When you want to take your laptop with you on the go, you'll find that there is no shortage of laptop bags available in a huge assortment of styles and designs. But what about all the fighting game fans in the audience who want a safe and secure way to transport their FightSticks from event to event? For that, the Qanba Arcade Stick Bag, available from Canadian Joysticks, could be quite the ideal solution.
It's not just some generic backpack that happens to be big enough to hold your arcade stick, because the Qanba Arcade Stick Bag has been custom tailored for this very specific purpose. It also comes with some extra pockets and pouches where you can stow the rest of your gear.
Taking the Fight to the Streets
As far as first impressions go, I'm quite pleased with this bag. It's made from a pretty good quality material and you can tell that some care went into the stitching and overall design. The mainly black exterior features some slick red accents and even the zippers have a little red ball at the end of them, mildly reminiscent of the balltop on your arcade stick.
The overall shape is very rectangular, unlike some of the more rounded shapes you might find with generic backpacks and other bags. This looks pretty good when you're holding the handles like a duffel bag, but I found that using the padded shoulder strap (like a sling bag) made for a somewhat odd appearance. Of course, that's a matter of personal preference.
Strapping into the Padded Arcade Stick Compartment
The main compartment, of course, is used to hold your arcade stick. There are no fewer than six Velcro straps built into this padded compartment to help securely hold your FightStick as you make your way to local tournaments and other gaming events in your town. The padding is ample and it is quite plush, ensuring that your gear is well protected.
The Velcro straps can then be used to further secure the arcade stick in place. As mentioned, this is largely designed for the Qanba Q4RAF and other similarly-sized sticks, but I found no trouble in getting it to the fit the Hori RAP VX SA Kai too. Given these relative dimensions, the Qanba Arcade Stick Bag should also be perfectly suitable for something like the Mad Catz FightStick TE or FightStick Pro.
However, we very quickly run into a very common problem when traveling with an arcade stick. The main body itself is well protected, but you still have the actual joystick portion with the balltop protruding out. Because of the largely rectangular design, this is somewhat less of an issue here, but you could theoretically risk some damage there too. Thankfully, Qanba has included a solution for that too.
Protecting the Stick and Extra Parts
Also bundled in with the Qanba Arcade Stick Bag is a special foam insert. This is wrapped up in some felt, but you'll notice that there is an oval-shaped hole in the foam. This lines up with the protruding joystick when you place it on top. That way, the joystick is also suitably protected.
Having all that extra foam just feels like it is adding some unnecessary bulk, but aside from the protection concerns, the foam insert also comes with an added bonus. There is a zipper on there to open up the felt wrapping and this reveals a special compartment to hold a screwdriver and six repair parts. If you're a true enthusiast, then you'll know that this is a good spot to put your extra buttons, balltops, or whatever else you may need.
Other Compartments for Other Stuff
Absolutely, the focus of a product like this is to hold your arcade stick, but it also has several other compartments to hold all your other stuff. There is another full zippered portion, shown here, with two extra slots that look similar to what you may find in a messenger bag style design. You can see the Samsung ATIV tablet in there. There is space, but realize that you need to zip this shut. Putting something a little thicker, like the RetroDuo Portable, might not be such a good idea. That front portion also has some basic slots for pens and other knick-knacks.
Also, both the front and back exterior portions of the bag have an extra pocket that is secured with a magnetic button. As with messenger bags and other similarly-shaped bags, you wouldn't expect to put anything too thick in these pockets either, but it's great for quick access to registration forms for instance.
MEGATechie Ready for the Next Battle or MEGATechie Insert Coin to Continue?
It goes without saying that this is a niche product. If you have no intention of traveling around with an arcade stick for your fighting game adventures, then you'd have no interest in this kind of product in the first place. If you are in this market, though, you'll find that there aren't too many options for bags that are custom suited for your arcade stick.
Available from Canadian Joysticks for $59.99, the Qanba Arcade Stick Bag really fits the bill. I found the foam insert to be a little on the thick side and the bag won't carry all that much more than just your FightStick (you could use the main compartment for a laptop instead if you wanted), but it performs the job it needs to do and it does it quite well. And I'm totally digging those red balltop-esque zippers.