Astro’s latest set of products are a bit outside of its usual lane. Instead of releasing a new gaming headset or controller, it has worked with reputable bag and accessory brand Timbuk2 during the pandemic to make a backpack and a sling bag with Astro’s name printed on it.
Astro’s focus on gaming means that, unsurprisingly, each bag has been made to carry your gaming essentials. As such, they’re built with sections dedicated to storing — and, crucially, protecting — things like headphones, controllers, and laptops.
The smaller sling bag, called the CS03, costs $79.99 and seems tailor-made for Switch owners looking for protection and utility from a bag. Lifting the bag’s magnetically sealed front flap reveals a pocket to store keys or other small objects like a phone. The main zipper reveals a larger section with small sleeves that can carry up to 14 Switch game cartridges. There’s enough room here in the stretchy mesh sleeves for things like cables and earbuds.
The Nintendo Switch fits inside the bag’s main pocket perfectly and aims to provide enough padding to protect your console from bending or suffering a fatal blow. The console section will fit the Switch or Switch Lite (it will also be able to fit the slightly larger Switch OLED that will release later this year, Astro told The Verge). It’s also water-resistant.
For gamers with a lot more gear to lug around, the BP35 backpack costs $199.99 and has 35 liters of total storage volume. Like the CS03, it is water-resistant, and it’s packed with zippers and pockets. Unzipping its outermost layers reveals one of its highlights: a headphone holder. Headphones that have swiveling ear cups can be secured with a durable-feeling fabric hook that clasps onto a button. Within the same pocket, there are spaces big enough to fit (and protect) a phone or a portable battery pack, a controller, some cables, and other small objects like pens.
The BP35 is a sizable backpack, but it’s still not quite big enough to easily fit modern consoles (you practically need a small suitcase to pack a PS5 or Xbox Series X). But there’s more than enough storage capacity in its main compartment to fit something like an Xbox Series S and a few additional controllers. If you aren’t a console gamer, it can carry up to two 16-inch laptops. So, if you’re into PC gaming more than console gaming, this might be all the space that you need to pack the necessities.
Having seen and handled both bags over the past few days, I think these could be good options for gamers who don’t want to fuss with figuring out how to pack gaming accessories. The CS03 and BP35 are doing that for you, with enough padding to feel like your investments are being protected.
Both bags are available now through Astro’s site, as well as online through Timbuk2. If you want to see them in person, Timbuk2 is stocking them at its flagship stores around the US.