Shoryuken review: The Qanba Aegis is an arcade stick carrier that lives up to its storied name

By on October 28, 2017 at 4:00 pm
qanba aegis logo crop

A fight stick carrier for the ages.

Qanba have become well-known for offering top-quality arcade sticks, grabbing attention most recently for the Qanba Dragon and Qanba Obsidian, which feature Sanwa Denshi components — and fairly hefty footprints. These sticks are among the biggest available on the market, so if you want to lug them around, something special might be called for. That’s where the Qanba Aegis comes in. Released this summer, the purpose of the Aegis is clear: to provide Qanba’s premium fight sticks with a worthy defense. Qanba provided us with one to test its mettle ourselves, and it was quickly apparent this shield lived up to its ancient reputation.

qanba aegis 1

qanba aegis bottomVisually, this carrier is quite plain — its seems to favor function over style, and that suits it well. The exterior of the Aegis (the name referencing a shield of Greek mythology) is a layered, woven polyester; smooth to the touch, durable, and somewhat water-resistant on the thicker “plated” surfaces. (It is not advertised as waterproof — and while it is sufficient to handle an encounter with a light drizzle or accidental spill, I wouldn’t recommend carrying it around in a torrential downpour or tossing it into the swimming pool.) The stitching was solid and secure on all surfaces and edges of the bag. The various zippers are equipped with big, easy-to-grab tabs, there’s a sturdy top handle, and the base of the bag is reinforced with thick rubber feet.

qanba aegis with stick 1

While the design is fairly sleek (read: flat), it has an impressively large internal capacity, offer plenty of room to Qanba’s hefty sticks. The Obsidian (pictured above) fits very comfortably and securely, and you can see there’s still a bit of room to accommodate the even-beefier Dragon. The means provided to protect your weapon of choice are the thick padding below and around the controller cavity, and a padded stick guard that flops down over the top of the lever. This can also be flattened and secured with velcro strips, if you want to use the Aegis to transport something else that doesn’t have a protruding joystick, like a game console.

While the size is the big plus when dealing with larger fight sticks, the opposite naturally becomes true: for the smaller sticks on the market, you end up with too much extra room. Sticks like the HORI RAP line (pictured below) have a lot of extra space around them, meaning to really secure them, a bit of filler material is necessary. Still, the padding is both thick and soft enough that there is a fair amount of “wiggle room” when it comes to what fits in the Aegis well, and what doesn’t.

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qanba aegis pouches

It offers a surprising array of storage options aside from the main cavity. The pouch on the front of the bag opens to reveal a compartment chock-full of mesh pouches, perfect for stashing all sorts of gaming-related goodies. There’s a elastic-edged sleeve for a water bottle on the side of the bag, too. And you get to really see how much you can stuff into this thing once you find the laptop sleeve — tucked into the backing of the bag, it’s large enough to slide a full-sized laptop, netbook, or tablet into — even when the carrier is already laden with your fight stick, of course. The Aegis proved comfortable to wear once it was loaded up, distributing weight well with its adjustable straps and its chest-clasp.

qanba aegis logoOverall, this fight stick carrier offers a huge amount of versatility, and is definitely equipped to protect your precious gaming equipment well. It’s marketed by some outlets as a “luxury” fight stick bag — and while that may sound like hyperbole, it’s hard not to be impressed by the design and quality of this product. It retails for $79.99 USD (check it out at Qanba, eightarc, Amazon, and Focus Attack), which is currently lower-priced than other carriers out there that don’t have as many perks. In my own Obsidian review, I mused that I wasn’t likely to take the Obsidian to an event or local due to the stick’s size and weight — but this carrier has convinced me otherwise. If you own (or are planning to pick up) a Qanba Obsidian or Dragon, I would consider this an essential accessory.

 

Pros

  • basic but appealing visual design
  • fits larger-cased arcade sticks easily and securely
  • impressive and versatile array of included non-controller-related storage options
  • reasonable cost compared to other products on the market

Cons

  • smaller arcade sticks may not fit in this carrier securely
  • not waterproof

Shoryuken.com Editor-in-Chief and performing member of Kita no Taiko. Street Fighterin' since there was only a "II" in the name.