The Nicnacpac Cycle Pack is a drawstring pocket designed for porting essentials such as multi-tool, micro-pump, CO2 inflator and keys, which you wouldn't want getting soggy in a jersey pocket or wedge pack. Whether it's essential is debatable and it's not the first of its kind. That said, it's an okay price and a decent size.
I'm probably not alone in popping anything that might get wet or cultivate a gritty, orange patina in a resealable bag, especially during the darker months. The Nicnacpac is made from ripstop nylon, which is internally stitched and, as I've said above, features a drawstring closure. Being slightly pedantic, this is the concept's weak spot – if you were unlucky enough to jettison it from a jersey pocket into a deep puddle when belting along on your gravel bike, submersion will mean kit gets wet. Something to consider, although a moot point with zippered poacher type pockets common to winter jackets.
The old school emergency whistle and details form are things we'd hope never to call upon. Nonetheless, here it's well executed and a great use of available space. Remember to tuck it inside your chosen pocket, otherwise the toggle-cum-whistle has a tendency to sway and bounce, and the tapping sound can be a little distracting.
Getting a decent note requires practice, too, so something worth getting the hang of before setting out for the back of beyond. Mind you, even low, barely audible blows drove my neighbours' miniature schnauzers doolally, so that might be enough in a crisis.
There's sufficient space for a middleweight multi-tool, spare chain links, CO2 inflator, micro-pump, patch kit, some notes/change, small set of keys, energy/chocolate bar and 2 AA batteries. Alternatively, a 5in (or larger) smartphone, cash and other creature comforts can fit in. I've had no qualms with ours hosting super-zoom travel compact cameras, spare battery, memory card and bank cards.
Unobtrusive in the right sense, it does more or less everything I could expect from it. There have been occasions where I would have preferred a zippered closure, but the drawstring system releases with minimal effort as and when required.
Showery outings in a jersey failed to tax the fabric or let the elements near precious electricals, althought the same goes for bog standard wedge packs.
As for value... true, a self-sealing supermarket type bag costs pennies, so if cost is your objection then fair dos. This should last a bit longer though, and the ability to machine wash it following a sticky food wrapper incident or suchlike is a definite plus. (Bargain on 20 minutes drying time at room temperature.)
Nic nac hasn't reinvented the wheel here, but it's delivered a decent design with some good touches, well suited to the British climate. It also lends itself to other other outdoor activities.
Well designed, but closure toggle could be improved
road.cc test report
Make and model: Nicnacpac Cycle Pack
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?
Nicnacpac says: "There was no lightbulb moment, I just became increasingly fed up with not having the right things with me on a bike ride. I know from experience what I should be carrying on every ride, I just wasn't, and there are a number of reasons why. I don't like saddle packs or frame bags; they rattle, you forget what's in them, you forget to replace what's in them, the zips rust, they spoil the look of a bike, they are easy to pinch etc.. etc.. need I go on!?
The solution already existed! I often used one myself: a bag. My friends also used them, an old bread bag, a freezer bag, a nappy sack, an old sunglasses case, the bag that their fancy pedals came in, a pencil case and on and on. What no-one had was a practical, purposeful bag that would carry everything they needed, was lightweight, secure, weatherproof, washable, stylish and would fit perfectly into their cycle jersey pocket.
So I sat down and designed one."
Does exactly what is says in the blurb, not glamorous but certainly competent.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rip stop nylon material, draw string closure. Closure tab incorporates an emergency whistle.
Seems well made and suitably rugged so far. Washing seems fine at 30 degrees but obviously, if you haven't written your emergency details in permanent ink, it will need re-doing.
Drawstring closure tab came off at one point but very easily refitted. Otherwise no signs of wear to date.
Well made and should last. Detailing, such as emergency info, is thoughtful.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the nic nac pac does exactly what it says in the blurb. It will gobble ride essentials, keeping them clean and protected from the elements. I've tended to use ours for protecting compact cameras, phones and other sensitive electrical gizmos. During heavy rain, I have tended to stow them in a jacket (as opposed to jersey pockets). When used to port tooling, there have been no problems with damp and ultimately corrosion – especially nickel plated tool bits.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Simple but thoughtfully designed and generally well made.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Toggle cum emergency whistle is good rather than great, but hardly a deal breaker.
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
Simple but effective carry sack for tooling or other cargo. A good, long-lasting alternative to the supermarket freezer bag.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike 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, mountain biking
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)