Most cyclists ride with their cell phone, usually stashed in the jersey pocket if it is not being used on the handlebar as a cycling computer. One ride is all it usually takes to realize that sweat builds up on the phone and regardless of the chance of rain, the following ride usually sees the phone placed in a zipper closure plastic bag before being put in a jersey pocket.
This is exactly the scenario that played out when I first purchased my iPhone. Since the replacement cost of that phone can exceed $600, every following ride saw the iPhone being protected by a Ziplock bag. Over time the zipper usually stops properly sealing and the bag breaks apart. While at Interbike this year, the crew from the 2013 Amgen Tour of California was giving away JerseyBins, the vinyl zipper pouch used to protect cell phones, cash, or anything else that may need to be protected while out for a ride. This little pouch seemed like the perfect solution.
The JerseyBin is a heavyweight zipper closure pouch that is available in four different sizes. The 10-gauge vinyl is cold crack tolerant to below -10 degrees Fahrenheit, yet it allows the use of a touch screen without removing your phone from the pouch – that can be difficult to do through a normal Ziplock bag.
Along with protection from sweat, JerseyBin is working on getting their product classified as a level IPX7 on the Ingress Protection Rating system. The IPX7 classification means that the “Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).“ For the IPX7 rating, the test has a time duration of 30 minutes – that is complete submersion for that period of time. If you don’t find your phone in 30 minutes, you probably won’t find it at all.
The other benefit of the JerseyBin over a normal zipper lock bag is the stiffness of the vinyl. This stiffness keeps the contents flatter than a zipper lock bag, making the JerseyBin lay flatter in a jersey pocket. If you are carrying a phone, this doesn’t matter much, but if you have cash, cards, and change, those items have a tendency to bulk up towards the bottom of a bag. This can be extremely annoying during long rides or while on the trail.
Personally I have been using the ‘Mid Bin’ for each ride since arriving home from Interbike. The 4-inch by 6-inch pouch perfectly fits an iPhone 4S that is not in a case. Once the iPhone is in the pouch, it slides easily into a jersey pocket and is easy to grab while riding to check who is calling. As advertised, the touch screen is completely usable while inside the pouch, but as suspected, the side buttons are not. The zipper opens easily and seals much easy than a used Ziplock. Though it is possible to have a telephone conversation will the iPhone is in the pouch, it is much easier to use the mobile device when it is removed from the JerseyBin.
Is it worth the Sub-$7 price tag? Absolutely. The JerseyBin is much more durable than a kitchen zipper lock bag, the phone slides into a jersey pocket much easier, and the device can be used while inside the pouch. While a Ziplock bag can do all of these thing, the JerseyBin does it better and lasts longer. In fact, my JerseyBin has been in use for a month and it still looks new, the printing doesn’t even show signs of wear.
The Made in America JerseyBins are available is four sizes:
- Mini Bin: 5.75″ x 4″ (146 x 101 mm) – $6.25
- Mid Bin: 6″ x 4″ (152 x 101 mm) – $6.30
- Trim Bin: 7″ x 3.75″ (177 x 95 mm) – $6.40
- Big Bins: 7″ x 4.75″ (177 x 120 mm) – $6.50
If you are unsure of which size is right for your mobile device, JerseyBin can walk you through that process on their website.
With the replacement cost of a regular cell phone easily being $200 and smart phones approaching $700, the JerseyBin is a small bit of insurance against moisture damage that is not typically covered under a phone’s warranty. And while most cases, often costing $35-$50, offer protection against bumps and sometimes drops, it is rare to find one that can be submerged in water. Look at it this way, the cost of a JerseyBin is 1-percent of the replacement cost of an iPhone – a thought that may cross your mind when staring a your phone that just fell in the toilet.