CODi Sport-Pak Backpack Review

by Reads (13,555)

by Kevin O’Brien

Notebook backpacks seem to fall into two categories, those being overly flashy which may attract unneeded attention and those which just try to blend in. The CODi Sport-Pak backpack falls into the latter category with its very simplistic design. The backpack has no flashy colors or anything else about it which screams it might be carrying thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment. Instead this CODi backpack focuses more on user comfort, ease of use, and protecting your laptop inside.


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Bag Specifications:

  • Model: Sport-Pak
  • Updated computer compartment now fully zips on both sides for quick access to laptop and will accommodate 17" widescreens.
  • Weather proof, felt-lined, zippered compartment at the top of the pack, perfect for listening to MP3’s or iPOD’s while traveling.
  • Removable sternum strap included.
  • Accommodates a laptop size of up to 15.5" x 10.5" x 1.375"
  • Accommodates most 17" widescreens and smaller notebooks
  • Weight: 3lbs. 7oz.
  • Dimensions: 19.5" x 15.25" x 10.5
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime
  • Retail Price: $168.00


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Design
The CODi Sport-Pak backpack has a simple and professional look that would not be out of place at a job after college. It has no flashy colors, leaving only basic black for the main section of the laptop with a hint of red for the logo and zipper tags. To the casual bystander it looks like any other bag out there, but the user knows it is much more than that.

Durable fabrics and a well planned designed work in this bag’s favor to help it hold up during the rigors of day to day abuse. The bottom which might get dragged along the floor or sidewalk is made from durable ballistic nylon to handle the extra abrasion it might see. The rest of the bag is made from varying texture nylon fabric, which not as strong as the bottom, is still quite durable. From a period of two weeks using it to and from work, visits into my trunk, and tossed around at home only has some dust on the front to show for it.


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Seams all over the backpack are another over-designed aspect, with the key parts using strips of the same ballistic nylon as the bottom. This helps to make sure that over time as parts wear; the main stitching doesn’t start to come undone.

Storage
This backpack has a ton of different sections to hold more stuff that you would want to carry on your back. Three side pockets, two mesh pockets, three main divided sections, an audio player pocket, and tons of pockets within. The front section of the laptop is designed to hold pens, calculators, or other miscellaneous small items. It has a key holder, two pen-drive pockets, three pen holders, three larger pockets, and one zippered section. The middle section has one large zippered pocket, a three-part divider, and enough space to hold a few books or notepads. The rear compartment is all business related to the notebook itself, with nothing besides some good padding forward and back. Its missing padding going around the sides, but it has enough open space around my 15" notebook to hold it centered without worrying about its safety.


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The audio player spot on the top of the backpack is designed to stow away the device during transport, but still allow you to safety put out the headphone wiring to listen to it. CODi labels this spot as weather proof, but when zippered up tightly, a cup of water dumped onto the zipper ended up leaking through. Holding up to rain might yield better results though as my "poor test" was equivalent to a mini hurricane.


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Comfort and Ease of Use
For day-to-day use the bag is fairly comfortable to use. The straps have enough padding to keep the weight from pressing painfully into your shoulders, but it wasn’t as thick as other bags. The Logitech Kinetik bag had padding twice as thick around the shoulder area. The notebook storage compartment being placed directly on your backside could cause problems with thicker notebooks. With thinner notebooks it has some give, but with thicker notebooks it would be pressing the hard surface through the foam into your back.


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Toward the end of the period using this bag, one thing that got to me was the layout of the notebook zippered section and the shoulder straps of the bag. Since the shoulder straps tied into the main portion of the backpack, and the section flap was behind them, the straps overlapped the zipper accessing that section. To insert or remove your laptop you always had to fold the straps to the side or your notebook would not fit past the straps.


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For those curious about the zipper action, these glide as if they were Teflon coated. A flick of the wrist will snap a section shut, and I have yet to get any of the zippers stuck from tension of an uneven closing.

Conclusion
The CODi Sport-Pak is an excellent option for late college or early business professionals who still like a backpack for carrying around equipment. It has such a casual and modest look that makes it blend in for any occasion so you don’t get weird looks in more strict settings. Quality conscious buyers will also like the rugged build that will hold up no matter how you treat the bag. As long as you can afford the steep price, it would be on the top of my backpack list.

Pros:

  • Durable nylon fabric
  • Water resistant sections for electronics
  • High quality zippers

Cons:

  • High price may be out of reach for some buyers.
  • Laptop compartment can be considered a hassle to get into.


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