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Code 10 Backpack Review: For Adventurers Trapped in the City

Code 10 Backpack

US$139
8.6

Ergonomics

8.2/10

Build Quality

9.3/10

Functionality

7.8/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Versatile looks
  • Travel-oriented features

Cons

  • Limited organisation options

Why should you love the Code 10 backpack:
1. The Code 10 is very sturdy – a puppy hiding in this bag could probably survive a grenade blast. We couldn’t find the grenades to test this, but that’s the vibe we got from this bag. 

2.Want to feel like an adventurous nomad trapped in the city? Your friends will be impressed, or at the very least, you’d want to be carrying this bag if you get mysteriously transported into Jumanji. 

3. The Code 10 truly is, an anti-theft backpack – the clip and lock features are so elegantly simple, it makes you wonder why other backpacks don’t have it.

The Code 10 Backpack. Image: Code 10

If you do watersports, you should be familiar with those waterproof dry bags that protects your sandwich in the middle of sea. The Code 10 Backpack is like a dry bag on steroids: tough and rugged while managing to look stylish and swaggy. Even if you’re not the outdoorsy sort, it will help in fulfiling your deepest desires. 

Ruggedized Fabric

The first thing you will notice about the Code 10 is the amount of fabric on board – but not in a bad way. It excels at its dayjob as a backpack with two shoulder straps and a padded backing.

The different colours available for the Code 10 Backpack. Image: Code 10

Made from 100% waterproof TPU-coated fabric with high-frequency welded seams, the Code 10 Backpack is more than capable of keeping out water and moisture, even in the toughest of conditions. The fabric, overall, feels so crazily ruggedized, it could probably last at least 6 years of extreme abusive use.

It withstood the dust storms, hot desert sun and cold nights of Burning Man 2018 like a trooper – the playa dust did not get in. A simple wipe-down with a wet cloth was enough to restore it back to pristine condition, although it was kinda tricky to get the dirt out from the small cavity where the shoulder straps are sewn to the backpack. However, this is not a big deal since it doesn’t affect the contents of your bag nor the experience of your usage.

A thoughtful strap makes the Code 10 Backpack trivially easy to take along on your overseas trips. Shoulder straps can also be stowed away for portability. Image: Code 10

The sturdiness of the material does come at a slight trade-off though. Straight out from the box, the material of the Code 10 fabric has a rigid feel to it and took a few uses to break in the material. The material, even after the break-in period, is rather plastic-y – in contrast to the softer materials such as cotton and ballistic Nylon polyester that we see on most EDCs today.

But hey, which would you rather have – tough sturdy brawns or silky smooth skin?

Anti-theft 

Code10 Backpack comes with a lock for its main access compartment, and it is one of those simple but hella important innovative features that makes you wonder why other bags don’t have it. It gives you the piece of mind when you use the Code 10 as a cabin bag, where you can lock up your cash and passport without worrying about someone messing with it whilst you snooze on the plane. Hands-down, we prefer the Code 10 to the Bobby Anti-Theft Backpack.

The integrated lock and security cable on the Code 10 is a neat touch, especially for the solo traveller. Image: Code 10

The Code 10 is much more sturdy and theft-proof than the Bobby. It also comes with a nice little plastic tag with a unique ID number for the random stranger to contact Code 10 should they find your bag lying around. That’s great post-sales service right there! 

WaterPROOF

Most EDC bags are only water resistant – not waterproof, so when the Code 10 claimed that it was waterproof, we HAD to test it for ourselves. We doused it with a garden hose, spilt hot coffee on it, and even had our writer’s dog lick it for one minute – it was as promised, the contents remained dry as bone.

So – hurray! Gone are the days where you need to worry if the water resistant repellent coating on your bag will wear off after a few years, and gone are the days of worry (for your laptop and other bag contents) when you get caught in the rain.

Capacity

The Code 10 Backpack has a BIG capacity. We especially love the roll-top feature where you can neatly roll down the excess fabric if you don’t need it. After zipping up the main compartment and rolling down the excess fabric, there are two ways to secure the main compartment – to clip the two corners to the sides, or to pull the two corners together and clip them in the middle. Either way works – it really depends on your personal preference!

Some of the features of the Code10 Backpack. Image: Code10

Organisation

Much like a dry bag, the majority of the bag consists of a single main compartment. It’s not exactly the best design if you’re looking to organise all your gadgets away neatly into their own compartments – everything just falls to the bottom.

The bottle slot and front pocket on the Code10 Backpack. Image: Code10

To combat entrophy, Code 10 Backpack does come with a flat A3-sized organisation board with several pockets, but it’s more ideal for thin-and-flat gadgets since it doesnt have sufficient stretchability to neatly store gadgets that are thicker than 3cm. However, if you think about it, it is very similar to a dry bag where the core focus is to keep the contents inside safe from external elements. If you are not willing to accept this trade-off, then maybe the Code 10 isn’t for you. 

The A3-sized organisation board in the Code 10 Backpack enables you to quickly retrieve your gadgetry and documents, although it can be a bit too small for daily use. Image: Code 10

There is a really nifty quick-access pocket on the front, large enough to store your sunglasses and wallet. On the side of the bag, there’s an elastic compartment where you can store your waterbottle, and the left shoulder strap comes with a small slot to store your transit card or other credit card-sized objects.

The credit card-sized slot on the left strap of the Code 10 Backpack. Image: Code 10

Hidden behind the padded backing, there is another compartment that will always be against your back – this doesn’t have much capacity though, and probably just enough to store your passport and some small paper documents. 

The back and base of the Code 10 backpack, showing the concealed pouch and easy-to-clean lining. Image: Code 10

The Code 10 has a beautiful flat base that’s lined with a black plastic-y material that is very easy to wipe clean. Once filled with contents, the Code 10 can generally balance and stand upright by itself. There is also an elastic suitcase strap that allows you to secure the bag onto your suitcase and helps maintain its upright position.

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