With Summer in full force, many gamers are undoubtedly hitting the road to visit families or to go on vacation. Any real gamer will tell you that they can’t put your gaming life on hold just because they are away from home. Accessory maker Astro Gaming is here to ensure that you can do just that with a full line of gaming bags
meant to make this process as painless as possible.
Recently, I was able to get my hands on one of their offerings, the Astro Scout. If this one bag is any indication of the quality of their other offerings, you can’t go wrong with anything in this line of products. The Astro Scout gaming backpack is designed to streamline the process of transporting your gear and it does so in grand fashion. The pack, which offers close to 2,200 cubic inches of storage space, may not look like much on the outside, but inside offers all of the bells and whistles that even the most dedicated gamer could desire.
On the surface, the Astro Scout looks fairly plain. There aren't any visible hints on the outside that give indication of its valuable contents. Those who aren’t familiar with the product may mistake it for a run of the mill school bag. The rounded bag features a variety of zipper compartments accessibly on both the top and sides of the bag. There are two main compartments,one accessible from the top and the other on the front surface.
The main storage compartment is designed to house and protect your gaming console (or laptop) of choice. Your hardware is secured in a low pile plush compartment and secured by a velcro strap across the top. Unlike other bags, Astro has also included protective padding on the bottom of the bag too, which ensures that your expensive toys never come in contact with hardened ground surfaces. Space is also available in front of the console department which can house other flat materials such as notebooks, strategy guides, or even a laptop; please note that smaller laptops stored in either area will have room to maneuver around due to the large amount of space and aren’t as protected as an actual video game console (which the bag is designed for).
The secondary compartment, located on the front surface of the bag is where you will be loading a majority of your console’s accessories. The Scout is outfitted with a large variety of compartments secured by mesh-netting and zippers galore. The area even includes a thick, velcro strap meant for securing your headset of choice. A small accessory bag is also included which can be removed at will for items such as memory cards and small adapters or items. There is room enough in there amongst five separate compartments to theoretically charging / power cables, and auxiliary cables galore in addition to dedicated compartments for two modern, console controllers,
The mesh used to form the various compartments is thick yet flexible. You can easily pack a large amount of contents into them thanks to their ability to expand. The zippers used throughout the entire bag are equally as durable and obviously built to withstand repeated usage. As a matter of fact, every single aspect of this bag’s construction is designed with durability in mind. The bag is constructed using ballistic nylon; this thing is rugged to say the least. The handles and straps are heavily padded and reinforced which results in dependable and comfortable transportation. The should straps in particular are expecially comfortable thanks to their contoured design which ensures that when being worn, the bag wraps around your torso.
Another nice feature of the bag, which deals directly with the shoulder straps, lie in how simple it is to secure them. In addition to the high level of comfort, it is easy to tighten and loosen the bag’s fitting on the fly. Both straps are fitted with quick release handles which allow you to cinch up the bag while it is being worn. If the individual security of the straps isn’t enough on your shoulders, you have the ability to fasten a cross-strap across your chest which secures the bag even further.
As an added bonus, the Astro Scout includes a small, fleece-lined compartment on the very top of the bag which is perfect for sun- or gaming-glasses or a handheld console such as the 3DS or Vita. Thanks to the fleece lining, you won’t have to worry about the contents being scratched or damaged. I would highly recommend keeping your smaller, more fragile components in this pocket both for the sake of both safety and convenience.
Sure, all of those features and abilities sound good, but well does it perform? Quite well actually. All of the compartments are easily accessible, both when packing and unpacking. The large amount of pockets also allow you to transport a large variety of goods; you will be hard pressed to find yourself forced to leave something at home because you didn’t have room for it. The Astro makes sure you can pack pretty much anything, within reason, that you desire.
Even loaded to the max, the amount of comfort offered by the bag is extraordinary. Sure, there is a bit of heft to be had when you fill all of the available compartments, but the padding and supports of the bag ensure that weight is evenly distributed on your back and make it as painless as possible. They are also designed to make it easy to slip it off and on while on the run; the process is painless thanks in part to the physical design which adds a ton of value to the bag that can’t be put into words.
The only real criticism that I have with the bag is in regards to the lack of dedicated storage for actual video game media. Sure, you could shove game boxes or a small binder into one of the packing areas, but it would have been nice to include a built in section with slots for game and media discs. This could easily have been done on the very front of the bag which has a very shallow, vertical pocket; the pocket isn’t necessarily large enough to store anything of value and really comes across as wasted space. It had only been fitted with slots for physical media, it would be perfect for transporting games. However, in its current form, it is basically useless.
In the end, the Astro Scout has proven to be an exceptional addition to my gaming arsenal. I travel a lot, and constantly move my consoles with me; thanks to the Scout, I am now doing so with a better piece of mind. Not only do I know that my contents are better protected, it is also more comfortable for me to do so. The simple design on the outside of the bag hides an intricate and elegant layout inside. I feel a bit safer about transporting my property both in terms of how it is protected and by the fact that onlookers don’t have any indication of what I am carrying. I can’t recommend the Astro Scout enough.