The VeloPac RidePac Lite is a very neat cycling-specific wallet-cum-organiser that keeps your phone protected and your jersey pockets tidy.
The RidePac Lite is something I didn't know I wanted, if not quite at the level of something I can't live without (as the rest of the quote goes). It's slightly too long for jerseys with shorter pockets – although it's a stylish item, things sticking out of jersey pockets (with the exception of a rolled-up race cape) is not a great look – but, in its defence, it can swallow 'plus' sized phones up to 170mm long. If you're using a smaller phone, such as an iPhone 7 or 8 at 138mm (as I am), there is a RidePac Lite Mini for phones up to 140mm, which would fit securely in all jersey pockets and also costs £20.
Usually my pocket filing system is at the mercy of the jersey I choose. Does it have a valuables pocket? What side is it on? Will pocket sag ensue if a gel and a multi-tool are in the same pocket? Will my keys scratch my phone or puncture my gel? Did I actually remember to zip it up? And so on. There's enough faffing before a bike ride without all that. This VeloPac RidePac Lite solves it at a stroke – and it protects your phone too.
Compared with the £25 Chrome Phone Pouch we reviewed recently, which is literally a phone pouch, you get a lot of features for your money. Inside the waterproof ripstop nylon outer there's a main compartment, a divider that keeps your phone separate, a credit card pocket and a zipped section for money and keys.
The divider inside the VeloPac is tall enough to shield your phone from the zip even if it moves up to the top of the compartment when riding – something that concerned Pat with the exposed zip inside the Muc-Off Essentials Case. In addition – unlike the Muc-Off – the VeloPac's outer walls are padded with a thin foam, giving your phone an extra layer of protection. It's worth pointing out that the Muc-Off is £5 cheaper, though.
As for the VeloPac's capacity, you could fit gels and even a small multi-tool in too, but I preferred to keep it as slim as possible and spread the load between the three pockets as usual, keeping an inner tube in my seat pack as usual. Once zipped up, the various valuables do stay in their separate compartments over the course of a ride thanks to the intelligent layout.
The outer zip is the water resistant type that's used for watersports, but VeloPac doesn't claim it's waterproof: it leaves a small gap when it's closed. However, I found that unless it was completely submerged – which doesn't happen on a regular rainy bike ride – it didn't let in any water at all. It also kept out sweat and condensation effectively.
Apart from this vivid blue there's orange, purple, pink, teal and mocha on offer – all are highly presentable and perfect for display on the cafe table next to the flat white and raspberry cake. (Reminder: sweaty helmets, mitts and mini-pumps should not be on the table.)
At 18.5cm x 10cm it fits widthways into all jersey pockets but is on the tall side for some – although the blame could equally lie with those particular jerseys for their pockets being too short. Because its waterproof fabric is slippery, I didn't feel confident going out riding with the VeloPac unless it was completely inside a pocket for fear of it jumping out. I already mentioned that with my iPhone 7 I really needed the RidePac Lite Mini, rather than this 'plus' sized sample, which would have fitted inside all jersey pockets.
However, in the majority of jerseys where it fits, it fills out a jersey pocket evenly and supports it well, eliminating pocket sag and unsightly bulges.
The VeloPac RidePac Lite is reasonably well priced compared to competitors. The Rapha Rainproof Essentials case costs £25 and comes in 150mm or 170mm versions; Le Col's PU-coated waterproof leather Cycling Wallet (one size, internal length 162mm) costs £45, while the Bellroy x MAAP All Conditions Phone Pocket is £79. At the other end of the scale, the Endura FS-260 Pro Jersey Wallet, which is unpadded, goes for £15.99, and the Muc-Off Essentials Case mentioned earlier is £15.
The VeloPac RidePac Lite is attractively designed, well thought out, as waterproof as you'll ever need for cycling and padded enough to protect a phone without its case. Our test sample was unfortunately the wrong size for my smaller iPhone 7, but if you use a big phone and are used to dealing with the issues that come with that size, you'll love it. So you do need deep pockets for this one, but as it offers good value at £20, you don't at the same time.
Good looking, neat and well-priced wallet that looks after your phone and other valuables in style
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Velopac RidePac Lite Blue
Size tested: Outside dimensions 100mm x 185mm Maximum internal dimensions 85mm x 170mm
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?
VeloPac says: "RidePac Lite is our entry level RidePac manufactured using a lightweight waterproof Ripstop outer fabric with a microfibre inner padding & bound seams for strength. A water resistant zip helps protect contents from everything the elements can throw at it.
"Inside there is a secure zipped pocket for coins, keys etc, a slot for your credit card or race licence & a separate phone compartment that will accept most smartphones including larger devices such as i-phone 6 Plus & Samsung Galaxy S6 Plus. Please note that some larger smartphones that are kept in a protective cover may be slightly too large to fit in the internal phone slip pocket but they will still fit the main central compartment of the RidePac.
"RidePac is not only useful when cycling. It is also doubles up as a handy travel accessory that keeps all your valuables safely together & protected when out & about."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Here's the spec from VeloPac's website:
Waterproof Ripstop Polyester outer fabric
Soft padded microfibre lining
Contrasting Grey waterproof lining material
Water resistant zipper
VeloPac zip puller
Phone slip pocket accepts all phones up to & including i-phone6 plus
Large, secure inner zip pocket for keys, coins etc.
Credit card/racing licence holder
Fits most cycling jersey/jacket pockets
Outside dimensions 100mm x 185mm
Maximum internal dimensions 85mm x 170mm
Very nicely stitched.
Does a great job of protecting a phone from impacts and bad weather.
It should last a decent length of time and can be machine washed when it gets grubby.
It feels comfortable in the pocket – certainly more comfortable than an iPhone in a plastic bag!
Yes you can use a plastic bag, but £20 is pretty good going for a smart, well made, functional accessory like this, and it's cheaper than most of its rivals.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I was really impressed with its performance. Because of the lockdown I haven't been able to use it on a long club run with a cafe stop, which is where it will excel, but for non-stopper rides carrying phone and keys it's been ideal.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It neatly stores phone, keys, bank card, money without fiddling with the zip on a jersey's valuables compartment and all the other usual faff. Also, so much more acceptable on the table in the cafe than a grubby old plastic bag.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing. It's nobody's fault that our test sample was too big for my iPhone 7.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's slightly cheaper than the Fickaskap Waterproof Phone and Valuables Wallet, now £23.48. The Rapha Rainproof Essentials case is also more expensive at £25, as is Le Col's PU-coated waterproof leather Cycling Wallet at £45, while the Bellroy x MAAP All Conditions Phone Pocket is £79. At the other end of the scale, the Endura FS-260 Pro Jersey Wallet is £15.99, and Muc-Off's Essentials Case is £15.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes. I plan to buy the RidePac Lite Mini.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The VeloPac RidePac Lite is clever, stylish, practical and well made, and at £20 it's great value for money.
About the tester
I usually ride: Racer Rosa custom alu My best bike is: Colnago Master Olympic
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, School run on a tandem
Simon finished his Masters in online journalism back in 2003 when the internet wasn't very exciting or popular yet. So he got a job as a sub editor on Britain's biggest weekly cycling magazine, where as well as taking out commas and putting them back in again he got to review a lot of bikes and kit.
As a keen time triallist he has spent many hours riding up and down dual carriageways early in the morning and has a national medal, a 19-minute 10 and a few open wins in his palmarès.
He and his seven-year-old son do the school run on a tandem, beating the traffic in car-choked Reigate and getting a great workout at the same time (for one of them).