SKB Hard Cases
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 & Berg Enduro Drum Cases
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 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 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.
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.