Friday, July 15, 2011

MONO EFX The Producer Bag Quick Review

Today I purchased this cool MONO EFX: The Producer bag
Mono is a San-Fransisco Based company that has been making Guitar, Bass and Cymbal bags/cases for quite sometime, quite recently they launched their EFX line of Gear Backpacks / Slingbags (For the whole range you can view them HERE)

I went to their local distributor in Singapore, CityMusic to check out the whole range and I decided on the Producer bag because I wanted a bag that can carry a lot of stuff (macbook pro, charger, cables, soundcard, headphones etc plus school textbooks)

First initial Impressions were : HOLY SHIT THIS BAG IS HUGE! - Yes they are much bigger in reality than in pictures! It is also very WIDE, making it stand out as perhaps one of the widest sling bag I have ever owned (and seen!)

It also has a very distinct look - unmistakably MONO! The bag looks so awesomely tough and bad-ass feel to it, by look, by feel , and by design. The whole exterior of the bag screams toughness , which also means it is pretty heavy even without anything inside it

Bag Dimensions

My 13 Inch Macbook Pro + Soft Sleeve Inside
Although they claimed that it can hold a 17 inch Macbook Pro nicely, in reality my 13 inch Macbook pro (with soft neoprene sleeve) fits in very snugly, I can see the 15 inch fitting well (without a softcase perhaps) but a 17 inch might be kinda too tight in the laptop compartment - So keep that in mind if you have a 17 inch MBP! There's really not much space!

On the other hand the laptop compartment is very very nicely padded and It will keep your precious Macbook secure, plus you easily can fit in a smaller controller like the VCI-100 or a Novation Twitch in the main compartment (MAYBE - according to the measurements the Twitch should fit in but I have not tested it yet!!),

I also saw a video of the VCI-300 fitting in so it should be fine as well! There are dividers included in case you want to fit Serato Boxes, Soundcards etc safely (The Compartments are Padded)

Underneath the outer shell
Front View

Inside the outer shell we have two pockets (one would be perfect for a macbook charger and the other would be good for a small-ish headphones, my Sennheiser HD25 fits just right in when squeezed in) which is nicely padded, waterproof, and has nice solid zippers.

On the sides we also have another two separate pockets for Cables, Cigarettes, or whatever you want to put in them, although accessing them could be a bit hard while you are wearing the bag on your shoulder!, in order to access them you would have to put the bag down and then you can access the side pockets - due to the shoulder straps getting in the way otherwise, it is rather annoying if you constantly open and close the side compartments

The Weakest Link??

One thing that bothered me (and made me think whether to decide on buying this bag or not) was the "Plastic" shoulder strap connections that connects the strap to the bag itself. No other reviews seemed to mention this?

Upon closer inspection I can see the label "UTX - DURAFLEX" on the hooks, after some research I did found out that these strap hooks are indeed the same ones being used in several military grade shoulder bags - which assured me to make the leap of faith and bought the bag as the "material  was in fact "high-impact, reinforced nylon" with proven record of durability over your average cheap plastic, I even saw some military bags used to carry weapons and artillery with these exact same UTX-Duraflex strap hooks!

I have had a bad experience with shoulder bags failing on me while my laptop is still inside, so I am really really OCD about straps and their construction...

I even emailed the guys at MONO, who further assured me that they have chosen the best material possible for the strap hooks and they are very confident about the rugged quality of their bags. Mono offers 3 years warranty on their products (1 year for Singapore - that sucks) - I will monitor this and see how long the Mono EFX producer bag lasts with normal usage so we shall see!

Overall I am quite pleased with the quality of the Mono EFX Producer bag, although I must advise you to try them on first and walk around the store to test them out, If you are not used to very large, wide, slingbags, they can feel really funny to walk around on due to their size and they way they hang off you

Construction Wise, yes they are bullet-proof (and water-proof!). Except for the shoulder strap - we will have to wait and see how long they last, It could be that I'm a little bit too paranoid (due to the small size of the strap hooks) but since these hooks are also used in many other heavy duty military purpose bags then I suppose they should also be very very durable

The Mono Producer bag is called "the producer bag" for one more reason - It DOES NOT hold vinyl records! You can probably try to stuff it in, but no It doesn't really fit right in there, all the other Mono EFX bags can easily fit vinyl records inside, but not the producer bag

The Mono EFX 365 Backpack is bigger, can contain more stuff, and seems to distribute the weight more evenly than the producer bag, but Im not so into backpacks which is why I chose the producer bag instead, but if you are more into backpacks and dont mind looking like you are about to fly on a jetpack then you can check out the EFX 365 backpack instead

The Mono EFX Kondensor Bag is another backpack, a lot bit smaller in size and profile but still packs quite a lot - although again I was leaning towards shoulder bags which was why I didn't choose this bag

Traktor S4 Owners : NO this bag does not fit the Traktor S4 :(

If you walk around often with the bag fully loaded I  personally recommend the Mono backpacks instead of their sling bags - Backpacks distribute the weights more evenly and don't strain your shoulders as much as these, but if you are simply carrying your gear between your house and into the clubs and back, the Mono Producer bag is almost PERFECT - It  is huge, nicely constructed, and can fit a lot of your beloved audio gear safely


  • Exterior is well padded, tough-as-nails and waterproof - The contents of your bag are really safe!
  • A lot of separate compartments for all your goodies
  • Looks really GOOD
  • The shoulder strap feels like it can break anytime soon - I might be just paranoid on this but if you see the pictures above you will get what I mean
  • When the bag is fully loaded, the shoulder straps aren't very comfortable for long travels
  • Side compartments get a bit hard to access when you are wearing the bag

For more info on Mono Cases you can check out their website HERE