There’s a concept called Buy It For Life where you purchase an item that should last the rest of your life. In criminal terms, in Ireland life is 25 years.
I wrote this review back in 2011 and it’s time to revisit my first look at the Keypod key safe.
I bought a Keypod (2nd Generation) in the mid-noughties during my first full year of OW swimming, when I just couldn’t keep putting the key in my swimsuit and had the usual dilemma about key storage during open water swims. What to do with your keys, money and or bank cards? is a common dilemma for many open water swimmers. It was about twice the price of cheaper generic Aldi units, which I also later tried and which didn’t fare as well.
The Keypod is a heavy steel lockbox for storing keys and or money or credit cards. It has a 4 number combination lock (where the first generation had 3). It has a case-hardened shackle to locking onto a car tow hooks or similar attachment. The code is easily changed using a lever on the back once it is open, as with most mechanical locks.
I had quickly found that bringing a key with me while swimming, even double-wrapped in two Ziploc bags didn’t stop the worry of losing the key during the swim, or the worry of wetting and damaging the electronics on the key.
My Keypod was used a lot. Kicked, dropped, beaten. One evening during Channel training Jen Hurley & I did a Sandycove double early in May. When I emerged out my brain was frozen (moderate hypo) and I was unable to remember the combination. But a sheer stroke of luck, Jen’s husband Mick had taken my key off me instead. Rather than open the car and put the Keypod back in, I just locked it in place. The Keypod stood up to a two and a half hour drive home, all the while getting regularly clattered of the ground, all without opening. (It took about 5 hours before I warmed up sufficiently to remember the code). I’ve taken the Keypod to Donaghhadee and Dover so I can swim or crew without worrying about keys. It’s sat in my car boot for ten years and been used thousands of times.
It is built like a steel brick and would need an angle grinder to crack it open. The second Generation Keypod safe cavity measures about 10 cm long x 6.5 cm wide x 3cm deep (182 cm3) , big enough to fit an electronic car key with an extra couple of house keys attached. It’s also slightly bigger than the standard bank card size.
My Keypod finally gave up in 2015, after ten years of regular use, when the case would no longer stay closed after the combination was set as the post on which the lock set became too worn to hold..
Is this Buy It For Life? It’s not, but given the use it got, it’s not bad. And what gave out was the locking mechanism from heavy use. I went back to keeping my keys in my swim box for a couple of weeks while I was out swimming and worrying that someone would rifle through my clothes and take the keys, before I succumbed and purchased a new Keypod, which had been updated to a 5th Generation since I’d bought my first one.
The major changes that I noticed with the 5th Generation are the addition of a second post on which the lock sets, and an addition of slight lattice support structure inside the already formidable case cover. The cavity is still the same measurement but the extension of the locking mechanism actually reduced the capacity by 10 cm3, which though less than 10% makes it slightly more difficult to fit a small bunch of keys. (FWIW, my keyring has one car key, one house key, one locker key, one very small penknife, and a UK pound coin sized Nothing Great Is Easy CS&PF keyring). The weight of the 5th Gen Keypod has increased significantly from the 500g of the 2nd Generation to slightly over 800 g, also increasing slightly in length and the shackle itself is 10mm diameter.
The Keypod is an essential component of my open water swimming and has always been highly recommended. There are an increasing number of alternatives out there, but you should be careful when purchasing that the size is sufficient for your keys, as many will only take a single key or can be opened with a strong hammer blow.
The Keypod cost about $29 On Amazon US (http://%3Ca%20href%3D%22http//www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013IPR4C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0013IPR4C&linkCode=as2&tag=httploneswico-20&linkId=V5R5R5FZGNY3LMYF%22%3EKeypod%205G%20Key%20Safe-The%20Original%20Surfer%20And%20Watersports%20Keysafe%3C/a%3E%3Cimg%20src=%22http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=httploneswico-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B0013IPR4C%22%20width=%221%22%20height=%221%22%20border=%220%22%20alt=%22%22%20style=%22border:none%20!important;%20margin:0px%20!important;%22%20/%3E)
and about £22 on Amazon UK (http://%3Ca%20href%3D%22http//www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0013IPR4C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B0013IPR4C&linkCode=as2&tag=loneopenwates-21&linkId=EJWJNB355MCGUYHU%22%3EKeypod%205G%20Key%20Safe%3C/a%3E%3Cimg%20src=%22http://ir-uk.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=loneopenwates-21&l=as2&o=2&a=B0013IPR4C%22%20width=%221%22%20height=%221%22%20border=%220%22%20alt=%22%22%20style=%22border:none%20!important;%20margin:0px%20!important;%22%20/%3E).