It’s so easy to get caught up in the “bigger is better” trap, and nowhere does this trend become more evident than when taking a look at what passes for some people’s gear bags. I’ll be the first to say that it is easy to understand this phenomenon, because as geeks one of our inherent traits is that we never want to be caught without the right tool. But if it’s just going to be a day spent at the zoo with the kids or hiking along a nature trail, is it really necessary to bring along everything but the kitchen sink? Of course not. So when traveling lightly, it stands to reason that a smaller bag should be in order.
Today I am going to take a look at a bag that has been available for several years, but it is definitely one that deserves a second look and perhaps a new legion of fans. The RoadWired Pod is a diminutive bag that manages to pack a serious load. Even though it only measures approximately 7″ tall x 7″ wide x 5″ deep, this bag features over 20 pockets and compartments, some of which are quite specialized. Today, we are going to discover them all…and talk about the different things that can be loaded into this little guy.
Let’s start with the basics…
The Pod is available in several colors including solid black, navy, yellow, red, and olive; all bags have black accents. While at Mobius, I was given the red version which just so happens to perfectly match my luggage. Nice going to whomever made the color selection!
The exterior of the Pod is composed of water repellant 1050 Denier Ballistic Nylon. The bag’s top front has a neoprene accent panel which not only looks good, it protects the corner of the bag from shocks and scrapes. The rubber gray and yellow RoadWired logo is sewn into the neoprene pane; other than the discreet logo on the 1″ long metal zipper pulls, there is no other branding on the bag’s exterior.
All of the exterior walls of the Pod are lightly padded, and according to the RoadWired site, the two middle walls are “reinforced with lightweight polyethylene sheets sewn into the linings, to prevent tension or pressure on fragile memory cards stored in the two side pockets while affording an extra measure of protection to the main compartment.”
The back of the Pod has two sets of double loops, either of which will allow the wearer to pass through up to a 2″ belt.
I wanted to include this shot because it really illustrates the weave of the exterior fabric and the quality of the workmanship. There are no rough edges, and all of the different materials are perfectly blended together.
The top of the Pod has a 1″ wide nylon strap handle.
The bag has four main compartments, three of which are opened by a double set of zippers. The right side compartment has a 3.75″ tall x 3.25″ wide mesh pocket which has a band of elastic at its open top. This pocket is large enough to hold a digital music player or a smaller GPS unit.
Unzipping the compartment reveals a? 5″ tall x 3″ wide x 1.5″ deep nylon lined interior. The compartment unzips fully for easy access, while a nylon gusset “wing” on either side keeps the pocket from flopping down. On the back wall of this compartment are two orange elastic bands above a stiff elastic bottom pocket. These bands can be used to capture a stored cable or hold a small device.
Attached to the flap of the pocket is a 4″ tall x 3″ wide nylon pocket with a Velcro-secured flap. This pocket can be used to store small loose items that might otherwise be lost.
The left side of the bag also has a 3.75″ tall x 3.25″ wide mesh pocket.
The? 5″ tall x 3″ wide x 1.5″ deep nylon lined interior of this compartment features two strips of wide elastic that have been sewn against the back wall and partitioned, creating four pockets perfect for holding small goodies such as memory cards or other thin flat items. This compartment also features a 4″ tall x 3″ wide nylon pocket with a Velcro-secured flap, and it is also kept from flopping down due to the nylon gusseted “wing”.
The compartment on the front of the Pod measures approximately 5″ tall x 3.5″ wide x 1.5″ deep. This pocket has seven elastic battery slots sewn into its back wall, two for AAA, two for AA, and three for C or D cells. A 4″ long x 3.5″ wide mesh pocket rests in the front flap, its top secured by a 1.5″ wide strip of Velcro. Another gusseted “wing” supports this pocket when it is fully unzipped.
The last compartment is the largest, at 6.5″ tall x 3.5″ wide x 4″ deep. This is the place to keep a PDA, a camera, a larger GPS unit, or other similarly sized item. The way that the main compartment’s lid is designed to cover everything plays a major role in keeping the interior contents dry in foul weather. The lid is kept closed with a snapping plastic clip.
Sewn into the top flap of this compartment is a clear ID holder with a second hidden pocket behind that area. This would be a good place to slide money or a couple credit cards.
The fully padded main compartment has what RoadWired calls a “hammock”, which is essentially a cradle to minimize shock to the device contained within.
Here is a shot of the removable padded hammock…
…and this is a shot of the Velcro it uses to attach to the interior of the main compartment.
Here are all of the compartments of the Pod, blasted open and showing what an amazing amount of storage is available in such a compact area. Notice the two metal D-rings on either side of the Pod.
Not only can the pod be worn on the belt, an included shoulder strap can be attached. This strap has “all metal fittings, including no-twist swivel clips.”
This strap can be adjusted to wear comfortably over the shoulder or bandolier style across the chest.
For reference, I am 5’10″
The RoadWired Pod is a wonderful little bag to carry on days when you have a minimum of gear, but you still can’t quite fit it all in your pocket. There are some items that may be a little too large to fit inside, but perhaps part of the beauty of the Pod is that it will force us geek pack-rats to decide upon what is truly necessary to bring along for the task at hand.
The RoadWired Pod is available directly from the manufacturer as well as from other retailers.
What I Like: Superior construction from quality materials, loads of pockets, can be worn on a belt or on the included shoulder-strap, gussets keep pocket contents from spilling, specialized holders keep loose items safely
What Needs Improvement: Nothing, except maybe my ability to travel lightly.