I don't drink, smoke or do drugs, nor have I in recent years been spending money on addictions I used to have, like comics, action figures or video games. These days, and for some time now, board games have been my one vice, the one thing I impulsively spend money on, either in my friendly local gaming stores or online, especially at Kickstarter.
I'm proud of my collection, and enjoy sharing it with others, both long time friends and new. But carrying games safely has been an issue for gamers like me for years. We use Ikea bags, backpacks or, in a pinch, light plastic shopping bags, risking rain and crush damage, or the corners getting rubbed away on rough surfaces, all of which have happened to games I own at least once. In fact, just last month I brought Captain Sonar to a friends place, safely tucked into my backpack, only to arrive at gaming and have to wipe off the rain that got though the fabric.
I do live in Vancouver after all. It's a temperate rainforest. It rains.
Which is why, despite the perceived high cost, more-so after including shipping and taxes, I was willing to back the Game Canopy from Level 3B when it appeared on Kickstarter back on April 24th, 2016, almost a year ago now. I was there when the campaign went live and one of the first backers, number 191 out of a final total of 1,753. This isn't even my first time talking about the Game Canopy on my blog.
After what felt like much longer than a year of waiting, I have my new game transport system in my hand. A year of waiting, anticipating, reading updates, following progress, getting increasingly more excited about how good it could be. That's Kickstarter's biggest flaw. No matter how good the final product is, it's almost impossible to live up to the imaginary possibilities that lengthy waiting conjures up.
Except, the Game Canopy is that good.
Padded on all sides, including base and top, the Game Canopy is custom built to protect your games in best possible way. Level 3B thought of everything. There is even padding inside to cover the zip so that it can't rub against its precious cargo. The top carry handles are stitched all the way around the bag to prevent the load from pulling on one seam, with D-rings on all corners front and back giving you plenty of options for how you'd like to attach the shoulder strap, which itself is the nicest shoulder strap I own, thick padded with a grippy material underneath.
The Game Canopy can comfortably fit five "standard" sized board game boxes laying flat, one on top the other. You know, the Ticket to Ride, Mysterium, Cosmic Encounter square box. Of course how many you can fit and how many you can carry can be vastly different numbers. My Cosmic Encounter box includes all the expansions to date and is a hefty load by itself. Change the orientation a bit and the Game Canopy is tall enough to handle Inis, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and Legendary Encounters. Side by side. Together. Not that I'd advise carrying those four games together. I have no doubt the Canopy could handle it. I just doubt you or I could. That's a lot of compressed dead tree matter.
And it looks great doing all this. I chose the charcoal base with mandarin trim (read: grey with orange edges), and it's exactly as the promotional photographs indicated. My own photography doesn't do it justice in the visual appeal. I love how clean, crisp and professional it looks, while also being fun and bright. Board gaming isn't just a hobby for recluse stereotypical nerds, and the Game Canopy is easily a carry bag I'm going to be proud to carry around the city to events and display. It's just so gorgeous!
All in all, the Game Canopy is everything I could have hoped for. I'm really excited to take it out to my next game night at the end of the month. I can tell this is the start of a beautiful relationship. Just me and my Game Canopy and Captain Sonar and Mysterium and Takenoko and Santorini and Battlestar Galactica and...
Addendum: While writing this and testing out some game combinations for the photographs I learned my two year old can open and close the zip, and really enjoys playing with my Canopy. A great start for my future gamer.