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Protec Contego gig bag

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by wvbass, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    First of all, let me say this: I am a gig bag hater. I like the big, square, wooden hard cases. Yes, they are heavy. Yes, they are inconvenient. Yes, they absolutely will protect your bass.

    Molded-plastic, SKB style cases are ok, but they tend to warp pretty quickly and don't have much room for cables and straps.

    Gig bags = damaged basses, if you ask me. Granted, I have a few gig bags, but I rarely take an instrument out of the house in a gig bag.

    Recently, though, I downsized my car. I went from a Pontiac Aztek that could fit my 810e to a Mazda6 that can only barely fit a 112 through the trunk opening. Those big, wooden hard cases that I like are just not going to work anymore.

    So I was off on a gig bag search. I wanted something hard case-like (maximum protection), but gig bag-like (minimum size). Looking through TB, I quickly came up with two contenders: The Incase slim bag and the Sadowsky portabag. Both looked to fit my needs, but what a price tag! Both of them are around $200 + shipping. For a gig bag? I don't think so.

    Finally, I came up with another candidate: the ProTec Contego. Not too much about it here on TB: good bag, bad zippers, early models had no neck support. $130 list price. That's pretty much all I could find out here.

    Let me correct this lack of information regarding the ProTec Contego right now.

    First, the price. I bought mine from theperfectbass.com. It cost my $96 minus a $9.60 TB discount plus free shipping (I ordered an instrument cable to get my order above $99), or $86.40. It shipped quickly and arrive well-packaged. I'll be buying from there again.

    Second, this is a hybrid bag. It is, in essence, a gig bag, and the padding seems to be about an inch thick. The top and bottom are somewhat flexible, but there is a fairly rigid insert in both the top and the bottom that puts this thing into the "hybrid" category.

    The zippers seem durable enough to me. I suspect they have been improved on the newer models. There is a removable velcro neck support included with the case. It comes with a 5-year warranty covering defective materials and workmanship.

    Here is the Contego:

    It has three zippered pockets on the lid of the case. There is a small pocket at the headstock. I could probably fit a Boss-sized effects pedal up here:


    There are two larger pockets at the body, perfect for cables, a paper notebook, strap, etc. I'm probably not going to be able to fit my LMII in there, though. (Not that I'd want to.)



    On the back of the case, there is a place for a hook so you can hang the bag. I'm not sure why you'd want this, but it does seem to be a feature on many gig bags. It did not come with the hook, but it has a place for one:

    The backpack straps are well padded, and there is a velcro strip to hold them out of the way, if necessary. The strap hardware is all plastic, so it may be fragile over time. The straps are nicely positioned so that when I use them, the bass does extend higher than the top of my head, but not ridiculously so.

    The case has rubber feet so that when you set it down, the cloth (which looks to be fairly durable) won't get damaged by conrete, etc. There are three feet along the long side opposite the handle. Strangely, there is only one rubber foot at the bottom, so if you stand the bag on its end, I guess you are supposed to balance it on the one foot. Two feet on the end would be better.

    The inside of the case is made of a nice, soft material. The sides are well padded, and also have the same rigid material that the top and bottom have.

    There are a few pieces of fake leather sewn in strategic areas where the bass could damage the cloth. The first one is at the end pin:

    There is also some fake leather to keep the bridge from poking holes in the case:

    Finally, there is some fake leather at the headstock, probably to keep improperly installed string ends from damaging the case. This picture also shows the neck support, which is attached by velcro at its ends:

    Once the bass is in the case, there is a little bit of wiggle room, both side-to-side and top-to-bottom. Its not too bad, and I guess this is to be expected from a one-size-fits-all case.

    In summary,

    * Good price, especially compared to other similar bags.
    * Nice, compact size. Not big, but big enough to fit accessories in the pouches.
    * Decent protection for a bag, thanks to the rigid reinforcement of the case.
    * Well padded. I estimate it to have about 1" of padding.
    * Five year warranty.

    * Its a bag. It is not going to protect like a hard case. Period.
    * The plastic hardware on the backpack straps could break over time. To be fair, I had a Dell laptop bag with metal strap hardware, and the metal broke while I was in a stairwell! The laptop survived the fall. The bag was burned at the stake.
    * Only one rubber foot at the bottom.
    * The one-size-fits-all thing means that it probably doesn't fit any bass perfectly. I sometimes fix this problem with soft washcloths to fill space.

    I won't be able to comment on durability for a couple years, but I don't anticipate any problems. It looks durable enough, and I'm pretty good to my stuff anyway. Based on price comparisons and initial quality, though, I'd have to recommend this bag as a good deal. I'm sure the Sadowsky and Incase bags are better, but they are also 2-3 times the price. Also, based on my initial experience, I have to recommend theperfectbass.com. Their customer service was transparent - they handled my order the way it should be handled. I simply placed my ordered (at the lowest price I could find, by the way!) and received it about 3 days later.

    I still hate gig bags, though. I'm going to call this thing a case.
    Preventer likes this.
  2. This a great review. Thanks for taking the time to do this!
  3. yamahutz


    Nov 19, 2008
    Great review!
    All I want to add is that mine, bought in march 2009 has no side feet, but has two rubber feet on the bottom.
    And for those interested , it fits a Yamaha TRB6II perfectly.
  4. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    Back in the day when you could carry your gig bag onboard an airplane & hang it up front in the closet with all the garment bags, this feature was a big plus.

    Nowadays I just use it to hang a bag off a hook on the back of my studio door, since my closet is already filled up with other basses!

    (btw, I've had a ProTec Contego for almost 2 years now, I really like it.

    But I also like gig bags...)
  5. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks for the review.

    One complaint I have with soft gig bags is that there is not enough space in the headstock area, so the tuners actually turn when the bass is in bag.

    Does that happen with this bag?
  6. That's one of the nice things about all the hyrid bags (ProTec, Mono, iGig, Sadowsky Portabag, Incase, etc.). They have hard sides (some are more rigid that others) and a neck support system. So, the bass stays in tune.

    And to the OP... nice review. That bag is a very good value for the dollar.
  7. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I was asked via PM to bump this thread with an update now that I have had the Protec for a while.

    I like this gig bag as much now as I ever have. I own two, and use them regularly. They have held up very well; in fact, they still look new! (I take good care of my stuff.). I had read that a screw could punch through the padding and scratch the bass inside; I have not experienced that. Even so, this bag has had some minor design improvements since I bought mine, so I doubt this is a problem now - if it ever was.

    My only minor gripe is that the neck pad isn't thick enough for my angled headstock basses. I use a piece of cloth underneath to make it thicker. I believe the newer bags have a redesigned neck rest, so this may not be an issue now.

    No gig bag is suitable if you are putting your bass in the band trailer. If you transport your own equipment, though, four years down the road, I give this bag a ten out of ten on the value scale. I wish they made a double bag like this.

    Edit: I can also say I am still a fan of theperfectbass.com. I recently ordered a pickup from them, and they went out of their way to provide me with additional info before I ordered. It was just a small order, but they gave me twenty minutes of phone time and measured the pickup for me to make sure I was getting what I needed.
  8. I've been using the Contego for a while. No negatives with my P Bass. One of the best bags out there regarding the price/weight/protection/pocket size ratios.... edit: Revision/edit... check measurement if you have an in-line 5 string J!
  9. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Weird. I carry both Lakland and Fender J basses in mine from time to time. Maybe the dimensions of the bag have changed? The only thing I can't fit is a Thunderbird.
  10. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    The Protec bag came with an Fbass I bought, a while back. Since then I've carried a Carvin SB5000 and a Sadowsky MV5 in it, as well.
  11. Babaghanoush


    Jan 21, 2011
    Ohio, USA
    My J fits perfectly in this bag even with the strap locks still on. So far this bag has been an extremely good value.
  12. Not in mine. And others have posted the same. Interesting. It doesn't make sense that a J wouldn't fit... maybe dimensions changed or something. Great bag for sure.
  13. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Welcome to hybrid gig bags. I've had mine for 10 years.
    Mine is a no name out of business but good quality
    with many features that really work well.
    I have no need for my hard cases, wanna buy a new TKL hard case?
  14. nordic27


    Jul 30, 2006
    Lee's Summit MO
    I have had mine going on seven years now without any problems. I use this in conjunction with a SKB Bass Safe when flying. Been a wonderful combination thus far.
  15. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Hmn. Yeah, seems odd.

    I've got an old Fender J (prolly 70s) in my closet, so I tried it in that Fbass-logoed Protech bag. Slipped right in, perfectly.
  16. Yeah, my Alleva J didn't fit, and I just thought that was because of that big honkin' in line headstock, but got a couple PM's from people saying their Fender J's would also not fit... maybe it is only a 5 string headstock issue.

    Anyway, great bag, and it looks like 'most/many' J's will fit.
  17. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Makes sense, that the five-in-line headstock might be too long for the bag. The fivers I've tried have all been 4 + 1 or 3 + 2 (Fbass BN5, FBass VF5, Carvin SB 5000, Sadowsky Vintage).
  18. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS

    My room is filled with gig bags are hard shell cases right now. That's not always the case, but it ebbs and flows.

    I don't like hard shell cases UNLESS I am buying a bass. I like the added value of a HSC in the deal. Otherwise, they are difficult to carry up and down my stairs and don't fit into the trunk of my car.

    I've tried them all and I've been loyal to the Road Runner deluxe gig bag. The one with the added compartments. The interior has been professionally repaired once already, and now I have it lined with Gorilla tape. That stuff is amazing !!

    BUT - I ordered a Protec Contego Bass Guitar Gig bag and this thing SCREAMS high end quality. Everything about it is top shelf from the over sized, rubber coated zippers, to the thick interior, the look, the compartments, and I love the backpack straps for when I walk down my stairs I can hold my combo in one hand, the railing with another, and wear the bag. It fits easily into the trunk and is a perfect hybrid between soft and hard shell case.

    Oh, forgot to mention - my 35" scale Cirrus fits with room to spare ! My Peavey and Ibanez both are happy.

    As far as gig bags go, this is perfection....
  19. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    I have an Alembic Spoiler. I wanted a hybrid case for transporting to gigs. I only gig locally, and transport in my car. I read the threads regarding cases and decided the Gator GL would fit my needs, at the price I wanted to pay. Unfortunately, the body is a bit wide (2-3 inches) for the case. I looked on Gator's site before buying and couldn't find where to look up dimensions, as mentioned in one of the threads. Would this case work for my instrument, and are there other cases you could recommend? I'm willing to spend a bit more for the case, but don't want to do the $200 case, like the OP. Thanks a lot!
    I looked on Protec's site. They say the interior is 14". I measure my instrument's lower bout at 14.75". :(
  20. yamahutz


    Nov 19, 2008
    I stil use the same bag, 9 years later. Except a zipper that was replaced, everything is perfect.
    Bob_Ross likes this.

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