The first time I thought about getting cases for my drums was before my first gig in high school and my rock band was booked to play a set at a local coffee shop. I had to bring my drum set to the venue, and that meant I needed some cases put my drums in while I drove them to the gig. Heading to the local drum shop, I was surprised at all the questions they had for me! Expecting the clerks to just to hand me a set of bags and a bill for $10, I actually had to go back home, measure my drums, determine what kind of bags/cases I needed, and finally borrow some money from my parents because my $10 budget just wasn’t going to cut it!
There are two main types of protection for drums to consider. Hard cases are often called “cases” and soft cases are generally referred to as “bags”. Hard Cases are made of a molded plastic material with most hard case manufacturers offering the option of lining the inside of the case with protective foam. While expensive, it’s highly recommended for individuals seeking the most protection. Hard shell cases with foam lining offer the most protection of any case option because those without the foam lining don’t offer protection against scratching.
Soft bags are made of a synthetic fabric or nylon material. They’re lined with padding and are typically a cheaper option than hard cases. Soft cases are also much lighter making them easy to move around. It’s important to choose cases that are appropriate and cost effective to the drums you are protecting. For example, I have hard shell cases with foam lining for my expensive drums and soft cases for my inexpensive drums.
The best drum cases can cost you about $50-100 per case, but in most situations the price of admission is worth the initial cost. I have several snare drums that are custom built and one of a kind. If they were damaged in any way, they could not be replaced. I have had some of my cases for 20 years, and they look brand new. I have quality cases for these drums. These cases have lasted countless plane rides and 2 cross country moves.
It is important to measure your drums properly before you purchase cases. It is also a good idea to talk to the company or venue about things like mounting hardware and snare strainers. Sometimes these items can determine the size of the case that is needed. The actual size and weight of a case is very important for the gigging drummer. Hard cases are going to be more bulky and heavy than soft bags.
We chose the following best drum cases for the superior level of protection they provide thanks to their durable construction whether hard or soft shell, their generous sizes which can comfortably accommodate most any setup. These picks are all the lightest options available which allows for easy transportation without compromising their level of protection.
SKB hard cases offer the highest level of protection for any drums. As a professional who cares about the protection of my drums, I always trust SKB to keep my equipment safe because these cases extremely durable and are guaranteed for life. Read Full Review
SKB has been making cases for over thirty years for everything from drums to archery equipment. Their hard drum cases are very durable and offer the highest level of protection. While these cases are very sturdy all around, I find them particularly solid on the top and bottom. This is important because drums are usually stacked vertically on top of one another. When using my own SKB cases, I have no fear of their weight affecting the drums during vertical storage.
The hard cases are mostly indestructible and have a foam lining covered with fabric which effectively protects the foam from wear and tear. The cases have heavy-duty handles, well-made straps, and solid buckles. They also feature a molded design on top that keeps them secure when stacking them on top of other SKB cases. SKB cases are a bit more expensive than other cases, but they offer an unparalleled level of protection. Each case is also guaranteed with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, something which is pretty rare for the consumer to find these days.
Humes and Berg Enduro Cases are some of the best hard cases on the market due to their sturdy construction and use of the highest quality foam. I have trusted my equipment to Enduro cases for many years and this manufacturer has never let me down. Read Full Review
Humes and Berg Enduro cases offers an extremely high level of protection for drums. The Enduro line is a hard shell case, and I recommend the foam lining for inside of the case. I have found Humes and Berg hard cases are sturdier than other hard cases, they’re molded to stack easily and securely, and there’s less give. Additionally, the foam doesn’t wear out as quickly as it would in other drum cases. A durable strap and clasp system (rather than a zipper) holds these cases together, making them some of the best cases for any drums you own that need exceptional protection.
Protection Racket has always set the standard for high quality drum cases and heir AAA Rigid cases are quite innovative in design and use. They offer the best qualities of both hard and soft cases along with exceptional construction to ensure years of consistent protection. Read Full Review
Protection Packet has a long time reputation for making high quality drum bags. While I’ve always been a big fan of their soft bags, they’ve improved on the soft bag concept with their AAA Rigid cases which are kind of a hybrid between a soft bag and a hard shell case. They offer the similar protective benefits of a hard case but are much lighter and easy to maneuver around. AAA Rigid cases eliminate a lot of the hassle of moving heavy hard cases from gig to gig but still provide a similar amount of protection. The cases handles, zippers, and interior padding are all of the highest quality and are very durable to provide years’ worth of solid protection. While the bags are guaranteed for a year, I would say it’s safe to trust them for much longer than that.
Stagg is a newer name in drum bags and they have quickly impressed me with their products. Their Professional Series of soft drum bags offer a lot of protection, but still have the convenience of a soft bag. The foam and unique velvet layer of protection will keep your drums in great shape from one gig to the next. Read Full Review
Stagg offers several different lines of bags offering varying levels of protection depending on your needs. Their Professional Series drum bags are some of the best soft bags that I’ve ever seen, being made from reinforced nylon and have a layer of foam for protection. The first thing I noticed when I opened my Stagg case was the layer of velvet lining inside that provides another level of padding and protects the sides of the shell. The bags themselves are lightweight but still durable while the design of the handle is very evenly balanced, extending to the edges of the case. The balanced handle will prevent it from tearing away from the case as well as ensuring you’re comfortable when carrying the cases. They are also competitively priced given the level of protection that they offer in addition to their one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The Gator Standard 5-piece bag set is the best set of bags for a limited budget. If it is your first time buying bags, then it this is the place to start. These bags are also widely available through a number of different retailers. Read Full Review
Gator’s Standard 5-piece bag set is perfect for the drummer on a budget. Quality bags for a small price tag, the Standard Set fits the usual sizes for a beginning drum set as well as offering a smaller fusion size. The bags are made of a durable nylon material and there’s a layer of protective padding inside to safeguard your drums. Even with the padding, the bags are collapsible when empty and can easily be tucked away somewhere out of the way during a gig.
The carry straps are fine for the smaller drums, but I recommend investing in rolling cart or dolly to wheel around the bass drum (something that I recommend doing for bass drums in general). One drawback is although the strap itself is quite durable, it can be awkward and uncomfortable to carry at times. Despite this issue, the Gator 5-piece set remains the best inexpensive set available because the it offers more padding and protection than other bags at this price point.