Popular gaming hardware brand Astro, and luxury sports bag company, Timbuk2, recently joined forces to produce a line of gaming bags meant "for travel-centric gamers, content creators, and esports athletes." However, I've found a new demographic neither one of these companies anticipated, the gamer dad.
I have a confession to make. I'm not too fond of our diaper bags. They are too big, too grey, and not the vibe I'm looking for when I'm out in public. I mean, I don't need a Call of Duty tacti-cool looking diaper bag, just something that doesn't make me look like a total dork.
The funny thing is, when I first saw the lifestyle images of these bags during the product briefing a few weeks ago, my first thought wasn't, "Wow, finally bags meant to hold all my gear during trade shows, or work trips, in a way that doesn't destroy my back," which they seem great for, by the way. As a new father of a three-month-old who poops a lot, my first thought was, "Man, I should use that fanny pack as a diaper bag."
Astro was kind enough to send me both the BP35 Backpack and CS03 Crossbody Sling to check out. Since I wasn't planning to do any major traveling, I checked to see how well these bags stack up as day-to-day diaper bags. And you know what? Not bad.
It turns out that what makes a good diaper bag and good gaming bag have a lot of overlap. You need to be able to pack in everything you could need while also quickly accessing the one item you definitely need right now without digging around for ages. Whether it's a gamepad or pacifier, all the compartments, dividers, and pockets are handy for organizing.
Both bags are black, subtle, and seem like they could handle some abuse. For those of you who aren't parents, good diaper bags are not cheap (opens in new tab). It's a terrible rabbit hole you can fall into, getting stuck researching overpriced designer bags (opens in new tab) or ones that can transform into mini-diaper changing stations (opens in new tab). Gamer backpacks are meant to carry things like your giant gaming laptop or cameras without worrying about damaging them, and they are just as expensive.
I've been using the larger BP35 Backpack (opens in new tab), which retails for $199, to prepare for longer outings with the baby, such as pediatrician appointments or extended visits to the grandparents. The bag is huge on the inside, I can fit everything from our original diaper backpack and then some. There's even a spot where you can stash a bottle without worrying about it rattling around the bottom of the bag. The interior divides into three different partitions that are perfect for keeping all the baby goods separated by use; feeding, diaper change, spare outfits. Interestingly enough, almost all of the baby stuff found a pocket to live in a while, leaving a ton of unused bag space.
- Baby wipes
- Alcohol wipe
- Hand Sanitizers
- Butt paste
- Travel fan
- 4 diapers
- Disposable mask (for adults)
- Spare outfit
- Changing mat
- Burp cloth
- 8oz. bottle
I've been using the smaller $80 CS03 cross-body sling (opens in new tab) every time I go out with little Javi, and I unironically love it. It's large enough to store a handful of diapers, a bottle, and even a pair of disposable changing pads. I still have room for storing a spare onesie in case we run into a tragic spit-up or explosive diaper situation. Usually, I don't pack as much as the pictures show, but I wanted to see how much I could fit in and was still surprised by how much room was leftover.
- Hand sanitizer
- 2 diapers
- Dry wipes
- One use 2 oz. bottle
- Spare outfit
- Changing mat
- Butt paste
- Burp Cloth
My favorite feature on both these bags is that the front pouch uses magnets instead of a zipper for easy access for things like keys or a phone. And yes, if you're wondering, you absolutely have to wear it in the front like a fanny pack.
I'm sure when it's safe enough to head to events like PAX, CES, and E3 again, both of these bags will be within arm's reach when it comes time to pack my laptops, chargers, and portable consoles. In the meantime, I'll have to just settle for a dope daddy fanny pack.
The BP35 Backpack and CS03 Crossbody Sling are available for purchase on the Astro site (opens in new tab) and any Timbuk2 retail store (opens in new tab) if you too want to gear up in the gamer dad aesthetic.