Before I discuss my experience with Music Area’s AA31 gig bag, let’s revisit my first gig bag. The thin nylon exterior was comparable to tossing my Stratocaster in a cheap backpack. The short and wide front pocket was perfect for losing picks, yet too small for my lesson book. Finally the 1” wide shoulder strap anchored all the weight right on my collarbone.
With 360 degrees of seven-layer, waterproof protection, you have your work cut out for you if you want to damage a guitar in a Music Area AA31 gig bag.
Those seven layers break down into a layer of waterproof polyester, four layers of foam, one layer of polypropylene and a layer of soft polyester fabric on the inside. The sum of those layers adds up to over 1” of padding all the way around.
To stabilize the guitar, there’s a padded neck cradle with a Velcro strap, and a 1 ½” x 14 ½” bumper at the bottom of the gig bag. While I’ve seen the neck cradle design before, the bumper is new to me. Its purpose is to reduce stress on the bottom strap button and prevent cosmetic damage when the guitar is stored upright. Both pieces are removable if you need the extra space.
Speaking of space, the AA31’s interior dimensions are 40.5” long, 2.5” deep and the widest part at the bottom is 14”. The only solid body electric that gave me trouble was the wide upper horn on my BC Rich Mockingbird. I fit a Strat, a Les Paul, an SG, a Tele and even a thinline Tele without any issues.
The front of the gig bag has 2 spacious pockets. The top smaller pocket is roughly 7” x 10” and perfect for stashing your phone and wallet while you play. The bottom pocket extends almost the entire length of the gig back and has a Velcro cable holder as well as three smaller pockets for storing things like pedals, accessories or a tablet. I was even able to squeeze a loaded Strat neck I had sitting around up and in through the bottom pocket.
Finally, where my first gig bag failed miserably, Music Area’s AA31 boasts two generously padded, fully adjustable, ergonomically designed, 3" wide backpack straps! If wearing it as a backpack isn’t your preference, there is a hideaway flap for the straps and two additional riveted enforced handles on the bag.
Just under six weeks, with a handful of gigs and practices, the AA31 is holding up strong. While I haven’t thrown it in a swimming pool to fully test the waterproofing, I did get caught in a downpour loading out from a gig. The rain repelled off the gig bag and my Strat managed to stay completely dry.
The AA31 Gig Bag is available now for $239.
For more info, head on over to musicarea.cn.