Reviewer: Gizmo • Date: January 2012 • Link: UDG • Price: $299/£200/€270
As you’re probably aware, I’m a member of bagaholics anonymous. Cannot get enough of them. Not the expensive designer variety you understand, but more the utility type for DJ gear and especially cameras. But I have little need for a plethora of luggage, thus they come in and then they go. In this case, UDG sent me a SlingBag Trolley Set Deluxe, thus propelling me into bagaholic heaven, because it arrives like a bag within a bag. 2 for 1 – I’m in.
To explain, the SlingBag is a trolley bag – a large base unit with a smaller bag inside. This small bag pulls out, can be sat on top of the base trolley and fits over the handle with a neat sleeve. That’s basically how trolley sets work.
Overall comments – the quality is outstanding. They’re the regular black nylon affair, but feel somewhat tougher that other similar products. The nylon itself is quite rigid, which can be great for wearability, but a little less forgiving if you’re trying to cram a lot into your bag. The downside of this epic build quality is that the bag weighs a lot to start with, and will only get heavier. Otherwise, the fittings are chunky and mainly metal, the zips in particular are meaty and free running.
Overall, nothing but praise. It feels like you get your money’s worth. So let’s see if the parts are as good as the whole
The Trolley Bag
The trolley element, on the face of it, offers little outside of similar offerings – a sturdy telescopic handle, pockets front and sides plus a decent space inside. It’s the detail here that matters – things like a heavily padded carry handle double riveted to strapping and stitched through the top lid. The telescopic handle fits inside the body but is neatly hidden away with a zip cover. For the paranoid out there, every exterior zip can be padlocked. Indeed, the lid zip comes complete with an integrated padlock. Details matter.
The side pockets are lined and slightly padded and will take an assortment of gubbins – probably best for the less expensive items in your DJ life. Even though more than big enough, I certainly wouldn’t want to put an audio interface or expensive cans in these pockets, especially if the bag is likely to be roughhoused by less than gentle airport staff.
The front pocket has a mesh pocket on the front. Opening up the front pocket yields a surprise – a pair of CD wallets that will hold 30 each. Less necessary these days, but nice nonetheless. Below them is the strap – something that some manufacturers get wrong, but UDG have it just right with a curved and padded shoulder protector. Straight ones just dig in my shoulders, but that’s still better than those that offer a strap with no padding at all.
Inside the trolley – there go my retinas. This particular one is the industry standard Black/Orange colour scheme, but it does come in a handful of more subdued variants, including a pinstripe. How very fitting for an English country gent like myself.
Off the shelf, the fully lined and padded trolley will take around 80 LPs as guide for space. But this padding is fully removable, giving quite a bit of extra space at the sides and base if your DJ life needs every nook and cranny. This does however means that you only have nylon between your stuff and the real world. You’ve been warned.
One neat detail is an inner zip pocket. Nothing special there, but I really like the tough plastic cover that’s obviously designed to keep important things dry. No matter how safe you thing they are, liquid will find your mobile and passport. Good work UDG.
About the trolley frame – the handle pulls out and retracts with a smooth motion and reassuring click, but feels a wee bit more flexible than some I’ve used. The wheels spin smoothly, and even when fully laden don’t induce the trolley wobble that I’ve experienced with lesser trolley bags. And recognising that the base can be a weak spot, UDG have reinforced the wheel mechanism and added a hard plastic bracket to the base to protect it from scuffing.
One thing to note – it’s too big for hand baggage. It’s going in the hold so pack it accordingly.
It’s pointless to cover everything off again, because bar the wheels, handle and removable lining elements, the bag is a mini-me version of the trolley. You even get the same strap and CD wallets inside too. It even comes with a combination lock (this time separate). And this one is hand baggage friendly too.
Slight differences – mesh pockets on the sides rather than the front and no plastic cover for the inside pocket. Other than that, it’s more or less the same, just smaller. That said, it will still take around 50 LPs, but is much more suited to housing cables, audio interfaces and headphones.
Because of the same rugged materials but smaller size, this bag feels almost indestructible. Again, there is a slight weigh premium, but nothing to worry about. It simply adds to the quality feel.
Being part of the UDG Ultimate series, you can be assured that your purchase is a sound one. No expense has been spared material wise, and this reflects in the quality and attention to detail. Granted, it’s not the most cavernous of bag sets, but should be big enough for most DJs to carry around the standard set of cables, interfaces, headphones and vinyl without any trouble. And I do like how the bag fits inside the trolley when not in use.
Overall, it’s hard to fault the Slingbag Trolley Set Deluxe. If you want it, be sure that you buy the set rather than just the trolley. Google offers just the trolley with a picture of the set for some results. But around £200 for 2 high spec bags is a pretty good deal, especially if you get through a lot of them. This set will last and serve you well.
Like many others, it’s Nylon, but does feel a tad more rugged than others. Everything is chunky and feels like it’ll take a pummelling.
Features and Implementation
Bag makers are incredibly inventive, and never cease to amaze me at how they fit things in to small spaces. The same is true here, with attention to detail being the order of the day. I just wish it was a little bigger.
Value For Money
What price do you put on your DJ life? If you want a wobbly trolley that’ll see your stuff broken in no time, look elsewhere. You pays your money and all that.
The Bottom Line
If you want something that’ll transport your DJ life from place to place and keep it safe, and are prepared to pay the premium for a longer lasting set of luggage, then the UDG SlingBag Trolley Set Deluxe is for you.