The Mudhugger PhoneHugger case is a soft, flexible phone protector that works extremely well. It fits easily in a jersey pocket, keeps your phone dry and feels really rugged – I love it.
Waterproofing a phone can be awkward, especially if you're not looking to armour it – bulkily – at the same time. While there are lots of ways to do it, many also make accessing the phone a faff.
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The PhoneHugger is basically a strip of thick inner tube sewn into a pouch. The top wraps over and seals with Velcro, letting gravity finish the waterproofing job – rain would have to run upwards to get in. It works really, really well.
Really I should say 'water-resisting'. Obviously, if you fall in a river your phone is still going to get drenched... and even if you submerge this with the opening above the water, it leaks – presumably through the stitching – but the PhoneHugger keeps rain off without effort.
The two Velcro straps can secure this to a backpack strap for easy access, and the big fold over the top means the phone can never just shoot out from being jostled. At around 17x11cm it takes my Motorola G8 easily, and Mudhugger gives the iPhone 8, Sony Xperia and Samsung S20 as examples of what will fit in.
I used this in my jersey pockets, and it's flexible enough to fit easily and feel secure. As it's not completely sealed I did find that long, sweaty rides get the phone very slightly damp – the humid air condenses on the glass. It was never enough to be a problem, though, and to be fair I've had the same thing when using a sealed ziplock bag.
The edges are nicely taped, and while the stitching is messy in places, this thing feels rugged. The rubber is at least downhill mountain bike tube thickness, and feels up to plenty of use.
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At £14 it also feels expensive for what's basically an old inner tube, but its design, build and performance arguably earn it. Plus it's easy to spend more. I used to use a Zilfer Cycling Phone Wallet, which was extremely well made if somewhat comically priced at £51, but a phone upgrade meant it no longer fitted.
If you really have money to burn, the recently reviewed Baggicase Classic Phone Case is £62.90.
Back in the shallow end of the market, the Muc-Off Essentials Case takes big phones and is £15, but it's barely water-resistant and the inner zip can scratch screens. The Velopac RidePac Lite is more at £20 but a better bet, as it's screen-friendly and extremely water-resistant, if not quite waterproof.
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The Mudhugger PhoneHugger is a simple and extremely convenient phone protector that gets the job done well. The recycled rubber squishes into pockets more easily than sewn fabric designs, and even provides a little shock protection from drops. It only takes a second to get your phone in or out, too. It's great.
Simple, rugged and very effective rain protection for your phone
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Make and model: Mudhugger PhoneHugger phone case
Size tested: iPhone 8, Sony Xperia and Samsung S20 will fit
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?
Mudhugger says: "Phonehugger from Mudhugger handmade in the UK from upcycled inner tubes. Attaches to the shoulder straps of your backpack, keeps your phone dry in the worst weather and allows quick and easy access without having to take your backpack off or keeping your phone in your back pocket (bent Iphone anyone?)"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Size is approx 170mm x 110mm ( iPhone 8 / Sony Xperia / Samsung S20 etc).
Handmade in the UK from upcycled inner tubes.
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Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Effective, convenient, well made, recycled.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Could be a little cheaper?
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
This is quick and easy to use, works well in jersey pockets and keeps rain off your phone. If it was a few quid cheaper that would be nice, but it's well priced against the competition and its more basic construction actually works in its favour. It's excellent.
Age: 48 Height: 183cm Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,
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