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mini-review - new style Reload cell pouch.
I finally traded in my 5 year old clunker of a phone for a smaller camera phone (that would actually fit in such a pouch), but after much looking around I was pretty convinced I was going to have a hard time finding what I wanted. I really wanted to buy from Reload because they are nice folks and they're local, but I hated their original design, which is pictured below.
The biggest flaw was the loop that goes around the strap is sewn in, meaning if you want to transfer it to another bag (like, say, my Ortleib backpack) it's a big hassle because you have to pull the strap out to get it off, then undo the strap of the new bag to get it on. Also, the velcro that holds the flap closed is kind of a small piece, which is the same problem with the Timbuk 2, which offer less protection and just barely fit my (still kinda tall for a modern phone) Nokia.
The whole point of having my phone on my strap is to be able to get to the damn thing when it rings so I can say "I'll call ya later. I'm riding my bike." or snap a quick picture. The new design is great for this. It has a much bigger, rectangular flap and a larger piece of velcro. It's a fair bit wider than my phone, which makes it easier to grab it out of there. The flap is just stiff enough to stay open and not flop over again, which makes getting the phone back in it really fast.
Oh, and the strap loop? They fixed that too. It's now velcro, so you can undo it in a second and throw it on another bag. It's also a smooth seatbelt-type material which is much less bulky and won't rub yer sensitive nipples the wrong way.
For $12 I couldn't be happier. As far as size goes it's just barely big enough to cram in my older ipod without headphones, and there are no holes at the bottom for stuff to escape from so you could really carry all kinds of crap in it. The logo's also smaller. It's just a little tab hemmed into the side rather than mini patch on the pouch above.
Marquemoon - ah, thanks for this review. I've been sort of peeved with the fact that my timbuk2 holster wouldn't quite fit around the thicker part of my Ortlieb without exposing half of the stubbly abrasive part of the velcro.
So the Reload goes around the backpack strap without exposure of the velcro?
The crumpler ones are pretty good too. Have a double velcro strap (ie one strap velcros down and is secured by another) which is secure and means there is no exposed velcro. They're made of stretchy neoprene to keep your phone warm if you go scuba diving and provide a bit of cushioning and they have a little stash pocket on the flap that covers the phone. They also have a slightly lame plastic logo stiched onto them that can be removed with a knife.
Overall I think they're a good way to overcome the difficult manoevure of taking a phone out of your trouser pocket when you can't stop pedalling. This led to me dropping my phone too many times.