We proudly announce that the Big Namba Studio Backpack and Shaka Laptop Messenger bag have joined the original Kava Laptop Studio Bag in the Namba Gear product range. As with the Kava bag, the Big Namba and Shaka bags are available in three colors: Mayan Brown, Charcoal Grey and Olive Green. Here is the word on these bags.
I thought it might be interesting for you to see the designer’s thought process, notes & concerns, which goes a long way to explaining why the Big Namba looks the way it does and the special functionality of the bag. What follows are whiteboard notes from our initial design sessions.
Built for Security
Why do we need security (inside pockets) instead of accessibility (outside pockets)? We will carry a $2000 computer, with about $1000+ of software, a 25-key MIDI controller, a really nice $600 microphone, couple pair of headphones, USB audio device, additional hard drive, tons of different cables, plus notepad & pens, business cards, camera, cell phone, CDs/CDR, etc. A computer DJ might have a DJ controller and 12″control vinyls. When you have $4,000 worth of gear in your bag, security becomes a #1 issue.
The first thing you notice about the Big Namba Studio Backpack design is that it looks very different from other backpacks, with a sleek, semi-rigid, high performance construction and not much in the way of outside pockets. The reason for this is that most backpacks are built from a hiking model, where you WANT easily accessible outside pockets to get to the bug repellent. We are not hiking here… Lockable zippers and inside pockets go a long way to secure your gear from subway thieves or backstage bandits.
Designed by Musicians
Other than a secure design, what do we want in a backpack that will really help us as computer musicians/dj’s? Give Problem/Solution.
1. Can’t find cables or they are a mess – Cable Control, provide a cable management system to roll cables and provide cable ties for guitar & mic cables.
2. Can’t find my stuff inside the bag – Make bag interior a high definition contrasting color.
3. My other bags fall apart – Use extreme quality construction, dense padding, over-sew stitching, 1680D/poly nylon.
4. Need unobtrusive or “hidden” pocket – Provide secret stash pocket for tickets, passports, iLoks, etc.
5. Hate the sweat stain from wearing a backpack – Use material designed to wick away moisture and control sweat stains.
6. Heavy pack means the straps cut into my shoulders – Pad shoulder material and widen straps, add chest strap to help secure pack.
7. Packing my controller into narrow opening is hard – Create side hinges that will unhinge so bag lays flat for packing.
8. With so much room it would be nice if it were more flexible – Internal padded divider between laptop and controller can be removed to transport other items.
9. A pocket to hold my phone that is not inside the pack – Create pocket on strap for iPod or cell phone.
Designed to hold up to one of the largest 25-key MIDI controllers on the market (Axiom 25), the Big Namba is still airline regulation friendly. If you need to transport a MIDI controller along with your laptop and other music studio items, the Big Namba Studio Backpack may be the perfect bag for you.
The Shaka bag began it’s design from an inexpensive, unpadded, canvas laptop bag that was given to me for attending a seminar. What I discovered was that although I did not feel comfortable putting my laptop inside the unpadded canvas, this was the coolest “day bag” a guy could ever wish for. Lots of pockets and spaces to put things and the laptop compartment was big enough for a 15″ computer and notebook and paperback and spare t-shirt. I used this small bag for everyday use & short air travel, kind of like a “man-purse”, and wished that I could put my laptop inside too (but the lack of padding and cheap material scared me).
I showed this bag to our factory operations manager and he asked for the bag and told me that he would apply the Namba Gear construction methods and high performance materials and we would see what developed. I was stunned with the result. We made a few small improvements and… OMG, is this a cool bag. If you do not need to carry a MIDI controller and an audio device (or you use a compact model like the USB Transit from M-Audio), this may be the perfect bag for you. In fact, if you just need a great laptop bag that will also hold your personal essentials, the Shaka Laptop Messenger may be the perfect bag for you!
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