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The P15 is the deluxe version of Respro’s justly popular hump rucksack cover incorporating not only waterproof materials and retina burning Scotchlite detailing but integrated electro luminescent lighting strips for maximum visibility. However, electrics preclude machine washing so mud mariners would be better served by the less sophisticated model.
Designed to accommodate rucksacks and panniers up to and including 40 litre capacities, it simply slips over the bag before the webbing is clipped together, cross formation using the press-studs. Powered by two AA batteries are sensibly positioned green Lighting strips running parallel so as to ensure complete 360° visibility. Run times of between 45 and 125 hours in static and flashing modes respectively are pretty impressive and on a par with other systems. However, there’s a very low hum in constant mode and the battery pack feels cumbersome compared to Li-Ion and similar technology but at least it means that replacements are readily available anywhere.
The bold logos and chevron detailing coupled with a day-glow orange base are nice contrasts to the classic black, more subtle than the day-glow yellow version but not as visible in murky weather. A capacious mesh pocket gamely swallows keys, multi tools and other little essentials while providing another mounting point for LED lights if so desired. Elasticated corners keep it firmly positioned without any annoying flapping in windy, blustery conditions and while you’d be foolish to attempt river crossings, taped seams ensure heavy downpours simply roll off the cover, keeping the contents bone dry. Electrics rule out popping in the washing machine or even hand washing in soap flakes but periodic wiping with a cloth dipped in mild detergent keeps it looking fresh.
The asking price seems quite steep for a waterproof bag but very reasonable when you are getting a waterproof cover and lighting system all in one.
A prudent winter upgrade for rucksacks and medium panniers.
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Make and model: Respro Hump P15 illuminated backpack cover
Size tested: n/a
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 P15 is the deluxe version of Respro's justly popular hump and is squarely aimed at commuters using bags between 25 and 40 litres. It incorporates not only acres of 3M but integrated electro luminescent lighting strips to really get you noticed.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Waterproof material with tapered seams fits universally over most bags and small to medium panniers in a flash. Powered by AA batteries, the electro luminescent lighting strips offer 45 and 125 hours run time in static and flashing modes respectively.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
There's no doubting the hump's prowess-especially for nocturnal riding and while humble AA batteries might seem old hat in the face of Li-On and similar technology, getting replacements in a pinch isn't difficult. Waterproofing is good on a day to day basis but don't be tempted by river crossings, or indeed machine washing because of the electrics. Black version looks classy but not quite so effective in low light as the day glow yellow.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Delivers exactly what it promises, sharp looks and good design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing particularly, although battery pack is quite cumbersome.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 35 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)