RoadWired Podzilla Review

Product Requirements:
An assortment of gadgets and
accessories that need an organized carrier

Somewhere in that area between wearing a pair of cargo pants and carrying a
full-blown laptop bag, there exists a no-man’s land. I call it a no-man’s land
because it is in this area where women have a distinct advantage…we get to
carry purses.

When men need to carry their PDA and cell phone, they have to stuff these
items into their pockets and/or onto their bat-belts.  Add a couple of
accessories such as a charger cord, additional memory cards or a digital camera,
and the point quickly comes where bulky pockets and over-accessorized belts lose
their appeal.

Of course, women also reach a point where a purse is no longer the best
option. Let’s face it, we don’t want to have loose batteries rolling around next
to portable charging cables and our wallets or lipstick.

When you are carrying enough gear that you have no places to safely stow,
then that is the point when a gear bag must be used.

There are typically two bag styles from which to choose: messenger or
briefcase. Both styles are great if you are carrying a laptop and a couple of
accessories, but what if you don’t need that large of a bag, you just
need something big enough to carry all of your "stuff"? Enter the new
Podzilla
bag by RoadWired

Based upon the innovative design of their
Pod
bag, RoadWired has resized and reworked the original. Podzilla is a good
looking bag that anyone, including manly-men, can carry. For those that like to
keep things simple, Podzilla is available in a black/black or navy/black
combination. For those that would rather spice things up a bit, the color
combinations titanium/black, yellow/black, red/black and olive/black are also
available. I received the red/black model, which has the added benefit of almost
perfectly matching my Swiss Army luggage, for when I travel.

Podzilla measures 9.25" tall x 9" wide x 6.5" thick, weighs 1.5 pounds and
has an exterior composed of  water-repellent1050 denier ballistic nylon
with an interior lined in smooth nylon pack cloth. This bag is extremely well
made, well padded and gives you a general feeling of quality.

Let’s break down the features of this bag and see if Podzilla should be
your
next gear bag.

Podzilla’s exterior is essentially the same style, albeit larger sized, as
the previously mentioned Pod bag. When looking at it head-on, it resembles a
traditional camera bag, mainly because of the oversized lid. The rubberized
RoadWired logo is displayed on a background of black neoprene.

The top of the bag forms a water resistant cover for the main interior
compartment. It is held closed with a composite quick-release closure. There is
also a strip of Velcro to keep the lid down for those times when you are
actively using the bag and don’t want it completely secured.

The rear of the bag is flat and sports a padded mesh background, in front of
which are four seat-belt grade webbing loops that a belt can be passed through.
I personally think that Podzilla is too large to wear on a belt, but there may
be those out there that would like this feature.

Podzilla has a flat bottom which allows it to be set upright just about
anywhere when not being carried; this is handy as it eliminates any fear of the
bag toppling over.

The front and two sides of Podzilla are three multi-talented compartments.
Each is gusseted to prevent the contents from spilling, and each closes with a
self-repairing zipper. Each has a different function, so I will start with the
left side.

The exterior of the left compartment has an open elastic topped mesh pocket,
which is perfect for holding a smaller water bottle, assorted cords, or any
other smaller items to which the owner needs easy access. The interior has four
compact flash sized memory card slots which are sewn on three sides to keep each
card in place. Opposite these slots is a pocket with a Velcroed flap closure
that would be perfect for holding PCMCIA sized memory card adapters or other
similarly sized items.

The front compartment is plain on the outside, except for the previously
mentioned patch of Velcro. The interior has seven wide elastic loops that can
hold either AA batteries or writing pens. Underneath these loops are two wide
Velcro slots that can hold two C or D sized batteries. Opposite these slots is a
mesh pocket that stays securely closed with a patch of Velcro. It would be
perfect for any small loose items that need more security than the exterior mesh
pockets provide..

The exterior of the right compartment mirrors the left by also having an open
elastic topped mesh pocket. The interior of the right compartment has two orange
bungee cords over a wide elastic panel pocket. This is a perfect area for taller
items that need to be securely held. Opposite this section is another pocket
with a Velcroed flap closure.

The Podzilla’s oversized dual-closure lid has a padded handle for those times
when you just need to pick it up and go. I prefer a more substantial rubberized
strap, but this one will do. There are metal loops on either side of the bag
that the adjustable thin webbed shoulder strap can attach to. Personally, I like
a more substantial strap with a bit of padding at the shoulder. Since this one
doesn’t offer any, I switched it out with a padded strap I had from another bag.

Opening the lid reveals a padded main compartment that offers enough
protective room to hold a full-sized camera (digital or 35mm SLR) or any other
portable electronic devices up to 8" tall x 6.25" wide x 6.5" thick. Because
there is a removable stiffly-padded segmented divider that can be Velcroed into
this main compartment in a variety of configurations, you can actually carry a
camera with a massive lens without worrying that it won’t be properly supported.

   

Picture on left courtesy of RoadWired website, picture on
right is the removable segmented divider

You can also completely remove that divider and fill the compartment with
your own odds and ends. As you can see in this picture, about 1/3 of the main
compartment is lined in soft loopy Velcro, while the remainder is lined in the
smooth nylon.

   

Inside the lid is a clear plastic slot where you can put a business or ID card.
There is also a secret compartment where you can slide credit cards or a bit of
cash.

In all, there are over 20 pockets and compartments included in the Podzilla
just waiting to be filled with your gear. Here is what I was able to fit in
mine: Sony CLIÉ NZ90, iPAQ 5450, a
complete Seidio Data Power
Package
, a Cannon Powershot S330 camera, a Sony Cyber-Shot U camera, two
multi-pens, four AA batteries, AC & DC power adapters for the CLIÉ, three
compact flash memory cards, the Sony CF PEGA-WL110 WiFi card for the CLIÉ, a CF
->PCMCIA adapter, a 4inOne
PCMCIA card reader
, the Canon’s battery charger, and the Cyber-Shot’s
battery charger…whew! See why I prefer a padded strap? ;0)

Podzilla is amazing because it can carry just about everything one
might need throughout the day- short of a laptop computer – without bogging the
wearer down. It looks great while keeping its contents organized. Podzilla is
extremely well made of quality materials. It would make a worthy gear bag for
men and women alike.

Price: $69.95 available in Black/Black,
Titanium/Black, Navy/Black, Yellow/Black, Red/Black and Olive/Black

Their warranty is pretty simple:

  1. If you buy a RoadWired case and don’t love it, return it.*
  2. If your RoadWired bag or case fails due to manufacturing or material
    defects, we’ll fix or replace it.*

*complete
warranty details

Pros:
Extremely well made
Padded protection for all of your gadgets and their accessories
Will keep your daily gadgets and their accessories extremely organized

Cons:
No padding on shoulder strap

 

Product Information

Price:69.95
Manufacturer:RoadWired
Pros:
  • Extremely well made
  • Padded protection for all of your gadgets and their accessories
  • Will keep your daily gadgets and their accessories extremely organized
Cons:
  • No padding on shoulder strap
Posted in: Gear

{ 24 comments… add one }

  • Judie August 13, 2003, 2:24 am

    Post your comments here on RoadWired Podzilla.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/roadwired-podzilla-review.html

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

    1
  • lisantica August 13, 2003, 5:12 pm

    I’m considering this item as I already have their smaller iPod bag and LOVE it! Being in a rural area as I am, your reviews are very helpful to me.
    Thank you!

    2
  • Judie August 13, 2003, 5:50 pm

    :D Thank you for making my day.

    3
  • lisantica August 13, 2003, 7:57 pm

    If you’ve ever been on the 10 Freeway in So. Calif. where the Dinosaurs are in Cabazon, I live 5 miles from there. There’s not an electronics store for miles!

    4
  • fitzsimmons August 14, 2003, 3:00 am

    As always, an excellent review!

    I have one suggestion to make when reviewing bags, which I have made a couple of times in the past. It would be very helpful to us readers if you could feature a complete picture of a human being carrying/wearing/toting the bag being reviewed. It’s really hard to get any sense of a bag’s size/style/look/etc. without one!

    Thanks for listening and keep up the great work!

    5
  • Judie August 14, 2003, 11:46 am

    I will take a picture with the bag later this afternoon, and I will post it for you.

    Here you go.

    Judie :0)

    6
  • birdman August 14, 2003, 3:57 pm

    That is an awfully thin looking strap.

    7
  • Judie August 14, 2003, 5:49 pm

    Tell me about it! That’s why I replaced it…but of course I used the original for the photo.

    Judie :0)

    8
  • Redhed97 August 14, 2003, 6:36 pm

    :) Nice review, Judie. Being a bit of a geardo myself, I am always interested in new gear bags. I’m in Texas too (Fort Worth), and I would call myself a “manly man”- you can’t really get a lot more manly than Texas. I think you could get away with this one because of its “camera bag” looks. But it better be availble in camo! Seriously, how far are we from straight men carrying “purses” (sans the Seinfeldian “European carry-all”, “man-purse” stigma…) in the US? My wife says I just need to find a nice black leather messenger bag and just start carrying it, but I don’t know…

    A good gear bag is hard to find! Always a lot of trade-offs. I carry a (totally stuffed) New Sun Liberty Pouch for my small gear, but it usually goes inside a soft leather Cole Haan attache for work or a backpack on the weekend. I have been considering replacing it though. For more neat mini bags check out Triple Aught Design (not affiliated, just a VERY satisfied customer).

    http://www.tadgear.com/x-treme%20gear/gear%20organizers%20main/gear_organizers.htm

    I am looking at their Maxpedition bags and other stuff from New Sun. I would love to see a “mini gear bag shootout” with a whole bunch of this stuff, and a whole bunch of pics- with gear and normal sized people modeling. I have even considered writing it up myself because this stuff is so hard to shop for online. You can never tell how big it REALLY is, what it can REALLY hold, and so on…:wow:

    9
  • Judie August 14, 2003, 7:10 pm

    I like the organization of this bag, but for my own personal use…(call me shallow)…if it doesn’t have little “LV”s all over it, I probably won’t carry it every day.

    There are a couple of Louis Vuitton bags that I have that are pretty good for gear, but they haven’t got anywhere near the organizational capabilities of this bag.

    I sure wish Louis Vuitton would just go ahead and make a gear bag for me and while they are at it – custom cases for all my PDAs. ;)

    Judie :0)

    10
  • Redhed97 August 14, 2003, 7:25 pm

    Judie- you’re so shallow!:wow:

    Nah, just kidding. I know what you mean. While LV may not be my style, I don’t want to be chained into Docker’s Mobile Pants and an eVest to carry all my good stuff. You gotta have style, and I personally don’t really want to come off looking like a photojournalist, club kid, suburban commando, european fancy boy, hobo, diaper bag daddy or whatever…

    There is no perfect gear bag/carrying system- even if you got one that held everthing it would be too casual for some situations, too formal for others. Too hot, too big, too small, too “tactical” looking… Being a gadgeteer is really more about collecting bags than anything else…

    11
  • Judie August 14, 2003, 7:40 pm

    I am all about choices – that’s why I have a closet full of bags for every occasion. ;)

    12
  • Skay March 7, 2004, 10:17 pm

    How about a pic of someone using The Pod?

    Can you tell me if a Fuji Finepix S5000 will fit into the smaller bag?

    If one were to carry this almost daily and use it along with a purse, which would you suggest?

    Skay

    13
  • Judie March 8, 2004, 3:53 am

    14
  • Skay March 8, 2004, 6:15 pm

    I’m looking for pic of the Pod, not podzilla :)

    15
  • Julie March 8, 2004, 6:19 pm

    I’m the one that reviewed The Pod:

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/roadwired-pod-review.html

    There’s a picture of me holding it in my hand, but since I no longer have this bag, I can’t take a picture of myself wearing it. Sorry…

    16
  • Judie March 8, 2004, 6:57 pm

    ooops – my bad. :o

    17
  • Skay March 10, 2004, 10:55 pm

    **update! – I ordered the Black Podzilla, and a Fuji s5000 to go along with it. :)

    Skay

    18
  • Craig March 18, 2004, 2:32 pm

    Excellent! Great review.

    My sister bought me The Pod for my birthday, but it was too small. I sent it back to eBags and to get an exchange certificate. I am thinking seriously about the Podzilla — and here you are with a review of it. The picture of you and the Podzilla helps enormously.

    As far as shoulder straps go, I have yet to purchase a bag where the strap was sufficiently padded. I always swap them with my favorite strap. I can’t remember where I bought it from, but it was called the Ultimate Travel Strap, or something like that.

    I’m off to buy the Podzilla. Thanks again for the comprehensive review.

    19
  • Skay March 27, 2004, 12:12 am

    I love my Podzilla! I carry it everywhere with me…

    It holds my Sony Clie UX50, Gameboy Advance, and Fuji Finepix S5000 and of course accessories.

    I don’t care for the strap, its not long enough to put over my head. Plus mine came all snagged and its very sharp on one edge.

    I’m hoping I can find one in a store that will be long enough. I don’t really need a padded strap. As I don’t want it looking like a camera bag.

    20
  • Splusmer November 4, 2004, 3:29 pm

    Hi, all! New here on the Gadgeteer boards, but I’m happy to have found a place with others who share my obsess… err, *interests*… ;).

    As part of my never-ending quest for the ultimate bag, I recently bought a bright yellow Podzilla, in part based on the review here. In general I like it–it carries more of my gear than anything else I’ve yet had (at least, in this small a package). Right now it’s stuffed with my Garmin iQue 3600 PDA/GPS, an Oregon Scientific NOAA weather radio (will probably someday be replaced with a shortwave/HAM scanner of some kind), a Kokak DC4800 digital camer, aSpeedtech Weatherwatch Pro, a Kestrel 4000 hand-held weather station, a GB-SP and some game cards, two USB drives, a Victorinox Cybertool knife, my clip-on sunglasses in case, and a whole slew of rechargers and USB cables. Sometimes I put my cell phone in one of the out-side net pockets, but I usually carry the phone in my pants pocket.

    With all this gear in there the case feels *very* stuffed–the velcro closure for the main lid won’t work at all (I have to use the main “clip” closure). I’m a bit disappointed that I don’t have any space left over for a book; I suspect I would if I didn’t have all the cables in the main compartment.

    When I first got it I was a bit sad that none of the pockets seemed specifically designed for most of my gear–at first blush they all seemed more oriented towards camera gear than anything else. But after a week or two of using it, it’s grown on me–the pockets I’ve found for the different items seem to be working out much better than I thought. I don’t know that I really *need* to be carrying all this gear–I should probably search out a smaller case for the things I use on a daily basis–but it sure is neat to have all this stuff in one bag, and one that’s very ruggedly constructed!

    Still and all, I’m still searching for my “ultimate bag”–right now I have my Podzilla and my big laptop backpack (in which I often don’t have my laptop, which is a 17″ monster). I guess I’m looking for a bag that could carry my gear (in specific pockets, not in one big jumble), one larger book (think computer books), one or two paper-back sized books (guide books or novels), and maybe a 81/2″x11″ notebook. Such a case would let me cut down to one daily bag.

    21
  • Splusmer November 8, 2004, 6:39 pm

    Oops, one more point to add: with my Podzilla stuffed as it is, when I carry it by its handle the main bag sags a bit below the cover/lid at the sides, leaving a gap where dust/rain/snow could blow in. It’s not a big gap, and it won’t necessary happen with you, but it may be an issue for some with sensitive equipment. Also (and this may have been mentioned in the review), the front “pod pocket” isn’t accessable when the lid is closed (the compression strap goes in front of the pocket, and the velcro closure is on front of it as well), so you wouldn’t want to use it for any quick-access items.

    22
  • isobutane April 17, 2006, 12:23 pm

    OK, I could have spared myself years of anguish, torment and spending money on gadget bags that just were not quite right for the task at hand. I have bought and rejected about a dozen bags in the last 8 months, alone! As a storm chaser tour participant, I have some very definite needs when it comes to a gadget bag. It has to fit EVERYTHING and it has to make the items I need to get to fast immediately accessible. I should have just bought the Podzilla outright and saved myself a heap of aggravation.

    This little beauty is PERFECT, and I mean PERFECT. In the main compartment, I configured the divider to perfectly fit my Sony TRV-22 camcorder to take up two thirds of the space available, and there is room underneath the divider to store four DV tapes. I store another DV tape in the hide-and-go-home pocket in the lid, where I can get to it at a moment’s notice. Alongside the camcorder, stuffed side by side are my Garmin GPS60cs and my Kestrel 4000 weather device. I have put a small piece of padding over top of these to make a holding place for my Sony digital voice recorder. As the GPSr and the weather gauge will be accessed infrequently, they can stay tucked underneath.

    On the left side pocket is my digital camera, two extra CF cards, one extra Memory Stick Pro Duo card for the voice recorder and the spare battery for the digital camera.

    In the front pocket are 6 AA batteries, 8 AAA batteries, the spare camcorder battery, a pen and a Pro-83 scanner from Radio Shack with its antenna removed and sitting next to it in the mesh pocket.

    In the right pocket sits my Treo 650, bluetooth headset, retractable stereo earbuds and spare battery. I was going to bring a GB SP on this trip, but I think the Treo has everything I need to keep me entertained during down time, like the occasional 4-hour drive late at night from the chase location to the hotel we are going to stay at.

    I am using the amazing shoulder strap from my Roadwired Photo/Video Convertible bag, and I found a cheap 2″ wide nylon gun belt with clasps at the local sporting goods store that turns the Podzilla into a very comfy beltpack. It will sit at my right side as I photograph amazing storms, ready to divulge the gadget I need at a moment’s notice.

    In another bag in with my clothing will go the Jornada 720 and wifi card that I will use once I reach a place with a steady horizontal surface for typing. I decided to leave the laptop at home this year. If I had an OQO, I might bring it along, but anything bigger would just get in the way.

    Mark

    23
  • Mark Rosengarten March 5, 2008, 6:29 pm

    I got my Podzilla more than a year ago, but I have not yet used it. It was a candidate in the running for my storm-chasing gear bag last year, but lost out to the Roadwired Photo-Video Bag. This year, the Podzilla is in the lead as the contending gear bag with a scant six weeks to go before I leave.

    My Podzilla holds my Sony camcorder, 5 mini DV tapes, my OQO Model 02, pocket monocular in the main compartment, Canon digicam with two SD cards and a SD USB key in one side pocket, Treo, iPod nano, earbuds and USB Treo cable in the other side pocket, Kestrel 4000, wifi hotspot detector/radio, dramamine, pill case, spare camcorder battery, pen, digital pen, 4 AA batteries in the front compartment. The pill case is moving to my pants pocket and a spare Treo battery is going to take its place. Everything I need! We’ll see if it ends up being my actual bag of choice when it comes down to it, but it looks pretty definite at this point!

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