WaterField Designs Arcade Case review: It's the only thing I'll ever use to travel with my Nintendo Switch again

Arcade Gaming Case

There's nothing I hate worse than a game bag that looks like a game bag. Please don't make me carry around my Nintendo Switch in a satchel with a big old Switch logo slapped across the front on some rubber red patch. Yes, they're functional, but they're also usually ugly.

Not WaterField Designs Arcade Gaming Case.

I'm not going to call it a fashionable game bag, but it's darn fashionable. It's made out of soft leather, has a simple rugged design (It looks like something Indiana Jones would carry his Nintendo Switch in), and has plenty of room for all your Switch peripherals. It's the perfect game bag for people that don't like the typical game bag look.

Hyrule adventurer rugged on the outside

WaterField Design's Arcade Gaming Case

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I don't mean rugged in the sense that it's a big, bulky bag with rubber corners and a lot of thick, heavy padding. It looks rugged — like something Link might carry while traveling across Hyrule.

The Arcade Gaming Case is made of waxed canvas and full-grain leather with a bit of ballistic nylon for accents and straps. The more you use it, the better it looks. It gets that attractive worn-in look that I love so much in leather wallets and cases. You can choose from all black, black with brown, and my favorite, all brown (because Indiana Jones).

The interior has a golden zig-zag material that compliments nicely. The pockets are made from soft plush. The front pouch where the Switch tablet is stored has extra padding and is lined with soft plush to protect from scratches (and to clean your screen a bit while you walk).

The zipper pull is a strip of leather.

As you can tell, it's meant to look like a traveler's satchel that's been taken around the world on the back of a dragon ... and that's alright by me.

Pikachu-soft on the inside

WaterField Design's Arcade Gaming Case

As I noted above, the inner lining is outfitted with soft plush. There are two soft pockets inside the main pouch that are big enough to fit your Joy-Cons, a bundle of cables, earbuds, and even the Joy-Con Grip with the joy-cons attached.

The front pouch is where the Switch tablet goes. The Arcade Gaming Case is stout. It's not designed to carry your Switch with the controllers connected. You have to remove the Joy-Cons from both sides and store them in the main pouch so the tablet section of the Switch can fit snugly inside the front pouch.

There is an extra layer of padding inside the front pouch for added protection for your Switch. Plus, the flap that covers the front pouch is made of full-grain leather. The flap is held closed with a magnetic mechanism. Ideally, these would be snaps instead of magnets so your Switch wouldn't accidentally fall out if you dropped your bag (or if someone decided to try to steal what's inside).

The magnetic flap is the only shortcoming in this otherwise perfect game bag.

A bag of holding IRL

The main pouch is large enough to fit a foldable Switch stand, like the HORI compact Playstand plus a portable charging brick like the mophie powerstation USB-C XXL. I'm not just guessing at this, either. This is what I carry around with me in my Arcade Case.

These, plus the Joy-Con controllers, an HDMI adapter, the Joy-Con Grip, and my favorite pair of wired earbuds in their pouch all fit inside the WaterField Arcade Gaming Case.

It's like a bag-of-holding in real life.

Looks can be deceiving

WaterField Design's Arcade Gaming Case

One of the benefits of having a gaming bag that doesn't look like a gaming bag is that potential thieves don't know what they're looking at. As far as anyone is concerned, I'm just carrying around a satchel (or a purse, if you want to feminize it).

A purse might have a smartphone worth a few bucks, maybe some cash, and probably a lot of useless lady items. The Arcade Gaming Case disguises the fact that it's packed with many hundreds of dollars worth of gaming gear.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

WaterField Design's Arcade Gaming Case

What you're probably wondering at this point is whether WaterField's Arcade Gaming Case is worth its $100+ price tag. And that's where personal taste comes in.

My cohort in Nintendo Switch coverage Russell Holly literally scoffed at the price of the Arcade Gaming Case when I showed it to him. He does not think a gaming bag should cost so much (unless maybe it came with its own portable charging brick or some other fancy tech).

I, on the other hand, didn't even blink at the cost because I know from experience that WaterField makes very high-quality bags and cases. The company is a fan-favorite amongst iPhone and Mac owners. Plus, I've always loved the look of their bags.

Looks aside, what makes the Arcade Gaming Case stand out in the crowd is just how much you can fit into such a small satchel. If you're looking for something small on the outside, but big on the inside, this definitely fits your needs.

You've got options

WaterField Design's Arcade Gaming Case

The Arcade Gaming Case costs $109 and is available from WaterField's online retail store. WaterField also makes a $19 leather Game Card Holder designed to fit inside the Arcade Gaming Case. It holds 10 game cards. Because I cram so much into my case, this fancy sleeve wouldn't work for me, but it's definitely a nice insert for a classy gamer.

If you're looking for something a little smaller (and less expensive), WaterField also has a $49 Pouch that fits the Switch (with Joy-Cons attached) and a few cables. It's more like a protective sleeve to go inside your bigger bag.

The Arcade Gaming Case is definitely the perfect gaming bag for me and I'm not likely to ever use anything else again. It is sturdy, high-quality, and looks much better than most game bags on the market, IMHO.

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Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).