Written by: Bronson Fiori / Editor
I’ve been a gamer on the go for most of my adult life. In college, I took my laptop with me so I could game in-between classes. I’ve had to ride the bus to work the past year, and wanted to get game time in during my breaks. Then there is the occasional LAN party or convention where you can bet I carry my 3DS, Vita, or laptop with me. Because I carry these things with me almost everywhere, I need a quality bag to protect these expensive items. Since college I have been using the Mass Effect messenger bag from the Bioware store. It has served me well and outside of a slight tear in the shoulder pad has put up with five straight years of abuse, two E3s, two PAX’s, a CES, and many other adventures. Razer is here with their Tactical Backpack and I decided to try it out. The question is, after two month of use, did I switch to the Razer bag?
My first impression was that this thing is heavy duty, which makes sense considering it’s made of the same material they put into flak jackets. I tossed it around, dropped it, got it dirty and despite all that it doesn’t look or feel any worse for wear then when it came out of the box just over two months ago. It even comes with a water proof poncho stored in a secret compartment underneath. This helps make sure your laptop or other gear doesn’t get wet when you’re out and about in a rain storm or when it’s snowing. It also had clips the keep the contents of your bag secure. The only way I’d feel any safer about my equipment being in this bag is if it was bulletproof.
As for the inside of the bag it’s every bit as sturdy and awesome as the outside. It is organized into tons of separate compartments, perfect for storing multiple portable devices, or keeping cables organized. There is even a special compartment specifically for USB cables! The material feels good and a few of the pouches are made of felt, for more delicate items. I do wish the material in the compartment that touches your back was a little less rough, because it did seem to leave the occasional mark on my tablet screen. While it’s nothing that a microfiber cloth won’t fix, it’s still kind of annoying considering the price tag.
Then you have comfort. As someone who always carried a messenger bag it was hard to get used to a backpack. Getting into a messenger bag is faster than a backpack, and with the Razer Tactical Bag it was no exception. But the trade off is there is less strain on my back. With the Mass Effect bag, my shoulder was killing me when carrying heavier items and when I was carrying it over long periods of time. The Razer Bag does a good job of distributing the weight of what I’m carrying evenly. This meant there were very few times where my back was even a little tired. It also has the added bonus of being padded on the back, which is nice if you want to use the bag as a make shift pillow. What’s also great about the padding is that, during the winter, it helps keep you warm.
Finally we have style. Products from Razer tend to be marketed towards people interested in Esports, and they aren’t very subtle about it. The green and black color scheme is fine, but it’s the patches and logos that go to far. There are two patches one that says “Esports Elite”, another that says “For gamers, by gamers”. What’s more, there is a tag that says “remove before fight” on the back. It’s not all bad, though. The inside does look nice and the the patches are at least removable. Ultimately, though, if you are trying to look somewhat professional with this, or not be seen as at least a little geeky, it’s going to be hard.
Overall I love this bag. I am making this a permanent change even though it’s a bit big and a little too focused on being a gamers bag. The way it distributes weight is fantastic, it’s built like a damn tank, the inside is perfect for keeping things organized, and it’s just a huge upgrade from my previous messenger bag. If you are a commuter, a hiker, or just want an amazing bag for travel, you can’t go wrong with the Razer Tactical Backpack.