Review: MONO EFX Series

I'm guessing you love your keyboard controller, Traktor S4, or [insert favorite piece of hardware here]? And when traveling you want to keep your gear safe and comfy, right? Enter MONO EFX bags.  

I've been admiring the MONO EFX series of bags for quite some time and was delighted when a few of these bags appeared on my doorstep. Based in California, MONO is a company who manufactures innovative products for modern musicians and DJs. Their new EFX Series of bags are designed especially for DJs and electronic music producers on the go. 

EFX 365 DJ Pack

365 Pack

The 365 DJ Pack is a rugged backpack-style bag that's made for digital and/or vinyl DJs, controllerists and electronic musicians. The first thing that appealed to me about this bag is its minimalist design. From the outside, it's a fairly sleek looking bag. After being put to the test with the weight of all my gear, I'm happy to report that the 365 DJ Pack is one rugged pack.

365 DJ Pack

To test it out, I loaded up the 365 DJ Pack with my two Kontrol X1's, vinyl, needles, laptop and headphones. The bag is capable of fitting laptops up to 17”, a small stacks of vinyl, Serato and/or Native Instruments components, harddrives, headphones and cables. It’s a perfect bag for performers who use controllers such as the Akai APC40 or Vestax VC1-300. It also features a portable inner divider that can be used to separate vinyl, a smaller mixer or your controller from the rest of the gear.

Luckily for us DJs, MONO has taken the weight of your products into consideration and designed the 365 Pack with a steel-riveted handle and backpack-style shoulder straps. The wide backpack straps are well-constructed and padded, which makes bearing the load a little easier. 

The bag itself is quite intelligently designed. Inside the 365 DJ Pack, there's a padded sleeve at the back that's meant for your laptop. Right in front of this is a slot for your vinyl records. The main feature is a large pocket that can be used for your controller, mixer or the rest of your gear. On the side of the bag are large pockets, complete with slots for business cards and pens. The front of the 365 Pack features a slot for your cables, keeping all your essentials organized and easily accessible.

Overall, I was quite impressed with the quality of the 365 Pack. Like all of the MONO bags, this pack is made with materials that resist scrapes, scratches and scruffs and damage from the elements. It features a waterproof shell, which will come in handy in case you get stuck waiting for a cab in the rain. Best of all, the 365 Pack's materials are 100% animal free. 

The only real improvement I would make to the 365 DJ Pack is the addition of a pair of wheels. Definitely check out this pack out if you're in the market for a new bag for your digital DJ or controller setup.

Color: Jet Black

Laptop capacity: Up to 17”

Weight: 74 oz

Pros: Fits your digital DJ/controller components. Good quality construction. Minimalist Design.

Cons: Could use some wheels.

Price: $235 USD

Web: www.monocreators.com/efx

The Flyby

Flyby

The Flyby is an cleverly designed backpack for the travelling musician. It has a classic, upright backpack layout that features a laptop bag that breaks away from the main bag. This is a perfect feature for travelling on airplanes; the smaller laptop part can be detached and placed under your seat while you stow the larger part of the bag overhead. This feature will also come in handy when you reach your hotel. Simply leave your heavy equipment in the large part of the bag at your hotel, and take your laptop with you on your back while you cruise around town. The steel-riveted backpack straps are attached to the back of the smaller laptop part, so you don't have to worry about switching straps. If you prefer an alternative carrying style, there's also a messenger style backpack strap and a heavy-duty handle.

Flyby

This bag features a ton of storage space for your laptop (up to 17”), controllers, harddrives, Serato/Traktor components, headphones, cables and even a few vinyls. The front and side of the bag feature zipped pockets that will help to keep DJ components organized before and at gigs. The main inner section features dividers that your gear can neatly fit into, and a cable strap that will keep your cables untangled. The Flyby is slimmer design than the 365 Pack, and can transport equipment up to 12.5” x 16” in size.

Flyby

Overall, I was really impressed by the quality of the the Flyby. MONO has used care when choosing their materials; additions like the waterproof shell and coated steel zippers make this digital musician's bag one of the best on the market today.

Flyby

The Flyby is a solid bag with a unique design for musicians on the go. The unique detachable laptop compartment really makes the Flyby one of a kind. I'm looking forward to using it to stow away my laptop on the next flight—as well as travelling lighter around town!

Color: Jet Black

Laptop Capacity: Up to 17”

Weight: 70 oz

Pros: Detachable laptop section. Slim upright design. Quality construction.

Cons: Could use wheels for easy transport.

Price: $235 USD

Web: www.monocreators.com/efx

The Kontroller

Kontroller

The Kontroller is specifically built to carry Native Instruments’ Traktor S4, and it’s a great bag for the job. Inside the bag are two large padded compartments; one for the controller and the other for your laptop. Instrumentalists and producers can make use of this bag too and use it to transport their MIDI controllers, effects units or other road-worthy studio gear. It’s large enough to carry additional items like headphones, hard drives and cables too.

For a bag of its size, (the inner capacity is 20” x 13”) the Kontroller has a fairly streamlined appearance. It's made out of the same durable materials as the rest of the EFX line. The Kontroller has an adjustable messenger strap and sturdy carrying handle. The bag has a few well-thought-out finishing touches, like an external earplug compartment and waterproof phone pocket. 

Kontroller

You'll be able to take the Kontroller on planes as carry-on luggage, which will set many DJ's minds at ease when taking it on flights. It's a great bag for carrying around my favorite controller. The Kontroller is both durable and stylish; I'll be using it for many years to come.

Color: Jet Black

Laptop capacity: Up to 17”

Weight: 65 oz

Pros: Perfectly fits the Traktor S4. Easily transports your mobile studio. Rugged yet slick design.

Cons: This bag could also benefit from some wheels. Gets a bit heavy to carry through airports.

Price: $235

Web: www.monocreators.com/efx

If you're looking for a new bag for your DJ arsenal, I'd highly recommend checking out the EFX Series of bags. The minimalist MONO bags are perfect for taking your gear on the road. You can rest assured that your gear will be protected, safe and organized as you embark upon new adventures. 

Sara Simms captivates the world as an innovative musician, DJ, turntablist and electronic music producer. She's a multi-instrumentalist who's known for her love of music technology. Sara makes her mark in the music community by crafting diverse sets with styles ranging from pulsating techno to house. She balances technical skills wi... Read More

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