I’ve been meaning to do this one for a couple weeks now… but I was kinda busy with the holidays. So, here’s my review of the Geek On Ultimate Boardgame Backpack (or as I call it the Backpack of Gaming). Before I get too deep in, here’s the link for those who just want to find where to get one:
I play a weekly D&D game (Adventure League style at my friendly local game store), and I’m always carrying a lot of stuff for the games. At minimum, I carry: Player’s Handbook, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, multiple folders (full of characters, handouts, spare sheets of many varieties), dice, pencils, erasers, a case full of 3d printed Flatminis, and my DM’s Toolbox of Holding. If I’m DMing, I also carry: DM screen, the hardcover I’m running, wet erase markers, paper towels, bottle of water, Dungeon Master’s Guide, Monster Manual, game mat, premade maps… the list goes on.
Hopefully before I scare any new players away, you don’t need to carry that much stuff, especially if you are just starting out. I’ll cover what I recommend in another post, but keep in mind that for this post, I carry an absurd amount of stuff because I want to and can.
Also, my friends and I occasionally have game days, and when they aren’t at my place, I need to be able to carry multiple board games. This is a massive pain. They are bulky and unwieldy to carry, especially in anything other than nice weather.
Anyway, as you can see I need a lot of storage capacity. I’ve been using a Fallout 4 messenger bag for carrying most of the loose items, and carrying the tool box in one hand when playing. Then I have to add a map tube and another bag for additional materials if I am DMing. Enter the Ultimate Boardgame Backpack.
This came across my Kickstarter radar a while back, and I immediately wanted one.
I’ve mentioned it before here:
Boardgame Backpack Kickstarter
Well, now it’s arrived, just before the holidays. Here it is in the box:
So far so good. Everything is individually plastic wrapped and tagged as a professional product. The backpack comes folded up, and then you have to unfold it into the final shape. Here it is folded:
And here it is assembled and fully expanded.
This thing is huge, and packed with useful features. Each side has two pockets, with the bottom ones having built in koozies. You can also use the bottom pocket and the side straps to mount a map drybag (which I also got). The back and straps are heavily padded, and there is an optional belt to help with the weight.
The main compartment has an enormous carrying capacity, depending on whether you have it full expanded. For storage it is collapsible, but expanded, it has fold out reinforcing foam panels and a drawbridge-style support for your heavy games. This allows you to carry both bulk and weight. It was deliberately sized to carry a lot of common boxed games. As you can see here, if you have much weight up top the compartment will sag the large compartment a bit, but if you fill it up with games it becomes a non-issue.
And now, for my favorite part… the DMing configuration:
I’m able to fit ALL my 5e rulebooks, plus a couple of books for running games (yes, I know the Mini-Dungeon Tome, from another kickstarter, is not AL-legal), the toolbox, the DM screen, and the case of Flatminis (not shown here) in the main compartment. The dice case/tray fit in the top compartment, the spellcard boxes fit in the side compartments, the folders fit in the fold-down door of the compartment, the map fits on the side, and there is still some space for some items in the top compartment. I will note with that many books, it is HEAVY, and a few of these books I won’t normally carry because they aren’t referenced at the table much. I’ll get some better pictures on my semi-finalized configurations for the next installment, showing where I’ve placed everything. I’ll also go over the add-on/accessory items that came with it.