Bags and cases are essential items for transporting and storing drums. Their task is to prolong the life of musical instruments. Even in rooms with regular wet cleaning, leaving a unit assembled for a long time is not recommended. Therefore, it is better to order drum covers right away and not save on replacement in case of wear.
Gator 5pc Standard Set is my pick for one of the best drum cases I’ve ever tested. It is made of durable nylon and has a 10mm soft lining that protects your tool during transportation. The kit includes five bags of various sizes, which are quite spacious inside and can even accommodate irregular drums. Perhaps, the only drawback of this set is the lack of small carrying handles on the bags. They are equipped only with long shoulder straps, but sometimes there are situations when you need to carry the cases in hand.
While I think the Gator product is the best, that doesn’t mean there are no other good drum bags. In this article, you’ll find four more reviews on great products, as well as a buyer’s guide to help you choose the perfect model for your instrument.
- 5 Best Drum Bags Reviews
- Drum Set Cases Buyer’s Guide
- Drum Bags FAQ
- Choose the Best Drum Bags to Keep Drums Safe
5 Best Drum Bags Reviews
- Gator Cases Protechtor Series 5 piece Padded Drum Bag Set for Standard Kits
- Meinl Percussion Cajon Box Drum Bag
- Gearlux 5-Piece Drum Bag Set for 12" Tom, 13" Tom, 14" Snare, 16" Floor Tom, 22" Bass Drum
- Multi-Tom Drum Bag with Wheels by Protec, Model CP200WL
- Kaces Snare Drum Kit Porter w/Wheels (KDP-160W)
The approach to the choice of accessories should be exclusively functional. It all depends on how often you need your instruments. At home or in a rehearsal room, you can cope with the simplest bags. If you need to carry drums around all the time, you should purchase a durable padded case.
1. My Top Pick: Gator 5pc Standard Set
Perhaps, the Gator company is one of the most famous manufacturers of covers, bags, and cases for musical equipment. If you want a complete kit of safety accessories for your drums at an affordable price, check out the Gator 5pc Standard Set.
The package includes five differently sized bags. Three of them will fit floor and rack toms of 12×10, 13×11, and 16×16 inches. In another 14×5.5-inch bag, you can put a snare drum. And the largest one, measuring 22×18 inches, is made to carry a kick drum. These cases are great for storage and transportation as they have a 10mm thick lining. You can fit standard models from Yamaha, Pearl, PDP, and Gretsch Drums, as well as custom-sized drums. The total weight of all bags is only 13 pounds.
This kit is not for heavy-use. These bags are soft, not hard shell drum cases. Therefore, despite the rather thick foam padding, you should still be careful when carrying them. They’re made of durable 600-denier nylon and fitted with long shoulder straps. In my opinion, they lack short carrying hand straps, but it is a matter of taste. Sturdy zippers withstand regular stress and rough handling.
- Durable nylon exterior
- 10mm padded and lined interior
- Reasonable price;
- Suitable even for non-standard items;
- Stackable design.
- No short handles.
2. Soft Drum Case for Cajon: Meinl Percussion Bag
Although a Cajon is a sturdy wooden (or composite) box and is very different from standard drums in construction, it also needs protection. To keep this instrument safe and sound, use this Meinl Percussion bag.
In the brand’s product line, this case is called Standard because it fits most Cajon models. Its inseam dimensions are 20.5x13x13 inches. It fits perfectly any tool that is close to these sizes. However, since the bag is not equipped with a thick lining, a smaller Cajon can dangle inside and rattle. The weight of the bag is 1.5 pounds.
The item is made of durable nylon that is damage-resistant and can protect the instrument from light rain. Instead of a lining inside, the manufacturer has added a second layer of softer nylon that does not scratch the wood. I want to point out the solid handles and well-made seams that can support a lot of weight. Durable plastic zip with coil teeth opens on both sides, so you can completely flip open its lid and place your instrument inside.
- STANDARD SIZE FITS MOST COMMON CAJONS: The Meinl Standard Cajon Bag with padding measures 20.5" long x 13" wide x 13" deep (inside). These dimensions comfortably fit most common cajons measuring up to 20" high x 12.5" wide x 12.5" deep.
- EXCEPTIONAL PROTECTION FOR YOUR CAJON: Made to last with durable heavy duty nylon stitching, the standard cajon bag is an excellent choice for protecting your instrument. A thick carrying grip with reinforced cross stitching and a robust two-way zipper with extra lining ensure ease of handling. Internal padding adds a layer of cushioning for your cajon.
- Secure seams;
- Two-way zipper.
- Thin lining;
- No shoulder strap.
3. Budget-Friendly Drum Bag Set: Gearlux 5-Piece Set
Another bag kit on my list is the 5-Piece Set from Gearlux, which makes accessories ranging from cables and cases to stands and benches. It is a product of excellent quality, which is also sold at an affordable price.
The set contains five bags for different drums. Three of them are designed for toms storage; they are 14.5x 12.5, 15×13.5, and 18×18 inches. The other two are for snare (15.5×6) and bass (24×21) drums. If you do not use bags, they can be conveniently folded one into another to take up little space. It is a fairly compact set that also weighs a bit, just 10 pounds.
Like most soft cases, they are made of durable nylon. So that you can quickly find a bag of the right size, they all have an individual label. The inner lining is made of soft 10mm foam that absorbs shocks. Even though the padding thickness here is the same as in the first product, these bags seemed more cushioned to me. Of course, in the case of rough transportation, it will not save your drums, but it will definitely protect against accidental hits.
- Excellent for storage and protection with 10mm of foam protection
- Each bag labeled for easy identification
- Affordable price;
- Excellent quality;
- Short handles only.
4. Drum Set Road Case for Several Items: ProTec Bag with Wheels
ProTec is one of the first companies to specialize in case production. The brand patented its own PRO PAC technology and became one of the most recognizable manufacturers on the market.
The product is specially designed for tom transportation. It is a long case that can accommodate one floor and two rack toms. The drum legs and a little percussion like a cowbell can be stored in a separate pocket. The case measures 42x21x21 inches and can be stacked with a wide variety of toms. You can fit even a full drum set of small dimensions into this case. At the same time, the case is pretty lightweight (8.2 pounds).
Although the bag is soft, it is quite durable and will surely protect your drums. Inside, there are two soft dividers keeping the drums from bumping against each other. You can attach them to any part of the cover with Velcro. Another convenient option is the outside straps, with which you can tighten the bag. Durable wheels and a handle make it easy to transport the drums by hand.
- Attach the padded dividers to the interior wall between each drum by using the secure straps with hook and loop fasteners.
- Store drum legs inside the large exterior pocket.
- Easy-to-transport design;
- Quality materials;
- Straps for tightening the case.
- Relatively high price.
5. Durable Drum Travel Cases: Kaces Snare Porter
Alan Poster decided to found Kaces to help musicians and roadies who had to work at concerts with heavy and uncomfortable wooden cases. Over the years, the company has developed a whole line of bags, known for their small weight and durability.
This model is designed exclusively for 5×14-inch snares. Please note that other drum sizes may not fit. There is a separate pocket for a stand at the case bottom. You can also put drumsticks and triggers in it. Two additional small compartments are provided for other accessories. All the pockets are equipped with zippers that work properly and are well-stitched.
The case is made of 600D polyester. The interior is sealed with a soft pad for excellent instrument protection. Its wheels are strong and withstand even rough roads. But since they are small in diameter, it is best to avoid pits. The case has two legs for added stability. It also has two handles: one made of fabric to carry the bag in hand, the second one is retractable for transportation on wheels. Both grips are of high quality and hold the case securely.
- The bag also includes a large zippered pocket for a stand, two additional zippered pockets for accessories, and built in backpack straps for easy transportation
- Fits a 5" x 14" snare
- Comfortable handles;
- Three pockets for accessories;
- Robust housing.
- One size only.
Drum Set Cases Buyer’s Guide
Drums are fragile instruments, and their sound can be highly dependent on storage and shipping conditions. That is why cases and bags are a must purchase that will keep them in a perfect fit. They will protect the instruments not only from accidental shock while carrying or transportation but also from moisture and dust that settle during storage. It will help you clean your drums less often.
Things to consider
Since cases are of particular importance in protecting instruments from damage, the right accessory should be wisely considered. There are several main factors that you need to pay attention to first.
At the moment, there are two types of cases in stores: soft and hard shell. The former is made of nylon, has a soft lining, is lightweight, cost-effective, and fits your instrument more tightly. The latter protects reliably against any damage, but these cases are heavy, bulky, expensive, and most often have a non-stackable design. Before buying, consider the conditions under which you will store and transport your drums. If you are sure that you will do it carefully, take soft bags. And if you have a long trip when anything can happen, it is better to choose reliable hard-shell cases.
Soft bags are mostly made of thick nylon and have either soft nylon lining or thicker cushioning foam. Hard cases are now most often made of thick plastic, lined with plush fabric from the inside. Of course, the quality of materials, seams, and other details such as zippers significantly affects the durability and level of protection that a bag provides. Although, of course, the use of fabrics of higher quality leads to an increase in items’ cost.
Size and weight
Whichever type you choose, you should also consider your drums’ dimensions. So measure them before buying the right cases. To protect the instrument from impacts effectively, they should fit quite tightly, but not too much. If you pick oversized bags, the drums will wobble. At the same time, the extra tight bag can lead to even more damage.
The weight of an accessory also plays an important role, especially for carrying. Ideally, a case should not be too heavy to add weight to an already rather large instrument. However, some large bag models are equipped with convenient handles and wheels for more comfortable transportation.
Drum Bags FAQ
In this section, I have answered frequently asked questions when looking for the right bags.
Why do you need a drum case?
No matter how often you do gigs and rehearse, you should definitely keep your drums in cases. They protect from dust and moisture, which can be abundant in a rehearsal room. Dirt and water can seriously damage your instrument. That is why it is not recommended to leave the drum kit assembled for a long time. Plus, using cases is the best way to transport your drums, as they help keep the instruments safe from accidental bumps and bad weather.
Do drum cases help?
If you purchase a bag made of quality materials, it will help preserve the instrument’s integrity and sound quality. Most cases have a moisture-repellent impregnation, protect from sudden temperature changes and shock during careless transportation. Also, drums should be regularly cleaned of dust and dirt, which can be a rather laborious process. By using cases, you can do washing less often. Besides, the process itself will become easier because the layer of dust to be removed will be less.
What’s the difference between hard and soft cases?
These are two distinct types of bags made of different materials and designed for various tasks. Soft cases are most often made of nylon. They are intended for light-use and protect the tool well from dust, moisture, and minor damage. They are also more affordable, inexpensive, lightweight, and comfortable to carry. Hard-shell cases are more reliable; you can even use them to transport drums on planes. They are made of plastic and can withstand even a hard hit. However, they are quite expensive, bulky, and take up a lot of space. Choosing the right type depends on the conditions in which you store and transport your drums.
Choose the Best Drum Bags to Keep Drums Safe
As you can see, drum cases are not just an additional accessory but a handy assistant that keeps your instruments intact and safe. While all the items on my list are of high quality and deserve your attention, I consider the Gator 5pc Standard Set to be the best choice. When in doubt about the perfect product for you, use my guide as a manual to choosing the ideal bags.
And for the purchased accessory to serve you as long as possible, follow the simple recommendations to care for it. At least once a month, clean your bags and cases from dust, especially from the inside, so that debris does not stick to your drums. If you do not use the case, store it away from sunlight, in a dry and cool place to avoid mold. Then it will retain its protective properties for a long time.
That’s all you need to know about drum bags. Please share your opinion in the comments. Do you consider cases to be a must, or can you do without them? If you have ones, how did you choose the right model? What kind of bags do you use now?