Here's an update on my review (I've left the old review at the bottom).
I have used this bag pretty much every week to take drum hardware to gigs, and it has been great.
I have never over-filled it.
I have never dropped it.
I've used the skid on stairs.
I've dragged it across a variety of surfaces, but only ones the wheels rolled on.
After a gig 13 months later... I found a small curve of rubber from one of the wheels on the floor of the stage.
The wheels are like rollerblade wheels and, I had no idea they had rubber outers - but there it was and now one of the wheels is rolling on rubber, the other on hard plastic.
I looked in to in and was relieved to see that Ahead products come with a 2 year warranty - this is Joke!
After contacting them directly (they told me to claim through thomann), thomann told me to send it back for repair - but if it was deemed "excessive wear and tear" - I'd have to pay the repair bill AND/OR shipping back to the UK. I was not prepared to risk it, and Thomann forwarded on my photographs of the damage to the assessment people. YES - excessive wear and tear!!! Surely the point of a warranty is that they a guaranteeing a product AGAINST failure through wear and tear!!
All I can say is - it WAS a fantastic bag, but its the second most expensive hardware bag you can get (the most being its big brother).
I am extremely disappointed with the customer service I have received, and this whole process of finding out I am NOT covered has taken 2 months.
I will NOT be buying another Ahead product any time soon - not worth the risk if something goes wrong.
In the interest on balance - here's my initial review:
When I was looking for a hardware bag, I initially dismissed this as just too expensive... after all, it's probably one of the priciest bags on the market.
I was also of the opinion that, hardware doesn't really need protecting, so why should I spend the money on something that is just holding the stuff together, rather than needing any kind of padding/protection.
I looked around and eventually talked myself in to buying it...
I am extremely impressed... I have the AA5038W model (not the biggest, the second biggest)... and Its not full... I can get EVERYTHING in it. 3x boom stands, 1 straight stand, kick pedal, HH stand, stool (base and throne), tom arm from kick drum, tom legs... and my rug! It just swallows it all up, with room to spare. The skid is excellent as are the wheels.
With all that in it, naturally its heavy!! But the wheels and handles make it very manoeuvrable.
A quality product that has tidied my set up, pack down and storage amazingly.
IMO actually worth the money.