This is a good looking and understated bag, well made and with a decent level of protection for your medium-sized controller, laptop and loads of extras. An additional small pocket somewhere may have been more practical, but apart from that we give it a big thumbs up, especially at this price – it’s a bargain.
Big Namba Studio Backpack Review: A smart, stylish and understated backpack, the Big Namba – like its smaller brother, the Lil Namba – is nonetheless under the skin designed very much to fulfil the needs of DJ/producers on the move, offering decent protection and lots of features to separate and organise your gear. Based around two main pockets with a flat zip pocket in the back and a tiny “stash” pocket in one of the sleeves, it eschews the myriad of external pockets that some other bags go for, and thus maintains a streamlined, more conventional look when all done up.
However, undo it and you start to see the DJ/producer elements. The front pocket is wired to keep it secure and the zip opens nearly all the way for easy access. Inside there’s a mesh-separated headphones flap at there front, a key clip, a lead-holding Velcro loop, and various other mesh and nylon mini-compartments for pens etc. Essentially a medium-sized and quite deep compartment, this front section can hold a lot – which is just as well due to the lack of any other alternative “bits and pieces” areas on the bag.
Moving on to the main compartment, and one of the good things about it is that it unzips properly, all the way, so you can open the bag up like a suitcase. This is particularly good for delicate electrical gear such as controllers, mixers and Midi workstations, because you dont want to be inadvertently catching knobs and faders when trying to squeeze gear in and out of your bag if you can help it.
This compartment has a proper padded laptop section; another section perfect for holding 12″ control vinyl, more leads, or even a compact laptop stand; and of course the main compartment area for your controller. It fits the Vestax VCI-380 with just a tiny bit of “give”; anything much bigger and you’re looking at another solution. Anything much smaller, though, and you ought to try the Lil Namba, which for reference’s sake fits the Vestax VCI-300 perfectly (not an inch to spare).
Build-wise, the sturdy nylon, jumbo zips, comfortable chunky rubber top handle and thick rubber feet all confirm the bag’s quality, and the mesh back and padded straps deliver comfort. So overall, it’s going to protect your gear well while hopefully not proving too uncomfortable for you (we all know gear can be heavy; there’s not much they can do about that!)
With bags, it is really all down to size – if the bag of your choice is too big or small for the gear of your choice, it won’t be the right one no matter how good it is in any other area. So if you have a controller about the size of the Vestax VCI-380, consider the Big Namba. It’s good looking, understated, well made, protects well, has loads of room, and due to the lack of bulging, unsightly (albeit sometimes practical) external pockets, it’s kind of loveable too.
Can’t ask for much more from a bag; it’s also available in a range of colours too to suit your own sense of style. Personally I think the one we reviewed in midnight blue and bright orange looks kind of cool. But frankly at this price, any colour is a good colour!