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The Muc-Off Essentials Case is a plus-sized phone case made of heavy-duty 900D polyester with a few additional loops on the back for extra fitting options. It's not waterproof, nor does it claim to be, but it is good looking, hardwearing, and light both in weight and on your pocket compared to many of its competitors.
The Essentials Case is just that, a case to carry anything that you consider essential. It's 17 x 9 x 2cm internally and is a good fit for my plus-sized phone. The inside is divided up into three compartments – all in black, which is a shame. I was hoping for bright pink to match the zip and Muc-Off's logo... maybe next time?
You do need to be careful which way round you put your phone in as, like all of these cases for some reason, there is an exposed zip inside. How hard can it be for someone to invent a secure money/coin pocket that doesn't require a zipper that can seriously scratch your screen or, worse, break it? I speak from experience here.
It's not just a phone case though, it's large enough to accommodate a mini tool, tyre levers, tube and gas canister in different compartments, as well as your money, cards and coins in the zipped pocket, which is pretty neat.
The heavy-duty polyester it's made from feels very tough and stood up well to being chucked in my riding rucksack, shorts and jersey pockets, and bikepacking bags with little to no visual marking during the test. There is no padding as such in the sidewalls, just the thickness of that camo material which should keep the inside in and the outside out, but it will not prevent a sharp item from marking your screen or worse.
That 900D material does 'wet out' in heavy rain, and although it doesn't flood the inside, the stitching isn't taped, so water does get through around the zip. You might want to invest in a ziplock bag – or a waterproof phone.
The bright pink zip tag is useful – you can easily find it in whatever storage bag you're using, if not your rear pocket. Speaking of which... I have found that the case is a little tall for some of my jerseys, though no worse than my Velopac – something that jersey designers need to catch up on really, with the growth of larger phones.
On the back of the case are two sets of extra nylon webbing loops which, according to the Muc-Off website, can be used to fit the Essentials Case to your Muc-Off riding shorts. It's actually quite a neat system, though it will clash with a bum bag if you wear one of those, and some of the longer backpacks out there. But if you're riding light it's a useful system, if you want to buy into it.
It is only one use, however, and there are many more I can think of for those strap loops. If you have front or rear bikepacking bags you may well already have a number of attachment points that can be used to mount this case to your existing setup. All you would need is two small straps, which if you cannot make them yourself or don't have them, Muc-Off will sell as a pair for £10 which seems okay to me considering the £15 low price of this case and the potential increase in uses they offer.
The Essentials case looks good value even when including the price of those two extra straps to improve its versatility, and at 52g it's competitively light too. At £15 it's cheaper than most, if not as cheap as a ziplock bag. We liked the Velopac Ridepac but it was starting to be expensive at £32; Alex liked the See.Sense Phone Pouch which was better value at £20, and Ian really rated the waterproof nature of the Fickaskap Waterproof phone case at £25, but that has no padding or versatility of the extra loops on the back.
Overall, the Muc-Off Essentials case is a very good option for carrying your phone and/or essentials in a back pocket or bag. It's not waterproof and there's no padding in the sidewalls, but those would undoubtedly make it cost more. As it is, it's very good.
Great value phone and essentials case for your back pocket, shorts or bag
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Muc-Off Essentials Case
Size tested: 17 x 9 x 2cm
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 for anybody looking to carry their phone and personal small essential items in their back pocket or a bag.
Muc-Off says: "Looking for a hard-as-nails Essentials Case for your phone, essential tools and/or puncture repair kits? Roger that! We've engineered a handy storage solution, ideal for all bike riders; from the trails to the tarmac and everything in-between.
"The tough outer camo fabric lined with water-repellent zipper offers the protection you need for your essential cycling accessories with a heavy-duty rubber-encased rope zip pull for quick and easy access on the bike. The Molle Webbing straps on the back of the case are compatible for easy attachments to Molle accessories or bags.
"Internally, the case features a soft divider to keep your cards separate from your smartphone or your inner tube separate from multi-tools, gas cylinders and tyre levers. The Essentials Case also has an inside zipped pocket for smaller valuables like keys and coins. The Muc-Off Essentials Case is enough to fit larger phones while still fitting comfortably in your back or side pocket."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made from 900D Polyester, its outer material is tough and abrasion-resistant and it's fitted with a good quality zip with an easy pull tab.
Muc-Off lists these features:
Size: 17 x 9 x 2cm
Constructed from a tough as nails, 900D Polyester Camo Fabric
Finished with water resistant zipper and heat sealed zip puller
Molle Webbing straps for attaching MOLLE accessories or onto other bags
Inner Zip pocket to store keys/cash/coins
Inner slide in pocket for your phone or cards
Fits plus sized smartphones
Enough space to store your spare tube, tyre levers, CO2 and mini-tool.
Inner Lining: 100% polyester
There is no padding to the sidewalls of the case, and the internal zip could damage your screen – as in all these type of cases.
It's not waterproof and isn't claimed to be, and the 900D fabric gets heavy when wet.
No issues so far.
Cheapest case we have tested.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Slightly fatter than the Velopac Ridepac, allowing tools and a tube to be carried inside if you so wish.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The internal zip.
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
The Essentials Case is well built from tough 900D polyester which means it should last a long time. The 'one size only' works perfectly for 6in plus-sized phones of today or can be used to store most ride essentials. Its extra mounting points may never be used, but they offer a wider range of uses for bikepackers and commuters, and it only costs £15. Only its lack of padded sides scores against it – that and the zip, but all these cases have that issue.
About the tester
I usually ride: Fairlight My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Bikepacking Adventure Gravel Riding