People seem to have a very love/hate relationship with accessories. With each new handheld, so many of us rush out to buy some sort of case, protector, skin or something else we are absolutely sure will protect our new investment from that inevitable drop, crush, throw or toss that will destroy our beloved new toy.
Of course, within a week or two, you stop carrying your new toy around in the jacket. The carrying case ends up in a drawer somewhere. In short, once the honeymoon is over, the luggage goes in the attic.
Lately, though, I find myself carrying around a lot more electronics; my big ass HTC Thunderbolt, the 3DS (I’ve become a whore for shooting 3D pictures), a higher quality P&S camera, a USB power pack … the list seems to grow every year. So, when I went to pick out the “wedding suit” for my new 3DS, I decided to get something a little bigger that could not only carry my 3DS but my other electronics as well.
Enter the MadCatz Travel Bag – promising a roomy bag for any Nintendo DS (although marketed to 3DS right now of course – and the front branding says 3DS).
I own about 350 Nintendo DS games – but like so many others, I’ll use a flash cart to help me carry them all around with me in my DSi. Since this isn’t an option for the 3DS yet (heck, it might never be), I was attracted to the numerous slots (21 in fact) for games plus the fold out design is clean and usable.
As with many of these cases, there are adjustable (via Velcro) inserts that come preconfigured in four sections – three squares and a rectangle for the game system. The sections can be moved around for a few different configurations – but you’ll likely end up keeping the default configuration.
The front of the case has a very clean DS logo montage and the “lid” features a double zipper design. The top has a sturdy handle – but there are no straps (nor clips for straps) so if you are looking for an “over the shoulder” solution, you’re out of luck.
The overall construction of the bag meets or exceeds any of MadCatz other bags or carry-alongs. I tested it’s durability by putting all my “take with you to an event” electronics (cell, p&s camera, 3DS, battery, etc) and carried it by its handle. The bag appears to hold up the weight just fine. Over time, of course, it’s going to start getting droopy – as all bags tend to do – but I think you’ll get through the honeymoon phase and beyond.
The price tag is a bit higher than most bags – $20 vice the normal $15 or so. Totally to be expected the week after the 3DS launches – I expect we’ll see it cheaper in the coming months. Oddly enough, the bag isn’t available on Amazon for several more days from now (same price, but you might not have to pay tax or shipping – depending on your Amazon Prime status).
Is it for you? You’ll have to decide. For me, it will likely join the dusty collection of bags within six months – but I’m going to try to use it as a more “all purpose” carry-along. Construction-wise and design is solid – so if you need the extra room to haul your crap around and you don’t have a man-clutch already – this might be just what the Dr. Mario ordered.
Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+