As long as I’ve been DJing, I’ve always had beef with DJ bags. I addressed that in my review of the Tucker & Bloom North/South messenger here, and introduced the Flea Market Funk family to the company. This DJ bag is the last one you’ll ever buy. But what happens if you’re heavy into 45s? In the past, if you slung 7″s, you had a few options. For the short set, grab your Donny & Marie, Star Wars, psychedelic swirl, or if you were lucky, your Triad box and put about 25 or so in there and you’re off. With the exception of the Triad, most of the others were poorly constructed and you ended up breaking the handle. Forget the light, 1960′s double 45 box, put any weight in the thing in transit and you have to carry it with two hands. Try doing that on a crowded subway or plane. Various companies make their version of a soft 45 (the Daptone 45 bag comes to mind) which gave you some label clout and a coolness factor, but weren’t practical for more than an hour set or more. You could grab the Magma bag, the only option for traveling until now. Looking like a day trip ice cooler with lots of complaints about bag life, straps ripping, and zipper problems, they kind of had the market cornered. Your other choice was this rasta stripe handled Japanese bag from turntable lab that looked cool, didn’t hold much and was over $200. For the serious traveling DJ, the end option was the Odyssey hard case. It held close to 200 45s, had a lid that could double as an organizer, protected the records to the fullest, but had one big problem: it was heavy. Even getting around the city to do a 4 hour all 45 gig for me needs a small hand truck to get from street to train to gig. Enter the Tucker & Bloom Rich Medina 45 bag. This bag breathes life into transporting 45s, and will change the way a DJ who spins 7″ records travels from here on out.
“After decades of touring with bags that would eventually wear down and be replaced by the newest flavor of the month, this collaborative opportunity with Tucker & Bloom presented me with my first chance to help develop a product that is not only practical for the working class DJ who carries 45 RPM records, but further, almost any other working professional looking for a durable, high quality shoulder bag to add to their tool kit or traveling luggage.” – Rich Medina
I took the bag for a Flea Market Funk test drive this weekend. I had no problem filing in a grip of variously sleeved 45s with cardboard sleeves, paper sleeves, or plastic covers with ease. I love the fact that you have the opportunity to use the optional shoulder strap or the sturdy hand straps that snap together. That’s something that the Odyssey didn’t have, a practical handle. Sure it was a hard case and needed that tough padded handle, but try carrying the thing at full capacity at any length of time. Forget it. With the Rich Medina bag, it was a pleasure to be in transit, and I was able to get through a subway turnstile without having to notify the attendant to buzz me in with my very heavy cart. The other thing that I found helpful, is that the zippered pocket help headphones, needles, a flashlight, 45 adapters and more. The sharkskin top zipper holds your keys, pens, whatever else small you need to transport. I threw in my Kindle Fire, a moleskin pad and pen. You don’t get that in a lot of other bags, certainly not in the Magma. You do get the zipper off top (which doubles as an organizer), and Tucker & Bloom could have followed suit with this, but why? They are setting themselves apart from the competition, and at the end of the day their doing their own dang like the Jungle Brothers. If you’re worried this bag not protecting your hard to find 45s, the material behind the purple nylon fabric is closed cell foam, with a 1680 ballistic nylon exterior. It was raining a bit when I took this for a test drive, and there were no problems with any moisture getting in. Here’s something that is going to seal the deal (besides the lifetime warranty): you will not have to check your bag while flying. This thing can stay close to you under the seat, try doing that with the Odyssey bag. I once ran through Heathrow in London full speed with an Odyssey case only to be stopped at the gate to have to check the thing in. I don’t want to check records, ever. I don’t trust anyone, most of all a hard case that says “Take Me Now” by sight. This is just another feature that makes this more appealing. If you’re not someone who flies to DJ often, this bag is still the mack. Functional and stylish, your 45s go with you in style. The higher price has been questioned in forums already, but let’s get real people. At $275 you’re getting a superior made bag with a lifetime warranty, something most companies do not offer. Quality does not come cheap, and if you want a Rane mixer you’re not buying it at Gemini prices, ya dig? Two words once again: Lifetime Guarantee.
Here’s a few technical aspects of this very special bag:
-45 Bag Dimensions: 14.5″ long x 7.5″ wide x 8.5″ deep main chamber and a 1.5″ deep zippered pocket.
-Made in the USA.
-1680 ballistic nylon exterior.
-Milled chrome tanned leather ABS covered external frame with handle webbing detail trim.
-Open main chamber lined in velveteen flocked nylon fabric with shock absorbing closed cell foam backing.
-Velcro flap to securely attach to a rolling bag.
-Industrial etched metal Rich Medina X Tucker & Bloom name plate.
-Heavy duty #8 nylon self healing zippers.
-Zippered top pocket made of nylon “sharkskin” for keys, ipod, wallet, etc.
-Room for over 150 seven inch records, DJ needles, headphones, and more.
-Solid cast metal hardware.
-Parallel spring snaps on the handle webbing to keep straps in place while not in use.
-Detachable and adjustable shoulder strap with a ergonomic shear-ling pad lining and leather shoulder pad.
-Covered by our lifetime warranty.
Tucker & Bloom have teamed up with another industry heavyweight again and come up with a banger of a bag. They mean business, as this bag was pushed back several times because of specification changes by Medina himself. That’s professionalism. It shows you that both the company and the DJ don’t put their name on crap. Rich Medina is the consummate professional DJ, historian and music ambassador to the craft. He is more than qualified to put his stamp of approval on this product. Whether it’s Funk, Soul, Hip Hop, House, Afro-Beat, Medina is well respected in all those areas and an avid vinyl advocate. It’s always satisfying to see a real DJ on a real product. A gentleman carrying a bespoke gentlemen’s bag, for DJs. Tucker & Bloom are emerging as the leading company in premier DJ bags (and everyday bags as well). Hand crafted in the USA, made by DJs for DJs, the proof is in the pudding: Cosmo Baker, DJ Day, now Rich Medina. All professional, traveling DJs who need a bag that is reliable, stylish, and functional. You get that in this 45 specific bag. If you have been collecting and spinning the 45 medium for any extended period of time, you know the void there was in the bag market. The good people at Tucker & Bloom have filled that void with this collaboration. The bag is a game changer.
More info about the bag here.