Product Review: Banjo Brothers Bar-Top Phone Pack

With all of the cycling apps available for gps enabled smartphones, navigating and tracking your rides has never been easier.  But who wants to fumble around trying to get that phone out of a pocket every time you need to access a map or check your progress?  With the Banjo Brothers Bar-Top Phone Pack you no longer have to, it is right in view and at your fingertips.  Now you can take a quick glance to see your location on a map, check your mileage or see if you are on course using your favorite cycling app.

The Bar-Top Phone Pack is mounted quickly and securely to your stem and handlebars using hook and loop fasteners.  With a touch screen compatible window, it will accommodate the iPhone and most Android phones. It will even fit the larger screen models like the Samsung Galaxy S3 & S4.  A lot of handlebar mount phone packs on the market are not sized to fit these large screen phones, so if you do own  one the Banjo Brothers model will work for you.

An added bonus feature of this pack is the convenient cubby located underneath the phone compartment boasting 27 cubic inches of storage space.  This is enough room to store a wallet and keys or a digital camera.  Dimensions:  6.5"L x 3.25"W x 1.5"D

I like that it has a double zipper for use with headphones/headset and because I have an Android phone I can leave a small space unzipped to access my phone's power button on top (iPhone users have the Home button that is easily accessed through the touch screen).

There were only three minor negatives that I came across when using the Bar-Top Phone Pack.
  • The phone compartment was a little to small for some of the larger Android phones that may be equipped with bulky phone cases (ex. Otterbox Defender Series).  This is easily overcome by removing the phone from the case and sliding it into the phone compartment of the pack. 
  • Access to the power button on some phones to wake them from sleep may be a little tricky to get at.  If your power button is anywhere other than the top side or front face of your phone, removal from the pack to access it will be necessary unless you leave the screen on indefinitely during your ride (which will eat up battery quickly on most devices).  
  • Finally, if using headphones or a headset, be sure to set your volume levels before putting it into the pack unless volume adjustment can be done on screen.  Volume buttons located other than the left side or top of the phone (leave a small space unzipped to access) will not be able to be adjusted from outside the pack.

My overall impressions of the Banjo Brothers Bar-Top Phone Pack are it is a well constructed case with secure mounting straps at a reasonable price ($14.99).  For those of us with smartphones, this pack makes it easy to view cycling navigation and ride tracking apps providing the functionality of one of those expensive gps units.  The additional space underneath the phone compartment is very convenient for taking small personal items along for the ride.

Banjo Brothers Bar-Top Phone Pack is available for purchase on their website and at many local bike shops.

Disclosure:  Banjo Brothers provided the review sample for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

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