The Respro Hump is yet another great product from our friends over at Respro, the same people who make the Techno Mask we reviewed a few weeks ago. Respro have done it again with another product we love, read on to find out why!

This particular product is a backpack cover, which illuminates and is also surrounded by highly reflective strips helping you be seen when it is dark. Since it is almost winter and the clocks have just been changed in the United Kingdom it is dark, a lot. The Respro Hump is also waterproof and great in fog because it doesn’t light up the water molecules in the air as much as a direct light, so it makes it easier for drivers to pin-point your position in the road and avoid you more accurately.

My first impressions of the Respro Hump after receiving it in the mail were good, it felt like it was well made although the packaging was nothing special, simply a transparent sleeve with a colourful cardboard slip with the product name stapled onto the top.

Fitting the Respro Hump to your backpack

The process of fitting the Respro Hump to your backpack is fairly simple, but only if your pack has a 15-30 litre capacity, to find the capacity out you can search your backpack’s model and brand name on your favorite search engine and follow through to a product page where it should tell you, alternatively you can look on the inside of your backpack as there are sometimes white tags sewn in which have product details like the capacity of your bag detailed on them.

Because my pack only had a 10 litre capacity I had problems fitting the Respro Hump to it, so it got completely covered and crumpled into a ball; I did manage to find a bag that the Hump fits though, it was one of my many on-location camera bags and it fitted perfectly. Luckily, this is still a bag that I take when I’m cycling sometimes so I can give a report on how well the Respro Hump stays put while going around a bumpy trail. The Hump has elasticated edges which keep the Respro Hump from flapping about and also two elasticated straps which are permanently attached on one side and pull over the back of your pack and attach with press studs on the other side.

The build quality of the Respro Hump

The Respro Hump’s build quality feels solid and secure; it is made from good quality materials, the main is a polyurethane coated nylon which repels water. From what I can see of the stitching it is almost completely straight and I can’t find any missing stitches or loose threads. The seams are also taped to add an extra level of durability and also to improve the waterproofing, it also makes it more windproof. To test out the durability of the elastic I left the Respro Hump on my bag overnight to see how much the elastic would stretch, and it didn’t seem to stretch at all in all the stitching was still tight. I went down one of my favorite routes with the Hump on my camera bag, the route was severely over grown with brambles everywhere and none of them ripped or even punctured the Respro Hump although there were scratches that were purely aesthetic and were removed with a damp cloth.

Respro Hump

The tech behind the Respro Hump

The Respro Hump has two surprisingly advanced ways of making you more visible. The first way the Hump increases your visibility is 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material which is sewn in over the taped seams and also printed on the sides of the Hump to read ‘HUMP RUCKSACK COVER’. The 3M material is more interesting than you might think; the material uses retroflection which is when the light rays are returned in the direction in which they came. A large majority of the light projected onto the retroreflective material, in this case the 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material does return to the original light source instead of being scattered as the light would if it was shined on, for example, a cotton bed sheet that’s not retroreflective. Because very little light shined on the Retroreflective material scatters and most of it returns to where it has come from it will appear brightest from head on.

The second way in which the Respro Hump increases your visibility is wonderful and appeals to my geeky mentality, it uses their P-15 Light System, the P-15 light system uses an optical and electrical phenomenon known as electroluminescence where a material emits light in reaction to an electric current or strong electric field being passed through it. The P-15 light system isn’t as big as you might think it is, the actual sheet which has the light up chevrons on it is 25cm long, 16.5cm wide and roughly as thick as a bit of card. It’s powered by a battery pack that contains some magic circuitry which makes the chevrons flash in descending order and takes two AA batteries, which are supplied.

Testing The Respro Hump

I tested the Respro Hump thoroughly, both the durability of it and the visibility; let’s start with the visibility.

My visibility testing took place on the local seafront which is just over 500ft long and I also tested in a variety of different weather conditions. I used two light sources, my iPhone on full brightness and my 90 lumen torch, it’s worth mentioning that car headlights are generally 700 lumens when on low and 1200 when on full beam. All tests were done more than an hour after sunset.

In perfect visibility my iPhone lit up the reflective tape on the Respro Hump from around 20ft but was only bright enough for me to consider it adequate at a distance of 1ft, the torch lit up the tape from around 250ft away and became bright at 100ft away. I managed to get into a car park that was around 750ft away from my friend that was holding the hump and from there I could still see the chevrons perfectly.

I recently experienced some extremely foggy weather with only around 50ft visibility, this is where the testing got interesting because the fog lit up in a glow when I shone the torch or fired up my iPhone. With the torch from 30ft away I could see the glow where the light was being reflected, but it wasn’t until I was 20ft away that I could see it satisfactorily. My iPhone had no effect.You could see the glow of the chevrons from 60ft but could only make out that they were chevrons from 40ft.

In rainy weather the results were exactly the same as in perfect visibility, just wetter. My backpack didn’t get even damp when fitted in the Respro Hump, which I was impressed about.

With the Respro Hump attached to my backpack I went for a 10 mile technical bicycle ride, there were dropouts and some several foot jumps. At the end I saw that the Hump was still fully attached as it had almost no dust clinging to it.

Conclusion

The Respro Hump is an incredible product, and I can say that after a month of usage it is still holding up strong and not showing any leaks. Obviously you can’t access your backpack quickly while you have the Hump fitted but it does have an A5 sized pocket held shut by a patch of hook and loop. Something that I’m not fond of is that the battery pack which has the on/off toggle button for the P-15 light system is located at the bottom of the Hump so it can potentially be switched off with the weight of the backpack on top of it. You can purchase the Respro Hump from here.

Craig Lackie

Craig Lackie ()

Former Vice President of Previous Magazine, Clikyz and Split An Atom. Avid photographer and keen to adopt the latest technologies. Circle me on Google+.

  • More people need to wear these at night. Amazing idea from the point of view of both a cyclist and a driver.

  • What an absolutely brilliant idea, I’ll most certainly be buying a few of these for my children- they’ve been in hospital many times from being hit by cars! Wonderful review, homeboy.