By Greg Olwell
After earning its stripes with clever body-hugging gig bag designs for electric basses and guitars, GruvGear recently moved into the ukulele world with two sizes of its GigBlade gig bag—one a smaller size to fit soprano and concert sized ukes, and a larger size to fit most tenors, baritones, guitarleles, and Kala’s U-Bass. (A removable pad on the case’s interior allows each bag to accommodate more than one size of ukulele for a snug, safe fit.)
I used the smaller size for several weeks of hauling my concert and soprano ukes around, and its thoughtful design worked well for cradling my widely varying sizes of ukes, including a broad-bodied Maui Music concert, a hefty reso-uke, and a Martin soprano.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the GigBlade is the accessory pocket up near the bag’s top. On larger instruments, like an electric bass, these pockets would fit over your shoulder when carrying the bags, but on the smaller ukulele-sized bags, it’s more of a signature design element than an essential part of the bag’s “side-carry” concept, which puts the instrument on the side of your body instead of behind it. The pocket works well for a smartphone and a wallet, but don’t expect to fit a DI or a cable in there.
With its compact size, first-class construction, and generous padding, I could see the GruvGear GigBlade being a dependable case for traveling. At $120, the GigBlade is an investment, but if you travel regularly and value your ukulele’s safety, it could be a smart purchase.
MATERIALS Water-repellent, heavy-duty 1680D nylon exterior with plush padded interior and padded shoulder strap
WEIGHT 3 lb.