighting the price isn't bad at all.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very visible. It also helps to keep the contents of a rucksack dry in wet conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
This is a great addition to commuting kit if you ride in low light conditions.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes (If I used rucksacks on the bike more)
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Surly Long Haul Trucker My best bike is: Litespeed Saber
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: time trialling, commuting, touring, mtb, Triathlon