Mono Producer Bag (Laptop Bag Review)

If you’re only as strong as your weakest link – then it may be time to rethink your $30 laptop bag.

If you’re gonna be dumb you have to be tough

No, this isn’t a commercial for Jackass.  This is an observation that came about from several years of using laptops for various things – and being inherently (some would say almost supernaturally) clumsy.  After an eco-friendly (read – not cheap) bag that melted when a coffee got spilled on it and another “padded” bag that fell off my shoulder and failed to protect my laptop in a foot and a half fall – I decided that I would go for a sturdier route and found Mono Cases – a company that makes gig bags for instruments and DJ equipment.  The bag that caught my eye was The Producer.    There are full stats on the website – so I wont go into a lot of detail here – but I’ll detail a few things.

Excellent design

The padding on the bottom and sides of the bag is substantial.  When someone bumped into me and knocked the bag off my shoulder – the laptop inside survived a 3 foot fall with only a minor case bend on the side.

The material is easy to clean and water proof – a recent gig I did required moving the bag quite a ways in very heavy rain and all my electronic gear was dry.  The material hasn’t ripped or torn at all in the 2 years I’ve had the bag.

The handle is steel riveted and feels secure.  If I threw it over the door – I could probably attempt a pullup or two on it.  Also the zippers are very high quality.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal?  Try moving electronics in the rain with a compartment with a broken zipper and having to cover the bag in a trashbag.  Neither fun or classy.

The two front pockets are big enough to hold my power supply and Lacie drive in one and my apogee duet and cables in the other – and the two side compartments can easily hold a coffee travel mug.  The mug leaked in the bag once and none of the liquid got on my laptop – not a recommended test – but one I’m glad it survived.

The website says you could fit a 17″ laptop in the case – I have a 15″ – and it fits fine in the sleeve.  The interior compartment is plenty big enough for  headphones, cables, etc. (it comes with an optional velcro-ed divider that I didn’t end up using – but a nice feature).   I always have books and other things on me so those tend to go there.  A small interior pouch is big enough to hold keys – but I usually put flash drives and cables in there.  On the back of the bag there’s a document sleeve  I usually keep keys and other things in there during the gig.

If you REALLY stuff the bag – it won’t fit under an airplane seat – but will easily fit overhead.

Comfort

Another important point to consider is comfort.  This doesn’t sound like a big deal – but trust me – if you’ve ever had to haul a heavy bag for a distance up and down stairs (or on a subway) you know the value of this immediately.  In addition to the high quality strap – the weight distribution on the bag is excellent.  I can carry this for long distances without having to switch shoulder all the time like my other bags.

Price

Good things typically don’t come cheap.  Mono cases sells the bag on their website for $175 – but I’ve seen it here for $149.99 with free shipping.  This isn’t cheap for a laptop bag – but given that my other bags usually lasted 2-6 months at the most and this one has lasted me two years with very minimal signs of wear – it’s been a great investment.  If you end up going with a laptop guitar rig – you will need to protect your laptop like a parent would protect a child – and you don’t get much better than this for protection, flexibility and portability.

Mono cases also sells instrument bags and judging from some of the online reviews – looks like the same excellence is applied there as well.

Thanks for dropping by!


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