Mono - “Fly By” EFx series
Mono “FlyBy” Gig Bag in Depth Review
Backpacks by definition have not really changed much over the years. I think the saying is “if it ain’t broke - why fix it?” Mono has not only fixed many problems musicians and techies run into with their luggage but managed to improve upon so many little things that the new Mono FlyBy hardly constitutes a “backpack” anymore.
A Bit About The Company
MONO Creators Inc. manufactures instrument cases and accessories for musicians, DJs, producers, and photographers. The company provides packs/bags/briefcases, DJ/beat-maker bags, laptop/iPad sleeves, wallets, guitar/bass cases, guitar straps, pedalboard cases, drum cases, keyboard cases, and ukulele cases. It sells its products through certified dealers in the United States and online. The company was founded in 2007 and is based in Larkspur, California. The San Francisco-based design studio that creates high-end instrument cases, straps and accessories for gigging musicians.
As of 2016 the San Fransisco based company was bought by BandLab -a social music platform for musicians who create, collaborate and share music together.
“Together, BandLab's social, digital tools for musicians and MONO's creator-focused accessories will deliver tools designed to meet the needs of the fast-growing mobile musician market. BandLab and MONO will execute an integrated marketing and product development strategy including participation in a combined space at the 2017 NAMM Show.” - PR Newswire
The Mono - “FlyBy” Features
Removable break-away laptop pack (2-in-1).
Waterproof Sharkskin shell with industrial rubber sole and piping (PVC-free).
Laptop compartment with restraint strap (fits 12”-17”).
Double thick bottom padding eliminates dings. Specialized front pockets for small components.
“Stand Alone” tech is designed to make the "Fly By" very difficult to spill or topple over.
Strategically placed padded straps let you carry your pack in absolute comfort.
Covered under MONO’s 3-year limited-liability warranty.
Features a comfortable messenger strap that quickly unclips when it's time for backpack mode.
I personally have put quite a few miles on my backpack for being a relatively new owner of the "Flyby". Right away I noticed how deceivingly small it was. Trust me this backpack isn't huge. However, the amount of things I can carry efficiently is staggering.
I recently returned from a session down in Long Beach, CA. Naturally I'm going to use my "Flyby" now since I have it. The session was an acoustic setting so I brought amp, guitar, pedal board and an array of things for the day. In my bag I managed to fit 2 binders, 3 instrument cable cables, a power supply cable, some tools, essentials (wallet, glasses, etc) water bottle (x2) as well as a sweater for good measure and still had room for more.
Plus on top of that, the "Flyby" has a built in detachable backpack which doubles as a laptop case so I was also able to bring my Mac Book pro along safely.
One thing I really like about the bag is that everything on it seems to be built with "rough" & "tough" quality meaning, everything can take a serious beating and be fine. My example(s) are the zippers which pretty much never get caught up and feel firm to the touch. The handle for the bag is more reminiscent of high quality luggage as opposed to a simple backpack strap.
Another feature I like are the bags unique side pockets. The zipper actually faces me so there is easy access to the sides for traveling through busy airports or train stations. Little innovations seem to be the trend in this bag.
I think a lot of the satisfaction comes from the fact that it's built incredibly well. I've accidentally dropped this bag with expensive gear inside and everything was okay. I spilled water on it - everything was still dry to the touch. It's made out of the "shark-skin" material Mono uses on multiple other products which really protects the bag from the various elements you may encounter on your journeys.
Is it worth it for the price?
I think it really depends on your needs. This is an incredibly efficient bag - but if all you need is a simple backpack then there is no shame in just using that simple black one we all know and love. However, if you do find yourself gigging, traveling, or have a heavy school life - this may make your life just that little bit easier and I think it's those little things that count. In my opinion you are paying for the peace of mind knowing your stuff is safe inside the Mono "Flyby".
It is expensive for a backpack and I think that's why we aren't seeing more of these around town. It is a fancy backpack - their selling point is more connivence as opposed to necessity.
Coming in at a hefty price - the Mono "Flyby" current market value is $229.99
Written by Benjamin Jay