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If you’re taking your bass guitar on frequent gigs and need to travel with it often, you probably need a high-quality hard case, to keep it from getting damaged while rolling around in the back of a van. But for less precious instruments or infrequent gigs, a basic soft gig bag is more lightweight and comfortable to carry. These days, the best bass guitar bags and soft cases offer many of the same protective features of a hard case too, only in slimmer, more manageable packages.
What Makes a Good Bass Guitar Case or Bag?
To make sure you’re purchasing a quality bass guitar case, it’s important to consider details like how much padding it includes, types of zippers, and the durability of the materials. Other considerations have more to do with personal taste, including the size and positioning of straps, how much room there is for additional storage and how snugly it fits an acoustic or electric bass.
Construction: Soft gig bags are usually made of heavy-duty nylon, usually with some kind of waterproof coating, essential in case of rain. (You can also boost the case’s waterproof capability yourself with a waterproofing spray). Quality stitching and good zippers are also important, as is the shape and design of the bag, which will affect where the weight of the bass is supported and therefore how comfortable it is to carry.
Padding: Second to construction, the most important factor in making sure the bag provides adequate protection for your instrument is the quality and thickness of the padding in the lining. Most will include an inch or so of foam batting, but the more padding the more snug your bass guitar will fit.
Storage: In addition to the bass guitar itself, you probably need a place to carry other equipment and accessories like picks, music, or cables. Many of our favorite gig bags come with plenty of zippered pockets with room for all of your gear.
Handles and Straps: If you prefer a backpack style gig bag, look at how wide and adjustable the straps are as well as where they are positioned and if they are also padded for comfort. Also look at the construction and comfort details on handles, as well as where they are located on the case.
1. ChromaCast Electric Bass Guitar Padded Gig Bag
The ChromaCast gig bag stands out for its durable construction, including heavy-duty nylon, large tough zippers, padded shoulder straps and flexible plastic handle grips. But what people love most are the many zippered pockets which offer more than enough storage space for everything you could possibly need, from pedals to chargers to even a small laptop.
2. Gator Cases Gig Bag for Electric Bass Guitars
If you prefer a relatively snug fit (for less shifting in transit), we recommend this slim Gator Cases gig bag, which is reinforced with 10mm of protective padding to cradle your instrument. The bag includes one large outer pocket with just enough space for tuners, strings, and picks. Its slim size also makes it easier to grab and go wherever you’re heading to a gig or taking your bass with you on a day trip.
3. YMC 46-Inch Electric Bass Guitar Gig Bag
We like this bag’s water-resistant nylon, 5mm of padding, and soft fabric lining, which protects the instrument from scratches. It comes with both shoulder straps and carrying handles, so you have options, as well as a few useful accessories including three picks, a pick holder and a pair of rubber strap locks.
4. CAHAYA Electric Bass Guitar Bag
Users say this bag feels sturdy, with decent stitching and durable zippers, with a thin layer of protective padding and two pockets for accessories, one large and one small. The backpack straps and carry handles make it easy to travel with, but we like this bag best as a protective case for your bass at home. Its slim, streamlined design won’t take up too much storage space in the closet or car either.