Since I moved to London in April 2015, I’ve been a regular at the weekly meetups of Croydon Boardgamers. It’s only then I realised the woes of transporting boardgames.
My usual method had been similar to many: a Sports Direct bag. They’re cheap, strong and big enough to carry a handful of large games, but they’re hardly ideal. Firstly, they’re open top, so the contents have no protection from a rainy British commute to your meetup. Secondly, their shape means you have to stack your games vertically and lean them against things to ensure boxes don’t shimmy themselves open and spill their components into the bottom.
Then comes along Canopy: a kickstarter campaign by Level 3B that raised $300k to create a bespoke bag just for boardgames. It looks promising: splashproof, padded and designed specifically so games can be transported flat. But with a price tag of £100 and delivery estimated for April 2017, I just couldn’t bring myself to back it.
But it appears there’s been a solution under our noses the entire time. The ‘Cajon’ is a wooden percussion instrument that, like boardgames, sometimes needs to be transported. So they come with bags, and many share dimensions with the ‘common’ boardgame box size; around 30cm2. So, for £25 you can get a bag that just works; either in duffelbag or backpack style.
I went with the duffelbag style and have used it twice now for my boardgaming meetups. It’s such a massive improvement for what is a relatively small investment. I can snugly fit three or four larger games – like Quantum, Five Tribes and Suburbia – and still have space to also pack some microgames. Admittedly, it only really works if they’ve stacked vertically, but because the bag is so tight to the box size, I no longer need to lean the bag against to stop boxes accidentally opening up.