Bag of Devouring | Illustration by Sean Murray
Picture this: it’s your first MagicCon, and you’re flying cross-country to attend. You’re bringing damn near your whole collection of playable decks and gaming gear, including:
- 10 Commander decks (you play based on mood)
- Trade binder
- Two different playmats (one for you, and one for your friend that always forgets theirs)
- Five decks for the battle deck league you’re building (if you can ever convince your playgroup to skip a game of EDH)
- Your complete set of oversized Planechase and Vanguard cards (mostly to flex, but maybe someday you’ll play with them again!)
- Dice (stored in a Crown Royal bag for extra points)
- Pen and paper
- iPad (also known as “expensive life counter”)
And that’s not all! How can you possibly guarantee all this precious old cardboard will remain safe during flight? Surely you don’t plan to just stuff it all in your suitcase and hope for the best?
If you find yourself huffing and puffing while stowing your Magic gear for transport, it might be time to invest in an MTG carrying case backpack of one kind or another. But which to buy? What are you even looking for in a backpack? Fear not, Draftsim’s handy buyer’s guide is here to help!
Let’s cut to the chase: the best MTG carrying case backpack on the market right now is the PirateLab card game backpack. Its capacity is nearly perfect, fitting 15 to 20 deck boxes (depending on size) plus a playmat tube, and it’ll still have three more pockets for a binder/laptop/tablet, and all of your tokens and dice! It’s a sturdy and long-lasting backpack that’ll serve you at FNMs and Commander nights for years to come.
This bag is expensive at over $120, but you get what you pay for in the backpack market. After this price point you’ll start to see the value bottom out on carrying case backpacks. There’s only so much you can add to a bag that’s still relevant. Sure, it doesn’t have a USB port and sure, it only comes in one color (black with blue interior), but that doesn’t much matter when you consider what it’s intended to do.
The PirateLab card game backpack will get your cards wherever you’re going with no problem.
- Our MTG Backpack can hold up to eighteen 120-card deck boxes or twenty-five 90-card deck boxes. Plus, it features velcro dividers to make the interior infinitely customizable.
- The Card Game Backpack doesn't just hold deck boxes. Secure your rolled playmat with the inner compartment velcro strap, and bring a 9-pocket card binder or laptop in the padded rear compartment.
- Plus, this TCG backpack fits all your accessories like notepads, dice, and figurines in the two exterior zippered compartments for easy access.
- This deck bag includes two removable velcro dividers that run the length of the backpack and four smaller horizontal dividers to secure deck boxes for sophisticated MTG box storage.
- Water-resistant 1000D fabric, self-healing waterproof zippers, and heavy-duty Pirate Lab zipper pulls keep your collection safe in MTG carrying bag.
You need your carrying case backpack to meet certain minimum requirements, but the best ones will exceed expectations.
Sufficient Storage Space
Obviously a carrying case backpack needs enough space to fit all of your decks, dice, playmats, and whatever else you’re stowing for travel. The worst bags can fit a handful of decks loosely within, while the best backpacks include straps and foam for tight fits.
Super Safe and Secure
Another consideration is safety. How safe are your cards while they’re inside the bag? If you drive off accidentally while your bag is still on top of your car, will the resulting backpack-to-concrete collision damage your valuable little cardboard squares? What about water-proofing? You can’t have your cards getting wet on the walk from the car to the table!
And how secure is the actual backpack? The best carrying case backpacks have locks and latches to keep those nefarious characters out of your bag while you’re not looking, and the absolute best include anti-theft features to ensure no one can just pick it up and run off into the night.
Next you should look at the physical dimensions of any carrying case backpack.
While an Oscaurt anti-theft travel backpack will undoubtedly keep your cards safe and secure, it weighs exponentially more than a simple Student JanSport. Granted, its only an increase from 12 ounces to about 2.5 pounds, but that’s still quite a bit when you factor in that you’re transporting upwards of 10 pounds of cardboard.
Sleek and Snazzy Style
Don’t forget to pick a carrying case backpack that fits your style. This will (obviously) differ from buyer to buyer.
Maybe you really like the look of the Student JanSport, or maybe you like the appeal of breaking out the CardKingPro hard storage case, slamming it down on the table and spilling everyone’s drinks. It’s really up to you!
The “Cadillacs” Of MTG Carrying Case Backpacks
Ultimate Guard Vago 28 Journey Backpack
You don’t want just any carrying case backpack. You want the best one available, with all the bells and whistles.
Look no further than the Ultimate Guard Vago 28 Journey backpack. This monster bag has a 28 liter capacity, enough space for an entire Ultimate Guard Arkhive and then some.
The adaptable compartments can be rearranged to fit the smaller Ultimate Guard deck boxes, even individual deck cases. The Vago 28 Journey has not one, but two laptop sleeves so you can take your tablet along with you, and these pockets are easily repurposed for a trade binder. It holds just about everything you could ever need.
If you’re prepared to spend over $180 on an MTG carrying case backpack, this is the one for you.
- 28 Liter capacity
- Reflective safety straps on the front (which can be used to secure accessories)
- 180-degree suitcase-style access to main compartment
- Separate 15-inch laptop compartment and 12.9-inch tablet sleeve
- Fold-away shoulder and waist straps
ENHANCE MTG Backpack
The ENHANCE MTG backpack is on the cheaper side of the Cadillacs, but still a fairly expensive bag with a lot of cool features.
Besides a much more aesthetically pleasing look, the ENHANCE backpack includes a sleeve specifically designed for a 9-slot trade binder. It also has a protective card divider, keeping your decks packed tightly in their modular foam storage spaces. And an outside pocket makes a great spot for a rolled-up playmat or two.
At $50 cheaper than the Vago 28, ENHANCE performs almost just as well, lacking only a bit of space but making up for that in style.
- HOLDS UP TO 7,600 SLEEVED CARDS: Store and organize all your favorite card games including deck boxes and sleeved cards! Compatible with Magic the Gathering, Cards Against Humanity, and more TCGs
- REINFORCED PADDED INTERIOR: Premium scratch resistant interior loaded with adjustable reinforced dividers keep your cards and deck boxes in place and safe from impacts, drops, and more
- CARD DEFENDER SCREEN: Organize your cards and lock them into position using the zippered Card Defender Screen which prevents decks and cards from shifting around during travel
- EASY-ACCESS POCKETS: Exterior pockets large enough to store various card games and accessories including MTG tokens, notepads, pencils, life counters, and much more
- 3 YEAR WARRANTY: We believe in the quality of our products and back every ENHANCE product with a 3 year Manufacturer Warranty
Best Budget MTG Carrying Case Backpack
MANCIO Vintage Laptop Backpack
The MANICO Vintage laptop backpack is a smaller backpack with a single large pocket. It’s a steal at around $30 for its stylish look and high quality interior. While it’s smaller than the other bags listed here and not specifically designed for MTG deck transportation, there’s no doubt it’ll get the job done.
A smaller front pocket is the perfect size for a 2×2 trade binder, and an inner laptop/tablet sleeve is supported with cushioned foam all around. Plus it’s got a USB charging port, so you can charge your phone and tablet while on the way to FNM! Don’t be deterred by the retro buckles; the bag is actually sealed via magnetic strips on the straps.
Available in five colors, charging bank not included.
- UNIQUE DESIGN: Crafted with premium lightweight tear resistant Oxford fabric and quilted polyester linear , simple, classic and vintage . Multi-pocket design allows you to bid farewell disarray, Padded and adjustable shoulder strap is comfortable, ease the pressure on the shoulder, release the heavy weight when carrying your belongings for a long time.
- ROOMY INNOVATION DEPARTMENT:Total 5 Compartments to organized your belongs well. One main laptop compartment hold 15.6 Inch Laptop as well as 15 Inch,14 Inch and 13 Inch Macbook/Laptop , 2 front zip pocket provides a separated space for your iPhone, iPad, pens, keys, wallet, books, clothes,It’s a convenient bag to find what you want in a hurry,one bottle pocket each side for drink bottle and umbrella.
- EXQUISITE AND COMFORTABLE: Fashionable and retro design bag with neat work on each details, cotton materials protect belongings from outside damage, Ensure a secure & long-lasting usage everyday .Broad soft adjustable shoulder straps easy to carrying with perfect fit, this backpack can stand up for several years of use.
- USB CHARGING PORT DESIGN: With USB charging port outside and built in charging cable and pocket inside, this usb charging port design backpack gives convenient way to charge your phone while walking.but Please noted to carry a power bank when charging as the backpack doesn't power itself.
- MULTI USE: Lightweight stylish backpack, perfect for business, short trip, ,weekend getaways, shopping, professional office work,leisure, hiking, camping ,overnight stay and other outdoor activities. Also, it is a perfect college high school student backpack for boys,girls,teens,women and men.
Quiver Time Card Case
Chances are you’ve seen a Quiver Time card case or two around.
The Quiver’s popularity isn’t undeserved; it’s a solid choice for a water-resistant medium-sized carrying case for your cards. It carries up to 1,000 unsleeved cards, and its modular foam inserts mean you can easily separate your Pauper decks from your Commander decks, even though you’ve committed to only using the same red sleeves for every deck.
Its shoulder strap is fairly basic, but the Quiver card case is a great mid-point in price for an MTG carrying case for just $50.
- Premium Card Deck Box Case: Your Quiver Card Holder Case holds over 1350 unsleeved playing card, includes 2 sturdy Acrylic separators, 3 Velcro dividers & 2 removable corner pads to sort & store cards or decks.
- Smart Trading Card Storage Box Case : the Quiver Trading Card Case Storage is compatible with: Magic Commander (MtG card storage), Yugioh, Pokemon, Digimon, Flesh Blood and other trading cards, baseball card, football etc.
- A great Gift Idea: Looking for the perfect MTG accessories for the MTG fan in your life? Look no further than this magic deck carrying case for cards, magic the gathering card case. It's the perfect way to keep your loved ones'.
- Deck Box Card Storage Case: The Quiver trading card deck case large capacity cases will fit up to 9 deck boxes, has a convenient mesh pocket to safely store accessories, cushioned corner pads to protect your cards against bending.
- Convenient Combo Match - The Orion playmat tube is the perfect match for the Quiver collectible trading card cases, providing a secure and convenient way to transport your playmat alongside your cards.
The Safest Possible MTG Carrying Case Backpack
CardKingPro Hard Storage Case
You take your cards’ safety seriously. You can’t risk even the smallest chip or fracture to your deck boxes, and God forbid any amount of wear reach your precious, precious, cardboard gold.
What you need is the CardKingPro hard storage case. This 15-pound behemoth of a suitcase can fit over 250 “slabbed” trading cards, which translates to “a lot” of standard deck boxes. I guess you could sleeve your entire EDH deck in slabs, if you’re that kind of punisher.
The polycarbonate exterior and faux suede interior make this the smoothest possible ride for your cards, and the locking hatches mean no one’s riffling through your cards without you. The case’s modular foam inside guarantees a snug fit for its contents, meaning your cards won’t shift a millimeter in transit. These cases are available in multiple sizes and range in price from $80 to $200.
Now, technically, this isn’t a backpack. And it really stretches the definition of an MTG carrying case. But there’s absolutely no doubt your cards will reach your destination intact when traveling in this hard storage case.
- WHO'S IT FOR: Perfect for serious card collectors and card investors who want to protect and secure their valuable card collections.
- CAPACITY / COMPATIBILITY: Graded Cards (Check the compatibility image for more details) This case, which we call KingCollector, is designed to hold your graded cards, whether they are PSA, Becketts, BGS, CGC, Toploaders, One-Touch, Boulder Boxes, Satin Towers or even Saver 1/Saver 2, Semi Ridge Sleeved Cards... our case can hold them all!
- LOCKABLE / FOAM BLOCKS: Simply add any padlock to secure your case. Each case includes 12 foam blocks to segment and secure your cards.
- HIGH QUALITY: Strong polycarbonate exterior, super strong interior construction, soft faux suede, strong heavy-duty handle, locking hoops, heavy duty hinges, ball corners.
- IMPORTANT FACTS: This product is high quality and therefore heavy, it weighs 15 lb (7k) when empty. The lid is permanently attached to the product, meaning it is not removable. There are no card dividers included with this KingCollector case
The Best Carrying Case Backpack Alternatives
As the bard would say if he played collectible trading card games, “what’s in an MTG carrying case backpack? That which we call a bag would smell just as sweet.” Or something like that.
Listen, you really can’t go wrong with the classic JanSport SuperBreak One backpack. It’s the tried-and-true backpack from our youth, made famous by the backs and shoulders of high school students across the nation.
With one big pocket and one medium-sized front pocket, it’s about as basic as a backpack can be. It’s a great bag that you’ll get multiple years of use out of at less than $40, especially if you’re only carrying around deck boxes and trade binders.
While it lacks the exciting features of the other carrying case backpacks, it does include enough space to stack a dozen decks, some dice, and a trade binder inside. It’s missing a dedicated laptop/tablet sleeve and doesn’t include a fancy modular foam interior, but its real utility lies in its diversity of use. No hard interior or dedicated pouches means each of those pockets could be used for anything, even non-MTG things!
- Your Forever Pack: Always be ready for school with the JanSport SuperBreak Backpack for boys and girls! The perfect size for all your essentials and always in style, this boys’ and girls’ backpack is functional and convenient with timeless style.
- Ready for Anything: These teen backpacks for girls and boys are made with durable 600 denier fabric to ensure they are strong, abrasion-resistant and water-repellant! With sturdy zippers and a coated interior, our small backpack always has your back.
- Hold All Your Essentials: Not too big and not too small, these school bag backpacks for high school feature one main compartment to hold your books, notepads and more, and our cool backpacks have a front utility pocket with a built-in organizer.
- Express Yourself: Featuring a simple, classic silhouette that always looks amazing, the JanSport backpack for school is available in over 30 different colors and prints! Our unisex bookbags for girls and boys are perfect for anyone’s unique style.
- Comfort and Convenience: Made to be reliable and ultra-lightweight, our school backpack for girls and boys is always ready to go with a web haul handle! Perfect for everyday use, these high school backpacks have padded 15-inch drop shoulder straps.
I have a friend who’s been a photographer much longer than an MTG player, but he made the jump into the hobby easier than anyone I’ve ever seen. His secret? He already had all the card storage and transportation he’d ever need in the form of various camera bags.
Camera bags make great alternatives to MTG-specific carrying cases because they often include modular foam interiors typically included in MTG backpacks, and at a great price. Take the Cwatcun camera backpack, for example: it has a comparable size to the MANICO and ENHANCE bags mentioned earlier and includes a similar amount of modular foam walls for tightly packing decks into place. Built to protect equipment that’s much more valuable and sensitive than Magic cards(!), the average camera bag will be a safer storage option for your cards than almost any traditional backpack or case.
At a fraction of the price for a comparably-sized bag, I almost feel ridiculous recommending anything else. Still, the Cwatcun bag isn’t specifically for MTG, meaning your decks and deck boxes may still shift during flight.
- 【Large Capacity】 ①The camera backpack is compatible with Canon Nikon Sony and other brand cameras and 13" IPAD; ②It holds and protects 1 SLR / DSLR camera bodies, 3 ~ 5 lenses, 1 flash speedlite, 1 tripod and other photography accessories.
- 【Multiple Protection】 ①Scratch and water-repellent 900D polyester fabric protects your camera security; (it can play a certain waterproof role in light rain,unable to play a waterproof role in heavy rain). ②5 pieces of 18mm thick padded removable dividers is fit and stable, protect your camera from shocking, combine freely and make full use of backpack space; ③The stress position of the camera bag adopts bar-tack technology, which can withstand a weight of 50 kg (110.2 lbs) and is more durable.
- 【Ultra-lightweight and Compact】 ①Outer dimensions: 15x 6.5x 16.9 inches; Internal dimensions: 10.3x 9.1 x 13.7 inches; ②Only 1.87lb(0.85kg); Lightweight and easy to carry. ③Hidden zipper design of the front pocket and side high-elasticity mesh bagbest for your daily accessories storage, like storage card, water bottle, umbrella, trekking pole etc.
- 【High Quality】 ① Cwatcun alloy zipper won't rusty within 3 years,and won't break within 5 years; ② Lengthened shoulder strap width is 2.5 inches, thickness is 0.5 inches, easy to adjust; ③Webbing material: high elastic decompression memory foam is comfortable and breathable.
- 【Perfect Services】 One-year warranty: If there is any quality problem within one year, we will replace a new one for you; The 30-year factory with more than 6000 employees who specialize in the bags industry, worthy of your trust!
Custom MTG Carrying Case Backpacks
The market is pretty slim when it comes to fully-customizable carrying case backpacks. The best you’ll see are bags with modular interiors, but these are purely mechanical customizations. I recommend slapping some of your favorite pins and stickers on there to make a bag truly personal.
Be it buttons, patches, pins, or keychains, there’s no shortage of simple ways to specialize your bag to showcase your style. Etsy’s got plenty of Magic themed patches and buttons, and a lot of your favorite MTG content creators have merch stores you can purchase from to support them directly.
Bag Check | Illustration by Tyler Walpole
I hope this guide has made your MTG carrying case backpack purchasing just a smidge easier. The market for Magic accessories is often intimidating, but knowing what you’re looking for is half the battle. Whether you’re just looking for the cheapest, simplest JanSport bag or enjoy intimidating your opponents with the CardKingPro storage case, keep your budget and the practicality of your purchase in mind.
Which of these options is your favorite? Do you have another backpack that is tried and true that I missed? Let me know in the comments below or join the discussion over in the Draftsim Discord.
Thanks for reading, and safe travels!
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