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If we were to rank instruments in terms of whimsy, the ukulele would surely fall somewhere near the top, thanks both to its jaunty tone and small size, which allow it to be played in a variety of amusingly unlikely places, like a public bus or atop a unicycle. But contrary to what you may have been taught by a decade of manic pixie dream girls, you should really carry your uke in a case, and not just carry it about town by the neck willy-nilly.
While a hard case will offer the best defense in case of major accidents, we like the light weight and convenience of a soft ukulele case, which usually includes padding to provide at least some measure of protection from the elements.
The first thing to note when shopping for a case is the size, as it should fit snugly around your instrument. In most cases, a 21-inch case fits a 21-inch soprano ukulele, a 23-inch case fits a 23-inch concert ukulele, and a 26-inch case suits a 26-inch tenor. Most instruments vary slightly in size, and the case must be longer than the instrument, so make note.
When we rounded up our recommendations, we also made note of the durability and quality of the cases’ materials, how convenient and easy-to-use it is (I.e. zippers), and style of strap, as some prefer backpack style while others prefer a single strap.
No matter what case you choose, the best ukulele soft cases allow you to transport your instrument with ease, while giving you a safe and secure place to store it for travel or at home.
1. Hola! Heavy Duty Ukulele Gig Bag
There are many reasons to love this Hola! ukukele case, which is a great option when you want something practical and no-fuss. One feature we particularly enjoy, however, is the dual-opening zipper arrangement, which opens nearly all the way around the entire case, so your instrument is always easy to access.
Though not a hard-case, this carry bag does include a ton of protective features, including a layer of hard-wearing padded nylon on the outside, scratch-resistant lining on the inside, and a reinforced cushion designed to protect your ukulele’s headstock, so you can still feel safe carrying it from gig to gig.
One final thing we appreciate is the carry handle and single, adjustable shoulder strap rather than the often more-cumbersome backpack style. We think this offers a little more mobility and adjustment, especially if you’re carrying other things at the same time.
2. HOT SEAL Colorful Ukulele Case
The carrying bags from this manufacturer tend to run a little large, so if you’re looking for something to fit a slightly bulkier or thicker instrument, we’d certainly recommend a Hot Seal case.
The case itself is high quality, offering some protection for your instrument (though we still wouldn’t advise dropping it down the stairs or anything). It’s made of a thick, knitted cotton and and generously lined with protective padding. It also has double zippers and an extra front pocket which, while we wish was slightly bigger, is still sizable enough to store small accessories like a chord chart or small pen.
And of course, finally, we can’t talk about these cases without mentioning the colorful design options, which range in vibe from Burning Man organizer to professional ukulele performer.
3. CLOUDMUSIC Soprano Ukulele Case
We like this simply-designed but high quality CloudMusic case. The exterior — which comes in muted tones of gray, blue, black, and off-white — is made of a tough, canvas-like material, and separated from the protective nylon inner layer by about a quarter of an inch of tough foam padding.
People like the minimalist design and effective protection that this case offers, as well as its adjustable straps and dual zippers, which appear well-made and functional. One thing you should note is that these cases run on the snug size, so if your ukulele is slightly larger than the average instrument, you may have a hard time fitting it into the appropriate size from this manufacturer.
4. ZEALUX Colorful Adjustable Ukulele Case
This bag is well-made and durable, with significant protective padding and high-quality double zippers. It’s also a great option for players who find that their ukulele is often a little too big for other carrying cases, as these tend to run slightly long. The bright colors mean you’ll never mix your case up with someone else’s.