Equipment Review: The Go Bento Box


Go Game Set Bento Box

Description: The “Go Game Set Bento Box” this is perhaps the first product I’ve seen that aims to provide players with a portable set of go stones that are not cheap plastic stones. Not only do they pack away very well and are easy to carry, but the stones are also a respectable size and material that should delight any go player who wants a portable set of stones!

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Title, Go Game Set Bento Box
Product, Go Stones and Bowls
Stones (Material), Glass (Ceramic)
Stones (Size), Size 22 (7 mm thick and 21 mm in diameter)
Stones (Quantity), 160 Black and 160 White Stones
Material (Bowls), Plastic
Weight, 4 lbs / 1.8 kg
Vendor, GoGameGuru
Manufacturer, Baduk Brothers


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What’s the best aspect about this product?

  • Real stones that are portable!

What is the weakest aspect of this product?

  • Though it packages well, it is lacking a strap of some sort to keep the lid from coming off during transit.

Is it durable?

  • Yes. I think they will hold up well overall. I will update if I find any evidence to the contrary.

Bottom Line

  1. The first portable go set to have real stones while being easy to carry!
  2. A fantastic companion to the folding go board.
  3. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a portable set with real stones!


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As someone who has bought his fair share of portable go sets, the one thing I always felt was lacking was the feeling of real stones. The magnetic go sets always came with plastic stones that did the job when you had nothing else, but left me wishing I had real stones each time. And I had tried bringing my actual go stones and bowls out to coffee shops, but they were rather cumbersome and awkward to carry. In addition, I was always worried I would damage them in transit since I would be carrying them in a backpack.

So when I discovered this set, I was thrilled at the idea that I might get to bring a go set with legitimate stones wherever I went. I had never owned glass/ceramic stones that were size 22 before, but I was certainly hoping that they would do the trick whenever I was on the go and in need of a go set.


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Since it’s been awhile since I reviewed equipment last, we start with the product in all its glory! Once you take it out of the box, you have the following:

The product prior to opening the lid. (For those noticing the yellow tint, it is from the lid of the product and not lighting issues).

As you can see, this is a set of glass Go stones, plastic bowls and a plastic Go board that pack away snugly, just like a lunch box! Very portable and very easy to hold in one had. The only downside I will say to this design however is that it does seem to lack some sort of strapping mechanism to prevent the lid from coming off in a backpack. A rubber band will do the trick, but I do wish there was something that came with the product.

Bento box without the lid.

As you can clearly see here, the 160 stones of each color fit quite comfortably in each box and do not show any signs of spilling out of the box. In addition, for those who are concerned with the fact that the set is less than the standard 361 stone set, keep in mind that most go games are less than 300 moves. So though it might seem like “less,” this set will actually be more than adequate 99% of the time.

Side angle shot of bowls and stones to show that there is a nice depth to them that reminds you of a bowl.

One of the things I disliked about other portable sets was the lack of dipping my hand into a bowl to grab a stone. Either the plastic bowls were way too shallow, or the stones were in a bag which did not really replicate the feeling very well. So even though this is a portable set, there is still enough depth to provide the “bowl-like” feeling (which was very much appreciated).

The primary contents of the go bento box (2 lids, 2 bowls and the respective stones).

As you can see above, the primary components of this set are the 2 bowls to hold the stones, the lids, and the stones themselves. Something that people might overlook, however, is that the lids actually have another function besides providing the “bento box” shape.

The lids double as ways to hold your captured stones when you’re on the go! They’re even color coordinated! How clever!

The stones were overall in great condition. Unfortunately, I did receive a couple of chipped stones. There was only one that had a major chip (which was unusable) and one with a minor chip, but otherwise it was okay.


Besides the chipped stones, the stones seem to hold up rather well. They aren’t exactly top-notch material and might damage over a long period of time, but that is only fair when you consider that you are only paying around $25 for this set.

The stones in action on my folding go board at a coffee shop!

When it came time to using them, I have to say that they were a delight to use. Although they are not as thick as the stones that one might normally use at a go club or at home, the size and weight of the stones are more than adequate when it comes to providing that feeling of picking up and placing the go stone on the board. And as you can see in the picture above, they fit quite nicely on my folding go board and look great!

So at the end of the day, I have to say that The Go Bento Box from GoGameGuru is a great product that provides incredible value for those interested in obtaining a portable set that keeps the essence of real stones without the hefty weight and bulky items. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as your primary set of stones that you use at home, but when it comes to needing a set of stones on the go, this product fits the job description! Highly recommended!

Note: The new Go Bento Box also includes a durable, full size, crease resistant 19×19 plastic Go board. Unfortunately, when I purchased this set it did not come with one; but since most of you will probably be purchasing this for the stones, I hope that you don’t mind!


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  • GoGameGuru – $27.00 (shipping and handling not included)


Last Updated on November 12th, 2013

  • Todd Bowlby

    I didn’t receive any sort of board with this, just a brief Baduk pamphlet in Korean which I barely glanced at before tossing out.

    I keep mine in my “go backpack” in the box it shipped with. It doesn’t keep it so tight that there aren’t stones spilled over into the wrong colour after kicking around in my backpack, but it keeps them pretty well separated.

    They get tiny chips rattling around in my go backpack, but are still playable so far. I did end up with a couple shattered stones after the inevitabe knocking over of a bowl onto a coffee-shop tile floor. Still well worth the money, though, when I’m already carting a bunch of 9x9s with stones in lock n locks, a folding 19×19, and a few go books around in my backpack.

    • Go Game Guru

      Todd, great to hear you’re enjoying the set.

      We used to sell the bento bowls and stones without the board. In late October, we replaced that product with a complete set, that also includes a lightweight board. In other words, this is a slightly different product to the one you ordered earlier.

      People have been asking to buy the boards individually, so (if you want one) we’ll be adding them to the store, as a very cheap board, soon.

      • Todd Bowlby

        Great! I’ve been telling some new players in our newly formed Go club about your entry-level Go equipment, and I’ll be sure to mention the stones we play with almost every week now come with a lightweight board.

      • Ben

        Ahhhh… no wonder! I could’ve sworn that I never had one to begin with. Time to update the review! xD

    • Ben

      Glad to hear your experience with them! It’s always great to hear another opinion from someone who has used them longer than I have. I can definitely see how they might chip over time, but definitely agree that they are well worth it regardless. =)

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