Monday, September 19, 2011
Product Review: Battlefoam P.A.C.K. GO
Among the many things I've learned over the years of attending Adepticon and other GTs, there's one thing that stands out as probably the most practical of them all.
Pack less crap!!!
This coming Adepticon I'm taking my own advice, and planning out a more efficient means of transporting what I need to bring. This includes the army case. Since I'm bringing Grey Knights this time, the P.A.C.K. 720 is a bit much in terms of space. I knew I wanted another Battlefoam product, but wasn't sure which one.
Then I found the P.AC.K. GO video and preview. Guess what arrived on my doorstep last Thursday?
Considering the P.A.C.K. GO was on preorder when I bought it, the wait once it was released was short and sweet. Unfortunately when it arrived, it was pouring rain and I was lucky in that when I opened the box, the water hadn't penetrated it yet. While in no way could Battlefoam could have done anything for that, they could have encased their product in some sort of plastic shipping wrap. This would have protected the bag a bit from the elements. This seems like a small thing, but honestly, it's turned out to be my largest criticism in the whole process.
The bag itself is great. The capacity is right between the 720 and the 432, which is a perfect size, in my opinion. I bought the pluck foam load out which comes with 9 inches (229 mm) of pluck foam, which breaks down to 2x 1.5 inch (38 mm) tray, 1x 2 inch (50 mm) tray and 1x 3 inch (75 mm) tray. A bonus is that the foam trays are interchangeable with the ones from the 720, which is the other one I have, though the trays do fit in 'sideways' like the 432 trays do. A minor annoyance for me, but worth mentioning since it is a review. It's also worth mentioning that this minor annoyance is offset by the fact that, again, the trays from my 720 are interchangeable with the GO.
A few bag dimensions are:
Inside Bag Dimensions - 16W x 9L x 12H" (405W x 229L x 305H mm)
Large Front Pocket Dimensions - 16W x 3L x 13H" (406W x 75L x 330H mm)
Small Front Pocket Dimensions - 12W x 1L x 9H" (305W x 25L x 229H mm)
Side Pocket Dimensions aren't given on the BF site.
Love the front pocket, since it's the perfect size for my iPad, and the larger pocket is perfect for all my books and codexes. The larger side pockets are excellent for any large templates, dice and miscellaneous needs. Honestly though, one of my favorite features are the elastic, mesh side pockets that are great for holding drinks. A final note on the physical dimensions would be that this is a great size for a carry-on for a plane ride. Very well planned there.
The primary carrying method is a backpack style, and it performs admirably. Sure, it's a bit bulky, but not uncomfortable in any way. If you want to carry it by the top handle, the backpack straps fit neatly into a pocket on the back, which could also potentially be used for a codex or pad of paper when the backpack straps are in use. It has a chest cross strap that is fixed with a pinch lock if you want some extra stability, though I don't see myself using it. While I do understand that this is a backpack style case, I do wish there was an option for a shoulder strap. It's not a complaint on my part, more of a "they did so much with this bag, that would have been nice", type of comment.
A final, small feature that I like is that the entire face of the small front pocket is a soft material that takes hook Velcro nicely. Great for me since I work and design at a printer and will be getting a large Miniature Tim patch to place there for personalization and identification.
I'd have to give the P.A.C.K. GO a 4.5 out of 5 starts here overall. I had a couple minor wishes for it, and one small criticism about the packing for the elements for shipping, but other than that, it more than exceeded my expectations for a new carrying case. It's going to be extremely difficult to ever get a 5 out of 5 from me on any product, but Battlefoam came pretty darn close on this one. Go check out the video on this one folks, it's worth a look if you're in the market for a travel-friendly bag.
And no, I didn't receive any compensation for this review... Just an honest review from a consumer. Though Romeo, if you're reading this, I could use another 2 inch pluck foam tray and a 4 inch one ;)