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Westside Discs Empire Backpack is built like a tank. It has a huge disc capacity of at least 30 discs. in this review you will discover if you need a this bag for your rounds of disc golf. This post looks at the bags structure, its space & design concept, its functionality out on the field, and of course the price, and actually if its worth it.
This back costs a lot. Currently about $250, will the price come down over time, or does it need to, that is the question.
The word Empire suggest this is the ruler of all other disc golf bags. Are Westside discs having delusions of grandeur or is this bag the King of Disc Golf bags, or backpacks at least? Well this bag sits well on its loft throne. It has huge amounts of storage, you can snap on accessories all over the place, and there is plenty of room inside the many zippered pockets to store them there instead.
It’s squat appearance and the way the bottle holders sit out at the sides reminds me of the helicopter gunships out of Rambo 3 (Mi-24 Hind-D helicopters).
Depending on what discs you care carrying you can get 20-25 discs in the main compartment. There is space for more discs in the top compartment, but there is also a putter pocket at just behind this on the rear of the bag. You’ll fit 2 in there with ease. the side pockets also have slots for more discs, you can fit 2 on each side.
So if you are running a mixture of mid-ranges and drivers in the main compartment, you can safely store say 20. Add 4 on the sides, 2 in the putter pouch, plus another 3 in the slots at the pack of the main compartment flap. That’s 29 discs.
If you are carrying less mids and more drivers, and if you are using the top pocket for more discs you can get well on the way to carrying 35 discs. That’s blooming insane for a regular day or tournament day.
Large backpacks like this and Dynamic Disc Ranger suit the large 5 feet underneath that keep water from getting into the bag and ruining your discs and other accessories. Nothing like trying to dry out a heavy bag like this, the smell is just awful and drying time is long.
But that’s no worry with the Empire as its water resistant anyway. The large feet give it a bit of extra protection against mud, water and damp surfaces. They also help the bag remain firm and upright so it doesn’t fall over and send your discs spinning out all over the place.
Well pockets and storage items are plentiful. The Empire has 4 of them on the side. 2 of them are absolutely massive at almost 18 inches which runs the whole bag, top to bottom. The over large side pockets have disc dividers for holding 2 discs each.
They will keep your discs protected from damage, plus there is extra padding in the side pockets which will add an extra layer of protection for any of your discs and personal items.
The side pockets also have insulation to keep your liquids chilled if you use the side pockets to store water. You can easily fit a 32 Oz tall boy in there. You can also store a folding stool in there its got that much room. You can tag it closed with a strap hook at the top of the bag.
The side pockets also have a mesh which stops your stuff bouncing about all over the place. So this pocket offers great functionality and has been really well designed.
Behind these 2 huge pockets you can store 2 large 32 oz bottles in the insulated drinks holders. You really can go hydration crazy with this backpack.
There is 2 quick access small pockets at the bottom of the bag which can fit smaller items you need quick access to like your birdie bag or towel. Towels, stools and umbrellas can also be clipped onto the bag and held in with strap loops.
There are 4 in total, 2 on the sides and 2 on the front. You can also secure larger items like a bigger folding stool and a retriever with a buckle strap.
Even more pockets – At the top of the bag there’s another 2 pockets that are the right side to store your cell and small items. This is a good idea as it keeps your electronics from being damaged if you have them all in the same pocket as your coins or keys.
The flap that opens the main compartment has 2 slots for storing discs. You can fit 3/4 discs in there. You don’t need to store your putters in the top compartment as you get a slot to hold putters at the top of the bag on the back. You can even reach for them from behind your neck when you are wearing the bag.
The top compartment can be used to store a lot of items, it is massive. It can be used for discs, but it is a great place to store snacks, layers, towels or anything else you see fit.
Carrying Comfort – To make carrying the bag easier there is a lot of thick padding which sticks out like ridges on the back panel. These ridges also minimize contact points and help air to circulate which helps you keep cool on sunny days.
These ridges are more prominent on the bottom of the bag to help protect your lumbar spine. To make it even easier and feel lighter to carry you can run a belt around your waist and clip it in at the front. It counteracts the bags naturally tendency to hold weight at the rear and spreads some of it at the front.
Summary – Supersize your disc golf rounds with The Empire Backpack. Westside Discs have made one fantastic bag for you to go fully armed and cope with about everything you could think of. Loads of space for discs, loads of space for accessories and clothing. The only thing needed is loads of money to afford the $250 price tag.
Pros – huge amount of disc space
Fantastic range of accessory pockets everywhere.
Superior padding and carrying comfort.
Back won’t flip over.
Large feet keep bottom clear of ground.
Click around strap makes it easier to carry.
Cons – top compartment would have been better with a wider opening.
Costs a lot of money at $250.
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