All double bass players need a decent gig bag. Unlike the other members of the stringed instrument family, double bass players carry instruments in soft cases about 90% of the time. Having a durable, well-padded soft case is essential for any bass player.
As far as bass bags go, I definitely think that the Mooradian soft case is the best bang for your buck out there right now. I have used several different brands over the years, and the Mooradians offer a good amount of shielding from bumps and the elements. They are also not too heavy. There is a standard and deluxe model. I use the standard model and find that it has plenty of padding, pockets, and the like. The deluxe bag offers thicker padding but not much else, and I don’t think it is worth the extra $100 that Mooradian charges. The standard soft cases cost around $270, and they last a long time. The deluxe Mooradian bags cost about $379. After several years of use zippers begin to fail and need replacement, but this happens to every soft bass case (I have seen some start to fall apart within the first year!).
Stay away from Kolstein soft cases–every Kolstein soft case I have seen that is over a couple of years old is covered with duct tape to hold it together. I’ve never duct taped a Mooradian case in my life. Also, I know several players who have had handles break on them while carrying basses in Kolstein cases. One colleague here in Chicago just had to have the top taken off and have major work done after a handle broke on his Kolstein soft case. His instrument fell and cracked in several places. I had this happen to a Mooradian case myself once but the case was fourteen years old. This Kolstein case was about four years old. Stay away from these Kolstein soft cases.
Cushy offers a bass bag very similar to the Mooradian for a cheaper price, but I have seen handles break on these bags relatively soon, which is the last thing in the world anyone wants to have happen to them. I would take a Cushy over a Kolstein case any day, however. They are decent soft cases.
Soundwear and Reunion Blues also offer really great bass bags, but they are over $500 and are extremely heavy. I own a Soundwear case as well but have gone back to using the Mooradian as my main bag due to the weight difference. If you live in a cold climate, however, a Reunion Blues or Soundwear case may be just the thing for you. These brands of gig bags have backpack straps, which can be very useful when hauling other gear such as amplifiers and stools. Be careful not to crack your bass neck on door frames while wearing it on your back! These heavier cases shield the instrument from temperature changes better than Mooradian gig bags. A prime time for cracking your instrument is going from a heated car into a parking lot during sub-zero temperatures, and then entering a dry, heated concert hall. These heavier bags keep your bass at the old temperature much longer than lighter bags. My 125 year old Lowendal used to develop a couple of new cracks every winter here in Chicago. After buying a Soundwear case I quit developing winter cracks. Also, I have never had a Soundwear handle break (although all of my zippers have now broken on my six year old Soundwear case). I have seen a backpack strap break on a Reunion Blues gig bag once while the bass player was carrying it. The bass fell and was pretty severely damaged.
Overall, I recommend Mooradian to most players and Soundwear and Reunion Blues to cold climate players who don’t mind lugging heavy packages. If anyone has any opinion on these or other gig bags please leave a comment. There are many gig bags out there that I haven’t had any contact with before, and I would love to learn more about some other brands and styles of gig bag.
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