Review: Namba Kucha iPad DJ Messenger Bag
For DJs who have to take their own kit to gigs, the days of lumping around a car bootful of gear are thankfully long-gone. As long as there’s a sound system already in place, you can usually get away with a backpack – even if it’s sometimes a quite big and heavy backpack!
But iPad DJs have really got it easy. As the Namba Kucha Messenger Bag we’re reviewing here today shows, it’s possible for iPad DJs to turn up sporting a really compact set-up, with the whole thing thrown over their chests, messenger-style.
First impressions and in use
The Namba Kucha looks like a basic, black nylon, compact messenger bag. It’s smart but understated, with a stitched Namba logo on the front, and a Namba gear tab in the flap. There’s a zip compartment across the front, a non-padded adjustable nylon shoulder strap, and a velcro-closed compartment at the back. The lightly padded front flap opens via two chunky silver metal clasps to reveal a large mesh zipped compartment on its underside (perfect for leads), a front-facing velcro-closed compartment on the front of the main section complete with lower padded internal divider and a detachable keystrap, and a zipper with two lockable fasteners to access the main compartment.
The coloured-nylon lined interior has a very soft iPad section held down by a velcro strap, a zipper pouch (which will easily fit any compact headphones that fold flat), and a velcro-fitted, detachable padded section that bridges from the front to the back of the main compartment at one side, dividing it into a narrow section and a wide section.
The wide section thus formed perfectly fits the Alesis I/O dock (which is many digital musicians’ choice of interface for the iPad), but also will fit any small piece of kit like a mixer as long as it’s roughly the same size. It would be a good fit for the Kontrol, X1, for instance. Meanwhile, the narrow section is designed for a microphone – although DJs will be just as likely to use it for power adaptors.
Were you to remove the nylon divider and lay it flat across the bottom of the bag for padding, the bag is also a good fit for a compact laptop such as the MacBook Pro 13″. When all packed and close up, the bag affords comfortable, effective and compact protection for a surprisingly large amount of gear.
This is a versatile and neat bag designed with the needs of mobile musicians and DJs firmly in mind.
It’s flexible enough whether you use iPad, MacBook, slimline controllers such as the X1 (it’s a bit too small for the Allen & Heath K2, by the way), or the Alesis I/O Dock, the latter being what it’s actually designed for.
I would have liked to see a more luxurious shoulder strap with a bit of padding on it, although to be fair you’re never going to carry anything majorly heavy in this. But also, a hand carrying handle on the top of the flap would have been a nice addition.
Overall, if you’ve got some combination of small DJing gear probably including an iPad, I/O Dock and/or Macbook plus headphones, leads and even maybe a slimline DJ controller or mixer, you should definitely have this bag on your shortlist.
Do you carry around a compact DJ set-up? Do you thnk this bag would suit your needs? Please share your thoughts in the comments.