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  1. #1

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    Due to a recent acquisition taking over my Mono M80 and rendering my Gitane D500 homeless*, I needed a new gig bag. I put some time in on Amazon, looked at reviews and videos there and elsewhere on various sites, and compared what I saw to what I already own or have owned in the past**, or what people I know own.

    In my experience, the Mono M80 and Reunion Blues Continental are the two best "soft" cases out there and are the benchmarks for any search***. Having one of each, I know that I prefer the Mono's ergonomics, and was looking for something that approaches it, but did not want to spend $250 on case. There are a LOT of cases on Amazon, but when I looked closely, most took themselves out of the running, due to some combination of odd features, insufficient padding/protection, or bad reviews****.

    The one that stood out to me is the Music Area WIND bag (obviously, the manufacturers are not native English speakers). Lots of padding, some rigid reinforcement, plentiful and well thought out pouches, good handles and straps, no bad reviews, plus a couple that say it rivals the M80; $110 [prices on these seem to fluctuate a lot]. I decided to take a chance. It arrived today. It is as advertised in terms of padding, rigidity, and features. My guitar fits in it well (snug-ish around the sides, extra room at the peghead). Good pouches, handles, and straps, appears well made, light weight. The M80 definitely is a better case -- the exterior seems a little tougher, the pouches are better designed, padding seems a bit better, and sits in a better place on the back. But it's close, and I'd be happy with the Windbag for any of my guitars. A few pics below:

    NGBD [New Gig Bag Day] Music Area WIND Dreadnought gig bag-windbagfront-jpgNGBD [New Gig Bag Day] Music Area WIND Dreadnought gig bag-windbagfull-jpgNGBD [New Gig Bag Day] Music Area WIND Dreadnought gig bag-windbagopen-jpg


    * I bought the Gitane without a case (I don't use hard cases, and whenever possible buy guitars without one) and moved it into the Mono previously occupied by my former flattop, which has moved on to a new owner.

    **In addition to the Mono, I have a Reunion Blues Continental (semi-hollow size), Reunion Blues Aero (strat size), Road Runner Boulevard (dread size). In the past I've had a couple of Mooradians (super comfortable, well padded, and have great pouches, but the padding turned into powder after a few years), and a couple of other generic thinly padded cloth bags. Other people I know have other Mono or RB bags, high end leather bags, cloth covered styrofoam cases, various guitar-brand padded cloth cases . I think I have a good handle on what's out there at various price points.

    *** Between the two, the M80 has better pouches (bigger, more of them, easier to open and close), is lighter and is more comfortable to carry. The RBC is appreciably more protective (as good as or better than any hard case, short of a flight case), but the pouches don't work as well, it's quite heavy, and it carries high on the back, so you have to watch it around doorways and low-flying aircraft. The latest RBC (called the RBC "Voyager") is about $200. The M80 is about $250. I got really good deals on mine quite a while ago and paid less, IIRC, about $175 for the Mono and $100 for the RBC, but I haven't seen deals on either recently. Both companies make less expensive models ($110-150), but each of them trades off features and protectiveness against price. The Road Runner Boulevard is pretty good for a padded cloth case (great pouches, some firmness to its padding, comfortable to carry), but I wanted something more robust. The Aero is very compact, and very protective, but the pouches are un-usable. Hence, the search.

    **** For instance, the Gator Transit looks like it checks all the function/protection boxes, but many reviews say the handle tears off almost immediately. One by a company called Cahaya looks to be well made and sturdy, but its pouches are useless. Several others have multiple reports of being defective., or look flimsy.

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  3. #2

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    Thanks for Posting this John. I am glad you found a bag to fit your guitar.
    Its not as easy as it seems it would be.
    My Gator Transit Bag is setup like your new bag and it works well. I like the backpack straps. They make it easier to carry the guitar and have my hands free to carry luggage or open doors and such.. And the handles on my bag are perfectly fine. They wont tear off.
    I like lightweight bags. I've been on a wild goose chase trying to find a Polyfoam bag for my Ibanez GB100. Especially the Polyfoam type.
    Joe D

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    Thanks for Posting this John. I am glad you found a bag to fit your guitar.
    Its not as easy as it seems it would be.
    My Gator Transit Bag is setup like your new bag and it works well. I like the backpack straps. They make it easier to carry the guitar and have my hands free to carry luggage or open doors and such.. And the handles on my bag are perfectly fine. They wont tear off.
    I like lightweight bags. I've been on a wild goose chase trying to find a Polyfoam bag for my Ibanez GB100. Especially the Polyfoam type.
    Joe D
    Hey Joe, good to know the Transit is in fact OK. If I ever get another guitar, I'll consider it for my menagerie of cases. The Windbag has backpack straps as well (as do all my cases). I don't know how I ever managed with regular hard cases. Once you go, uh, backpack you never go back.

    Hmm, polyfoam type for GB? That's a tough one.

    John

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    .

    The one that stood out to me is the Music Area WIND bag (obviously, the manufacturers are not native English speakers). Lots of padding, some rigid reinforcement, plentiful and well thought out pouches, good handles and straps, no bad reviews, plus a couple that say it rivals the M80; $110 [prices on these seem to fluctuate a lot]. I decided to take a chance. It arrived today. It is as advertised in terms of padding, rigidity, and features. My guitar fits in it well (snug-ish around the sides, extra room at the peghead). Good pouches, handles, and straps, appears well made, light weight. The M80 definitely is a better case -- the exterior seems a little tougher, the pouches are better designed, padding seems a bit better, and sits in a better place on the back. But it's close, and I'd be happy with the Windbag for any of my guitars. A few pics below:

    NGBD [New Gig Bag Day] Music Area WIND Dreadnought gig bag-windbagfront-jpg
    That looks great. But it appears to be a cloth fabric that could easily get dirty. No?

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    That looks great. But it appears to be a cloth fabric that could easily get dirty. No?
    It's a heavy duty polyester with a waterproof coating, like the stuff they make backpacks from. Time will tell, but it seems like it'll be OK.

    John

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    It's a heavy duty polyester with a waterproof coating, like the stuff they make backpacks from. Time will tell, but it seems like it'll be OK.

    John
    Thanks. What is the horizontal strap on the front, just below the pouch in front of the headstock? I that a grab handle?

    I am trying to find the bass version, but it looks like it's not available in the US. I see it available in Europe.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Thanks. What is the horizontal strap on the front, just below the pouch in front of the headstock? I that a grab handle?

    I am trying to find the bass version, but it looks like it's not available in the US. I see it available in Europe.
    Yes, it's a grab handle. I just did a search on Amazon for "bass gig bag" then filtered it to "bass guitar bags and cases" selected price betweein $100 and $100. This popped up:

    https://www.amazon.com/Music-Area-Gu...s%2C170&sr=1-9

    With Amazon, things pop and disappear, and their prices change, so you may have to try more than one search, but it does appear to be there.

    John

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Yes, it's a grab handle. I just did a search on Amazon for "bass gig bag" then filtered it to "bass guitar bags and cases" selected price betweein $100 and $100. This popped up:

    Sorry! Something went wrong!

    With Amazon, things pop and disappear, and their prices change, so you may have to try more than one search, but it does appear to be there.

    John
    Thanks, yeah I saw that, but it's the "20" series, not the nicer "30" series that you have.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Thanks, yeah I saw that, but it's the "20" series, not the nicer "30" series that you have.
    Ah, right you are. How about this one:

    Sorry! Something went wrong!

    It looks pretty much the same -- the only difference I can see is that it is lock-able (and more expensive, but maybe the price will come down if you wait).

    John

  11. #10

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    Thanks for the thorough and thoughtful review. Congratulations, and backpack it in good health!

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Ah, right you are. How about this one:

    Sorry! Something went wrong!

    It looks pretty much the same -- the only difference I can see is that it is lock-able (and more expensive, but maybe the price will come down if you wait).

    John
    But I *really* like the green.

  13. #12

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    Hi, I have been looking for a moderately priced bag for my 17"x3" arch tops. After reading the review I looked at the #30 for acoustic and it shows the following:
    • Total Length excluding removable bumper=43’’, Total Length including removable bumper=44.5”, Depth=5", Upper Bout Width=12", Lower Bout Width=15.5
    • Does that sound right? If their description is true, my guitars won't be even close.
    • ?Thanks!

  14. #13

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    JazzDaddy, Check out the Gator Transit Jumbo Bag.
    It fits my L5 perfectly.
    JD

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzDaddyD
    Hi, I have been looking for a moderately priced bag for my 17"x3" arch tops. After reading the review I looked at the #30 for acoustic and it shows the following:
    • Total Length excluding removable bumper=43’’, Total Length including removable bumper=44.5”, Depth=5", Upper Bout Width=12", Lower Bout Width=15.5
    • Does that sound right? If their description is true, my guitars won't be even close.
    • ?Thanks!
    I just took some interior measurements. At the bottom where the bumpers sit, it's almost 17", and it tapers down from there. With the bumpers out, it's 44" long. The depth is 5" in the body area, and tapers down about to about 3.5" at the headstock.

    Based on how my 15.5" Gitane and 16" 77 Hawk Jazz fit in it, I don't think a 17" guitar would fit, even with the bumpers out. As near as I can tell, they're there more to adapt the case between dreadnought and rounder shapes than to accommodate a larger lower bout.

    Looking at my archtop in my Mono M80, I think a 17-incher might fit, but I'd have to try one to be sure. Probably better to go with Joe D's recommendation of a Gator Transit jumbo size.

    John

  16. #15

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    John, would you be able to weigh that for us?

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    John, would you be able to weigh that for us?
    Sorry, I don't have a scale. According to the specs for it on Amazon, it's 5.1 lbs, which feels about right (feels a little lighter than my Mono M80, and a lot lighter than my Reunion Blues Continental).

    John

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Sorry, I don't have a scale. According to the specs for it on Amazon, it's 5.1 lbs, which feels about right (feels a little lighter than my Mono M80, and a lot lighter than my Reunion Blues Continental).

    John
    Tnx.