The Silca Borsa Americano Wallet is a handy place to keep various ride essentials. It's water repellent, made of 'upcycled' inner tubes and wetsuit neoprene with a pleasing degree of padding, but it's pretty pricey – and a bit big if you don't need to fit an iPhone 7+ (or equivalent) inside.
- Pros: Green credentials, water repellent, fits an iPhone 7+
- Cons: Big unless you have an iPhone 7+, a squeeze for some jersey pockets
We've reviewed a few 'ride wallets' on road.cc, at a range of prices. Yes, you could use a (clean) dog poo bag, or a supermarket freezer bag, but taking the plunge and buying a purpose-made container is quite a nice idea, I reckon. If it does what you want it to.
This one is a bit large for my liking. If I had an iPhone 7+ I'd be glad it could fit in, but that wouldn't remove the fact that it can be a bit of a squeeze to get into a jersey or jacket pocket. And harder to remove, especially on the move.
Aside from size, which might be perfect for your needs, it's a nice design, with an open section in the middle for your phone (or an inner tube, multi-tool, CO2 canisters, other stuff), one long pocket on one side (money, tyre levers...), and two on the other, the larger of which is just big enough for a credit card.
None are zipped – unlike with the Velopac – but that could appeal: ease of access, no potential scratching of your phone...
Although the sides and base are pretty much waterproof, and the Borsa keeps its contents dry in lighter showers, it's a shame the zip isn't more weatherproof – especially as it's likely to be sticking out the top of your pocket. There's a baffle behind it that slows down water's progress, but in persistent, heavy rain I'd be inclined to tuck it away under an outer layer.
Is it really worth £45? It's £17 more than the similar size Velopac, £18.03 more than the Fickaskap Phone and Valuables Wallet, and £25 more than a large Sticky Pod. And a whole lot more than numerous simpler options. The Fickaskap has the bonus of being fully waterproof, and also enabling you to use your phone without having to remove it.
Overall, the Borsa provides decent protection for your phone, or a handy place to keep inner tube, tyre levers, patches and so on all together, ready to stick in a (large/stretchy) pocket for a ride. I like its look and padded feel, and it's proving robust too – which it needs to be really, for the price.
Water repellent, padded and made from recycled materials, it's a good option if you need this size, but it's expensive
road.cc test report
Make and model: Silca Borsa Americano
Size tested: 17.5 x 9 x 2cm
Tell us what the product is for
Silca says: "We partnered with Colorado-based Ecologic Designs to create this simple yet stylish limited-edition storage solution for your every day riding essentials. Constructed of upcycled bicycle inner-tubes and upcycled wetsuit neoprene, the Borsa Americano is designed by SILCA and sewn by EcoLogic featuring four internal pockets of various sizes to give you plenty of storage options. The main compartment is designed exactly to the dimensions of an iPhone 7+ with case, resulting in minimal bulk or excess material. For the rest of the bag, it's really up to you what you want to carry. This bag is less structured than other SILCA bags, allowing the user to pack it however they like for minimal bulk and size. The large inner side pocket is perfect for storing cash or credit cards, while other pockets can hold everything from your house key to patch kit."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
NYLON COLORED INTERIOR LINERS
UPCYCLED BICYCLE INNER TUBES AND WETSUIT NEOPRENE
NYLON TEETH AND ZINC ZIPPER
WEATHER RESISTANT EXTERIOR
DIMENSIONS: 17.5CM L X 9CM W X 2CM T EMPTY (DIMENSIONS WILL CHANGE WHEN PACKED)
WEIGHT: 160 GRAMS
There's one corner where it looks like the seam's slightly off, otherwise it's well made.
If the size suits your luggage requirements it does a good job. It's protective and tough, though not fully waterproof. It is quite bulky to squeeze into a jersey or jacket pocket; if you favour two-pocket jerseys/jackets they might accommodate it more easily.
Seems pretty tough.
Silca says it's 160g – it came up at 90g on the road.cc Scales of Truth.
Even taking into account its green credentials, £45 is pretty steep (Velopacs are £28, Sticky Pods £18 – even a Rapha Essentials Case is £25).
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a handy way to keep your ride essentials together in one place, if a bit bulky.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Its padded sides, and that it's made from 'upcycled' materials.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
That the zip isn't waterproof, and the size – it's a bit big for my jersey pockets.
Did you enjoy using the product? Mostly.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they had an iPhone 7+, maybe.
Use this box to explain your overall score
I can't criticise the size because it's designed to fit an iPhone 7+ and it does a decent job. It's expensive though, so it loses a point on that.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Venon My best bike is: Paulus Quiros
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: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding
Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.