CODEOFBELL X-POD Review | Intuitive & Expandable Sling Bag


– The CODEOFBELL cross pod, spelled X-Pod, is a 2.3 to 4.5 liter sling, depending on the compressed
mode that it’s in. And it has a nice, tactical
look going on about it as well. I’m Tom, the founder of Pack Hacker, where we use our expertise
and real world experience to provide practical
resources and honest opinions guiding you towards smarter travel. So if you’re new to the
channel, consider subscribing. And if you want to know more about slings, head over to our sling bag
guide on packhacker.com. We cover everything you
would ever want to know. Let’s jump right in to
the CODEOFBELL X-Pod. A sling bag that Mark
and I have been testing for the last month in Detroit and Chicago. Let’s jump in. (upbeat funk music) Kicking it off with the
material and aesthetic, there is a lot going on
with this sling bag here. With all the straps, the strap keepers, zippers and zipper pulls going on, definitely seems like a lot
and a bit confusing at first, but everything here has
a very specific function. And we’re going to get
into every last detail in this review. From a branding perspective
there’s a simple black-on-black CODEOFBELL logo and mark going on here, and then we have them
on the buttons as well. Also on the Hypalon pulls,
the Hypalon zipper pulls, we’ve got CODEOFBELL there. On the other side we have
the small logo mark as well. So from a branding perspective,
definitely like that. Not a ton going on and
overall it’s pretty minimal. Now if we open the bag up there is just one more
place for a logo here on the interior of this front compartment. So there you go, you’ve got CODEOFBELL, designed in Los Angeles, CODEOFBELL.com right at the bottom here. Most of the team here at Pack Hacker thinks the sling bag looks slick. However, we polled our Instagram audience to get everybody else’s thoughts as well, and here are the results. If you want to be
involved in future polls, head over to @packhacker on Instagram, give us a follow and
participate in future polls. Also to note on this look, it’s important to note that
these compression straps can be taken on or off. So here we have them on. You can easily take them off, and when they’re off, this expansion area that we’re gonna get into in a second, still functions with these
side buckles as well. So the compression straps on or off, either way it doesn’t matter. The main fabric on this sling is X-Pac, which is a waterproof fabric. Doesn’t mean that the
whole sling is waterproof, since there is some other
materials and zippers going on. So water can get in, but it is a highly weather resistant sling with this X-Pac material going on. It is a strong fabric, it is lightweight. The only thing is that it’s a
little bit easier to puncture than say something like
1680D ballistic nylon, which is that thicker nylon that’s kind of in a square pattern. But if a puncture or a cut does happen there’s is a diamond
ripstop going on here, as well as a square grid ripstop as well. So any punctures or pokes that happen will not spread due to
the engineering and design of this material. At the time of this review, the X-Pod is available in
three different colors. So we have the black here. If you’re new to the channel, we usually always pick black; that’s just kinda what we do. And then there are two other colors: a navy blue and a deep moss as well. So wrapping up the rest of the materials, there is a lot going on here, so I’m gonna try blast
through this pretty quickly. There is ballistic nylon going on up here, so that main fabric, again, is X-Pac. Got ballistic nylon towards the back. And then along with that X-Pac, there is a polyester
and ripstop nylon liner kind of sandwiched together
along with the X-Pac fabric. We have grippy Hypalon grab
points here at the bottom, these two little lash loops going on, as well as the zipper pull. So that’s gonna give you a really nice, grippy rubbery feel on the
places that you need it the most. Then we have ITW buckles going on up here at the front of the compression straps. Kinda like the funky look
of these ones going on. I think it just adds to the
overall aesthetic of the pack. Nice that it’s kinda
got this hole in there. They look pretty minimal and almost like, kinda sci-fi-ish. And then on the sides
here we have YKK buckles. Wrapping it all up, we have YKK Aquaguard zippers, which pair really nicely
with that X-Pac material for additional weather resistance. And then we have another
zipper in the back here. It’s kinda this YKK lockable zipper. So it’s kinda hard to pull. It’s pretty much self-locking when the head of the zipper pull is in this down position. When you pull that zipper pull up, it just easily unzips. You can test this right now if you have a pair of jeans on with a YKK zipper, guarantee that it has a
similar zipper to this one. Well, almost guarantee it, so you can test that. Okay, so a ton of different
components, materials, just generally a lot going on here. All of these material choices feel very well thought out. And everything is pulled
together in a very cohesive way. And this is something
that’s really special about the CODEOFBELL X-Pod, and that we’ve really loved
in our testing as well. (upbeat funk music) Kicking it off with the
exterior of the sling, starting with the sling
strap going on here, arguably the most important piece. So it’s fastened with a really big ITW buckle here at the top. This is pretty great if you
wanna wear it fanny-pack style, and it’s positioned right in the middle so you can easily strap this to your back, grab those straps, pull it around your body. So that’s a definite plus there. And that also works quite
well in sling style as well. Some other giant buckles
that we’ve seen on slings, we’ve noticed can kinda
get caught on your shirt. Not the case with this big ITW buckle in the way that it’s
positioned here on this strap. One thing to note here is that if you are using a larger, say 35 liter travel backpack on your back, and this thing at your front, if that bag is heavy and you’re
wearing this in the front, you’re definitely gonna feel
this buckle here in the back when you do put that larger bag on. Some slings will forego
a buckle altogether, so take a look at the Heimplanet
Transit Line sling pocket. That one just has what we like to call a new wave sling strap. So there’s no buckle
there going on whatsoever. And then other slings, like for example, the Aer Day Sling 2, will place this buckle
towards the side here, so that it’s a little bit out of the way. Makes it easier to wear
the sling on your front and a larger backpack on your back. This is more of an
observation rather than a con. It’s just something to
note if you wanna use it with a larger travel backpack. CODEOFBELL does have a
note on their website that pertains to this buckle here, and it says, “New stock will come standard “with self-locking magnetic
buckles for the shoulder strap.” So maybe in one of the future iterations we will see kind of a
magnetic buckle going on here. You’ve got this ITW buckle for this one. From a strap management perspective, there’s also a lot going
on in the front here. So some slings and some waist packs will kind of forego any
type of strap management. Then you’ve just got
these two extra pieces of slack laying around, but CODEOFBELL has
handled this in two ways with the X-Pod. We have one elastic loop going on here, which is nice to kinda keep this going on. You can keep this in the middle, it’ll not give you a loop like
this when you’re using it. And then on the side here, there is a plastic clip as well that will either stay with this, kind of fastened like that. Otherwise you can take this plastic clip, let me see if I can get a good shot here, and you can actually take
that off and stick it here in between. So you can kinda clip that right in. So now the edge of this is
clipped right into the pack. And that just gives you way cleaner strap management as well. One thing we noticed with
the elastic keeper here and the plastic clip at the end is if you’re shifting this from the back to the front
of your body quite a bit, these things can get
jostled around a little bit and kinda move around. If you wanna see a sling that
handles this really well, take a look at the Peak
Design five liter sling. There is a bit of a mechanism there that you can just kinda pull it up and the strap automatically loosens. Really kinda handy and you really avoid a bunch of additional
strap stuff going on here. At the end of that strap, you will find two little
padded pieces going on here, and they are little
hidden pockets as well. So kinda similar to what
we have in the back here with that lockable zipper. Got that going on, self-locking zipper. That’s a good compartment for headphones or just kinda smaller items
that you wanna keep separate from the rest of the bag. And then you have some
YKK buckles going on at the end of the strap here as well that manages the compressing
and uncompressing of the front part of this sling bag. Another small annoyance to note here is that I can kinda feel
these straps going on on the backside of my arms as I’m wearing this bag in the back. So as you’re walking around, you can kinda feel that. Again, just kind of like a minor gripe, and if you get the sling
positioned correctly on your back you don’t really notice it. But if it is hanging a bit down, some of these excess strap points and all this stuff going on here kinda get in the way and rub against the back part of your arm. Again, kind of a minor annoyance if you’re wearing a T-shirt. Just thought I would point
that one out as well. Another small usage note here is that if the sling is tighter and you sling it around
to the front of your body, you’re gonna kinda get
those T-Rex arms going on as you’re trying to access what’s inside. Keeping it looser definitely gives it a little bit of an easier
access in the front of your body when you need to access everything inside. The back panel here is very nicely padded and super comfortable to wear. So we love that that’s going on. If you do have any items
that are a little bit kinda harder or pokey, it’s gonna be mitigated by the
padding of that back panel. There’s a handle at the top of the sling made of folded nylon webbing. And if we flip that sling over, you’re gonna see some
Hypalon here at the bottom. So this is a Hypalon attachment point down here in the middle. Can also be used as
kind of a smaller handle if you do wanna grab it from that. Then you have these smaller
attachment points on the sides for the compression strap. Speaking of the compression straps, there is a lot going on with them. And I don’t think I’ve ever ran into a compression
strap this complicated, so buckle up. There are two Hypalon
attachment points at the top. This is where the aluminum G-hooks attach. And then we have this nylon webbing leading down to this ITW buckle. Again that ITW buckle has kind of an interesting style to it, and interesting look, especially when compared to
these YKK buckles on the side. So that’s definitely great. Now again here, strap management is very
similar to the front sling. So we have these elastic keepers here that can go over the strap and kinda manage it a little bit more. And then we have this
plastic clip here as well which you can roll up and attach in a very similar fashion to
what you can do on the front. So you can roll these up and attach them, kinda keep them tidy as well. Moving on down, more nylon webbing, and then you have the
CODEOFBELL buttons here. When you unbutton those, there’s also Velcro going on here. So holy cow. That was a ton of compression straps. And I forgot to talk about the main benefit of
the compression straps. So you can hang a towel or a T-shirt or something a little bit larger, maybe a jacket, on the outside of this thing. Tighten it down, compress
it against the sling, and you have it hanging
there ready and good to go. (upbeat funk music) Moving on to the interior of the bag, starting with the hidden
pocket on the back. This is against your back, arguably the most secure pocket and great for flatter items. So we just pull out this YKK zipper out of the zipper garage, and we got a nice kind
of pocket back here, perfect for a passport
or other flatter items that you wanna keep
secure against your back. Again, this pocket is very similar to these side pockets with these concealed YKK
zippers on the sides. Moving on the that compressable
compartment in the front, there are two different to access it. So the first is great to access when it’s in compress mode. So you just kinda unzip this from the top, and there you go, you have access. Inside here we have a YKK hook that’s gonna be
able to hold on to keys. So you just kinda push this down when you wanna take the keys out. Very quick and very easy to manage. Other than that, this pocket is pretty
much a giant compartment. So inside is a jacket, really nice to kind of compress
and pack one of these up. This is the Patagonia Storm Racer, really kinda lightweight
rain shell going on. And then you’re just left with this nice beautiful orange interior. Very easy to see any
darker black gear going on on the inside here, creates a nice pop of contrast, since most or your gear
probably isn’t blaze orange, unless you’ve got everything
really color-coordinated with blaze orange. In that case, send us a photo ’cause
that’d be really awesome. So when we unbuckle
these straps at the top and on the sides, this is kinda what holds
it rolled in place, the sides here. And then we unbuckle
these compression ones we can get access to the zipper. So unbuckle these side ones. And then you just have a massive
compartment going on here. Again, this brings the liter capacity, almost doubles the liter
capacity of this sling. So if you wanna put a water bottle in here or a jacket, really kinda compress it down
with the compression straps and these side ones. Now if you don’t wanna utilize this space, it’s easy enough to zip this closed, give this a fold and roll over, and then attach these side buckles here to kinda keep this compressed. And you can tighten that down or loosen it based on what’s inside. So a really modularly
sized pocket going on here. Really love that a lot more
than I thought I would, so we kind of got this
unboxed in at the beginning. We’re kinda like, “What
the heck is going on here?” But in actual use, it’s nice to have that versatility, and you can load it out
specifically for your needs for that day. So when in fully compressed mode, you kinda see that fabric
folded on the inside here. That’s the fabric that will uncompress and make this pocket really massive. Lastly, the main compartment on this sling is the zipper that’s closer to you than that one of the front compartment. Unzip that and you have
a very nice open space with an orange interior. There are two zippered
mesh pockets in the front and one zippered mesh pocket on the back. So we tested this with a couple items. The Nintendo Switch does fit in there. A lot of people ask us about that, so wanted to make sure to show that kind of in the main compartment here. You could also add your phone here, really anything else. And one of the things that I really love about these mesh pockets going on here is that you can leave them
open for taller items. So if you want some kind of division or segmentation inside, leave that open and you
have that additional space. So we got just a pack of
Orbit gum inside of here. And then if you want something
that maybe you need to access a little bit less, maybe you got some first aid items, maybe some wet wipes, just
things that you need on occasion, keep that zipped up here nice and low-profile in the front as well. So two different kind
of carry modes for that. Leave the pocket open, that simple division inside of the sling which a lot of other slings do, or zip it fully completely shut if you don’t need access
to that item a lot. Then again, it’s got
that smaller mesh pocket towards the back. Some field notes in here as well as a pen. Love taking notes, getting
those ideas down on the road. If you do want a quick
pro tip on these zippers, I’d recommend placing
the double set of zippers on each side, so maybe you create a
mental mile in your head. On the right hand side, you’ve got the two zippers that will open the front compartment. On the left hand side
you’ve got the two zippers that will open the one that’s
a little bit further back and closest to you. So little pro tip on zippers, kinda keep those away from each other. So we have them all in the middle here. There’s just kind of a lot going on and it’s hard to tell which
zipper belongs to which zip. (upbeat funk music) At the time of this review, Mark and I have been
testing the CODEOFBELL X-Pod over the course of one month
in Detroit and Chicago. Overall we really like the look and feel, all of these smart features going on that allow us to customize
the sling based on our needs for carry for that day. Really dig all that. Some high quality materials
going on here as well. So to wrap this things up
with some pros and cons, there is a lot of innovative design that feels really intuitive. The sling is very comfortable to wear with this back panel across your chest once you get it situated right and this stuff is no
longer kind of rubbing on the back of your arm. Lastly, there are some
great organization options inside of the main
compartment of the sling with those mesh pockets as well as the ability to
expand that front pocket for larger load-outs. On to some of the cons, there is a lot going on
that’s a little bit complex and could be overkill for some people. The strap management system
can kind of come undone easily as you’re flipping the sling
from the front to your back. And lastly, it is a little bit large in the fully expanded state, so the X-Pod has a pretty low
profile when it is compressed. When it’s expanded it
definitely gets out there, and the profile gets pretty large. Just remember that this
expandability is optional. (upbeat funk music) CODEOFBELL has taken the idea of a sling and souped it up to make it so much better and more functional. Although there’s a lot going
on with the sling back, everything has a purpose. And once you start getting used to it, it all feels quite intuitive to use. Although we have a couple of minor gripes, overall the X-Pod is
pushing the boundaries of what a sling can be, and we really love that. So there you have it, our review on the CODEOFBELL X-Pod. We would love to hear
in the comments below. What do you think of this thing? Thank you for keeping
it here at Pack Hacker, your guide to smarter travel. We’ll see you in the next video.

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15 thoughts on “CODEOFBELL X-POD Review | Intuitive & Expandable Sling Bag

  1. Nice vid guys. This sling is pretty cool but for me it is too bulky.

    I did some research into slings a while ago and wanted something lightweight, minimal with good security features and durability and I found the Pacsafe Vibe 150 Cross Body bag.

    Slim, practical, fits the body well. 2.2 litres, enough to carry all the essentials. Can fit a water botttle. I also overpacked it with everything I could possibly need on a flight+day out and it doesn’t become bulky or uncomfortable like some do. My opinion it’s perfect for travel and even better if you need to wear it on your front and carry-on on the back.

    Not much on this sling in the way of videos and I think it is under-appreciated considering. Maybe you guys could check it out?

    Also, Tom’s Casio always looks so shiny. Aheh.

    Edit: There is a 10L version called Pacsafe Vibe 325 if more space is needed.

    And one for tablets: Pacsafe Metrosafe LS150

  2. "Buckle up" Haha. So while I like how efficient and brief your other reviews are, it seems like this more casual style video review works well too- especially for a bag with so many features.

    While a sling bag is superfluous for me, I can appreciate how helpful this will be for those in the market for one.

  3. Such a LEGIT sling guide! Thanks for putting in all the effort creating it. The CoB X-POD is worth checking out for sure.

  4. I bought Skinth Solutions WYW sling and it's fantastic. Can wear as a sling, carry as a bag, use as a pouch inside a pack, etc. It's excellent and very well-made. The shape/pockets may not be for everyone though. Xpac and aquaguard zips for the win.

  5. Thanks for another excellent review. I've been considering the CofB but I went with the Aer X-Pac sling and I'm really liking that one. Its a little more minimalistic but still has lots of options and functions. I have the feeling that the Aer is also a little smaller (which works better for me).

  6. Great that it looks like it's symmetrical, and not "right-handed", for all us lefties who are so often overlooked.
    Maybe you could make that a consideration that you look at in your sling-pack reviews?
    I know we're only ten percent of any given audience, but ten percent is still quite a decent proportion 🙂

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