Home > news, review, Technology > The new Dj TechTool’s Traktor Kontrol S4 Bag Review

The new Dj TechTool’s Traktor Kontrol S4 Bag Review


Having purchased my Native Instruments Kontrol S4 early in the New Year, I quickly found myself looking for a transportation mechanism for it.  At the beginning of the year there was little on offer except the NI flight case and the Odyssey version. All of that has now changed with a plethora of options and some truly bewildering prices.  Here is a quick review, or at least first impressions of the DJTT Bag that arrived on my doorstep this morning.

Image copyright of DjTechTools

For those of you who haven’t seen the bag in any detail you might consider going to the DJTT web site and checking out their video.  You can also see some far higher quality pictures than what my Blackberry could muster this afternoon.

Construction

DJTT markets this bag as being of the highest quality  – they weren’t lying.  While I have owned countless higher-end laptop bags over the years, none of them come close to the construction quality and overall finish of the DJTT S4 bag.

The bag is certainly larger than your average laptop bag and while you may get the odd raised eyebrow from an over-zealous flight attendant, I don’t think anyone is going to have an issue checking it. The obvious exception are those awful puddle jumper aircraft where they won’t let you bring on anything larger than a withered hamster fighting its way out of a stale cheese sandwich.

The design is muted on the outside but the front flap has a bright red interior that is striking and certainly the kind of touch you won’t see on too many other products.  I am not sure how worried I am about the presence (or lack thereof) of a DJTT logo. I personally would liked to have seen a DJTT logo and don’t buy into the argument about the bag being more likely to get stolen. Anyone looking to steal something is just as inclined to take something that looks like a laptop bag.

The clip on the front of the bag and the one on the side look and feel like they would happily withstand a nuclear attack. The front clip required a good amount of  ‘squeezery’ to undo it and that’s a very good thing. I have cruised through airports in the past only to be tapped on the shoulder by a stranger asking me if I knew my external hard disks were laying on the moving walkway behind me.

The side clip makes adjusting the shoulder strap effortless and the length of the strap is long enough for pretty much any configuration. The handle on the top is also rugged and well affixed using two highly durable  ‘fixey things’ (I know, you’re not technical but please try and keep up).  I particularly like the bottom of the bag which is supposed to have some kind of motorcycle seat material.  Having never ridden a motorcycle I will just have to take their word for it, though it does seem extremely durable.

S4 Compartment

For most, this has to be the key factor in choosing a bag for the S4. The dimensions here are spot on. The S4 slides in nicely with little-to-no room to wiggle.


Once the Velcro strap is pulled over the top you have a solid and secure holding pen for your beloved controller.  I don’t see there being any issues regarding the cue mix/vol knobs on the front or any of the connectors at the back.  There certainly isn’t room for any kind of decksaver but having that room would make for a bad fit in the first place and with the padding and construction, its a moot discussion. 

Laptop Compartment



This is where I think some people might come a little unstuck.  The bag is advertised as handling up to a 17″ laptop. My Samsung RF-510 is a 15″ laptop (14.9″ x 10.1 X 1.2~1.5″) and is an extremely snug fit in this compartment.  This is fantastic for me as I have a 15″ laptop. I have no idea how someone is supposed to squeeze a 17″ Macbook (or the likes) into this bag.  The compartment does have some give to it but it seems it would be a a real struggle to get a 17″ unit in there. Having only had the bag for a couple of hours and having not measured my own laptop, I will leave it for others to comment on their experience.  For my personal situation and for those who don’t own behemoth noetbooks the compartment is a good fit and the addition of another velcro strap keeps everything secure.

Accessories Compartment

Access to the accessories compartment and the laptop compartment is provided via zip on the right-hand side of the bag. I personally would have liked to have seen 2 zips to allow the compartment to be opened from either or, both sides. There is also a smaller zipped compartment again, for smaller items which will be useful for USB keys and the likes.

I managed to add my Bose Headphones case, a Caselogic Case containing 2 WD Passport Drives and a laptop PSU with room to spare. Adding a Midi-Fighter and additional cables should be no problem.  This bag certainly isn’t going to hold half a studio and an extra pair of clothes but as a portable S4 carrier it’s spot on.

Carrying

Once I had fully loaded the bag I became concerned that it was going to be a monster to carry.  After a few adjustments to the very well padded strap I found the bag to be surprisingly manageable. Now, I have not walked the bag through an airport terminal yet so things could change but for a bag that weights only 4lbs to begin with, I have to imagine this is one of the more user friendly shoulder strap carriers on the market.

One note, when fully loaded I did find that it wanted to fall forwards a little, or at least lean if sat flat on a surface.

Final Thoughts

There are now many different S4 carrying options on the market now.  Those looking for a rolling option, backpack or traditional flight case will no doubt seek out other solutions.  I purchased this particular bag as I felt it provided me with enough room for my gear while still being airline checkable and not completely overbearing.  The bag’s finish is incredible and it’s refreshing to see a product that has had some thought go into it’s design.  It would have been nice to see a horizontal canvass band on the back of the bag for sliding onto a rolling carrier handle and a zip around the front flap to create a seal but these are details, and for a 1.0 product this bag is very close to the mark.

I would have given the DJTT  Kontrol S4 Bag four and a half stars had it not been for the question on the laptop compartment.  As it is, this bag still gets a big 4 stars and a nod of respect to the DJTT crew for a killer 1.0 product.  If you think this bag meets your needs and have been waiting to pull the trigger, it’s time to pull the trigger.

– Fatter Agnus, IMTC

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  1. Gabriel
    September 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Would it fit an additional NI Maschine as well?

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