Global Bass Online December 2001
Review: Ritter gig-bags
By Andy Long
Includes a give-away contest. You
could win 1 of 3 Ritter soft shell gig bags. See below for details.
so they say, is the spice of life. We bass players, certainly like variety.
Variety in our instruments, amplifiers, effects and various add-on bits of gear
that give us our 'sound'. There's one essential bit of kit that we all need
though, regardless of what instrument we play and where we happen to play it. A
good quality, reliable gig bag.
I bought my first bass in the year nineteen-hundred-and-soaking-wet, it came in
a soft vinyl, zip-up case with a simple handle. "Great!" I thought,
but after a few months I was thinking "It'd be good if it had a pocket to
put my strap in, and a couple of leads, and some spare strings, and a tuner, and
some music, and..." The list goes on.
it's rise in popularity the humble gig bag has evolved into a multi-faceted
storage facility with more pockets than Fagin and, of course there are many
options on the market. Today I'll be looking at three very different bags from
the UK-based company Ritter.
of the bags we will look at is also available for Electric or acoustic guitars,
as are most of Ritter's range. The company has been making gig bags since 1997
and makes a wide variety of bags for all instruments as well as high end light
leather goods and field sports luggage. They make bags to suit every pocketbook,
ranging from GBP 5.95 for a simple bag up to GBP 75.95 for the Super-Pak,
reviewed here. These three are their three finest and at the end of this article
you will be given the chance to win one, so get reading!
bag represents the top model of the Chromo-Pak range, each model in the range
has a number and, as far as I can tell, the higher the number, the more pockets
and features you get. The bag is constructed of thick foam that will protect
your instruments from the kind of knocks and bashes it's going to get on the
tour bus. The actual instrument compartment is spacious enough for a wide-necked
six-string, for instance, but snug enough to hold your instrument securely. In
front of the neck is a huge pocket emblazoned with the Ritter logo whilst in
front of the actual body of the instrument is the main storage area. This
consists of one large pocket, big enough to store sheet music.
this pocket is a smaller, zippered compartment with a variety of flaps and slots
for items like diaries, pens, wallets etc. On the front of the large pocket is
another zippered pocket suitable for strings and other sundries. On the front of
that is an additional criss-cross bungee cord which I'm sure you can find some
use for. It looks nice anyway.
are also two mesh pockets along the side of the neck, although I don't know
quite what you could find to store in there, maybe a packet of spaghetti? For
transportation this bag comes with a grab-handle on the front and another on the
edge, it has a pair of strong, padded rucksack-style shoulder straps that are
fully adjustable and attached to the case heavy duty metal clips, unlike the
plastic ones found on some bags.
R.R.P. GBP 49.95
elliptical lines and vivid metallic colours make the Star-Pak visually striking,
whilst it's tough construction and it's range of pockets give it it's
functionality. The long oval pocket on the neck is spacious and deep, it is
effectively emblazoned with the Ritter Eagle logo and mesh detailing. On the
front there is just one large compartment which is accessible in two ways, via a
U-shaped flap at the top, or through a side-zip. This pocket is easily big
enough to swallow manuscripts and much more. As with the Chromo-Pak, all pockets
are double-zipped but these zips have rubber pulls attached to them, rather than
the fabric ones of the Chromo-Pak.
transportation you have the expected tough side carrying handle as well as grab
handles on either side of the neck. These grab-handles have been cleverly
moulded to fit in with the elliptical design. Again there are the rucksack-type
shoulder straps, but this time they fold neatly away into another elliptical
recess when not in use. Nice touch I thought.
a small pocket at the top of the neck, in the rear opens up to reveal a metal
hook on a small chain, described as an aircraft hanger, which will take the
weight of the fully-loaded bag without any danger of ripping. The Star-Pak is
the best looking of the bags but I would like to see more pockets. Well if
pockets is what you want, wait until you see the next one!
the Star-Pak is the Limousine of the Ritter Range, then the Super-Pak is the
deluxe people-carrier. You want storage, you got it! Either side of the neck is
a long, double-zipped pocket with a velcro flap at the top. Put your strap or
spare strings in here. Meanwhile the front of the case bears two large pockets
where you can shove all your other gear and probably find room for members of
your family too! The foremost pocket also has an organiser section, similar to
that of the Chromo-Pak, this time it has a thoughtfully added clip-on key-ring
to avoid those 2.00 a.m. hunts for the keys to the Transit.
usual all pockets are double-zipped, this time with the rubber, logo-ed pulls.
All the carrying options are there too, two grip handles, the normal side-handle
and the padded shoulder straps. The best feature of the Star-Pak for me though
was the optional internal panel which, when inserted, converts the Star-Pak into
a double gig-bag, but is there really room for two instruments in there? Hang
on, I'll go and check.....Yeah, as long as you're not trying to shove two
wide-bodied acoustic basses in there, you've got no problems. Right, I'm off to
WIN A RITTER GIG-BAG!
as I'd love to keep these bags for myself guys, those lovely people at Ritter
Outdoor Limited have given us one of each of the three review models to give
away in a competition. So if you'd like to grab yourself a brand new gig-bag
just send us the answer to the following question :
Star-Pak is available in four great colours, what are they?
the Ritter website at www.ritter-bags.com and check out their range of products.
Then e-mail us with your answer. Send
all contest entries to:
the email “Ritter Gig Bag Giveaway”
contest expires January 20th, 2002 at 12 midnight EST. Winners will
be announced in the February issue of Global Bass, which will give Andy lots of
time to snag these great looking things and leave the country!
Andy Long, is a Weltian, which is something like a Martian but with less noticable antennae. His biting wit and his glaring overbite are 7 of his greatest assets. He can be reached by taking a long pointy stick and poking the trees above your house. That squeaking sound will be him.
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