Best Acoustic Guitar Cases 2021: Soft-Shell, Padded Gig Bags - Rolling Stone
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Best Case Scenario: Three Acoustic Guitar Cases for Every Level

Whether you’re heading to the studio or heading out on tour, these gig bags keep your six-string protected

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An acoustic guitar case may seem simple enough — just something to protect it from the outside world, right? But start shopping and you’ll quickly find there’s more to it.

What You Need To Know About Acoustic Guitar Cases

The selections featured here are all technically classified as “gig bags,” but there’s a wide range of attributes and qualities within that, and finding the right one for you depends on a few different factors. Most importantly: what you’ll be using it for, and how this will integrate into your musical lifestyle.

Are you a professional classical guitarist, constantly traveling from gig to gig, with other people occasionally packing and handling your expensive acoustic? A higher-end, more densely-padded bag made from a thicker-material — while still retaining a light weight — may be the best option. A few of these choices even offer removable, internal padding, to customize how much protection you need around the neck and head area, along with heftier rubber bumpers on the bottom and sides.

The more casual player may not need, or want, as much ruggedness or bulky security in a case. For a beginner mostly practicing at home with an occasional outing such as a lesson or recital, a simpler, thinner, lighter bag would go a long way.

No matter what, it’s wise to have at least something to protect your six-string from dust and minor dings. And whatever your current musical lifestyle or skill level is, it doesn’t hurt to consider the future either.  As you progress, you never know when you might be tempted to play at the neighborhood coffeehouse’s open-mic night, or get invited to join a local band on stage. A solid gig bag is ready to get out there whenever you are.

We’ve selected three different gig bags that cover the range of requirements most musicians might have. Take a look and see which one is right for you, your instrument, and your musical goals.

1. Gator Cases Transit Series Acoustic Guitar Gig Bag

This Gator guitar bag is soft case that not only stands up to the wear and tear of the road, but also the unpredictability of the weather.

Gator’s durable exterior is ready for whatever Mother Nature has to throw at it, and the thick rubber treads on the bottom give it an extra layer of protection from drops, life on the road, even literally dropping it on the road. It’s an excellent first line of defense against damage.

Inside is equally protective, while keeping your acoustic comfy. The cushy internal foam padding is 20mm thick, lined and layered with plush Micro-Fleece. And if you still need more to protect your guitar, Gator’s got you. Their adjustable, Velcro, removable “Three-Point” interior padding adds extra, optional layers to protect the headstock, neck and body.

The large front compartment is zippered and buckled with a protective flap, allowing you to pack the pocket to capacity and still securely close it. It’s great for cables, sheet music and even a stand, iPad or laptop.

With two carrying options, either throw it on your back with its two matching straps, or grab the padded grip handle, and you’re good to go to your next gig.

PROS:  Lightweight while still offering decent protection. The adjustable padding comfortably fits most acoustics and even some electric guitars too.

CONS: While the case is well made, the straps and handle seem to wear out quickly. Some users have made modifications to prolong the life of them, including zip ties and sewing.

best gator case gig bag

Courtesy Amazon

Courtesy Amazon

Buy: Gator Cases Transit Series Acoustic… at $129.99

2. ChromaCast Acoustic Guitar Padded Gig Bag

Pockets, pockets, pockets. So many pockets. Six to be exact.

If you’ll be hauling lots of other gear besides your guitar, there’s no shortage of space here. The front pocket is wide and deep enough to fit a laptop, cables, iPads and/or some music books, while the vertical pocket along the neck is long enough to fit most portable folding stands.  And with four more pockets, there’s room for most everything else you’ll need.

Aside from storage, the inside offers decent protection too. It’s well-padded with thick foam, with a convenient velcro strap to hold your guitar’s neck securely. Exteriorly, the 10mm thick padding provides a durable deterrent to dings and damage, while the rubber-based bumpers on the bottom are a convenient barrier for when you sit down or set it down too quickly and accidentally scrape the ground.

Even if you’ve stuffed your pockets to capacity, carrying it is easy, with multiple handles and straps to choose from.

PROS: Depending on how much stuff you’ve got, the amount of extra carry-space in this case could eliminate the need to shlep an extra backpack or bag along with you. Ideal for going from gig to gig, or for students headed to lessons, rehearsals, open-mics, etc.

CONS: The stitching and straps can wear out quickly, and the included strap isn’t meant for the long-haul either. This is a great bag for a beginner, but users suggest upgrading once you’re able.

Buy: ChromaCast Acoustic Guitar Padded Gig… at $35.29

3. Faswin Acoustic Guitar Gig Bag

Faswin’s compact gig bag is designed to keep your acoustic free of dust, dirt, dings, and light damage.

While the others reviewed here are also “gig bags,” they seem to be a bit more of a midway between bag and case, soft-shell portability and hardshell protection. The Faswin’s material is much thinner, with no adjustable padding inside or thick treaded feet outside (it does have a bit of rubber over the neck and bottom, though).

However, it all depends on what your needs will be. For the touring musician with nightly stage setups and tear-downs, a more durable choice would be recommended. If you’ll only be (gently) packing your axe into your car a few times a week for band practice, lessons, teaching, etc, this’ll do the job nicely.

The bag itself is 41 inches, and not really designed to hold larger dreadnought-type acoustics. It does hold a good amount of other gear in the triple-gusseted storage pocket though, enough to pack in your tuners, spare strings and sheet music with room leftover.

PROS: Simple, lightweight guitar bag with decent storage.

CONS: Some users say this was too small for their guitar, others say it was too big. Be sure to take measurements before ordering.

Faswin guitar bag

Courtesy Amazon

Courtesy Amazon

Buy: Faswin Acoustic Guitar Gig Bag at $23.99

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