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Reviews > Fun and Games > GSI Outside Inside Backpack Games > Test Report by Steven M Kidd

September 12, 2018


NAME: Steven M. Kidd
EMAIL: ftroop94ATgmailDOTcom
AGE: 46
LOCATION: Arrington, Tennessee
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 185 lb (83.90 kg)

Backpacking Background: I've been a backpacker on and off for over 30 years. I backpacked as a Boy Scout, and then again almost every month in my twenties, while packing an average weight of 50+ lb (23+ kg). In the last several years I have become a hammock camping enthusiast. I generally go on one or two night outings that cover from 5 to 20 mi (8 - 32 km) distances. I also do several annual outings lasting four to five days covering distances between 15 to 20 mi (24 - 32 km) per day. I try to keep the all-inclusive weight of my pack under 20 lb (9 kg) even in the winter.



GSI Outside-Inside Games

Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer's Website:

Games Tested:

Backpack Checkerboard: MSRP US $14.95
Backpack Backgammon: MSRP US $14.95
Backpack Reversi: MSRP US $14.95
Backpack Chinese Checkers Board: MSRP US $14.95
Backpack 5 in 1 Game Set: MSRP US $25.95
Freestyle Silicone Chess: MSRP US $31.95

I am testing six games in total provided by Outside-Inside Games, a division of GSI Outdoors. Five of the six games fall into the BACKPACK game category and the Silicone Chess game is in the BOARD GAME category on the website. All games were made in China and have paper instructions included within the individual sets.

All games came with mesh & rip-stop storage sacks that have a drawstring and cinch buckle. Most are burnt orange and black, with only Reversi being an all-black storage sack. Reversi also happens to have a small carabiner as well.

The Checkers, Backgammon, Reversi and Chinese Checkers all measure: 6.5 x 6.5 x 0.5 in (16.5 x 16.5 x 1.25 cm) when opened and 6.5 x 3.25 x 1 in (16.5 x 8.25 x 2.5 cm) when closed. Per the previous order, their measured weights are 6.9 oz (196 g), 6.4 oz (181 g), 7.9 oz (224 g) and 6.2 oz (176 g). These four games all snap shut and the magnetic game pieces are stored inside the board when not in play.

The 5 in 1 Game Set includes checkers, backgammon, chess, Ludo and snakes and ladders all in one bag weighing 15.8 oz (448 g). It is roughly 8 x 3 in (20.3 x 7.6 cm) long w in the storage sack. There are two 8 x 8 in (20.3 x 20.3 cm) game boards with chess and checkers using the same board. With five games, there are many game pieces to keep up with in this set!

The silicone chess game measures roughly 8 x 5 in (20.3 x 12.7 cm) in the storage sack and it folds out to a 14 x 14 in (35.5 x 35.5 cm) game board and weighs 10.4 oz (295 g). This is actually the only game that had a listed weight on the manufacturer's website, but is listed at a heavier 11.2 oz (318 g) than I measured.


Magnetic Properties
I am impressed with the quality of all the games. The four self-contained games are quite compact and I love the magnetic game pieces. I hope that will ensure none are lost while camping or backpacking. Most sets came with small plastic resealable zippered storage bags for the game pieces, which I find perfect for storage. The Chinese Checkers only came with a disposable cellophane bag, so I immediately put the pieces in a zippered sandwich bag. In need to grab a small pill bag so, it will better fit into the closed game box.

The only downside to the magnetic pieces is the polarization issue. I was trying to stack the checkers pieces for storage and a few of them repelled against one another and fell on the floor. I do not want this to occur in the woods and take a chance of losing any pieces, as there were no extras included. That is honestly the only concern at all with any of these games at this point.
Chinese Checkers

I plan to use these games for both backpacking and base camping/car camping with my Cub Scout pack. When backpacking I will likely not take all six games as the overall weight adds up to nearly 54 oz (1531 g) and would take up quite a bit of storage in my pack. I will likely interchange a few games with the 5 in 1 game set on long distance outings. I am excited to have all the games for the Cub Scout camping trips, but I am a little concerned with a bunch of 7 - 11 year old boys keeping up with all the small pieces!


Silicone Chess (Fruit for Size Comparison)
I am excited to begin testing the Outside - Inside Board Games by GSI. I think they will be ideal for both backpacking and camping with Cub Scouts. They will also be great for long car trips or when the family is getting away on a trip, where we want to 'unplug' from the electronic game world! This is something my children definitely need to do more often, based on the simple fact that I am going to have to teach them how to play the majority of these games. I find that both exciting and a little sad that my 10 and 11 year old children only know checkers and chess at this point.

Therefore, I will ask the reader be on the outlook for my reporting not only on the quality, durability and general nature of the games, but also on which games peak the most interest and gamesmanship from my children and Scouts. I like most all the games, so testing this on a new generation is almost a test series in itself!

I will reiterate the roses are the lightweight compact nature of the games and the initial quality. My only concern, or thorn, if any is the potential of losing a game piece and having no extras provided.

I would like to thank both and GSI for allowing me the opportunity to test these games. Please check back in approximately two months for my Field Report.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Fun and Games > GSI Outside Inside Backpack Games > Test Report by Steven M Kidd

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