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Part of being a DJ often means having a ton of stuff to constantly transport, set up, and keep in crisp condition – think turntables, controllers, MIDI keyboards, tablets, and a laptop, just to name a few. Then there’s the extra add-ons like vocoders, pedals, and any instruments you want to integrate. Plus the necessary connectors to hook it all up, like cables and power adapters. In short: there can be a lot to schlep around.
Not only that, but you’ve probably dropped some serious cash on all that gear, so it’s important to get a carrying bag that can hold up to holding all of it securely and safely.
For transport, storage, and to protect your investments, a good DJ bag is an absolute must have.
What Are the Best DJ Bags?
The best DJ bags (also known as “gig bags”) offer ample storage space and durable pockets to stash your stuff, while being lightweight enough to take with you easily on the go.
Size and Fit: measure your gear before you buy your bag, and make sure it fits. Stretching the bag beyond its limits can damage the zippers and leave your equipment exposed, and a bag with too much space means your devices will be shifting and getting knocked around inside, so go for as snug a fit as possible.
Carrying Style: Also, consider how much you’ll be carrying it around too. If it’s just a short distance, like from your car to the venue, this may not matter as much, and a simple shoulder strap or handle will do. But for longer distances, an uncomfortable bag can weigh you down fast. Some bags offer more options for comfortable carry, like backpack straps, so choose one that fits your needs.
Organization: Finally, don’t forget about accessories like cables and cords. They need to come along too, and can quickly become a tangled mess when tossed together. Choosing a bag with separate pockets can make things a whole lot easier when you hit the stage for setup, and break everything down after.
There may be a ton of gear to tote around, but there are lots of bags to choose from too. We’ve selected these three to help you get started and keep your equipment stored safely for wherever the next gig may take you.
1. Gator GK2110 Gig Bag
Gator has been creating quality gig bags for over 20 years. This one is no different, and features a tough exterior of durable nylon and zippers that ensures it stays closed until you’re ready to remove your gear. The two handles are reinforced with webbed nylon for a solid grip, and a shoulder strap with a no-slip pad is attached by sturdy metal latches.
The exterior pocket is a good size too, making it a convenient place to grab something you need without having to go digging in the bag for accessories like AC adapters or cables.
Inside, the bag is completely covered in a dual-layered, 20mm-thick foam to absorb impact, and a tricot material for extra protection.
It’s big enough to carry a controller, but also great for other smaller gear like MIDI keyboards, pedalboards, and wireless mic rigs.
PROS: Fits most controllers and small to mid-size gear, nicely padded for a soft-shell bag.
CONS: The shoulder strap isn’t padded as thick as other straps on our list, and can be painful to carry after a while.
2. Cablephyle Cables & Accessories Organizer Gig Bag
This compartmentalized bag can be enormously helpful in staying organized, especially if you add labels to each section. No more digging deep into the dark depths of your gig bag, fumbling for cables and connectors. The Cablephyle’s cloth dividers make it easy to keep them separated for quick access, and even add a few pieces of smaller gear like mics and pedals in the mix too.
Not only does this type of divided bag save time putting your performance station together, but it’ll also cut down on back-and-forth trips lugging stuff from your car. Plus with a handy shoulder strap to free up your hands, you can carry even more in and out.
It’s also a huge help if someone else will be setting up and taking down your setup, ensuring they know where everything goes, and can put it back correctly for the next time you need it.
PROS: If you’re carrying around a lot of cables, this bag’s design is helpful for keeping everything neat and professional looking.
CONS: Each pouch can only hold about a 20-foot, 10-gauge cable. If you’re looking for more space, consider another bag.
3. Gator Cases Padded Nylon Carry Tote Bag
Another solid option from Gator. This one’s more focused specifically on protecting screens.
From laptops to tables, monitors to flatscreens, Gator’s cases are made with a heavy-duty nylon, with a padded interior made with 25mm of thick foam, and polyethylene-paneled corners for added protection against dings and drops.
Durable nylon-webbed handles are all around — on the top, bottom, and both sides — for easy and safe lifting, carrying and setting down gently. Dual zippers go all the way down, allowing you to fully reach in and remove your gear without digging around or scraping it against anything.
These bags come in a ton of options, and can fit screens from 19″ all the way to 45.”
PROS: Ideal for safely transporting and quickly setting up your station. There’s a sizable front pocket too that can hold cables, remotes, or anything you don’t want colliding with your device in the big pouch in transport.
CONS: Best for large accessories, laptops and screens; not as much organizational space for cables.