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Gig Bags: Good and Bad

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bgavin, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. I'm looking for owner opinions on various gig bags.

    The Fender bags apparently have 1/2" padding. Is this enough? Are the zippers flimsy and are they made out of cheesy material?

    The high end of the spectrum is the Reunion Blues brand. They are pricey, but what do you get for all that cash?

    Link to Reunion Blues
  2. My basses always travel in hard cases -so I can't really help you with gig bags. Actually, one of them only survived a car crash because it was in a case (the case sadly didn't make it!).

    I don't know what the difference in price and practicality is for you, but I think it's worth going that bit extra for a hard case!
  3. outofstep


    Dec 5, 2001
    Sonoma, CA
    I have a hardshell... It's a lot better than a flimsy gig bag... besides you can put more stuff in the case... get an SKB...
  4. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Yes. I can't believe I payed over 300 kr (around $30) for that lump of poo. It lasted for about three weeks before one of the pocket zippers broke. Sometimes the big zipper stuck so I couldn't get my bass out of my gigbag. I'll never ever even consider buying another one of those!
  5. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Hardshell cases definitely offer much more protection, but they aren't nearly as portable, which sucks if you don't have a car (like me!). In such cases (pun intended), gig bags are a lot less of a pain.

    I have a Squier gig bag and it kinda sucks (big surprise) compared to other gig bags around, but it was cheap ($30) and so far, none of my basses have suffered any damage from being in it. I've had it for about a year or so now and have abused it thoroughly, and although it has a few small holes in it, still going strong.

    The only real complaint I have about it is that there isn't enough pocket space; also, of course, this isn't the type of thing you'd put in a baggage compartment anywhere.
  6. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Not necessarily. Some cases are actually smaller on the inside than regular gigbags.

    I usually have the following stuff in my gigbag: strap, 18 foot cord, a pair of cutting nippers, spare strings, tuner, metronome, a CD, a screwdriver, allen wrenches, a ballpoint pen and a pile of paper with songs on them. Plenty enough space for me. :D
  7. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    I have a hard case for every bass I own. However, I do own one gig bag, which is a Rockbag that came with my Warwick. I really don't think it's tough enough for permanent storage, or if I had to leave the bass unattended somewhere. However it's very convenient to use when I want to travel on public transport with my bass.
  8. I have found Mooradian (www.mooradian.com) and the better Levy bags to be good. They're well-padded and come with decent-sized front pockets (a must for me). The LA Bass Exchange (www.bassexchange.com) sells a line that looks good on the screen (including a double bag), but I haven't seen them in real life.

    I also have one of those newfangled Ritter bags for one of my guitars. I like it They make bass models too, and the line has varying levels of quality, but you might dig them.
  9. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    The LA Bass Exchange bags are excellent. I've carried my bass in one for three+ years. Great padding, cordura covering with color choices, leather (suede) patches on the inside where the headstock and bridge meet the bag. At $125 or so an excellent investment, IMO.

    The only Fender bag worth it's salt is the deluxe version (suede, not vinyl). Musician's Friend carries these for around $99 (sometimes on sale for around $79). Fairly good padding, strong zippers, double straps (non-removable). But you won't fit anything other than a Fender-type bass in it...no 5 or 6 stringers.
  10. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    The gig bag that came with my Cort Curbow is surprisingly good. It has better padding than the TKL gig bag I got with my Fender and its a lot more comfortable to carry. For high end gig bags, I've heard a lot of good things about Undercover gig bags. They make a nice double gig bag too.
  11. I like my PRO TEC, The model is a cross between a Hard Case and a Soft Case, it's not too heavy and protects most excellent! I paid $90 for it and never regret buying it.

    Check it out!
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I have Mooradian bags.

    I was sold on gig bags after I got one for my upright (the closest thing to a HSC for an upright costs about $2500 :eek: ). A few months of seeing the upright (which is way more fragile than any bass guitar) survive in a cocoon of foam and nylon made me decide to start leaving the HSC home most of the time.

    Yes, there is much less protection than a HSC in cases of hard impacts but you can stuff more stuff into the bag's pockets and then sling it over your shoulder, leaving hands free to lug your amp. For you guys who bring two basses to the gig, you can even get one bag to hold two basses!

    My upright bag has so many pockets, I get ALL the following stuff in the bag: bass, two instrument cords, four short patch cords, microphone, mike cord, speaker cord, tuner, preamp, EQ/DI box, wall wart, flashlight, guitool (screwdriver and wrenches), spare battery, fuses, bottle of moisturizing lotion, 2-3 prong AC adapter, two pens, spare strings, sheet music, set lists, earplugs, XLR-1/4" adapter :cool:

    On some gigs with ugly load-ins, I'll put my amp on a luggage cart, electric in a bag over my shoulder and upright in it's bag in my arms and it's one trip in and out.

    The catch with really good bass guitar gig bags is they cost as much or MORE than a HSC :rolleyes:

    As far as the Fender bags, I do own two of them. I used them like "dust covers" on some cheap basses I bought without cases. They are not nearly as nice as the Levy's, Mooradian or Reunion Blues bags; skimpy padding, cheesy zippers, etc. I wouldn't recommend them. Any bass heading off to a gig goes into the Mooradian bag.
  13. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    I did a search prior to Christmas to give my wife some ideas! The "Undercover" bags that Bass Central and LA Bass Exch sell have the highest price (beside leather Reunion) and claim to have the best protection; they do look really nice. I ended up getting a Levy double bag which I'm very pleased with and the price was right.

    Most of the time for local stuff, I use a cordura "Peavey" gig bag I got cheap! It does a great job and is quick and easy to store.

  14. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I got a heavy duty Kase III w/ my Kingston, and It's pretty darned thick, not to mention reliable. My only beef is that the Kingston barely fits.
  15. Unless I'm on the road I use a gig bag. A high quality gig bag protects a bass very well for "around town" gigs. A bag is more convenient than a hard shell case. For downtown gigs it isn't practical to drive alot of the time so I take the subway or taxis. A gig bag definately excels here. The key is buying a good quality bag. The Undercover cases are a great bag. I have an old Tobias bag that I got about ten years ago and it is still in great shape. It is very similar to the Undercover bags and may have been made by them. I also have a Club Bass gig bag that is very similar to the Undercover but is made in Toronto. It is my main gig bag.
  16. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    I use a Reunion Blues double for my Sadowsky and Zon. Very well made, nicely padded. A friend has gone thru 3 Fender double bags and mine still looks barely used.

    The only thing I don't like is that the front pocket is too small.

  17. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I'm not sure if you'd call this a gig bag or a soft case???

    I've got one of these and while it doesn't have straps like a gig bag it's not overly big like a hard case. These things are tough, though. The outside is really hard, semi-flexible plastic. It fits my Lakland D-55 or my Sadowsky 5 (the Sadowsky is longer) just fine. Now youcan't carry much of anything inside other than a small towel and your cord. But it sure fits in the car much better than a hard case and is not as flimsy as a gig bag. The price is pretty decent from Chris, too.

  18. muggsy

    muggsy Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2000
    Alexandria, VA
    I have three hard cases and one Reunion Blues gig bag. The gig bag is much lighter and more convenient than hard cases, and the protection is more than adequate unless you're in a car crash. Mine is the fabric bag with the leather trim. I used to have a Fender gig bag, and the RB bag is much, much nicer. I'd be comfortable having all my basses in them. My Fender Marcus Miller Jazz came in the Fender bag and barely fit, but it's got plenty of room in the RB bag.
  19. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    I've been using a Mooradian bag for about 16 yrs now, and it's awesome. The padding is thick, and the pocket is huge, and the zipper is super solid. It's a great bag.

    I was also suckered into buying a Fender gig bag for $30, and it's been a total disappointment. The fabric has ripped after about 4 mo of light use. The zipper pulls have both broken. The pockets are small, and not that useful. I think it was a waste of money.

    I just ordered an Undercover bag from Gard (Hi Gard!), and while it's expensive, I've realized that a cheap gig bag is just a pain in the butt. I'm hoping that the Undercover works out.

    I have a hard case for one of my basses, but I almost never use it.
  20. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    Yo Shirojiro! :)

    Easy answer, hands down the best bag I've seen is the Undercover, I've got 3: a double, a single, and a custom single for my NS Double bass & stand (which we sell at BC now as an "upgrade" to any interested NS EUB owners...).

    The Reunion Blues bags and Moordian bags are excellent as well.

    As for protection, I feel just as safe carrying my basses in my gig bag as I do in a case. The only time they go into a hard case is when they're being shipped airfreight. I've got some monster flight cases for my Zon and my NS for that situation.

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