Gear Review: Rockready Volo Bass Gig Bag and UltraStrap 3.5
Working musicians who demand better accessories will be happy that Rockready is making a bass gig bag and guitar strap.
The Volo bass guitar gig bag is designed as a lightweight case that is in between a hard shell guitar case and your typical soft gig bag. Leaning more to the soft bag side though, but with many well thought through details, solid gear protection, quality workmanship and materials.
The first thing you notice is the firm padding that is reinforced with ABS plastic panels inside the front and back surfaces. This adds stiffness and protection without the weight of fiber board. I could see this case providing enough protection from a run-in with a corner or post with considerable force and most likely would be deflected. A typical padded soft case would not give you this kind of protection. The exterior is of durable woven nylon, with a super heavy-duty zipper. Each zipper has two tabs for easy access. On either side of the main compartment zipper is a reflective strip that should make navigating your gear through dark areas easier by being able see were your guitar actually is. Not to mention letting others see you coming and avoid your gear.
The built in backpack shoulder straps are well attached, padded and contoured to allow both hands free navigation and comfort. These straps can be tucked away when not in use. There is a side handle as well. There is also a roomy deep (20 x16 inches) pocket on the backside of the case sealed by Velcro and a zip-able pocket on the front, which can accommodate sheet music, or thinner music books. Both pockets are as wide as the case. If you want more cargo space, an optional gear bag can be attached to the gig bag via the four sturdy metal clip rings. All rings are secured by thick nylon straps and well stitched to the main case. At the headstock area, there is a small pocket that is set up to hold your cellphone, pencils and also a key ring clip. One cool detail is the gusset in both corners of this pocket that prevent small items from spilling out when fully opened. My favorite is the grippy rubber on the bottom edge that prevents your guitar from siding on the floor if propped against the wall and also gives some water protection if you happen to put in a wet area on a rainy day. It also won’t fray as nylon would from repeated contact with concrete or rough surfaces.
The interior is ultra plush and has a super soft lining. Nothing on the inside could possibly scratch your guitar. I really liked the extra cushions blocks in the bottom area that lift the bass up, and prevent your lower strap pin from taking a hit or carrying the weight of your bass when set on end. The neck block support is adjustable to give support where you want it.
This is a great gig bag for any musician that wants the convenience of a soft gig bag, but wants something far more reliable and rugged to protect their gear in transit without lugging a bulky hard shell case, and built to last.
The UltraStrap 3.5 is a combination of leather, elastic and neoprene designed for comfort and ruggedness. Almost tactical in design and appearance. The ends of the strap are thick stitch bound leather and have stitching reinforcement around the openings for the endpins. They fit tightly over standard endpins for a snug fit, unlikely to freely release themselves under normal playing. If you’re the athletic sort on the stage, you’ll buy strap locks anyway.
Those that do the jumping about bit will appreciate the elastic that is stitched into (over) the neoprene padding that rest over your shoulder. It acts as a shock absorber, taking the stresses of your stage antics off of the endpins when you land in a full split dismount from the full triple layout back flip you did off your amp rig. But, it’s not slinky stretchy at all, it just handles the hard knocks. Those that aren’t flipping off their amps will flip over the cushy feeling of the 3.5 inch wide, 1/2-inch thick neoprene padding while holding down the pocket into the third set. My 12 pound bass floats with this strap. There is at least 12 inches of adjustability in length to suit high riders and low slung players. Overall the quality of construction is very very high and should give years of performance.
My main guitar strap of the last 20 years has just retired.