Essentially two products in one, its easy to see why the Respro Hi Viz Vegas hump red could become something of an institution amongst urban warriors.
It boasts a hardy, weatherproof construction and eye catching designs. There's no denying the eye-scorching day glow orange, Scotchlite and LED strips are an extremely powerful combination but the latter precludes machine washing should winter sludge and grime start taking over.
Essentially we have a waterproof nylon rucksack cover with taped seams and elasticated corners capable of accommodating most backpacks and single twenty litre panniers via elasticated strips with click-fix closures. The battery pack resides unobtrusively within an integral pocket and feeds from three AAA cells.
The switch is easier to operate than previous incarnations-especially in gloved hands but without being prone to accidental engagement. Flashing is default, pressing again selects a warm pulsing with steady being last on the line. Ninety hours is what's quoted for pulsing, depending on cell quality - near enough three months of commutes and we've managed 84, 78 and 33 in the real world using premium grade batteries.
Acres of Scotchlite graphics and parallel lines running to the bottom mean there's no danger of rucksack devotees falling off the radar when hunkered low on the drops. Standalone blinkeys can always ride shotgun on the mesh pocket's elasticated collar.
Inclement weather with some hose-pipe testing for good measure haven't revealed any obvious weak spots. However, we're not in submersible, river crossing territory and some Vaseline on the battery contacts is a very sensible precaution.
Versatile upgrade for rucksacks and panniers - a shame it's not machine washable though.
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Make and model: Respro High Viz Vegas Hump Red
Size tested: One size, red
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".
Louder than Elvis' jumpsuits and a worthy addition to the range.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Waterproof dayglow orange nylon cover boasting taped seams, Scotchlite detailing and 8 LEDS for retina tickling safety. Easily attaches to host luggage via nylon straps wih click-fix closures.
Simple to use, easily folded away when not required.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Respro High Viz Vegas hump is essentially two products in one, greatly improving the water repellence of budget Codura/Nylon panniers and rucksacks while maximising rider visibility. Regardless of luggage type, friends in approaching cars saythey could see me around 350 metres through December's morning murk and around similar distances come nightfall. However, much of this credit seems to lie with the orange and Scotchlite piping, flickering LEDs playing a distinctly tertiary role and occasionally rendered impotent amongst competing seasonal town centre neon.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Well made and very effective upgrade in most contexts.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing of note.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? On the whole, yes.
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)