When we began reviewing the XLAB Stealth Pocket 100, we’d mentioned that bento boxes were never going to be the sexiest addition to your bike. However, they more than make up for it in practicality. Whether you are using it to carry emergency equipment or nutrition, a bento box lets you carry what you need with minimal fuss. Since that review, the 100 has become our standby bento box. And for the past year, we have only added one issue to our original small complaint.
In our first review we’d noted that the zipper opened from bottom to top, which seemed counter intuitive. We have also found ourselves wishing that the 100 could carry just a few extra gels. While it can hold a great deal—three gels, two tire levers and a CO2 inflator—it wasn’t meeting our needs for extra-long workouts (five gels and half of a power bar).
Well, either XLAB really likes us, or a more likely explanation is that we weren’t the only ones asking for an upgrade because the Stealth Pocket 400 is exactly what we were looking for. The 400 uses a two-zipper design that allows you to open it from the top, bottom, or anywhere in between. The new bento box can easily accommodate six gels (recently we were actually able to cram in seven for a particularly long ride).
Like the 100, the 400 is designed to be an aerodynamic addition behind your stem. However, while the 100 was designed to secure itself around the stem, the 400 accommodates cables that enter the frame via the top tube. A secure connection to the bike is achieved with a nonslip surface beneath the bag combined with three Velcro straps.
While these were small changes, together they create a superior solution. With its easier accessibility and ability to hold those few extra gels, the 400 is an upgrade we really appreciated. Sometimes the small changes have the biggest impacts. And anything that helps ensure we ride into T2 ready to rock is a product we’re going to like – the Stealth Pocket 400 clearly has us covered there. No, bento boxes aren’t sexy. But at least when it comes to the 400, we still greatly appreciate them.