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Back in May of 2016 we reviewed the MONO Vertigo gig bag, which had plenty of well-designed protection features for your axe, not to mention an excellent construction. Now, Mono’s at it again, this time with their Guitar Sleeve.
The exterior of ours is a classy ash grey (it is also available in black), with a very tight and crisp feel to it. A lot of features in the Vertigo series are here as well: “top loading” design, with the zipper running around the top edge. The inside lining is again, a fine soft microfiber material, and features their “headlock” neck support system, that cradles the guitar’s neck. The zippered front pocket is sheathed with a flap that is secured by a steel buckle, and has plenty of room for the usual flat-ish accessories like cables, straps, notebooks, etc. While the flap can offer another layer of padding, it seems redundant, just another thing to fiddle with, when you’re trying to get something out of the pocket.
Inside a padded “EVA insole” at the bottom there’s a small valley for the guitar’s endpin. In the event of the instrument falling butt end first, this can prevent the strap end pin from acting like a spike into the wood. But it would be hard to drop, as the adjustable shoulder straps are nicely padded, with plenty of grip and the case also has a handy chest strap. The girthy riveted handle is placed on the opposite side from most gig bags, which feels odd at first, but after a few trips, your hand seems to find it naturally.
The overall build quality is superb. The zippers feel robust and smooth, and there’s enough foam padding in there that it feels rigid even when empty. But overall it has a much lighter feel. The Vertigo we reviewed earlier feels like it was meant for the on-the-go musician who takes public transportation, out on the street, and needs every bit of protection. The Guitar Sleeve feels like it’s distilled from the Vertigo, but still offers more protection that the usual gig bag, and in some cases (get the pun) a hard case. For the player who takes the instrument from their house, to the car, from the car, to the gig/studio/practice, then back home, this is perfect protection and lightweight mobility.
Most solid body guitars should fit well inside, but it is a tight fit. The street price is at a reasonable $149, and again, a decent investment in a gig bag outweighs any costly repair bill.
Well built, great design, lightweight, plenty of protection.
If you’re in a hurry, the front pocket flap seems to get in the way.