When I first opened my Multiplayer Pro case from San Francisco’s famed WaterField Designs, I was nothing short of awestruck. Its waxed canvas body was noticeably durable, and even without weathering, it already possessed a certain sophisticated character. So, too, did its leather accents, like the soft handle grips and bonus game cartridge holder.
Inside the case was another story. If its exterior is all business, then its interior is casual Friday. The liner is silky smooth, but without a lot of the granulated fuzz that other such storage solutions tend to produce—which, in turn, tends to introduce exactly the kind of particulate matter that scratches sensitive touchscreen surfaces.
Explicitly designed to house the Nintendo Switch, the Multiplayer Pro boasts specialty pockets for both the Switch console (with the Joy-Con controllers still attached) and the aforementioned leather cart holder. Its four remaining internal pockets, however, are multipurpose.
Two mesh pockets below the Switch-carrying area and a third up top next to the cartridge storage are smaller but versatile, housing everything from Joy-Cons and your power supply to things like earbuds and additional HDMI or USB-C cables. Its remaining dominate pocket is modular and can be configured to hold everything from Pro Controllers and Joy-Con Grips to portable battery packs and even your system dock. Then, of course, there’s a pair of outside pockets perfect for any items you’d need to grab on the go.
WaterField, its functional design chops fully engaged, has a couple of suggested configurations for the Multiplayer Pro. They’re both solid recommendations that take advantage of the bag’s eye toward stylishly storing your Nintendo Switch and its various accessories, which—don’t get me wrong here—the Multiplayer does a damn fine job of. Still, all this hinges on whether or not you’re willing to pay a premium price, $149, for a premium product.
Now, certainly, I can’t answer that question for you, as I know neither your tastes nor your budget. What I can do, though, is tell you that the Multiplayer Pro is, hands down, the finest carryall solution available for the Nintendo Switch—and, for that matter, better than any alternative I’ve encountered for any console/handheld I’ve ever owned. And that’s saying something.
But that’s not all.
You see, while the Multiplayer Pro is, as the name implies, designed to take your delightfully sharable Switch on the road with you, that’s not its only trick. Chances are, if you’re a gamer with a long daily commute via public transit (or even just one with a lot of downtime in your office *awkwardly points two thumbs at himself*), you likely travel with a gaming system. Maybe it’s your phone or, perhaps, a 3DS, or maybe it’s a Nintendo Switch, but chances are, you’re just bringing it along so you can play it yourself. All by your lonesome.
What I’m getting at here is that the Multiplayer isn’t just a great bag for packing up your Switch in to take to that gaming party or big hotel convention; it’s a spectacular, Switch-friendly day bag to boot.
I actually discovered this earlier this month at Dragon Con, when I packed up my Switch in toto… to take to a big hotel convention.
Originally, I gathered together my various Switch components—quickly and safely, I might add—and then placed the Multiplayer Pro inside my big ol’ con backpack. It wasn’t until I got to the Hilton and started unpacking that I realized that it was the Multiplayer itself, and not the aforementioned cavernous backpack, that was more specifically tailored to my unique needs.
The Switch stayed in its dedicated pocket, as did my cartridge case, for easy access in long lines or other instances of downtime. The small upper pocket perfectly housed the patches that I brought in lieu of business cards, while the two smaller lower pockets held my charging cables, a little extra cash, and my hotel key (so I didn’t have to wrestle it out of my wallet every time I wanted to get into the room). That bigger, modular pocket, I divided into thirds to keep my portable battery charger, some quick snacks, and any small items I purchased on the dealers’ floor safe and separate. This freed up the outside pockets to hold any flatter objects, like paper programs or comics, and I clipped a collapsible water bottle to the top handle—which could also be slipped into an exterior pocket when it was empty.
My phone, wallet, and… er… flask, I kept on my person. For obvious reasons.
This is all to say that Dragon Con proved to me that the WaterField Multiplayer Pro, while designed for a very specific purpose, is actually a wonderfully adaptable day-to-day bag. I used it all that weekend, and I’ve continued to carry it regularly since returning home. In fact, if it had a larger, separate laptop sleeve that could accommodate my MacBook, it’d probably be the only case I carry.
At $149, the Multiplayer Pro looks like a designer bag with its textured canvas, supple leather, and waterproof zippers, but it’s built with, y’know, gamer nerds in mind. Combined, these two elements make it an enticing option, whether you’re loading your Switch, dock and all, up to game with a friend or just packing your system with your normal daily carry items.
Whether you do either or both, WaterField’s Multiplayer Pro is that rare luxury item that’s actually worth its price. Flexible, functional, and stylish, it’s a bag that’s more than just one thing. Just like you.
Review materials provided by: WaterField Designs