Riding in the Rain: Waterproofing your Phone, GPS, etc.
Now that I’ve talked about waterproofing YOU, the rider (see It’s All About the Gear and Get Visible) - as well as things you can do to ride more safely in the rain (Traction & Tactics) - what about your motorcycle? Specifically, what about electronic devices you need to use, like a phone or GPS?
Our phones, in particular, have become an extension of us. We don’t go anywhere without them, and we use them for everything - from using a navigation/GPS app, to checking email, to taking photos - we even use them to keep track of our schedule and for updating our social media profiles with pictures from our rides!
So it goes without saying that waterlogging your phone is a bad thing. Besides the inconvenience, these mini-computers are no longer cheap to replace!
So how do you protect your phone while using it on a motorcycle? Here are some ideas for waterproofing your phone.
Approach #1: Aftermarket Cases
Nowadays there are many waterproof phone cases to choose from; Otterbox and Lifeproof are two better-known waterproof phone case brands.
If you have a cover like that on your phone, it adds bulk (size) and weight. So when you consider mounting it on your motorcycle, it helps to know the total dimensions (width, height AND depth) of your phone in its case. Then you can choose a mount that accommodates that.
If you don’t want a bulky waterproof cover on your phone, here are two more suggestions for keeping your phone dry. (BTW these apply nicely to GPS, iPods and other devices as well.)
Approach #2: Zip-Lock Baggie
Keep a few zip lock bags in your saddlebag (or pocket) and simply slip one on over your phone. Make sure you get a high-quality brand so the ‘zip’ really ‘locks.’ This method has worked for me in light to moderate rain (although truth be told, I prefer one of our mounts!).
Approach #3: Hydra Waterproof Case
The Hydra waterproof phone/GPS mount is a case with a zipper closure on three edges. It has a special waterproof ‘plug’ to run wires out if needed. Because it has a thicker vinyl front, it can be harder to use the touch screen functions (some phone screens are more touchy than others). The Hydra also has a ball-style mechanism connecting it on the back so you can tilt/angle the phone, with both vertical and horizontal options.
Both the Hydra can be mounted in a variety of locations: handlebar, brake/clutch, mirror stem, windshield and more. So you can always get your phone in a position that is easy for you to see and read.
Does it really work? Check out the video below, where our kids get to soak us (but not our phone)!
- Tracey Cramer