The Battle Dragon Bag is Tt eSports' answer to the pro-gamer's equipment carrying woes: A perfect way to transport the delicate equipment the serious competitive gamer needs to excel at their craft. I am not a serious competitive gamer.
I can be serious at times, certainly, and I've been known to become quite competitive when the mood strikes me, but my idea of serious competitive gaming involves "accidentally" spilled drinks, purposefully inept trash talk (Your mum's a nice lady!) and the odd bit of tickling. These are things you don't normally need a professional gaming bag for.
The professional gamer carries a wide array of equipment. They need a bag that can comfortably fit keyboards, mice, ridiculously powerful laptops, special headsets tuned to their exact hearing matrix (a term I may have just made up), and a blow gun in case someone on the Red team just doesn't know when to quit. I, on the other hand, am happy with my $US400 oversized netbook, some granola bars and one of the 20 pairs of cheap earbuds I've collected because I never remember to pack headphones.
So how am I, am gamer so casually competitive I sometimes forget to wear pants, supposed to review a gaming bag meant for the titans of eSports?
I suppose I can just stuff some crap in it.
I was completely unaware that Thermaltake, the PC case, power supply, and cooling solution provider had a gaming accessory line until their friendly public relations person sent along an email with large, colourful pictures in it. Once upon a time the company was perfectly content with making sure the insides of your PC stayed inside and didn't explode, but constant requests from distributors and end-users for mice, keyboards, and gaming headsets brought about the formation of a new division dedicated to selling more things.
Things like the Battle Dragon Bag, a lean, mean, carrying things non-machine. Dressed in black nylon and polyester with red accents (the international colours of cool luggage everywhere), this container of all things stuffable measures in at 35cm wide, 57cm long and 25cm deep. Long and relatively skinny, it's obviously built with a gaming laptop or a keyboard in mind, with the interior sectioned off into a pair of long, thin areas flanking a trio of square-ish compartments capable of holding a large number of snacks or several pairs of superhero-themed underwear. That last bit will make sense in a moment. The bag also harbors a pair of doubled exterior pockets capable of extending the profile of the Battle Dragon by a significant amount when fully packed.
But it's not what's inside your sack but how you carry it, and the Battle Dragon Bag features three different ways to lug it about. There's the removable shoulder strap, which is quite handy but ultimately removable; the side handle, for when you wish to look like you're carrying a puffy black and red not-so-briefcase; and then there's the nifty transforming backpack mode. Unzipping nylon panel on the back of the back reveals a pair of hidden straps and a padded back panel, transforming it into a rather lengthy backpack, perfect for folks that like to hike to their eSports events and don't have a tendency to sweat a backpack-shaped rectangle through their button-ups while navigating the show floor at crowded gaming conventions.
Aha! Gaming conventions; that's how I'd test out the Battle Dragon Bag. I'd take it to BlizzCon 2011 with me, where there'd be plenty of real pro gamers wandering about in case it felt neglected and underutilised.
Blizzcon 2011 Battle Dragon Bage Contents (Arrival): Three button up shirts (rolled), three rather large pairs of jeans (rolled), three T-shirts, four pairs of socks, four pairs of superhero-themed boxer briefs from Walmart (Flash, Batman, Superman and Green Lantern), a pocket camera with battery charge, and 24 granola bars so I could eat healthy for once at a gaming convention.
This all fit in the main compartment, with the exterior pockets left empty in case of airport candy purchase. Even stuffed to the brim I managed to take the Battle Dragon Bag on the plane as a carry-on, no doubt helped by the illusion of smallness any object takes on in comparison to my massive frame. Note that I kept my one piece of major electronic equipment, my laptop, in my normal backpack stowed under the seat, as I like to imagine I'll get writing done on the plane and not spend four hours crushed against strangers trying not to cry.
During the convention the bag did a great job of sitting on my hotel room bed, looking sullen. By the time BlizzCon ended, I rewarded it by stuffing it with more crap.
Blizzcon 2011 Battle Dragon Bage Contents (Departure): Three pairs of dirty jeans (crumpled), three pairs of socks (how did I lose socks?), three sweat-stained t-shirts, four pairs of un-super heroic underwears, a limited edition Mega Bloks StarCraft Battlecruiser (I was amazed this fit) and 24 granola bars.
The second time around I utilised the front pockets to their full puffiness, and wound up checking the bag at the airport due to gaining another carry-on bag filled with stuff I didn't really need. The bag survived the flight home. Seeing it tumbling down onto the baggage carousel at Atlanta Hartsfield airport was like seeing an old friend tumbling down the baggage carousel at Atlanta Hartsfield. I was incredibly tired that night.
The Battle Dragon Bag handled BlizzCon like a champ, but I still felt I hadn't given the bag a full accounting, so I stuffed random things inside it to see how well they fit. As you can see in the gallery, it's quite the little carrying case, easily accommodating budget frozen dinners and iced tea vodka, Unicron the world-eater, two 12-packs of Mountain Dew (it probably could have held four), several dozen diapers, a live animal and not one but two five-month-old children.
It would not, however, hold the Skyrim Collector's Edition, and it would not zip closed with the two children in it, so points off for that.
It's not so much that I put ridiculous things (sorry, children) in it, but the fact that it survived me putting ridiculous things in it that impresses me about the Battle Dragon Bag. It's a tough, versatile and stylish piece of equipment that should be more than capable of keeping your gear collected and safe from harm, whether you are eGaming or just travelling. It's a little larger than I'd recommend for day-to-day use, but then aren't we all?
The TT Gaming Battle Dragon Bag retails for $US59.99. It's available now at the Thermaltake online store.
I hope they don't expect to get their giant black backpack back.
It's pulling us in!
Conquered by Skyrim.
Time for a picnic!
Makes an excellent diaper bag.
Dew bag. Get it? Like doo rag, only... see, it doesn't work if I have to explain it.
No animals were harmed during the shooting of this photo. Afterwards, however...
Don't worry, their mother approved of this. In fact, the next picture was her idea.
Seamus prefers having the bag to himself. Archer prefers eating himself.