This review of the Mosko Moto Navigator Cell Phone Pocket or just ‘Navigator Pocket’ is the second of two Mosko Moto products provided and a companion piece to the just submitted Mosko Moto Pico Tank Bag (V2.0) review.
As stated in the Pico review, my interest in Mosko Moto products is two-fold: anything new and technically oriented is to be investigated; and, as a long time multi-discipline rider, my interest and participation in most adventure-based moto activities on and off the beaten path remains undiminished and Mosko Moto is just one of those ‘go-to’ sites…
There will be numerous references to the Pico Tank Bag (V2.0) throughout this review, justified by the fact that these two products just plain go together; its not a peas in the pod situation, but rather a complementary pairing of two stand-alone products forming a distinctive multi-functional capability.
The Mosko Moto story is well known to many adventure-oriented riders, particularly through their informative and entertaining blog posts and advrider threads, so we’ll dish out the short version here.
Way back in 2013, the two principles left their corporate jobs to make moto gear. Between the two of them were decades of design and manufacturing experience for leading global outdoor brands and years of riding dual sport motorcycles into and through remote corners of the world.
The name, Mosko Moto, comes from a mash-up of ‘Mosquito Coast’ aka “La Moskitia”, a remote region in Eastern Honduras and Nicaragua (there is a story here) and of course, ‘Moto’ is kind of self-evident and most apropos, no?
Outside of direct production, the Mosko Moto team does everything. They are all avid moto-enthusiasts; a fact that shows in their approach to business, their product line, the adventure riding aspects of motorcycling and, their customers.
They only sell direct to riders – no dealers or distributors, with added value in the use of innovative features, premium materials, and strict quality-controlled production. Their business is generated from online sales and word of mouth marketing from enthusiasts – of which there are many.
MoskoMoto Navigator (Cell Phone) Pocket Breakdown
The use of the word ‘Navigator’ in naming this product is a good indicator of one application for this sleek innovative multi-part product.
The MoskoMoto Navigator Cell Phone Pocket kit includes the cell phone pocket, a removable sun shield, the phone fit insert and a Velcro MOLLE panel and two Velcro MOLLE straps
Wrapped in its plastic bag, the Navigator Cell Phone Pocket appears small, light of weight and kind of basic in what it might do; but once unwrapped, things become clearer.
Laid out on the table along with the Pico Tank Bag V2.0, the Mosko Moto Navigator still seems like, well, a so-so type of holder. But once all its layers were scoped out and then pulled apart, some of the initial impressions had to be modified; it is deceiving in its simplicity.
With the three main pieces separated and the MOLLE Velcro Straps laid out its clever design and craftmanship is very evident. Like the Pico Tank Bag V2.0, the materials are strong, easy to handle and pliable and no finishing issues are seen indicating great quality control.
Did I mention the heavy use of Velcro pieces? Numerous panel, pads and straight and shaped strips, all key to the Navigator’s layering, effectiveness, and versatility of use.
Equally positive is the fact that the various pieces can be removed or repositioned for various applications, another indicator of the versatility intended for this product.
And if curious about the Mosko Moto Pico Tank Bag (V2.0), it is the subject of a separate companion piece to this review; the products truly complement each other.
- Exterior is UV-resistant TPU, including the clear touch screen window
- Phone fit insert side pads are EVA foam
- MOLLE mounting panel is Hypalon and nylon webbing
- Clear touch-screen-compatible TPU window
- Removable sunshade, with reversable orientation for desired use
- Cooling vents to keep devices running
- MOLLE Velcro panel provides quick On/Off action
- MOLLE Velcro straps provide flexibility of use
- Customizable phone fit insert is removable to accommodate larger sized devices
- Maximum device fit dimensions of 11.4cm x 20.3cm (4.5in x 8in)
- Clear TPU window dimensions: 10.1cm x 14cm (4in x 5.5in)
- D-Ring on main sleeve for safety lanyard or secure a key ring
- Charging cord port for device connection
Form & Construction
The Navigator product is truly the sum of its parts. The main piece is a tube cut sleeve or pocket, flat sealed at one end with an overflap at the other. The lower back side of the sleeve has a centre pass-through cutout and two small ventilation holes on the outer edges.
Sleeve or Pocket – the front of the sleeve is clear TPU touch-sensitive material providing viewing and accessing of the device’s touch screen. A slotted cutout at the bottom of the window provides ventilation or if needed, a pass-through for a front-mounted connection.
L-shaped Velcro (loop) strips run along down the frame and along the bottom, with a separate strip on the top for the fold-over overflap.
The back of the main sleeve piece is covered with a stitched-on Velcro (hook) pad that has five small ventilation holes near the bottom of the pad. A small plastic D-ring is stitched into the left upper side of the sleeve.
Phone Fit Insert – nestled inside the sleeve is a removable panel of TPU material with vertical strips of EVA foam glued 70mm or 2.75in apart. These foam strips provide device support and side cushioning. Two rows of small holes or vents near the bottom facilitate ventilation. If the device used is too wide, simply remove the insert.
Sunshade – this is a removable piece that is mountable from the top or bottom for sunshade, enhanced moisture protection or other purposes. The ‘front’ side is grey and bears a small Mosko Moto logo on the left lower lift tab. Large rectangular Velcro pads are found on the (top) on both sides.
The reverse (blue) side has two L-shaped Velcro hook/loop strips along the sides and (bottom) edge – these dual-purpose strips add versatility of use allowing the sunshade to be oriented to work from the top or the bottom or, repositioned to form an underlying slightly elevated base, etc.
MOLLE Velcro Panel and Velcro MOLLE Strips – these are the adaptation enablers if you will. One side of the pad is MOLLE-based while the other side is covered with a Velcro (brush) pad. The strips feature Velcro (hook) pieces on one side and Velcro (brush) pieces on the other side.
These three basic components along with the MOLLE/Velcro pad and strips work together providing a versatile pocket or holder for compatible-sized smart devices. The pieces do not provide a waterproof shell nor are they intended to but, the whole assembly is water-resistant to a degree, especially when the sunshade is pulled over the front – more on this later.
Overall Assessment: Excellent. The main pocket, along with the removable phone fit insert and the multi-positional sunshade are a great sum of the parts solution to house, position and facilitate user interaction with the device- particularly important when the device is providing visual navigational support. However, it is not waterproof by any means.
The Nokia 7+ slips into the Navigator pocket with good clearance, but not in between the foam strips as the phone, in its thin frame case is about 10mm or 0.39in too wide, even though the foam compresses 2-3mm per side when needed. Out of its case and with some slight compression of the foam the phone fits; but removing the case is not the desired solution.
Other newer phones with similar sized screens but without a case of any sort slip in between the foam bumpers without issue. For initial use I left the phone sitting more up on the foam strips than in, but the plan is to trim the diagonal cut pieces back about 5mm per side allowing the Nokia to nestle right in.
By design, use of the sunshade piece is optional. With the pocket housing a device and in use for navigation purposes, the shade is taken off and tucked into the tank bag or flipped up to the back and secured, although the Velcro mating surface in this layout is not as sturdy as when the full back surface is engaged.
The sunshade piece can be installed so either the grey or blue side is up or fitted from the bottom or the top as desired for either a flip up or flip back approach depending on use and/or desired orientation.
With the Velcro strips interleaved through the MOLLE strip side of the pad and the target MOLLE prepared surface such as found on the Pico Tank Bag (V2.0) and other Mosko Moto products, the two MOLLE surfaces are secured together leaving the large Velcro (loop) side up.
Mosko Moto does good promo and installation videos, so if in doubt regarding optimal layout of the pieces, including the MOLLE/Velcro straps, etc., this one by Ash is a good tutorial.
Using the Navigator is portrait or landscape orientation isn’t an issue – separate the Navigator from the host surface, reorient it and stick it back on; the Velcro surfaces provide side to side and fore to aft adjustment as well.
This separation and reorientation action may not be as easy as turning a handlebar or heads-up mount 90 degrees so make sure any repositioning is done safely – separating the two surfaces takes some force and best done when stopped.
Overall Assessment: Excellent. Other than sorting out the most effective approach to mating the MOLLE sections and Velcro strips up for best placement and optimal security, getting the Navigator Pocket in use on any compatible surface using either portrait or landscape positioning is très simple. And no strap or buckle issues…just make sure the MOLLE and Velcro pieces are well mated and secure.
Navigator Function & Performance
Now used on three different motorcycles with three different tank bags offering MOLLE and/or Velcro section pieces on top – the Mosko Moto Pico and Nomad Tank Bags and the new for 2020 Wolfman Blackhawk Tank Bag (wBW review ongoing), the Navigator fits and functions without any issues.
When the Navigator with Nokia 7+ is used it is typically in the landscape position for the wider view with one of the navigational apps, used interactively through the WunderLINQ App. This CAN-connected multi-faceted device uses a paired smartphone/device as the controller (another ongoing wBW review).
The clear TPU window or screen on the Navigator is outstanding; its obviously very sensitive in a good way – some of the gloves with tactile tips or pads actually work better when the phone is in the Navigator than when mounted in an external cradle for direct interaction – this is bonus and all good.
Size, layout, and use of the Velcro pieces is a near perfect blending of design and function providing great versatility. Between the large pad and straps the Navigator Cell Phone Pocket is adjustable fore and aft and side to side on any compatible surface while remaining secure and usable in any orientation.
However, the Navigator Cell Phone Pocket isn’t waterproof, nor does it claim to be. And while it does a good job of keeping the wet stuff out, some late spring rain showers out on the road at speed resulted in moisture coming in around the windscreen on the F 850 GSA and the F 900 XR and of course, the sunshade was tucked away.
Despite the moisture, the touch sensitive window surface stayed clear and functional and while some water found its way into the main sleeve, mainly through the lower front hole or cutout on the window, it wasn’t enough to cause concern regarding potential phone damage.
Appreciating that using the sunshade impacts visual and touch aspects regarding the carried device, the shade does a good job of keeping moisture at bay in the same riding scenario as described above; it doesn’t provide a sealed waterproof solution but more of a water-resistant environment.
The Navigator also sees daily use during the week as a secure convenient holder for access passes and the ever-important electronic parking access pass; when needed for show-n-tell or to facilitate detection by the overhead gate sensor, the Navigator is simply pulled off and held up, then stuck back in place…no muss, little fuss.
Overall Assessment: Excellent. Despite the observed moisture intake issue that can be mitigated by using the sunshade, although that introduces visual and tactile impacts and in looking for both better moisture protection and ventilation options (see below), the multi-part Navigator just works; it truly is the sum of its parts.
The Navigator Cell Phone Pocket or ‘Navigator Pocket’ is a product that, on close inspection and with use, reveals itself to be a real gem. In owning a fair number of mounted or attached housings, the Navigator isn’t the simplest, but it is the most versatile and the realization is that we need a couple more – it is indeed a go-to piece.
Having said this of course, the current Navigator Pocket could use a couple of small design tweaks, discussed below, that would absolutely nail things and get this product an Outstanding rating in every category.
Observation 1 – if the lower front port or cutout on the window were eliminated or perhaps treated to something like a (Gore-Tex) membrane allowing some air movement but eliminate or minimize moisture intake the pocket would be more water-resistant. And while the backports are not seen as a problem, they could be in a saturated environment.
Observation 2 – the sawtooth pattern of the foam strips or bumpers helps regarding device heat dissipation but, a thin weave or channeled mesh pad for the phone to sit on could help provide better heat dissipation. And a replacement set of narrower (adhesive-backed) phone strip foam inserts for a customizable device fit would be good to see in the kit.
The multi-part Navigator Cell Phone Pocket product gets lots of use on all the motorcycles, which is why a couple more are needed to reduce the (stealthy) movement of the Navigator between motorcycles! And so far, the piece is proving to be durable – not unexpected for Mosko Moto gear.
It is obvious that the Navigator Cell Phone Pocket is designed for and intended to be used with the Mosko Moto tank bag products, making the Navigator the perfect complement, or finishing touch so to speak.
The Bottom Line – the MoskoMoto Navigator Cell Phone Pocket is a multi-part product that works extremely well for its intended function and provides a lot of flexibility of use regarding its pieces and user applications. A couple of minor tweaks would boost its value even more and for $29.00 USD you get far more than you pay for. Highly recommended.
- Simple tube cut sleeve design
- Phone fit insert removable for larger devices
- Multiple use & positioning options for removable sunshade
- Top folding overflap on sleeve secures and protects device
- Large clear touch-sensitive window does not impede device touch interaction
- Device connection pass-through on back
- Lower window cutout facilitates airflow and access
- Multiple holes on back of sleeve and liner for air flow & heat management
- MOLLE Velcro pad and strips provide mounting security and flexibility of use
- Outstanding value
- Design provides weather resistance but not a waterproof housing
- Front and back ventilation and access cutouts can allow water ingress
- Needs replacement set of narrower phone fit insert foam strips as customization option for devices
- Manufacturer: MoskoMoto
- Price when tested: $29.00 USD
- Designed In: USA
- Made In: China
- Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty on sewn seam bags and two-year warranty on welded seam bags.
- Review Period: May – June 2020
- Review Submission Date: 25 June 2020