DJ and producer luggage comes in all shapes and sizes but not all of it can actually live up to the demands that constant gigging can throw up. Monocase are one manufacturer who has stepped up to the challenge with their new EFX series DJ assault gear — a trendy name for a trendy collection of DJ/production gear.
The EFX range comes in five flavours that intend to cover all the needs of a DJ/producer — from big carry-all affairs to basic essential backpacks. The five options are the 365 DJ Pack, the Flyby, Kondensor, Producer and the Fader.
Each bag is made to military specifications, using materials that will withstand a trip to hell and back — a bit extreme, you could say, but they’re definitely built to last. Steel-riveted handles, high-density padding and waterproof shells will make sure that your gear turns up to the gig in a pristine condition. Having put the bags through our rigorous testing procedure — a quick bombastic trip to Ibiza and back for a gig, followed by an impromptu visit to Bestival for a last minute sneaky spin on the decks — the bags took a battering, as did our heads and bodies, but needless to say it was obvious which came out looking the best. Unexpected downpours, running through airports, clattering around ferries and thrown into the back of various automobiles — and a bottle of beer spillage. The bags took all this in their stride, and the three we gave the treatment to, by the end of our quick destruction demo, looked as good as they did when we unwrapped them out of their packaging!
Let’s look at these five bags in detail. The 365 DJ Pack is the largest bag, with plenty of room for a 17-inch laptop, a small stash of vinyls (for anyone still using them), Soundcard, hard drives, headphones and cables. The removable inner divider within the bag creates extra space for a larger stack of 12-inch records, a portable mixer like Pioneer’s DJM-T1, or controllers such as Native’s new S2 controller or Novation’s Twitch. This bag — as with the others — has that Tardis effect: small on the outside, big on the inside, and a whole heap of stuff can be packed away securely into it. The 365 also has side and front pockets for extra bits and bobs.
The Flyby is the next bag in the range and has a rather cool trick up its sleeve — it’s actually two bags in one. The FlyBy features a detachable laptop bag with an ingenious zipping method for attachment. The detachable lappy bag can take a 17-inch laptop with ease and has a super-slim fit that adds to the ergonomic nature of the bag. The Flyby features a stand-up design and is rigid enough to be placed on the floor of the DJ booth and stay upright, so that your gear is right at hand where it’s needed. The rear-padded compartment fits a 17-inch laptop and, as mentioned earlier, can be detached from the main bag. The main compartment is big enough to take medium to small-sized digital controllers, hard drives, and will even hold 12-inch vinyl. The outer front pockets will hold soundcards, headphones and all the accessories that would be needed for a DJ gig. This is my favourite out of the bunch.
The Kondensor is another backpack-style bag but is for DJs who don’t need a full-on bit of luggage. Featuring a split compartment design, the rear compartment fits a laptop of up to 17-inches in a separate padded sleeve — a nice touch — and there is space for two more if so needed! The front compartment includes two removable padded boxes for hard drives, headphones or other bits that need to be lugged about. Five strategically placed outer pockets give even more storage options for the DJ — a true midnight warrior.
The Producer bag, meanwhile, shifts the trend away from backpack and adopts the now familiar messenger-style configuration. Once again the inner padded compartment will fit a laptop up to 17-inches, as well as soundcard and headphones, with plenty of room for small controllers. The bag has two removable inserts so that it can be rearranged to accommodate different bits of kit, and to be honest could easily be used by a photographer and not just us muso types.
Last and by no means least is the Fader, and — as the name hints at — it is more at home with the turntablist as it will hold a healthy selection of 12-inch records, as well as laptop and Serato-style audiocard. This bag is definitely aimed at the turntable end of the market and — as with all the other options in the EFX range — comes with specially designed zips, steel riveted handles and straps, the solid rubber sole for stable plonking on the floor, and also sports the waterproof shell.
Other neat little additions to the bags include cable holders on the inside to keep all your wiring tidy. We’ve all been there: turn up to a gig, open up your bag, and it never ceases to amaze you that all the leads are tangled up together, no matter how neatly they were packed away in the first place?! We tested three of the bags and really gave them a hard time, and yet they still came up trumps. These bags are very well thought-out, very well built and will definitely last the test of time.
|Ease of Use||9.0|
|Value for Money||8.0|
A great selection of bags that have been put together with the highest of standards and should out-last your DJ career.
They will out-last your DJing career.
A great collection of bags that covers so many musical needs. Great design features to aid the modern travelling DJ/producer, these bags will take a hell of a beating and still be functional as well as extending a certain amount of cool to the user.