- No telescoping handle
- No adjustable compartments
Whether you're on your way to your next tournament game, a summer road trip to a major scenario game, or just playing at your local field on the weekend, this setup will carry just about everything. It's not exactly a bag....it's TWO bags. It's a gear bag and a travel bag. They have seperate bags to help keep your play gear from dirtying up your casual stuff you wore to the field but they clip together with 4 large, adjustable clips and can be hauled around as one. So we will divide this review into two parts.
THE TRAVEL BAG
There are two luggage rails to provide support for all the weight that can be on top of it. The entire bottom has reinforced plastic that extends to the sides and front of the bag for the extra wear and tear it receives. The bottom shell of the bag is also hard with a form fitted plastic, so the entire bottom is nice and sturdy. When you're carrying around over 50 lbs, you don't want it to be a limp noodle. The bottom edge has a hard plastic handle for grabbing onto when you need to lift the bag up and two rollerblade wheels that look pretty durable for easy and smooth rolling. The wheels are great for indoors but not very functional for outdoor use through grass or over rocks. The reinforced plastic body continues through the side and up to the compartment opening. The bag itself has only two compartments. One for footwear and the other for clothing. The bottom compartment has a name and address slot for identification and has two metal rings that allow the compartment to breathe and lets your shoes dry out. Inside the shoe compartment, there is a plastic lining in case your shoes or wet or if your toiletries bust open, the liquid will be contained and will not stain your clothes. The liner itself is velcroed on one side to help in cleaning up accidental spills. As you open the clothing compartment, the flap has three clear plastic pockets. You can easily put your passport, maps, directions, etc, in these pockets. The clear plastic isn't to keep your documents dry but to to provide a solid waterproof surface off of your clothes. If anything happened in the top bag, it won't seep through the bag and into your clothes. Inside the clothes compartment, you will find a felt lined bottom that has two Y straps with a clip to keep your delicates held in place, much like what you would see in luggage bags. The felt liner is velcroed to the bottom surface and can easily be removed and cleaned.
THE GEAR BAG
This is where the fun begins. One noticeable difference between the travel bag and gear bag is the bottom. On the gear bag, there is no hard surface or luggage rails. Instead, there is padding on the bottom. Padding? For what? Upon closer inspection, I realized that there are hidden backpack straps. There are shoulder straps and a waist and chest strap for carrying the bag around as a backpack. It might be a bit on the heavy side, but it actually works. Fully loaded at 40 lbs, I was easily able to carry it around on my back and I'm a small guy at 5' 7", 160 lbs. The shoulder pads could have used a bit more padding but it's not meant for long hikes. And the chest and waist straps help keep the bag from shifting and bouncing around on your backside and keeps the shoulder straps from slipping off. If you compare the two, you will see that the straps can be zippered and tucked away when you want to wheel it around and don't want the straps to get caught on anything and everything or get caught underneath the wheels. On the top of the bag, there is an external compartment that is about the size of a kid's backpack. It has a pocket to slide stuff into and six looped straps. What the straps are for, I don't know but I would assume you could clip anything you wanted onto them. Inside the little bag, there is a netted pocket that has a zipper. The entire compartment is padded very well. If you wanted to protect something from all directions, this is the compartment I would put it in. It can easily hold a side holster with extra room.
Like the travel bag, the bottom compartment is meant for footwear. It has metal ringed openings on both sides for ventilation and a plastic liner. One downfall I could see on this bag is room for tanks. So I put mine in this compartment instead. Once I travel somewhere, I may have to do some shifting around. I was able to put 2 68 cu in tanks, 1 20 oz CO2 tank, a jersey, and a squeegee stick and carrying strap into this single compartment alone. I'm sure you could fit more if you wanted. As you move towards the front, you will find numerous carrying straps. One on each side, one between the gear and footwear compartments, and one on the front. Plenty of places to grab and throw around something heavy. There are two long velcro straps on each side towards the front. Any excess play the bag has in the front end can easily be taken up by the straps to make things more stable and firm. The sturdier an object is, the easier it is to carry around and transport. Just above the straps, you will find a zippered compartment. Kind of tight to get into but it has two metal o-rings for venting and padding on one side. Each compartment is on either side of the mask compartment. I can hold a few X7 hoppers in there if I so chose but I only use one. I put grenades in the other but I may move those to another compartment. On the left side is a long zippered compartment. It does not have padding on the outside but it does between this compartment and the main. It is pretty large and can handle an insert kit with no problem. On the right side is a work compartment. Similar is size to the left compartment, this one is purely functional and has an intended purpose. Tthere are two straps on each side of the flap, which is reinforced BTW, to provide a small work table. There are also 3 netted storage pockets and one long netted pocket on top for spare parts and tools. Perfect for oil, grease, allen keys, screw drivers, paper towels, etc. There is enough room with the pockets filled for a Tippmann parts kit, extra grip, and braided hose with ASA adapter. On the table itself, there is a rubber rimmed magnetic strip. This is perfect for keeping bolts, springs, and any other small metallic parts that could easily get lost. There are 3 rare earth magnets in the strip, judging by their strength, that can easily hold on to the parts and won't budge while you're exploring pockets for the right size allen key. The rubber ridge is raised to also aid in preventing pieces from sliding off of the magnets and rolling off the table. The table itself doesn't lay completely flat and some may not like that but it's designed that way for a reason. It's not strong enough to hold your marker onto, but rather individual parts. If something does start to roll, it will roll into the pocket and not off of the table and into the grass, mud, or snow. So even if you do lose a part, chances are it fell right into the compartment. I thought there wasn't quite enough structural support in the gear bag, itself, to really warrant this compartment. It can be functional but the sides are too limp and the table kind of falls down when too much weight is applied. The very front compartment is for your mask. It has padding on all sides and is the perfect shape for it. If you look at the second picture, the two side compartments I talked about earlier have velcroed padded walls that can fold down to allow for one large compartment. Its pretty nice in that it gives a person some options. Also, in front of the mask compartment is another pocket. Not very big but just as big as the ones on the two sides of the mask compartment, I would say. On the main storage compartment, you will find two netted pockets, that I decided to keep manuals and schematics in for safe keeping. Between the main and mask compartments is a divided wall with a zippered pocket. I decided to put my CO2 cartridges in there for my sidearm. On either side of the comparment are 4 barrel holders, allowing a total of 8 barrels to be held inside. Since I don't have that many barrels, I tried using them for my CO2 cartridges and they fit but stuff moving around causes them to slide out and fall. Not a very good place for them. The straps are mounted on a long, padded pocket that has a single velcro strap over the middle. It has padding on the barrel flap and between it and the outside compartment, making it perfect to protect other equipment such as flat chronographs. On the backside of the compartment is a netted pocket. The main compartment can hold one A-5, a 3 pod harness, 3 extra pods, and a Tac 8 carrying case.
Overall, I thought there was little space wasted on this bag. They put pockets and compartments galore throughout. The build quality is excellent, which is typical of Dye. I would expect this bag to be able to take years of abuse. Some of the features were great ideas but some, such as the work compartment could have been implemented a little bit better. I would have also like to have seen a tank specific compartment that offered plenty of padding. I also think they could have divided the travel bag into 4 compartments for all clothing; both casual and play. That being said, I really like this bag and think you get a lot for the money. You really don't realize how much stuff you can fit into this thing until you get it home. I am thoroughly happy with this product and can't wait to take it to my first scenario event. The only reason it gets an 8 is because of the lack of the teloscoping handle, small wheels, and customizable compartments.