The Ultimate Backpack for Digital DJ’s?
UDG don’t mess about when it comes to bold statements with their product names, after all what do you expect from a company thats name stands for Ultimate DJ Gear. This back pack, aptly named the Ultimate DIGI backpack, takes direct aim at the traveling digital DJ. A broad market with every DJ needing a slightly different set up to suit their own needs.
With that in mind this back pack will need to not only be strong but highly versatile to be successful. So to make sure we tested this bag in almost every situation, we sent it with DJ Holland as he travelled Europe DJ’ing for the Yacht Week. Subjecting the bag to sun, sea and sand. Not to mention the airports, Air BnB’s and night clubs along the way!
Built from waterproof nylon with large strong zips on all the major compartments, the ultimate UDG backpack oozes quality when handled. Throughout the four weeks I spent with the back pack, I never once had an issue with the build quality of the bag as it stood up to sandy beach parties, spray from sea water and the heavy hands of airport security.
Found on the arm straps are two plastic hooks, perfect for laminate passes when DJ’ing at festivals. They also feature foam and mesh to keep the weight distribution even and the ventilation high. The back of the bag uses the same technique but with thicker padding, the comfort of this bag is not to be over looked. Even when heavily packed it never once became uncomfortable to wear which is high praise indeed.
The interior materials are all bright contrasting orange, fantastic for spotting those pockets accidentally left open even in dark conditions. Three of the interior pockets are made from a soft orange felt, these are intended for your phone or iPod, headphones. This attention to detail is a nice touch meaning your valuables are kept safe and scratch free.
At the very back of the bag is the laptop compartment with three individual areas. Ideal for airport security when you need to remove the laptop without opening the rest of your bag, the pocket can hold a laptop up to 15.7″ in size. The pocket also features a soft felt divider and a black bubble layer on the rear to help distribute weight evenly over the device. Above the laptop there are a further two compartments perfect for a laptop stand and control vinyl. All three of these area’s can have a cable run through to the headphone access port however we do not recommend charging or running laptops inside the bag due to the poor ventilation to dissipate heat.
Due to the shape of this pocket I would often find the bag would need to be stood up or pulled back into shape before I could zip this pocket back up. A minor problem but one I felt worth pointing out as I would regularly need to unzip the pocket fully to get my laptop stand out and this would cause the bag to misshape.
In front of the laptop area is the largest area of the bag, big enough to carry small controllers and even some smaller two channel mixers. Split in two with a divider suspended on four elastic straps to stop equipment rattling about, this pocket is versatile enough to be used for almost any purpose with some of my peers even using it to carry a change of clothes. The zips on this main compartment can even be locked with a small padlock should you want an extra layer of security on the move.
Flanked either side of this main compartment are two tall slim pockets. Ideal for some smaller cables or personal possessions both sides have a net pocket above a larger orange pocket with the left hand side featuring a small hook ideal for keys. These two side pockets I didn’t find much use for with only my microphone and XLR cable being kept there. I also found that the lower orange material would often fowl the zip and get caught if full, leading me to prefer using the other pockets available.
On the front of the bag we find two further pockets, the first of which features one large central holding area, two velcro straps perfect for your cables and then a detachable velcro mini bag. This bag is sized for audio interfaces but I found it perfect to hold anything with a battery such as my DJI and GoPro camera’s, as ripping it out for airport security didn’t mean scattering your electronics around. The final pocket found at the very front features neat pen and business card holders amongst yet another zipped slim pocket.
Found on top of the bag are two small felt lined pockets, one for your mobile phone and the other for your iPod or media consumption device. The iPod pocket is slightly larger and features a headphone cable port, this port also allows access to run cables to the larger rear compartment too if you wish. A point worth noting, the phone pocket is rather deep and the access is rather narrow. If your hands are large try to avoid dropping USB sticks or smaller items in here as they are hard to reach.
The Ultimate DIGI backpack by UDG is a fantastic backpack that many DJ’s will love. It combines high quality build with masses of versatility and storage options. If you are a neat freak and everything has to have its own place, this is the bag for you. I often found myself rushing at the end of a set however and dumping everything into the largest compartment. A flaw of my own, not of the bag I know. However it does take time to pack this bag properly and if you are often in a rush and not bothered about the neatness, you may find other bags such as the standard Ultimate Backpack more fitting. Another point to consider is the depth of this bag, with all these layers of pockets the bag gets in the way when in tight spaces such as trying to squeeze down airplane aisles. All that aside, this bag is a great product and one I’d happily recommend to those needing one bag to carry the vast majority of their gear.