Saturday, May 1, 2010

Product Review: Battle Foam P.A.C.K. 1520

The folks over at Battle Foam have a large selection of transports and custom foam available. I had 4000 points to transport, so I was only interested in their large transports. The "1520" is supposed to mean how many infantry models this case can hold. I have to say, it's probably pretty accurate. This thing can hold a lot of stuff.

The basics: It's got two sections, carrying handles on the tops of both sections, backpack straps, and thin pockets on both sides of both sections as well as the front of the larger section and on the interior of the upper section's cover. It's made of durable material, and the stitching on the seams appears quite sound.

Storage: The top section can hold 8" of foam, and the bottom can hold 14". I have all 4000 points of space marines loaded up in the bottom section. I used (1) 4" tray, (2) 3" trays, and (2) 1" trays to accomplish that feat. My infantry and their transports (8 rhinos in one tray!) are carried in stock trays, while the rest of the army is in custom trays designed with their innovative custom tray generator here. Something to be careful of is the bottom section of a tray isn't included in its description. Adding up my trays, I have 12" of foam. That completely fills a 14" compartment. Just something to keep in mind.

Extras: It has a lot of pockets, and as long as you're transporting something flat (mini-rulebook, codex, army lists, etc.) you'll be fine. Anything larger and you've got problems. There are no pockets big enough for dice. Really? Something that can carry well over 4000 points of 40k miniatures and there's nowhere to put your dice? Interesting design choice. I don't have enough models to need the upper section (yet!) so I just use it for things like my camera, dice, measuring tape, etc. Not sure what I'll do as my army expands, however, so it's still a work in progress.

Overall, I'm impressed. The larger trays, and the ability to get custom foam load outs is very appealing. The fact that I got it at a significant discount (last case on the last day of Adepticon = 25% off!) was also helpful. I won't lie, however, I'm disappointed in the P.A.C.K. 1520's lack of larger pockets. For something clearly designed for miniature gamers, not having dedicated pockets for bulkier items is noticeably missed. The last critique I have is the way the bag "carries". It sits oddly on the shoulders, but honestly, that's a minor quibble. I do recommend this bag, or any of the other Battle Foam products by proxy. A product with issues, but still very useful and the customer service I've experienced from the company has been top notch.

Grade: 4 out of 5 stars due to the lack of larger pockets.


Gibbtall said...

I think the decision to not have larger outer pockets was because they were trying to maximize storage but keep the entire package small and sleek enough to fit easily into an overhead compartment or under the seat of a plane. They advertise that it is perfect for people that travel by plane to tournaments because you don't have to check it and can bring all your minis with you to your seat so you don't have to worry about damage or loss.

chosen1 said...

Thanks for stopping by! Good call on that one. That certainly keeps the profile down, although I have only traveled with it via car so far. I guess my frustration comes from the fact that I'm otherwise so friggin happy with the 1520 that once my stack of reinforcements gets assembled I won't have a place for my bulky stuff since the upper area will be filled with models.

Gibbtall said...

if you still have a few random open spots try tossing the dice in those, like in an empty dread hole, or even in a tank or two. Just wont be able to bring your little bucket :P

chosen1 said...

I may have to include space for my dice in my next custom tray...

Go easy on the bucket friend. It brings me power (and keeps me from losing all my crap)! ;-)