Combo bag benefits e-drummers

Friday, 22 May 2020 11:02 am

The days when a drummer could get by with a few sticks and a spare cymbal felt are long gone. In this electronic age, it’s not unusual to have to include a laptop or a tablet as a minimum requirement for your gigs.

So, it was about time the humble stick bag got dragged into the 21st century – and that’s what GruvGear has done with its new QUIVR Tour bag.

The Tour bag resembles a traditional laptop bag and has one pocket which is big enough for an average laptop. It easily accommodated my 13” MacBook Pro. In fact, a 15” laptop would also fit with space to spare in the padded pocket.

The main section of the bag has individual pockets for seven pairs of sticks on one side and a more flexible side with one large pocket (big enough for another half dozen or so pairs of sticks) and some smaller zippered pouches.

The pouches are useful for in-ear monitors, spare drum hardware like drum keys and cymbal felts, cables and other smaller items.

I had hoped to be able to fit a Roland TM-2 module in the biggest of those, but alas, the zip opening was just too small. Another inch and it would have been perfect.

If you don’t need to keep your electronic bits and pieces inside the pockets and are happy to lay them down separately, there’s certainly enough space for a compact module and, say, a bunch of triggers and cables. At a push, you could carry a Yamaha EAD10 system in the Tour, but there’s a risk that the components will rattle around when you’re moving about. So, for e-drummers, this is a bit of a design flaw. Of course, you could probably add a foam insert to keep everything in place, but having already forked out $100, most drummers probably wouldn’t want to invest any more.

There’s also a pocket on the top where you can keep and quickly access a mobile phone, charger, cables and SD cards or USB sticks.

For portability, besides a handle on the top, the bag also has a couple of adjustable and removable padded backpack-style straps.

And if you travel a lot and are scared of losing your bag, it comes with a Global Recovery Tag (powered by HomingPIN). The HomingPIN is a unique code which reunites you with lost luggage. The system requires online registration and includes 12 months’ access, after which you’ll need to pay $9.99 per year.

Overall

There’s no doubt that drummers, especially e-drummers, are carrying more stuff than ever – and devices like laptops are more commonly used at practices and gigs. Yes, you could pack this stuff in one of your drum bags, but a lot of us feel safer with our valuables close at hand, and the QUIVR Tour bag is a neat solution.

The bag is well made, sturdy and comfortable to carry. There’s a generous laptop pocket and plenty of storage for sticks and other bits and pieces. But given the move to hybrid drumming, it would have been good to see slightly bigger pouches, capable of stowing small modules like the Roland TM-2 or systems like the Yamaha EAD-10.

The $100 price tag puts the QUIVR Tour bag at the upper end of the stick bag market, but when you take into account that it also includes a laptop bag, the extra cost makes sense.

Yes, there are other options which combine a backpack and a stick bag, but most of those consist of removable stick bags in separate backpacks, whereas the QUIVR uniquely combines the two into a single portable unit. So, it’s compact, practical and stylish.