Big thank you to Mike Brumm for supplying us with a V2 Steamclip and accessories.
Right off the bat, I’d like to let everyone know you should get a V2 Steamclip. I haven’t taken it off my Steam Deck since I put it on. There are other Steamclip accessories that you can purchase, but they may not all be useful for everyone. The Steamclip V2 itself, however, is a must have for me.
The Steamclip is a modular attachment system for the Steam Deck that clips to the back of the Deck and allows battery packs, kick stands, and other attachments to be integrated. It is developed by Mike Brumm, who has a history of designing and printing accessories for other handhelds as a side gig, but recent demand for his product has him working 3 different 3d printers to fill orders. We talked about moving from 3d printing to molded plastics, and while he sees the benefits from a production standpoint, he believes he can be more iterative and continue customizing his products by staying with 3d printing.
Seeing the changes in the Steamclip V1 to the V2 demonstrates the benefits of this living design process. The initial build (V1) was a simple clip on 3d printed backing that allowed for various battery and mounting attachments. V2, which adds in a kickstand and extra SD card slot holder, is where this project really grabbed my attention to contact Mike and ask if SDHQ could review it.
All of the attachments have a spring loading mounting mechanism that firmly locks the attachments into place. You get a satisfying “click” when connecting the Steamclip to the accessories and they easily detach at the push of a lever without any fuss. The attachment feels sturdy and I wasn’t ever worried about the battery accidentally falling off or the deck coming out of the wall mount. There was a little play between the Steamclip and the other accessories, though while nothing felt insecure, it wasn’t a perfect puzzle piece fit. The Steamclip and accessories are all made of PLA plastic. There were a few minor rough edges, nothing a little 600grit sanding on my end didn’t easily fix, but everything felt really well put together for a hand-crafted item from a 1 person operation.
The Steamclip V2 features an integrated kickstand and a stowable flap to hold a micro SD card. Both work great and turn the Steamclip from a useful accessory in and of itself into a necessary attachment to get the most from your Deck. After receiving the Steamclip V2, I found myself consistently using the integrated kickstand for nightside table charging and tinkering in desktop mode. The kickstand is not adjustable but it rests at a good angle for charging and using the Deck in desktop or “tabletop” mode with a keyboard or controller. As a familiar comparison, it works far better than the original Nintendo Switch’s kickstand.
The Steamclip itself hugs the Deck snugly and leaves most of the air intake and exhaust totally clear. There is a very slight covering at the outer edge of the top exhaust vents but the charging port and headphone input are not impacted by the Steamclip at all. Overall the build quality is very sturdy and I didn’t have any concerns of cracking anything while taking the Steamclip off or popping out the kickstand. The micro SD card holder sticks a little bit and takes some force to open but still didn’t feel like it was enough force to cause any damage.
Let’s be honest, the Steam Deck is amazing, but the battery life isn’t. You can extend your Deck playtime with a portable battery and a long USB C cable, but it’s nice to have everything all together in hand with a battery clip and maintain the Deck’s portability. To this effect the Steamclip has three options broken down by size: two fixed size ones that fit either a small battery or a larger “medium” sized battery, and one mount that is adjustable in size.
The one I could recommend for anyone is the adjustable mount. The sample I was sent came with a 65 watt/30000mAh Baseus battery pack which, at an additional 1.21lbs, felt way too heavy for my tastes. The great thing about this mount is that it is very adjustable and will fit pretty much any portable battery. Just adjust the width, cinch down the Velcro strap, and almost any battery pack will fit (battery packs less than 1.1 inches thick will require just a little McGuyvering to keep in place due to the height of the battery standoffs).
The one I do recommend to everyone is the smaller mount. This mount is molded specifically for the Ravpower 15000 mAh battery pack. This pack delivers power at 18 watts so it won’t charge up the deck as you play but it will extend the play time significantly. This specific battery weighs in at 9.8oz which didn’t make my arms too heavy with prolonged play sessions. The coolest thing about this battery and clip combo is that it fits into the weird-quasi-storage-bungee-pocket at the back of the official case perfectly! So, carrying this little battery pack with you is super convenient.
The mount for the medium/larger battery pack is good but your mileage may vary on whether or not you think it’s too heavy for handheld use. It is molded to fit a Baseus 65 watt 20000mAh battery which will actively charge the Steam Deck while playing. The downside to this pack is the heft. Weighing in at 1.02lbs (16.32 ounces) it’s not impossible to play while charging but borders on impractical. Since the Steamclip has two mounting slots you can attach this battery mount on the lower one, changing the center of gravity of this heavier setup, for more tolerable handheld gaming.
Kickstand: I don’t have too much to say about the kickstand attachment. It’s good, it has various positions and feels very stable. It’s also quite a bit chunky. The V2 Steam Clip already has a built-in kickstand and using the kickstand attachment means you can’t use a battery attachment at the same time. To quote the only good Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the kickstand attachment on the V2 Steamclip feels “a bit superfluous, really.”
SSD Attachment: This accessory is also a good idea but is molded to fit an Inland external SSD, which is not significantly cheaper than a similarly sized micro SD card. Given the cost, I think it just makes more sense to invest in a larger micro SD card(s) since hot swapping, when games are not actively running from the micro SD card, is a-ok.
Wall Mount: Another accessory that, while well built, doesn’t seem entirely necessary, until you have a small child who reaches and grabs for all-the-things. The dock fits a GKEAPZA USB-C hub and is mountable on a wall or any other surface you can screw into. This accessory has a definite benefit but is again, pretty user specific.
I spent a few weeks with the Steamclip system before starting to write up my review. During that time I kept the Steamclip V2 on my Steam Deck for daily play sessions and I took it and the battery clips on a flight and on one long road trip. I found the Steam Clip itself was excellent and the battery attachment accessories extended my gameplay without much impact on the portable nature of the Steam Deck. Some of the accessories didn’t fit my use case, but none of them were poorly made or without merit. I would recommend the Steamclip V2 for every Steam Deck user, just for the integrated kickstand and SD card holder alone. The fact that it’s the base for an interchangeable accessory system makes it a must-buy in my book. You can also check out the Steamclip files at Thingverse and completed items for order at Mike’s Etsy shop.
Leave a Reply