Sometimes it takes you a long time to find gear and accessories that suit you. When I first started DJing, I took advice from some of the older DJs I knew about needles, headphones, styli, and bags. I found out on my own how quickly a pair of higher end Sony, Technics, or Pioneer headphones could snap quickly, how long Stanton cartridges will last, or just how much wear and tear a DJ bag will take.
I’ve gone through a ton of bags: Technics with the handles and the shoulder strap that made your neck look like someone beat you repeatedly, a Caffeine (jeez remember that company?) messenger that hardly held enough records to take to a gig, a Timbuk 2 bag that couldn’t make up it’s mind whether it was a backpack or messenger bag, and a Burton DJ bag that just didn’t last among many others. There are other companies that have stand out bags: the Magma roller (that DJ Andy Smith swears by), some UDK shoulder bags, but I am specifically speaking on the large size messenger/ DJ bag. I first wrote a little something about the special edition of this bag, an exclusive collaboration with one of the busiest and hard working DJs around: Cosmo Baker. Here’s my review of the Tucker & Bloom North to South DJ bag.
For me, a DJ bag has to be a lot of things. When I was on tour, pre-Serato, I needed a bag that could carry multiple break records, whatever records I used during the band’s set, a short set for before or after (and I also carried a heavy flight case that consisted of about 50 to 100 records plus a tool box with anything I might need in a jam), my Shure needle case, slip mats, headphones, and any other accessories such as a record cleaner, brush for the turntables, 45 adapters, a flashlight, extra headphones (and adapters), Sharpie, and whatever else I could shove in there. Today, if I’m doing a vinyl gig it’s usually 45s, so I need something to carry the records, headphones, slip mats, and needles. If it’s a Serato gig (and the venue doesn’t have Serato), the bag needs to also be able to carry my laptop as well as the Serato box and cables. I’ve gone through backpacks, rolling backpacks, messenger bags that turn into a backpack, and I could never ever get everything into just one bag. Here’s where the North to South comes in. Mesuring 12.5” Long, 13.5” High, and 4.5″ deep, this messenger bag is a work horse.
Let’s start at the top with the optional leather shoulder pad (which I highly recommend). Records and gear are heavy, and you need a strap that doesn’t kill your shoulder. It’s padded with a faux sheep’s wool (like the Marlboro man jacket collar), and is quite comfortable. With two large, divided inside pockets, I was able to put my laptop with a protective sleeve, Serato vinyl, slip mats, a Serato box, extra vinyl, RCA’s and USB cords, my headphone case, and a Shure needle case between the two. I filled the the back zipper pocket with business cards and extra adapters. The front compartment has two unzipped pockets for a flashlight, pens, etc. The outside pockets on the side were perfect for my point and shoot camera, while the back slip pocket help my phone, Kindle Fire, and MP3 player and ear bud headphone case with no problem.
The outside material is made of water resistant ballistic nylon, while the soft but durable inside liner is made of taslan nylon. There are a few color ways too: Black, Grey, and Green. There is a lot of attention to detail throughout, such as the metal alloy quick release buckles with the T & B logo, custom stitched inside tag, and small rubber logo hits on the ends of the shoulder strap, as well as the same stitched tag on the back velcro bike strap. It’s a good looking bag, lightweight, and will take a beating. The night I took it for a test drive it was raining, and there was no problem with water getting inside the bag. I could easily travel from my place to the venue on in comfort. While most bags I have used in the past have just got in the way, slid off my shoulder and weighed me down, the North to South bag was quite comfortable, staying put while I walked (as it should stay on your side). It didn’t feel like I I had a sack of boulders while I was getting on and off the train. One of the things I am always worried about is my laptop, and will the bag be comfortable and not awkward once the computer is in the bag? With the computer in the back pocket in a sleeve, the bag stayed organized and easily manageable. It was pretty full, and the quick release buckles did their job: they stayed closed until I took the bag off, and when I needed to look in and check that I didn’t forget anything, it easily closed back up. I’ve never had an better time with a DJ bag. It was a joy to have everything I needed to and from the gig, during the gig so organized in one bag. It’s also handmade in Nashville, TN, and the co-owner of the company is a traveling DJ who knows the demand of the working DJ. If that’s not enough, the North to South bag is also co-signed by big name DJs like the aforementioned Cosmo Baker, and other working/traveling DJs like DJ Ayers and Rich Medina, who put the bag through a lot of work. My opinion on the Tucker & Bloom North to South bag? It will be the last DJ/messenger bag you ever buy. This bag also carries a lifetime warranty, so safe money says it will outlive you. Show me any other DJ bag that does that.
Tucker & Bloom North to South Promo Video
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