A couple of weeks ago, I got ThinkGeek.com’s “Bag of Holding” messenger bag as an early Yuletide gift from my awesome wife. I immediately decided to put the messenger bag to the challenge of its namesake by stuffing as much gaming paraphernalia into as I could. After the dust settled, the Bag of Holding was able to carry 22 pounds of gaming goodness!
The bag itself is constructed from a heavy and durable grey canvas, very much like denim in texture. Unlike it is advertised, the “fourth Velcro compartment” does not use Velcro, it instead uses two lightly magnetic snaps like the outside flap does. There is definitely a lot of storage space and the main padded laptop compartment feels like it might actually protect something.
Here are the details from ThinkGeek’s site:
- Main padded laptop compartment big enough to hold a 17″ laptop
- Interior pocket dimensions:
- Main Padded Laptop Compartment: 16″ x 13.5″ x 3″
- Huge second compartment: 16″ x 13.5″ x 3″
- Third compartment: 13″ x 10″ x 1″
- Fourth Velcro compartment: 12″ x 7″ x 1″
- Front zipper pocket: 13″ x 5″
- Rear Document pocket: 16″ x 10″
- Sturdy canvas, brass zippers and pop-rivet construction
- d20 badge with “Bag of Holding” proudly printed on the front flap
Mad Brew’s Loadout
Main Laptop Compartment
In the main compartment I opted out of a laptop and instead packed the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, Pathfinder Bestiary, Pathfinder Bonus Bestiary, and the ever useful Ultimate Toolbox. That’s 1346 pages (cover to cover) of gaming! You could easily keep two large books and a laptop in here.
Huge Second Compartment
The second compartment is the same size as the main compartment above, but boasts an extra pouch to help keep things organized. I packed a GameMastery Combat Pad (in the pouch), a tackle box (that can hold 22 medium sized minis), two dungeon tiles, and a flip-mat.
In the slightly smaller middle compartment, I packed the venerable D&D Rules Cyclopedia and the Domains of Dread Ravenloft hardcover. This amounts to another 608 pages of gaming information.
Fourth “Snap” Compartment
The front pouch is where I stored all my pens, pencils, dice, and item cards. I fit 5 dice bags (80+ dice), 5 pencils, an eraser, four ink pens, 5 wet erase markers, and two item card sets comfortably inside. This compartment garners one, of my two, complaints about this messenger bag. Except for two pencils, I had to store all the pens and pencils loose as the pouches were too short and that left only 2 elastic slots. I might actually mod the bag with some additional pencil holders.
Front Zipper Pocket
In the front zipper pouch, I put a Pathfinder Tales novel, Prince of Wolves, and my smartphone. Yeah, it might be considering cheating since the novel sticks out of the zipper, but you have to let your nerd flag fly.
Rear Document Pocket
In the rear pocket, I put two card games, Three Dragon Ante and Beer Money. I could have easily fit another card deck or a paperback in there, but I was beginning to fear the shoulder strap wouldn’t hold.
Under the Flap
While not detailed as a compartment, I was also able to tuck a 25” x 25” battlemat under the flap before I snapped it shut. It did require some re-organization of the front zipper pocket and the fourth snap compartment in order for the flap snaps to remain fastened. Which brings forth my second minor complaint, the snaps could be more heavy duty (circled in red above).
22 Pounds Strap Test
My concerns about the strap (or at least its mounts) weren’t warranted at all. The bag hung on my office door all night without any visible wear or stress. I can’t say the same for some of the weaker geek shoulders out there. I carried the bag to and from my car several times and while the weight was manageable for me, I doubt I’d want to carry this loadout with me all through a convention.
If there had been a better pen & pencil organizer and stronger fasteners, I would have given it a full 5 flask rating, so I guess I’ll just have to slap it with a 4.8. Overall, I feel like this messenger bag would be a great way for gamers to tote around their stuff. Besides, I saw plenty of 3.0 & 3.5 era messenger bags at GenCon that could use replacements. Get yours at ThinkGeek now!