As someone who regularly attends conventions like PAX, I know the importance of a good bag for your gaming gear. You need something that can snugly hold your Nintendo Switch, controllers and headsets while also making room for all their cables and plugs. I’ve tried various solutions over the years but nothing’s ever really hit that sweet spot. However, today Astro is taking another swing at the problem with the help of storied bag brand Timbuk2.
Timbuk2 is best known for its striped messenger bag, but the brand’s new collaboration with Astro skips that style in favor of two different pieces, a backpack and a sling bag. Astro already offers the $100 Scout Backpack with plenty of pockets to store your gear, but the $200 BP35 is bigger: 35 liters of space compared to the previous model’s 32. It also has two laptop pockets, and a full clamshell opening to make it easier to remove your stuff — which certainly should make your life easier at airport security. One internal pocket is designed specifically to carry Astro gaming gear, with a loop for holding your headset, a padded sleeve for a MixAmp Pro and additional pockets for cords and controllers.
There are also plenty of small, thoughtful touches throughout, including mesh shoulder straps to keep you cool, velcro to showcase your pins and patches and a d-ring to hold your keys. And if you’re of the environmentally-conscious sort, all Timbuk2 products are made of recycled materials, and the company has an exchange program for your old bag so you can dispose of it in an eco-friendly way.
But what if you don’t need a bag that big? 35 liters is a lot of space, after all, and all you have is your Switch Lite and a set of earbuds. This collaboration has you covered on that account with its $80 CS03 crossbody sling pack. You can wear it on your back, front or around your hips because fanny packs are back. But this is one made for your Nintendo Switch, with 14 slots for game cards and a tricot liner to protect your screen. There’s also a pocket for your smartphone and a key keeper so it’ll make a handy replacement for your purse or small shoulder bag. And I mean small, as the CS03 holds a scant three liters. It’s more of a daytripper than a convention pack.
I didn't get much time with the bags, but keep an eye out here for a hands-on after I test them on the mean streets of New York and Chicago. If you want to give them a whirl yourself, both bags go on sale later this month, and can be picked up on Astro or Timbuk2’s sites as well as any of the six Timbuk2 flagship stores.