This is not an expensive pack – I have seen bags by bigger brands at twice the price that offer no better protection. It is part of a range that is specifically designed to fit different sizes and combinations of DJ and production gear, so I recommend checking out Namba Gear if your equipment carrying needs are different from mine.
First Impressions / Setting up
It’s heavy duty, but compact. There’s only so much a bag can look “cool”, but with the red logo, it managed to look pretty smart, without drawing attention to the fact that it contains DJ gear. It has jumbo zips, thick straps, a carry handle on the top, thick rubber knobbly feet (that’s a technical term, by the way), and a (rather ineffective) little horizontal strap across the shoulder straps.
Upon opening, it has a multitude of compartments, some hidden, all protected by rigid plastic inserts that are stitched into the pack, making it sturdy for the size and weight.
This model has a master compartment that opens out completely by unzipping around three sides of the bag. Inside there’s a set of pockets designed for leads, although happily, they fit my Crane laptop stand absolutely perfectly.
The main part of the compartment is intended for a DJ controller or similar-sized pieces of gear, and the Vestax VCI-300 (2.5 x 16.5 x 11″) fits this perfectly, as will all controllers up to this size.
The third element here is a padded laptop section, with an elastic and velcro fastener. It fits 15″ laptops well; 13″ rattle around a little but won’t come out or anything like that. 17″ won’t fit. This compartment is highly protected, and when the whole section is zipped up, everything becomes nice and snug.
The front compartment has little inserts for leads, pens, your wallet and so on, but also has a compartment which is designed for headphones, being reinforced with rigid plastic to resist any squashing or crushing – a lovely bit of design that is going to save many a pair of cans from in-transit mishaps.
On one of the straps, there’s a secret compartment with a zipper on it, about the size to carry a small wallet or credit card holder. Finally, there’s a big zip compartment right against your back that would be a good place to put a magazine, an A4 contract folder, or something similar. Inside this compartment is a set of velcro and material cable ties, branded with the Namba name – a nice touch.
I found the bag to be sturdy and comfortable. The gear I use (MacBook Pro, VCI-300 Mk II, Crane Stand, plus headphones, etc) weighs quite a bit and I often walk or cycle to one of my gigs (about a mile), so I think that’s a fair test.
It sits high on your back, so it’s easy for cycling with, and when it’s off your back, the thick feet and jumbo carrying handle on the top make it easy to move around. The fact that the main compartment unzips and opens up completely, more like a suitcase, means it is simple to pack and unpack carefully, ensuring you don’t drop or scratch anything as you try to force it all in or get it out of the bag.
I liked the little “hidden” pockets too, especially the one on the carry handle, which could just save your life (or your money at least) should light fingers get to your bag at any point, as they’d probably miss it.
The most important thing though is that the gear felt like it was completely safe and protected.
Expensive DJ gear needs good bags. This is not an expensive pack – I have seen bags by bigger brands at twice the price that offer no better protection.
It is part of a range that is specifically designed to fit different sizes and combinations of DJ and production gear, so I recommend checking out Namba Gear if your equipment carrying needs are different from mine. For controllers the size of the VCI-300 or smaller, however, the Lil Namba Remix will do the job fine.
Apart from the rather ineffectual stability strap on the front, there’s nothing I can find to fault it. Recommended.