In conjunction with OGIO, Ahead have developed a 'revolutionary' case to transport the requisite hardware that comes with a kit.
OGIO make a variety of quality cases for a range of activities including golf, travel, laptops etc. This Armor OGIO collaboration features an aluminium telescoping handle and a set of 'oversized' wheels, each designed to help safely trundle along pavements and the sort of terrain we're likely to encounter when out gigging.
The 'soft' part of the case itself is constructed of a woven waterproof nylon, much the same sort of fabric used in the range of Armor drum cases. However, this also has an ABS underbelly shaped much like a sled, or SLED (Structural Load Equalising Deck).
The sled effectively spreads and distributes the load which, given the potential for transporting some extremely weighty hardware, will prove essential for stability.
While the sled section gives the whole unit its structural integrity, it also acts as the anchor point for each of the fixings of its fabric outer skin, aluminium handle, wheels etc.
Wherever possible, the synthetic 600-denier nylon is bolted, double-stitched and generally well-attached to the sled portion. Inside there is a further selection of hefty nylon straps and case material with Velcro to help to keep the hardware snugly in position during transit.
The soft part of the case has chunky rubber strips for a little extra external protection at points of likely impact. A large zip follows the outer perimeter edge for at least three-quarters of the way around, giving a wide gap for easy access to the interior.
Inside there is a useful compartment which could be employed as a holder for the stick bag, for example.
Our usual case is of the ABS variety which, after some Chinese puzzle-like placement, can take most of our regular gigging hardware - we say 'most' because there is usually a few odd items we can't quite squeeze in and there is potential to forget a much-needed component.
However, into this case went a range of hefty double-braced hardware including four boom-type cymbal stands, stool base, snare and hi-hat stand, stick bag, stool top, various clamps and cymbal arms etc, and still there was room for more!
Up in the upright position the case (complete with hardware), appears quite stable. Much depends on how everything is loaded but the slightly tapered shape seems to dictate the heavier section of each stand is placed down at the lower part of the case.
Although with this amount of hardware it's a two-man lift, the whole unit feels secure enough for one person to transport from van to car to venue without fear of the precious hardware spilling out into the street.