The Blackburn Big Switch Wrap is a really useful, minimalist, and multi-functional piece of kit that offers much more than you might expect from such a small package.
If you want to carry larger loads then a saddle bag makes perfect sense, but for more minimal outings, Blackburn's Switch Wrap Tool Kit is ideal.
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Although compact, there's ample room in the wrap to fit everything you could need on a ride. It's designed with pockets to hold a CO2 canister and inner tube, with a small pouch on the front, two elasticated slips either side of it, a Velcro'd and elasticated loop behind that, and then another removable strap behind that.
I was able to fit tyre levers, a CO2 pump, spare canister and spare inner tube in easily, and on one ride I replaced the CO2 with a mini-pump without issue.
Its setup gives you a range of options for how much you want to take – you can take the entire setup and keep everything together with the large strap, or you can go minimalist and remove the large strap to just take the pouch and elastic slips.
You can attach it to a variety of places on your bike – under the saddle, on the seatpost, on the top tube... I generally kept it on the saddle and seatpost, where I would usually put my spares. I found that whether I was using it in its smallest or largest setup, it stayed in place securely and kept everything tightly held. This is helped by a large silicone area inside the smaller strap, so there is little chance of much movement.
You can buy the wrap and tools separately, but in this £39.99 option you get the wrap and Blackburn's Big Switch Mini Tool. This comes with 15 functions including T25 and T30 Torx bits, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 and 6mm Allen bits and 8mm hex tool, a flathead screwdriver, chain breaker, spoke wrenches (size 0, 1 and 2), a disc pad spreader and a Presta valve core tool.
All of these fit in elasticated bands attached to a single firm piece of material that sits within the front pouch. On the backside of this is a netted area that holds the spoke keys and top side of the chain breaker; it's also useful for storing a folded up note for the cafe stop or tube patches. The pouch in which all this sits can take a couple of cards too, although it's not big enough for much else.
Unlike a regular saddlebag, the wrap doesn't offer much protection from the elements. Fixing something is always easier with dry tools rather than wet and muddy ones. That said, it isn't too much of a mark against it given the benefits that this kind of design brings.
> Emergency essentials: 10 things to take with you every ride
Its rrp of £39.99 isn't bad for some storage and a high-quality multi-tool – buying the mini-tool separately would cost you £29.99 at rrp, so you're getting the wrap for a tenner. The wrap isn't readily available without the multi-tool, but it's online in a couple of places for £18.99.
How does that compare with similar products we've reviewed on road.cc? Well, Lezyne's Sendit Caddy and T-Drive multitool would set you back £53 – so around the same price if bought separately, but a £13 saving as a single option.
I like this wrap and multi-tool for a number of reasons, but I think the main one is simply that it offers so many storage options. That shouldn't take away from the really smart tool set, which manages to fit every basic tool you're likely to need into something so small. The only real downside to the wrap is that it won't keep anything dry, but maybe a sacrifice worth making.
Good combination of innovative mini-tool and wrap with extra storage and a variety of mounting options
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Make and model: Blackburn Big Switch Wrap
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?
It's a multi-tool in a wrap, with space for more kit, for taking with you on rides.
Blackburn says, "IMAGINE YOU COULD BRING A TOOL BOX WITH ALL THE ESSENTIALS YOU'D NEED FOR BICYCLE MAINTENANCE WITH YOU ON EVERY RIDE. NOW; STOP DREAMING: THE SWITCH WRAP IS ALREADY HERE"
This is broadly accurate, I found that it could fit in everything I would generally need on a ride.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Blackburn says, "The Switch Wrap includes the tools offered in the Big Switch Multi tool kit and provides you quick access to everything you'll need to fix just about anything that could go wrong on a ride. The Wrap features specific sleeves for an inner tube, up to a 20g CO2 cartridge, and a tire lever. And, it keeps the Big Switch tools at your fingertips. When opened, the tool kit hangs from your saddle so you can grab what you need without spreading it all on the ground, so lost tools will only exist in nightmares. Minimal. Compact. Secure. Convenient. This new, compact and super-functional tool kit includes all the essentials you'll find on the Switch including T25 and T30 Torx bits, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm Allen bits and a flathead screwdriver. The Big Switch also features an 8mm hex tool and a chain breaker. The chain breaker handle includes size 0, 1 and 2 spoke wrenches, a disc pad spreader and a Presta valve core tool. Individual T or L handle tools let you access tight places and give you more leverage on bolts and screws. Go ahead, fix everything."
Rate the product for quality of construction:
It is well made with the tools appears solid and reliable, the material on the wrap feeling robust, and the straps being thick and strong.
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Likely to last a long time given that the materials chosen seem to be of a high quality, though it wouldn't be too difficult to lose one of the tools from the mini tool kit.
Rate the product for value:
Pretty good value for both the wrap and mini-tool.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Both wrap and tools performed very well. The wrap kept all the kit safe and secure, held an impressive amount, and could be mounted on multiple areas around the bike; I especially liked the ability to use the tool heads at either a 45 or 90 degree angle.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The variety of what the wrap can hold and where it can be mounted.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Wrap doesn't keep everything dry and muck free.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Pretty reasonable compared to buying a tool and wrap separately: the Lezyne Sendit Caddy and T-Drive Multitool would set you back £53.
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 overall score
A solid piece of kit both in terms of holding everything in place securely and also offering good-quality tools for use while out and about.
Age: 32 Height: 6 ft Weight:
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
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