I’ve been on a personal quest for the perfect case solution. I really don’t like the bulk and overkill of hauling 2 hard cases, especially for local gigs, but the standard double gig bag offerings just seem to fall short of what I would consider safe and sound. The relationship between protective and compact always seem to come at the expense of one another, the key is finding a balance. I have been waiting for an affordable solution that splits the difference and offers some real structural integrity while keeping a somewhat sleek and diminutive profile, all at a reasonable price. Enter the incase DUB.
Incase sent me their DUB bag to check out, and I’ve been gigging it hard. It’s tough and rigid enough to confidently stow in the back of the van, very well constructed (with one exception that I’ll address in a minute), looks sharp, offers some cool features for portability and storage, and has that “I was designed by a smart person” vibe to it (as do most of Incase’s products).
The most appealing factor for me is the structural integrity of the case. Underneath the durable exterior is semi rigid frame that holds the shape of the bag, and protects it from impact and spot pressure. This lightweight skeleton inspires confidence and holds the cases shape while protecting your valuable contents. Another noteworthy feature is the stowable backpack system. I’m used to seeing backpack straps on a case that look like a bastardized seatbelt, but the Incase sports real backpack straps that look like they came from of a high end expedition backpack, complete with a waist belt and all the usual tensioning straps. Considering what the bag weighs when loaded down with my 6 string basses, this is a blessing. Proper weight distribution and comfort are more than appreciated when carrying the dub from a distant parking space or through a festival crowd. And if you like the clean look and want to use the included padded non slip shoulder strap, the backpack straps are easily stowed behind a zippered flap.
Open the main zipper and you will find a thick plush divider separating the two bass compartments. In the lower deck, there is a sizeable zip pocket for things like small tools, cleaning cloths, and the included high quality door hook. The upper compartment features a padded neck cradle to support your axe, and whole interior is nicely appointed with plush lining.
The outer pocket features several handy organization areas; a minimal but usable laptop sleeve, and some mesh pockets for strings and such. My only beef with the pocket is its challenge of accessibility. Whereas other bags use gusseted style pockets that stick out from the bag, Incases’ design integrated the pocket into the bag itself, it helps keep the bag streamlined and is consistent with the slick low profile. Compared to my Undercover, Levy, and Igig bags, the DUB’s accessory pocket is more of a challenge to get in and out of, although it does offer nicely thought out storage/organization solutions.
Now for the gripe- I did have one major malfunction while I was utilizing the DUB’s carrying strap. It seems the nylon webbing broke free from the plastic grommet that holds the shoulder strap while I was walking around town, sending many thousands of dollars worth of boutique exotic basses tumbling downward. I mention this in the spirit of full disclosure, but I will also say that I’ve polled many DUB users and none have reported this or any similar problems. Perhaps it was a fluke in my case, but it made me a little leery. In the DUB’s defense, and as a testament to its ability to protect your goods, the basses were just fine despite the fall, and the durable cordura looked no worse for wear from the impact.
All in all, I would recommend the DUB bag to anyone looking for a high quality double bag solution. I really like how it bridges the gap between gig bag and hard case, inspiring confidence and looking boss doing it. Heck, even my obsessive compulsive self had no qualms about sticking it the van trailer amongst all the other band gear on a weekender. If only the drummer could learn to drive…..
Keep an eye out for more high-end single and double gig bag reviews coming soon.
For more info: www.goincase.com
Jake Wolf welcomes your comments and questions… drop him a line