BoardGameTables.com may have started off as a furniture company, but over the past few years they’ve proven that they’re about more than just tables; they want the entire game night experience. From the tables you play on, to the games you play (Q.E., On Tour, and several others), and even the bags you use to carry your games to and fro. We reviewed the previous version of this board game bag, so let’s see if this one stacks up to its predecessor.
BoardGameTables.com Standard Board Game Bag
At Meeple Mountain we grade all board game bags using the same 4 sets of criteria: Straps, Functionality & Durability, Capacity, and Portability, Price & Availability. How did the BoardGameTables.com Standard Bag stand up to our tests? Let’s find out…
The BoardGameTables.com Premium Bag is fundamentally different from its sibling in that it’s meant to be carried horizontally instead of vertically.
This allows the weight to be more evenly distributed while still allowing you to carry it by means of the securely sewn straps (a concern that we called out in our previous review). The upper loop of both straps is sewn over to provide a flatter surface for holding, and the bag comes with a padded velcro strap to close both together and provide a bit more comfort for long-term carrying.
In addition to the side straps, this bag can also be used in backpack mode for extra versatility and to make sure your hands are free for more board game bags. These straps are padded for comfort (with mesh weave to make them breathable) and flared out near the ends so that they follow the curve of your chest and sides.
There are also impact-resistant plastic D loops on either end of the bag to allow you to attach a shoulder strap, included with the Premium bag, but not with the Standard bag (which I have).
The rear of the bag has an additional flap of fabric called a luggage slip, just under the shoulder straps, to allow you to slide this on over a suitcase handle. Per the manufacturer, you can also tuck the backpack straps behind it when they’re not being used.
Functionality & Durability
In all my uses of this bag I’ve never once had a problem with tearing, ripping, or sagging. This bag does its job, and does it well. The top, bottom, and sides of the bag have a ½ inch of cushioned padding to keep your games safe from almost everything they’re likely to encounter. The exterior of the bag is weather-resistant textured nylon and comes in 4 colors: grey for the Standard bag and red, green, or blue for the Premium bag.
The website claims that the Standard bag is rated for 40 pounds with the backpack straps and up to 50 pounds with the handle, but I have a hard time imagining that you could get enough in the bag to come anywhere close to that amount. The Premium version of the bag is rated up to 65 pounds. Suffice it to say that this bag will carry just about anything you need, including your two year old if you wanted.
The bag features double zippers which track all the way to opposing corners allowing you to easily open the lid all the way. Note that while the outer surface of the bag is water-resistant, the spot where the zippers meet isn’t totally sealed or covered and could allow water in.
For the times when you have to put your bag on the ground like a savage, feel comforted by the 4 heavy-duty textured rubber feet to keep your precious games away from the elements.
I like that you can roll into a game night with this bag, turn it on its side, unzip the flap and grab what you want. I store my games on their sides, so it closely resembles my own game shelves.
The outer dimensions of the BoardGameTables.com Standard bag are 12.5in x 12.5in x 21in. It claims to be capable of holding 7 Ticket to Ride sized games, and while you might be able to cram 7 games of that size into the bag, the last game isn’t going to be happy about it…it would basically be the equivalent of sitting between the two front seats in an Acura MDX; everyone is going to be a bit cramped. If you’re looking for pure carrying capacity then check out the Rothco Canvas Parachute bag.
But if you want to carry lots of games in style and comfort, then the BoardGameTables.com bag would be a good choice. You could easily fit enough in the bag to power several game nights, especially if you utilize the external zippered pouch on the side of the bag. It can hold RPG books, smaller games, or even some snacks.
Portability, Price & Availability
When empty, the BoardGameTables.com bag does fold down to a much smaller size. However, it’s still going to take up some space, about the size of a thick folded beach towel. That means you can fold it down and slide it under a bed, stash it in a closet, or on top of your game shelves like I do.
The Standard bag sells for $29 on their website, while the Premium bag is listed at $49. The bag is also available on Amazon should that be your preference.
BoardGameTables.com proves yet again that quality doesn’t have to be expensive. There are game bags out there costing 2-3 times more than this bag, with the same features. Why? I tend to be pragmatic…I’m willing to pay for quality, but only if it’s worth it, and I think this bag meets that criteria. That said, this bag wouldn’t be my personal choice, for a few specific reasons.
I don’t like the horizontal layout of this bag. I prefer to carry my bags, since I’m usually only walking a short distance. Since the bag is “on its side” it takes up more room in front and behind me which can make walking awkward. I’m tall enough that I can carry the bag in hand without it touching the ground, so the vertical form factor is a better choice for me. Plus carrying your games vertically can be disastrous if a lid comes open in transit.
I also don’t like that there’s no place to stash the backpack straps when you’re carrying the bag in your hand. Since the bag is sideways, the straps just hang awkwardly and could potentially catch on something. It would have been cool if they could have figured out a way to allow the luggage slip to unfasten and cover the backpack straps when not in use. In fact just now when I went to grab the bag to test out the carrying handle, I grabbed the backpack strap by accident. I don’t think this would cause an accident, but they just get in the way.
Regardless of my personal preferences, this bag would be an ideal choice for someone who wants a high quality bag with a large capacity, padded sides, and backpack straps – for all of that is a great deal. But I’ve tried over a half dozen different bags and this one just isn’t the right choice for me.