We’ve covered in various videos the importance of protecting your DJ Equipment, whether that be just looking after it in the studio or carting it around. Most DJ Equipment bags offer little in the way of protection unless you buy flight cases but flight cases are not the easiest thing to carry around, especially when all you want to take with you are the essentials or more portable equipment. Laptop DJs have it even worse requiring a laptop bag, bag for their controller and maybe a bag for all their accessories.
Most people will just chuck it all into the cheapest rucksack they can find until they open it all back up and realise its all scratched to bits as everything rubs against each other, faders have bent and its filled with dents. Thats where Namba Gear come in, a fine maker of DJ equipment bags which not only look great but protect your gear like never before. Their bags are made for DJs who have a small amount of equipment to move around, like our laptop DJs already mentioned and we’ve got a hold of their Big Namba Studio Backpack to review.
This is their largest bag in their backpack range, the largest possible size you can use as carry on hand luggage at an airport and it’ll hold a 17″ laptop but lets come back to that later. The build quality on this is second to none and its built like a tank. Every compartment has padding, the outside feels almost solid and the stitching has a quality to it that means this won’t be breaking at the seams as you try to squash one more piece of equipment inside.
We’ve got a hold of their ‘Killer Bee’ styled bag but these come in a wide range of other colours. We actually like the vibrant yellow on black look but for those wanting something more plain the option is there. The styling of the bag doesn’t give off the fact that inside is hundreds of dollars worth of DJ equipment inside allowing you to get on with your business without advertising yourself. The carry handle on the top is made from a solid plastic tube that won’t leave your hands torn to shreds after holding it for a few minutes and it has been reinforced to take a lot of weight. The straps have been padded so even with a large amount of equipment inside your shoulders won’t have red marks on them after carrying this on your back. The shoulder straps even come with an additional safety strap to tie the bag around your torso meaning it wont fall off your back, great for if your on the back of a bike for example. Other older reviews by other sites found fault with this feature but we’ve got no issues with it, everything stayed in place and worked as expected so it looks like any fault has been fixed. Finally the straps have a small pouch for easy access to an iPhone or money whilst keeping it in view for protection.
The bag comes complete with jumbo zips, not only do these allow you to open the bag easier, you won’t have to worry about them breaking after you crammed too much stuff inside the bag. These are tough zips and its great to see them as very few DJ bags offer these type of quality zips. They’ve even lockable so you don’t have to worry about people going through your bag in busy places.
Inside the front of the bag is a compartment for headphones, leads and other bits and pieces. The outside of this section is super tough but slightly flexible so you can fit all sorts of odd shaped items in there. The front bit is mainly for headphones, offering a nice shape to keep them protected but could be used for anything. Everything is padded out with solid inserts and can be folded flat for when not in use. Inside this area at the back is a place to put magazines or something thin but big objects and in front of this is quick access to pens, business cards, credit cards and two small pouches for things like connectors. At the top is a Velcro piece of material to put your wires around so they don’t get into a tangled mess at the bottom of your bag and a quick release catch, great for putting your keys on so you can find them quickly and also access them quickly too.
The main compartment has room in there for most 25-key MIDI controllers & computer dj controllers and if you watch our video you’ll see we even put a 4 Channel mixer in there with room to spare. This area is right in the middle of the bag and is well protected with thick padded areas around the sides and front and back. Theres another area for cables and an area to hold 12″ vinyl if you are still using them. If not, a few CD wallets will easily fit in their place. Finally in this compartment is a dedicated area for a laptop, this bag will hold a 17″ laptop firmly with extra padding around this area to make sure it never gets damaged and a velcro strap to stop it ever falling out. This bag will also hold smaller laptops just as well, we tested it with a 15″ model and it was just as snug and protected as a 17″ laptop. The main compartment can be held together with velcro and buttons so when you unzip it the top half doesn’t swing to the ground. Removing these restraints will give you easy access to your equipment so you don’t have to try and pull it out gently watching out for knocked switches. It even has its uses at airports too where you may be asked to remove equipment, here you can do so easily.
On the back of the bag is a hidden compartment, small in size but will easily let you fit a magazine or two or other documents in there. Inside is a few Namba branded cable ties which is a really nice touch.
This is one study bag, it keeps its shape with nothing in it and thats a good sign it’ll protect your contents inside. We carried it around for a couple of days with equipment inside and the first thing you’ll notice on hotter days is how cool your back is. The special material didn’t heat up like other rucksacks normally would and made our journeys much more comfortable. The bag sits high up which helped especially when carrying heavy equipment and as this is the largest one they offer we did find it a bit bulky to use on crowded trains but it allowed us to fit more than enough equipment in to set up a mobile setup elsewhere and there are smaller bags available to suit your needs so we can’t complain about the size at all.
The large zips and the fact you can open it 180 degrees made packing and unpacking a snap. There was never any worries the zips would get caught or break as with other DJ bags we’ve looked at. All the little pockets and compartments mean little connectors or bits of equipment need not get lost at the bottom of the bag, having our phone in the shoulder strap felt great as it was practically impossible to steal or ‘pick pocket’ and it allowed easy access without having to take the bag off.
The solid rubber feat meant that when this bag was taken off we didn’t have to worry about our equipment hitting the hard pavements with only a piece of cloth between them and all in all the equipment always felt safe. Moving through a very busy London street with the bag on there was no worries as you bump your way through the crowds that anything was getting damaged and that’s the most important thing.
As more and more DJs become All in one DJs, using a laptop and digital controller to carry out their sets the more important it becomes for bags like these to be around. Namba Gear have nailed everything perfectly, they’ve made an all in one bag that lets us carry a large laptop, controller, headphones, wires and more in one compact bag, whilst these bags may seem on the more expensive side they are actually great value for money. We’ve seen more expensive bags with less protection, cheap zips and material. This Namba bag offers fantastic protection, great build quality and loads of nice extra touches, its hard for us to explain just how good the quality on this bag is, as soon as you see and feel one in the flesh you’ll quickly realise the little differences that make up the quality in this bag. Chucking your laptop and controller into a normal ruck sack is cheaper but sooner rather than later you’ll damage something or bend something important and realise that spending a little extra on one of these bags would have saved you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Can we find a fault with this? No, everything has been tweaked to perfection. This bag is well recommended and do check out Namba Gear for this and other DJ equipment bags.