Tackle Instrument Supply was founded in 2011 by indie-rock drummer Scott McPherson (Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Beck, etc.). As a working musician, McPherson grew frustrated with the failure rate of the drum bags that were available at the time, so he set out to make his own. The intention was to capture the simple, classic aesthetic of the canvas cases from the past, while drawing on the durability and precision of modern production methods. Among the items in Tackle’s catalog is the Backpack Cymbal Bag ($215), which we have for review.

Rugged, Cool, and Reliable

The Backpack Cymbal Bag is available in 22″ and 24″ sizes and in a choice of black or forest green. We received the 24″ green version. The case is made from fifteen-ounce cotton-canvas and the handles, buckles, and trim are leather. The base of the bag is reinforced with additional leather to prevent premature wearing and tearing. The large zippers, snaps, buckles, and rivets are made from high-quality pre-aged brass, and the stitching is super clean and precise.

The bag comes with three removable canvas sleeves that can be placed between cymbals for extra protection. I discovered a hidden function for the sleeves—as quick bass drum mufflers—at a gig where I had to play in a reverberant auditorium on a house kit with a large, unmuffled kick. I rolled up and folded one of the sleeves and wedged it between the pedal and drumhead, and it tightened up the resonance well. The sleeves have short leather hoops riveted to the top to make them easier to grab.

There’s a nice-sized zippered pouch on the front of the bag that you can use to store personal items (phone, wallet, keys, etc.) as well as small accessories like hi-hat clutches, felts, drum keys, and muffling devices. The front pocket of the 24″ bag is large enough to accommodate 16″ hi-hats; the 22″ bag can hold 15″ cymbals. The interior has ample room to store a full set of cymbals. I threw in two full sets (two rides, four crashes, two splashes, and two pairs of hi-hats) and still had room to spare.

The shoulder straps were comfortable while not being overly padded, and leather belt-style adjustment bands kept the straps from loosening over time. The leather handle was also comfortable and easy to snap closed. The only minor issue I foresee for some gigging drummers who often play shows with minimal setup time is that it takes a few extra seconds to unstrap the front buckle to get access to the hi-hat pocket and accessory pouch. I’m being extra picky, but maybe including snaps here, in addition to the buckle, would be a benefit during super-rushed setups. But in terms of quality, design, and aesthetic, the Backpack Cymbal Bag is top-shelf.