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Anyone Using the "BackAxe" Harness with Banjo Cases?

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Jan 24, 2020 - 6:03:23 PM
421 posts since 11/21/2018
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I just received mine. It's not very stable slippage wise around the pot/round area of the hardshell case (Superior).

I'm having trouble adjusting it tight enough also.
The straps seem to be kind of one ended. No adjustment at buckles on both ends but some sort of loop "action" going on... Infinitely adjustable and not adjustable enough in a "practical" fashion on a banjo case?  I can't figure out how to tighten up each hold down strap at BOTH ends which would seem to be a good idea...

Anyone have success with these? I'm thinking of returning it. It's large enough for a Martin guitar plastic "fat" hardshell case but on the banjo case it tries to let the case drop through the single bottom cradle strap.... frustrated....

If I'm doing something wrong with the strap/loop/adjustments please advise?

I can get it to "mostly" work if I stuff a big throw pillow between the case and my back inside the vertical /cradle staps but I wouldn't trust it not to hit the pavement...

Edited by - northernbelle on 01/24/2020 18:07:32

Jan 24, 2020 - 8:31:19 PM
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5096 posts since 10/12/2009
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Where would someone plan on going that they would need to "wear" their instrument as a back-pack ? 

I'm being serious, not being a smart***. smiley

Jan 25, 2020 - 5:53:34 AM

25 posts since 3/20/2019

1. Anytime you need to walk any distance, it's much more comfortable to wear it than carry it.
2. Anytime you need to carry stuff with you, like something to sit on, a cooler, etc., it's easier when you have your hands free.

Every one of my cases has straps, and unless I'm just carrying from the car into a building, the banjo's on my back. It's just so much less awkward and more comfortable.

Edited by - GrumpyCat on 01/25/2020 05:54:02

Jan 25, 2020 - 6:39:28 AM

23 posts since 7/23/2019

I can understand packing a banjo on your back. After a few back surgeries I no longer carry things in the "normal" way. Anything heavy, up to my 80 pound limit goes on my head. I have 26 stairs up to my house and I always use ny head. Walking through town with the wife I do the same with her arm full of assorted "gotta haves for the grandkids". She just shakes her head and walks apart from me.
I have already planned on packing my banjo in to different spots when we meet the families in the Adirondacks this summer and using my hands for nothing heavier then a fishing rod

Jan 25, 2020 - 3:11:33 PM

1164 posts since 2/2/2008

I can see how handy that would be at a festival, Maybe some pictures? Maybe some attachments bolted through the case so you can use self locking clips like the climbers use or key chain clipped on you jeans. Bolt some D-hangers under the bottom with rope hooks and it will not fall out. Very rarely will a banjo case be left standing upright so the attachments will be fine and out of the way. First link show the self lock clip I'm thinking of and other 2 are case parts.

Jan 25, 2020 - 5:32:56 PM

421 posts since 11/21/2018
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I was looking for owners of the BackAxe who have successfully used them.
This thing is a jumbly puzzle, and I was looking for help/advise. I think even adjusted tightly around the case (which doesn't see to be possible) the skinny bottom cradle strap is WAY too narrow for a 15lb. banjo and case.

I bought it because i didn't want to install eyebolt and other hardware on my hardshell case. So far I wouldn't recommend the BackAxe harness to banjo players at all. I'm going to try it on my rectangular bass guitar case next. Maybe it'll be useful there...

Yes, i wanted this for carrying around festivals.

Jan 26, 2020 - 5:21:14 AM

23 posts since 7/23/2019

I like the old ways, armstrong tools instead of power, etc. I have been toying with the idea of an old-fashioned pac-basket, one of the deeper (longer) ones. I could drop my banjo down in easily in its bag and even put a few other things in with. The little light 3 leg fold flat stool I have would slide in also and not take up much space or wgt.
I think you have convinced me that that is the way to go, since I was considering a harness also. I think when I hit Old Forge hardware store this summer a new toy will be calling me
I thank you, my wife probably will not.

Jan 26, 2020 - 5:52:31 AM

976 posts since 1/26/2011

Maybe you could get one of these and have straps added to it.  It's a little pricey but would probably last forever.



Jan 28, 2020 - 9:47:39 PM
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12193 posts since 8/30/2006

Edited by - Helix on 01/28/2020 21:54:30

Jan 29, 2020 - 1:29:02 AM

1164 posts since 2/2/2008

I realise this won't answer your questions but are people using golf bag trolleys in the US? I have seen those fold up trolleys used here in Australia at festivals to lug around multiple instruments. I play guitar and banjo both with cases so I thought that is a great idea when strolling around looking for jams. I can hold your drink bag as well.

Jan 29, 2020 - 6:50:20 AM
Players Union Member



9124 posts since 6/30/2015

northernbelle , which size did you get? Looking at their web page they have 2 sizes, one for guitars and one for smaller instruments. I would think the guitar size would be too big for a banjo case. They have email contact where you can tell them the dimensions of your case and they will tell you which model. I don't have one of these, but it looks very useful for banjo camp, or a festival. I have a gig bag currently that serves that purpose for me.

Jan 29, 2020 - 10:39:54 AM
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12193 posts since 8/30/2006

5strings3picks1banjo Leon, Steve Goodbar used one golf bag trolley for his long suffering wife who plays bass. She could not get it through the doors at the festivals, The Grasswhackers made one for his wife that gently nestles the bass sideways and goes through all turnstiles, doors, and bathroom stalls. She uses a tennis ball on the end of the peg.

I second a gigbag for that strap.

Jan 29, 2020 - 12:32:05 PM

1164 posts since 2/2/2008

Hi helix, I forget I do not know how things are done in the US. Sounds like you have big venues like stadiums. We set up in all open bush areas and we are camping in tents and caravans.

Agreed gig bag. There are strong ones.

Jan 29, 2020 - 12:32:48 PM

421 posts since 11/21/2018
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I looked into the sizes initially. The BackAxe site said they were out of the smaller ones for an indeterminate time.
Elderly Instruments was very helpful via emails concerning banjo sizing so bought it from them.
The smaller version has an 8" circumference at the neck area
and they are for 3.5' length max. instruments according to the B.A. site.

I'll call Elderly and ask a few questions and see what they think but it's very likely getting returned. Even if it were sized "correctly"
they are a jangly mess to deal with EVERY time, adjust very awkwardly IMHO and do not offer nearly enough stability and safety for carrying all day around a festival, etc.

Something more (literally) solid like the harnesses that marching drummer use, using wide solid bands for cradle and surround straps would be a MUCH better design.

I was attracted to the case cover at Greg Boyds but as you said, it's rather expensive and would entail yet more expense, design trial and error to add straps. I mulled that one over quite a bit awhile back when I was interested in getting a case cover straps was a deal breaker for me.

To be continued one way or 'nuther...

I'm trying to avoid a gig bag. I really want to keep the banjo in a hard shell case. There are zero banjo luthier/repair persons in our region and I want to be as assured as possible that mishaps at a festival, etc. won't happen.

Jan 30, 2020 - 1:50:26 AM
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12193 posts since 8/30/2006

I understand what your quest is, sorry I'm not more helpful.  I've seen everything from wheelbarrows to leaf buggies. 

. We set up in all open bush areas and we are camping in tents and caravans.

I knew it, some day, we'll meet up out there in the bush for music. 

Jan 30, 2020 - 2:11:39 AM

1164 posts since 2/2/2008

Northern Belle, are you adamant you want to carry your banjo. I'm sure you must suffer like me carrying those things around. It must be near 15 pounds+
You may be better off designing your own idea and have your banjo upside down so the strap can hold under the resonator/wider part of the case.
Maybe try your banjo upside down with that strap but it will need to be high up your shoulders maybe touching behind your head.

Helix-I knew it, some day, we'll meet up out there in the bush for music.

It might have to be in New Zealand Helix my friend as I am going home within the year. Your like me I think, you never sleep haha

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