• Price: US$199
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Jetpack Prime Backpack Review

Joey Santos
Last updated 8 November, 2021

2822

The Lowdown

The Jetpack Prime is a bag that seems meant for the digital DJ who uses DVS: This won’t hold a modern DJ controller like the Traktor Kontrol S8. However, it does still store and protect your laptop and a bunch of DJ accessories very well, and there’s still plenty on offer here for controller DJs. Overall, we would easily recommend the Jetpack Prime as a solid DJ laptop bag, and we would strongly recommend it if you’re on or are planning to head down the DVS route.

Video Review

First Impressions / Setting up

The Jetpack Prime is essentially a laptop backpack with the added feature of distinct compartments for specific DJ gear and accessories. It’s quite bulky when you’ve got it on your back, but that’s what gives it a really distinct look (hence the Jetpack moniker) while at the same time being understated in design.

It’s made of a waterproof ballistic nylon for the exterior, which to me is a necessity for gigging DJs, and a nice bright orange “Ripstop” nylon lining inside. You think bright colours are just an aesthetic choice in these DJ bags, but they really help when you’re scrambling around your bag looking for that tiny thumb drive you chucked in.

There are two deep exterior pockets with flaps to store things that you need quick access to or don’t need much security, like a water bottle or an energy bar (you know, for those really long gigs). It’s got three zippered compartments, and of note is the middle compartment which houses your laptop because it’s got a pair of zippers that can be locked. The zipper tracks are also waterproof and reinforced, so even if someone tries to poke a sharp object through it to access your DJ essentials, it’s not going to be easy!

The straps are thickly padded, and I thought the bag’s back padding was comfortable. There’s a bag tag and carry handle at the top that has extra stitching, but I don’t see any steel rivets here ala Mono that really make for a heavy duty handle. Near the handle you’ve got a tiny little velcro pocket for keeping small private items.

In Use

A closer look

Front compartment

Front Flap
While it won’t fit a DDJ-SX or Traktor Kontrol S4, you can store something as big as a two-channel mixer or smaller DJ controller in the front compartment.

The front flap zips down to reveal velcroed pockets for calling cards and other small items, as well as a large zippered mesh pocket. For the record, these are the sturdiest net pockets I’ve seen in a bag – they’re thick and even a bit rubbery, so I can imagine they’re not going to rip easily lest you ridiculously overstuff them with sharp objects.

The area that the front flap covers is a cavity that can hold a two-channel mixer here as suggested by the Jetpack Prime website, although the compartment could’ve been slightly deeper so you don’t have to struggle a bit just to get the zipper of the front flap up when you’re storing a thick piece of gear. If you don’t travel with a mixer or you’re not into DVS, you could fit in a laptop stand here or a controller like the Maschine, Launchpad Pro, or even the Akai MPD232.

If you’re packing a lot of gear in this bag and seriously need more front compartment space for your mixer or controller, the front flap has a removable foam insert that you can take out to make it less rigid, allowing for more stuff to be packed in that area.

Middle compartment

Middle Compartment
The middle compartment has a sleeve that can hold up to 17″ laptops, tons of pockets, and features a headphone mesh net near the top, which makes for an efficient use of bag space.

The next compartment zips diagonally, which initially seems like a design quirk but actually has a clever practical use: Aside from giving you easier access to the laptop sleeve and its pockets, opening it fully also reveals a soft mesh pocket that holds your headphones and even its case. I was able to squeeze in a Pioneer HDJ-2000Mk2 with its case in there, which is impressive. This is a tradition in the Jetpack Prime series, and it lets you store your headphones at the top of the bag instead of at the bottom (as is usually the case), and it’s quite effective.

Below the headphone pocket you’ve got three smaller mesh pockets made of the same thick plastic net material as in the front flap compartment, and then another two larger pockets below them. You can store your coiled leads, charger, and other items here which will keep them organised. I hate digging around for USB cables in my bag, so sorting them in these pockets just makes things so much easier come gig time.

Now for the laptop sleeve: It’s got a nice thick padding with a felt lining that’ll help absorb some moisture in humid conditions (keep those desiccants handy), and can fit up to a 17″ laptop easily. In front of the sleeve is a big zippered thick net pocket, followed by two lightly padded pockets ideal for storing your DVS box, sound card, hard drive, or even your turntable cartridge case.

Rear compartment

Rear Compartment
The back compartment is the one most attuned to DVS DJs as it’s got sleeves for 12″ control vinyl and a CD wallet.

Finally, the third compartment houses what truly makes this bag unique, and will be the dealmaker / dealbreaker for digital DJs. It’s got four slots for storing full-sized 12″ records, as well as a board-backed insert that can hold up to six CDs.

While these are meant to appeal to DVS jocks primarily, I wouldn’t consider them to be a wasted feature even if you’re a pure controller DJ: Slot your CD giveaways here (at least now you’ve got an excuse to make them!), or remove the CD insert and stash important stuff like your ID or passport in its pocket. The record sleeves can double as a place to file and store important documents like print out tickets and reservations while you travel as well (as a rule, I always keep sensitive documents in the pocket closest to me in my travel bag). Again, while they’re purpose-built for records and CDs, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with them if you don’t do DVS at all. Apart from that, you’ve got another sleeve here for storing your iPad or similarly-sized tablet.

In use

Travel
Taking the bag to and from a gig is a comfortable experience, thanks to the padded straps and back cushion. DJs catching a plane will appreciate the baggage handle band so you can roll it around with your other luggage.

To take it through its paces, I took the Jetpack Prime out during a gig. I just got a Pioneer DDJ-SX2, and no way is that going to fit in the Jetpack Prime. It’s funny to think that prior to the mainstream success of the Traktor Kontrol S4, the appeal of a lot of DJ controllers was that they were small enough to fit in your bag, and of course that doesn’t seem to be the case these days (Pioneer DDJ-SZ / Numark NS7III, anyone?). Anyway, I put my laptop inside, stashed my headphones and leads, and headed out to the show.

You may be initially put off at how thick and bulky the bag is when you’re in transit, but it really isn’t a big deal at all: It’s really comfortable to use, especially since the back padding was thick yet porous. I didn’t encounter any rain so I can’t attest to its waterproof character.

At the gig, getting set up in the booth was easy – first was my DDJ-SX2 on the desk, next I proceeded to get my laptop, stand, and headphones, all within easy reach. Deeper in the bag were my cables and power brick, both of which were the last things I needed to hook everything up before starting my gig. Easy!

Conclusion

Accents
Little accents like this secret stash pocket and durable YKK zips make the Jetpack Prime a functional bag with cool quirks.

The Jetpack Prime is a bag that seems meant for the digital DJ who uses DVS, and this will be the deciding factor for many jocks: This won’t hold a modern DJ controller the likes of a Traktor Kontrol S8 or S5, or any of Pioneer DJ’s current DDJ offerings. As such, the ideal user of the Jetpack Prime really is the vinyl DVS DJ who likes performing with his or her battle mixer of choice.

However, it does still store and protect your laptop and a bunch of DJ accessories very well, and there’s plenty storage on offer here for controller DJs, although you’ll most likely need to lug around another bag just for your controller. You can still stash a laptop stand or an accessory controller like the Traktor Kontrol D2, the Pioneer DDJ-SP1, or a Maschine, but the front space feels like it’s really meant to hold a two-channel scratch mixer.

Another thing to point out is the price: At just under US$200, it’s on the pricier side of things and may have some beginners on a budget looking the other way, but then again this is a more intermediate bag for DJs with more complex storage, usage, and gigging needs.

Overall, we would easily recommend the Jetpack Prime as a solid DJ laptop bag, and we would strongly recommend it if you’re on or are planning to head down the DVS route: It really does feel like it’s custom built for that sort of DJ, full stop.

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