Rain Protection for your smartphone: DIY vs The Topeak Phone DryBag
The smartphone, with a multitude of cycling specific applications, seems to be a valid choice for replacing one’s cycle computer these days. Thanks to bluetooth and custom cases you can personalize your system with various ant+ compatible sensors, the larger screen provides more data at one time, built in GPS tracks your ride, and you can easily read the screen after dark.
There are some downsides however. While that large screen can show you more information at one time, it can also be hard to read in direct sunlight. Also, when the weather turns fowl, your nice expensive smartphone won’t like getting wet very much.
Head past the jump for the breakdown.
While I can’t turn off the sun, I can suggest a couple of ways to keep your phone dry while on the bike. First up, we have a good old fashioned DIY solution. As you can see from the image, it utilizes a plastic bottle and smartphone handle bar mount of your choice. Simply cut the top off the bottle, as well as a slit down one side and slide it over the mount. This method should handle light rain, but when the heavy stuff starts to fall you may want to place a zip lock baggie around the phone. The one nice advantage this solution provides is that it should work with pretty much any smartphone, not just the iPhone.
Next up we have the Topeak Phone DryBag. Unlike the DIY solution, this one is iPhone only. This is the solution I personally use, and I have been fairly happy with it. The bag itself has sonically welded seems and a roll top enclosure. The back of the bag includes a foam pad as well to help reduce vibration. The mount uses a simple plastic band and screw to tighten down around your bar or stem. Because the Topeak QuickClick mount is square, you can orientate the phone in either landscape or portrait mode no matter how you attach the band to the bike. This is nice for using applications that run in landscape mode, such as a GPS application. And, as long as you take your glove off, interacting with the phone through the clear front panel works just fine. I even find that my iPhone fits in the bag without removing the case from the phone. Cost for the Topeak DryBag comes in around $20 online.