Traveling to different Anime conventions and tournaments over the past few years, such as Anime Expo, Anime NYC, and CEOtaku, I always struggled with a good backpack to carry my work equipment and my portable systems. While the Jansport backpack I’ve used for school mostly did the job, it wasn’t really meant to carry my accessories properly and with the necessary protection from potential scratches. Thankfully, MAINGEAR released their Classic Backpack line which comes equipped for any traveling gamer or convention goer. It comes in three color combinations as well; Black with red, gray with red, and white with black.
The main compartment comes with three pockets—one for your gaming laptop, tablet, or portable gaming systems, like a PlayStation Vita or Nintendo Switch. They are padded with a plush interior that protects your items from scratches which is always a must when you are traveling. However, what I liked the most was how it kept my things tidy. While both my Nintendo Switch and iPad have screen protectors, the idea of just throwing them inside all together was not favorable for me. Even when put on different compartments, I did not like my portable systems and tablet just hanging lose, either. Thanks to the pockets, everything is tidy and in plain sight.
It was much easier to pull out my Switch to co-op games such as God Eater 3 and Xenoverse 2 or even duke it out on some anime fighting games or even Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Aside from the three pockets, a pouch inside with one side nylon and plush in the other. I have not really used it during my trips for other than my wireless mouse. It’s pretty big and wide to fit anything of the size.
Other compartments include a water bottle pocket which does its job well. I only really used it for the Ramune drinks I bought during Anime NYC but those are usually not that big, so they fit perfectly. There is also the top compartment which is perfect for your pair of glasses or smaller things like small portable chargers or portable game capture cards. While personally I have not used it to put in my glasses while out, I briefly put it inside and they fit well. It also has the same plush interior, so it will stay well protected. On the other side of the water bottle pocket, it has a zipper pocket meant for battery packs and includes a cable passthrough hole. It looks aesthetically good
It also has two front compartments like many backpacks, one which is useful pens, notebooks or any accessories you need to carry, so while it’s mostly a backpack for the traveling gamer, it also servers well for work and school purposes, especially given the decent space in the main compartment, even with all three pockets being used. However, I’ve only used the top-front compartment to put in my cables while the one in the very front to stuff in all the free pins I’ve collected during the convention
Lastly, the backpack has two rear security pockets on the bottom, both of which are very useful for things like wallets or to hold any sort of ID but one of them has a Bluetooth-enabled Tile tracker. I have not used it in a real-life situation, but it works well when I tested it and usually, I had a good experience with Tile products. Excluding that one time, I almost left my old backpack during last year’s NYCC Pressroom due to exhaustion, I am usually careful and have my backpack with me at all times, so I do not think I will ever use it any time soon but it’s still a good addition.
Most importantly, the backpack is very comfortable. After all, everything I wrote above would be moot if the backpack were to be uncomfortable to carry. It felt really like everything, even during the times when it was fully packed with my equipment, books, and other unnecessary junk I picked up during conventions.
While this is a great premium backpack, I do not think it is worth the full retail price if you don’t plan to use it long-term. Even with all its bells and whistles while great, it is mostly luxury that you can live without if you know how to organize your backpack well. I personally travel a lot to different conventions, events, and even out of the city to visit family. It made carrying all I need much easier all together in one bag. So if you’re as a seasoned gamer that travels a lot, the MAINGEAR Classic Backpack is worth it.