Shoryuken review: The Qanba Shield is a premium backpack that doubles as a fight stick carrier

By on February 29, 2020 at 9:56 am
Qanba Shield Featured Image

Home to a variety of features while missing some arcade stick staples

Popular arcade stick manufacturer, Qanba, has a new offering for traveling players that can display tons of knick-knacks and hold a lot more than just your fight stick. While all of these extra functions are definitely nice, there are a couple of things that are missing from the Qanba Shield that would have made this the ultimate fight stick carrier.

That being said, if you are in the market for a fight stick bag that will get the job done and then some, you should definitely give this one a look.

Design:

The Qanba Shield has a very unique design, not just as a fight stick carrier, but as a backpack in general. The first thing that will probably grab your attention is the large see-through panel on the front of the backpack. At first glance, it might seem a little silly, but once you personalize it with pins and keychains, it truly becomes one of a kind.

I have a ton of pins that I’ve collected over the years, but I’ve never put them on anything due to the fear of losing them. There are few things that are worse than losing a pin or finding the lost pin but not the back to it, making it just a pointy metal picture. This panel allows you to customize your bag with your favorite trinkets without having to worry about them falling off. Even if they do, they will be safe and sound within the backpack.

Behind the clear panel, there is a mesh lining that makes it easy to place your pins and keychains on your bag without riddling it with holes. Even if you don’t have a collection of pins to attach, you could toss in a notebook, keys, or anything else you’d like quick access to.

You could honestly use the Qanba Shield as a regular backpack if you wanted to. It’s slick no matter what way you look at it and is made with premium materials that feel like they are built to last. Unless you knew this was a fight stick carrier ahead of time, it could definitely pass as a trendy alternative to the typical backpack brands.

Function:

Most fight stick carriers focus most of their attention on carrying your fight stick and not much else. This isn’t inherently bad but it would require you to bring another bag or limit how much you could carry when traveling to a tournament or a buddy’s house. The Qanba Shield aims to give you ample protection for your gaming accessories with all of the convenience you can expect from a higher-end backpack.

There are two front compartments, a water bottle holder (which will prove to be a lifesaver, especially in Vegas where water can be a scarce commodity), an internal pocket with an outlet for your charging cables, a laptop pocket, a compartment on one of the straps for quick access to essential items, and a MOLLE system exterior with room for plenty of other trinkets. There is also a suitcase sleeve that makes it easy to slide it over your rolling suitcase while traveling. The bottom of the bag also has shock protectors that should keep your items safe whenever you place it on the floor. In terms of traditional backpack use, the Shield almost has it all.

One thing I really wish this backpack had, which is something I wish every bag had, was a clip that connected the two shoulder straps together. It just brings the whole experience home for me and makes it feel more secure. Oddly enough, the older Qanba Aegis does have these clips, which makes me think that either someone in the dev team thought they weren’t necessary, or that there should still be some things that made the Aegis unique. Maybe it was done to cut costs for the many other features the Shield has over the Aegis. Alas, the world may never know.

This backpack was built for small to mid-size fight sticks, so anything ranging from the Qanba Drone to the Qanba Obsidian should fit with plenty of additional space for anything else you might that might give your arcade stick some extra protection, like a light jacket or some other filler.

While the Hori RAP N Hayabusa does fit in the Qanba Shield, it does feel like it is pushing the boundaries of the vertical space within the bag. The Victrix Pro FS fits just fine with its stick stowed away but it shifts a lot without anything to keep it in place. The shifting is especially prevalent with smaller Hitbox-style controllers. While I never felt that my stick wasn’t protected in the bag, the back and forth swaying of the cargo inside was a little off-putting while walking.

This is where something like an elastic strap like the one found in the Enhance Arcade Fight Stick Backpack would have really come in handy. Without this option, you are going to have to pack some padding of your own inside the arcade stick compartment, something like a light jacket should do the trick. The Ryu FS Street Traveler includes its own padding that you can customize to fit your stick, but nothing like that is done with the Qanba Shield.

From what I found perusing the web, Qanba has at one point manufactured Joystick Protectors, but I have only found them on a couple of sites and not directly from the manufacturer. If these became widely available, the lack of a joystick protector built-into the bag itself would be more passable, but seeing as how even the Qanba Aegis had one, it is a little weird that the Shield omits it.

I find the Qanba Shield to be very comfortable, even without the strap clip, and I am excited to go through all of my boxes to find the pins I’ve had stashed away but too afraid to lose. The possibilities for personalization are practically limitless. If you’ve got a pin, keychain, or button, there’s a place for it on the Shield.

There is definitely a lot going on with the Qanba Shield and you might not utilize every feature that it offers, but the fact that it can do so much means you getting a full-on utilitarian backpack design that will keep your fight stick safe wherever your battles take you.

For me, this outweighs the lack of a couple of more traditional fight stick features, but does it for you? Tell us what you think about the Qanba Shield below!

Pros:

  • Plenty of options for displaying your favorite pins, keychains, and other accessories.
  • Extra storage for laptops, chargers, water bottles, etc.
  • Suitcase sleeve makes it easier to use as a carry-on.

Cons:

  • Nothing to keep joystick in place, no additional padding.
  • No clasp for connecting the straps for a more secure fit.
  • Not a one-size-fits-all bag, comfortably fits 18-inch fight sticks.

You can purchase the Qanba Shield directly on the Qanba USA site for $79.99.


Qanba provided Shoryuken with a model of the Qanba Shield for the purpose of this review.


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Shoryuken.com Associate Editor. Austyn James Roney began his gaming journey with Super Smash Bros. on the N64 but learned the ways of the fighting game genre with Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Loves all fighters, regardless of dimension or playstyle.