UDG Producer Bag
Vinyl and CD DJs have all kinds of road cases and gig bags out there to haul their gear. Laptop-based DJs and performers may have less gear to carry overall, but they still need to get their rig to the show and look good doing it. These three backpacks aim to store a digital DJ's entire setup. All of them combine rugged construction with style, accommodate laptops as large as 17 inches and fit into airplane overhead compartments. (They fit in the space in front of the seat on a plane as well, although with some difficulty depending on the plane.)
The UDG Producer Bag ($249 MSRP; www.ultimate-dj-gear.com) was designed with M-Audio keyboards such as the Ozone and Oxygen 8 in mind, but it is also perfect for Numark controllers (see photo). It holds the controller and the laptop in the main padded compartment, which includes a combination lock for protection. An extra padded compartment at the top holds a wide variety of audio interfaces from Native Instruments, TC Electronic or many others. Two side pockets are perfect for CD wallets, water bottles, hard drives and what have you. There are also accessory pockets in the front and back, including a dedicated iPod area.
Namba's Big Namba Studio Backpack ($149 MSRP; www.nambagear.com) is the only bag here that doesn't have a shoulder-strap option, but it contours to your back in an ergonomic way that makes it the most comfortable for carrying heavy loads. Inside there's plenty of space for MIDI controllers, audio interfaces, CD wallets and other accessories. It actually has the largest interior space of these three bags. Some of the larger pieces I used it for include the M-Audio Xponent and the Novation SL Remote Compact. And Namba's firm construction helps the bag keep its shape no matter what you put in it.
The GigSkinz DGSerato ($249 MSRP; www.gigskinz.com) gives Serato Scratch Live users with the Rane TTM 57SL mixer a clear choice. Its main compartment is specially sized for that mixer. However, digital DJs with other setups will also like the ample proportions and plush velvet-lined interior. Two padded pockets fit laptops and/or vinyl LPs perfectly, and two exterior zippered pockets, as well as two interior pockets hold your cables, headphones, hard drives and other accessories. The DGSerato is the only bag here that doesn't include a dedicated cell phone pocket, but other than that, it's solid.