Transporting board games
November 19, 2013 12:40 PM   Subscribe

What's the best solution for transporting a bunch of board games?

My husband and I often travel (by car) with board games. We've been putting them into a cardboard shipping box or a large shopping bag, but neither of those solutions is ideal, since the box is usually too small to be closed up (to contain the games), and the bag is easily ripped.

I'd like to find some kind of large tote or duffel bag with a large main compartment for the typical square box games, and smaller compartments for card games and accessories. I know there are plenty of tote/duffel bags available that would probably work, but I was hoping for some recommendations from people who have found things that work well specifically for this purpose.

Bonus points for a good, protective bag for transporting game consoles and related paraphernalia.

Please, fellow MeFites, help me help Santa deliver an awesome bag this Christmas.
posted by MsVader to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Last time I went on a roadtrip, we used one of those blue ikea shopping bags for this purpose. Lots of space and surprisingly sturdy. Doesn't have smaller compartment though.
posted by tinymegalo at 12:43 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

hah I came to recommend the same Ikea bag - we use it to bring games for game day or on trips. Maybe find a zip-top bag like a large makeup bag to keep the smaller games corralled?
posted by brilliantine at 12:59 PM on November 19, 2013

Heh, I also use that ikea bag when transporting games by bike. It is amazing!

I also have a giant die-shaped box that I bought in some crafty place to store dice for when I need them. Something like that, or a toiletries-type bag for smaller stuff should do well.

Do you always have the same games, or do you often switch them around? If it's always the same, it might be worth spending some extra money to get it to fit perfectly - if not, then the ikea bag works best.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:05 PM on November 19, 2013

I like re-usable shopping bags of the type that'll stand up on their own when opened if I'm bringing just a few games. The squareness and structure of them seems to keep the games in more neatly, and they're often about the right size for modern square game boxes.

Blue Ikea bag is also my suggestion if you're bringing a lot. Those things are basically indestructible.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:07 PM on November 19, 2013

Best answer: Ziploc bought Space Bags.

I'd get some of these in the medium size, and put each game, or two in a Ziploc to keep the pieces in place. Then into the Ikea bag. (what CAN'T they do?)

Then a gallon sized Ziploc for cards, dice, etc.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:11 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I carry a collection of small games around in one of these [Cards Against Humanity, Give Me The Brain, that sort of thing].

My son carries his xBox 360 around in a regular padded backpack, like you'd use for school.

Board games, though. If I were traveling with them, I'd probably ditch the boxes and put the bits and bobs into separate pouches in the tool bag, then use something like this to protect the boards.
posted by chazlarson at 1:15 PM on November 19, 2013

Best answer: Ikea also makes a zip top bag, shown here.

If you can wait until summer, I'd look around for largish totes/zipper cooler bags, the kind you'd throw a big picnic lunch into.

We generally use a large tote bag that was popular at dollar stores around here about five years ago. Larger than a standard "green grocery bag" sack, holds four or five boxes (depending on the game) although they do stick out a bit. For smaller games, we put in a smaller tote or shoulder bag.
posted by tilde at 1:27 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Vaguely related - if you have a Harbor Freight or similar store, you may want to look into getting boxes in which to store all of the assorted bits that go with the more complex games. If you are having to lay games flat for fear of opening a box that is an ungodly mess that will take as much time to sort as play, this definitely helps (and also makes gameplay easier). This then opens up travel options.

You might also want to investigate the carriers that wargamers use, if you anticipate doing much walking with your games. Or just get a small suitcase. Being able to tow games instead of carrying them is pretty awesome.
posted by daikaisho at 4:37 PM on November 19, 2013

Rubbermaid box. Commonplace, indestructible, versatile.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:33 PM on November 19, 2013

Response by poster: Sounds like the Ikea bag is a no-brainer. I like the zip-top version - it'll keep the games from spilling all over the place. I think the idea of putting smaller games and games that have the potential to get messy in Space Bags is brilliant.

Keep the suggestions coming!
posted by MsVader at 7:11 AM on November 20, 2013

Best answer: You probably already know about these, but if you don't - box bands are THE BEST. If the Ikea bag gets jostled or falls off a car seat, they'll keep the games inside the boxes. The link above is for large bands (great for big games like Arkham Horror) but the same site also sells regular and small size bands for smaller games like Fantasy Flight Silver Line, card games, and the such. I love the bands because they allow me to bring 1-2 games along on a trip by just throwing them in my backpack - no worries that all the pieces'll end up at the bottom of my bag.
posted by augustimagination at 9:28 AM on November 20, 2013

I recommend a large duffel bag from a military surplus store because they're cheap and durable. The bag can get worryingly heavy and put strain on parts of the bag. It's easy enough to stitch extra reinforcement for the load. They're typically segmented with additional pockets on the sides as well. The ones with the backpack straps are the best if you have to haul the games any appreciable distance.
posted by joydivasian at 8:20 AM on November 21, 2013

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