That's pretty confident to put that on your banner but time and time again I have talked to people who own and use the Battle Foam systems and they only have one complaint, the cost. I won't lie I am pretty cheap most the time (it's not my fault I am Asian =P ) However the cost was what was keeping me from making the plunge for a bit myself. I will confess I have held several of the bags in my hands while looking at them at events only to decide that the cost was a bit more than I wanted to spend at the moment. How ever a few weeks back my Parent's send me a PACK AIR in the mail as a late birthday gift. Yeah my sister got help with college and I totally scored a PACK AIR... I clearly made out on that deal right? SUCKER!!! Moving on....
I have held off on doing a review because I wanted to use the bag at a couple events giving it a good test run before I said anything about it.
This is the bag as most people will use it most the time. It has wheels and a handle. I first opened the top pocket and closed it to see how well it stays shut. Then I pulled on the pocket in all different directions to see if it would rip easily. It was stitched well and I could comfortably put tape measure dice bags, and other odd shaped larger things in it. However while it won't spill during normal use I wouldn't put anything in these two side pockets if I was to check the bag at a Airport. Things would fall out of them I am pretty sure.
on the side it has legs so you can set it down long way and use the handle on the other side. I again pulled on these and flexed them all around to see if they would break or if they had been attached cheaply. Again they appear very secure and I think they do the job well.
This is the bag on its side using the legs seen above. The handle is sturdy and stitched well into the bag. I held it by the handle and shook the bag all over the place honestly to see if I could tear it. I didn't put my foot on it and attempt to pry the handle off mind you I just shook it all over to see if it would loosen the stitching.
These legs are the ones that normally break on cheap luggage I have owned in the past. These are secure in place though I can't even wiggle them at all. They are flush against the bag and short of breaking the plastic itself I don't see these being a problem. The pocket on the bottom is exactly the same as the one on the other side. The wheels are double roller blade wheels as far as I can tell and roll well. They are attached just as secure as the bottom legs without any give. (again a note as above I wouldn't put anything in this pocket if you are checking this thing at a airport)
The front pocket is nice sized and closes very snug. I again opened it and pulled on it several times this way and that to see if it was secure or if it had any give in the stitching. Again as above I had no issues with it at all.
The pocket is comfortably sized to be able to put rule books or army lists inside as you can see.
The hand part on the back is just as sturdy as the rest of the bag. I pulled this thing up and down several times to see if it was always smooth or if it would stick. I also shook it all around because in cheaper bags or suitcases this handle tends to break or bend easy. I personally again had no issue with this thing. Small note the pictures below show the handle slid out. It actually locks into place in two different positions.
I have since taken this bag to two different weekends out but I haven't taken it on the road yet. I did however after doing my initial inspection hand the thing to my 6 year old. I basically let him play with it all over the house up and down the stairs. He pulled it around and beat it up for a few hours, at one point I even found him sitting in it like a boat. The bag seemed to hold up well and didn't have any rips.
These are my stairs that my son pulled the bag up and down some times using the wheels, and I know at least twice he just rolled it down. (disclaimer the bag held up well but I didn't put my models in it while he rolled it down the stairs)
Some how in the house... Without going outside my son ended up getting dirt or mud on the bag.
I took some warm water and soap with a washcloth and scrubbed the bag.
Once it dried it appears to have cleaned up well. Something else to note the bag cleans well if you get it dirty while travelling.
I so far really love the bag. I have again taken it to a few local events and it does exactly what I was looking for in a bag. I so far will recommend the bag to anyone on the border about picking one up. I will be reviewing the Foam itself and the load out I am using in the next article. I will say that I can easily fit a second army in this bag, or my clothes so I wouldn't need another bag while travelling.
A quick note about the company.
Battle Foam is owned by Romeo who travels to several events through out the year. I have personally shook his hand and talked to him several times at different places. He is open and willing to talk to you about whatever or explain anything to do with the bags or his system. Over all he really tries for great customer service. Since I am but one of "the mass" I am sure he doesn't have a clue who I am but I was greeted with the same Respect and good attitude every time I talked with him. Customer Service is a big deal to me when I deal with any company so I wanted to make a note that Romeo and his guys have so far gone above and beyond for everyone I have personally talked to about them so far.
I talked to my Dad about shipping and I appear to have gotten the bag about a week after it was ordered. So nothing to complain about there.
I wanted to leave you with the Video they use on the site about PACK AIR it shows everything I said above, and of course for more information you can go to www.Battlefoam.com.
<Drkmorals can also be found doing the FTW spotlight and on his own personal site The Emperor's Codex. >