Proper drum sets deserve proper drum cases. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, a good case for your precious instruments is a always worthwhile investment. This is especially true for drums and cymbals.
While other instruments like electric guitars and basses can shrug off a blow, drums and cymbals must always have protection. Dents or cracks tend to get worse. This is especially true for instruments constantly being struck by sticks and brushes. A single crack on a drum shell or a dent on a cymbal will affect their sound. In time, dents and cracks, will not only affect the sound but also the structural integrity of these instruments.
It is always best to prevent damage to drums and cymbals by investing in good cases. If the drums and cymbals are not always set-up and played, storing these in drum cases will not only protect them from bumps, scratches, but also from moisture and corrosion.
Protecting drums and cymbals while in storage are a good use of drum cases. Although for the most part, the main purpose of drum cases are, for securing drums, cymbals, and hardware for transit. Because of the size and amount of individual pieces, a lot more consideration goes into choosing and purchasing drum cases.
Types of Drum Cases:
The three main types of drum cases sold are, hard cases, ATA cases, and soft cases. Each type of case caters to a drummer’s specific needs and budget.
Hard cases offer robust protection for drums and cymbals. These consist of a tough outer shell and protective inner padding. The outer shell shields the drum or cymbal from blows while the soft inner padding cushions it.
Hard cases usually fit only a single piece of gear. Considering this, transporting a full 5-piece drum set along with a 3-piece cymbal set would require a lot of hard cases. Hard cases can get pricey and purchasing these for every piece of gear in a drum set will get expensive. Because of this, high-income, professional drummers and bands are the only ones with access to the option of using hard cases.
Soft cases are softer in comparison to hard cases and ATA cases. They are made from tough fabric which may be rigid or flexible. Some soft cases could fit two or more pieces of gear. Some cymbal bags have multiple compartments allowing a drummer to carry two or more cymbals.
Compared to hard cases and ATA cases, soft cases are much more affordable and are generally a good choice for drummers who are just starting out. However, some professionals still use soft cases because they are much lighter than hard cases and are tough enough to withstand regular gigging.
A beginner’s, or even a novice professional’s budget may limit the type of drum cases they choose. A rookie professional might use a hard case for a valuable snare drum while using soft cases for other pieces. A student or beginner on the other hand might opt for soft cases for all their drum pieces. Although not as solid as hard cases or ATA cases, soft cases are still made to be rugged. Soft cases are a satisfactory solution for transporting your drums to your destination. Be it the music school, or the local venue.
Since our articles cater to the beginner and student drummer, this review will focus primarily on soft cases with a few notable exceptions.
ATA or flight cases get around the problem of having too many individual hard cases by allowing the transport of multiple pieces in a single package. ATA cases are huge trunks that are designed to fit multiple pieces of a drum set. In some cases, a single ATA case can fit a whole drum set; reducing the hassle of having to pack multiple individual pieces and cases.
The main protective exterior of ATA cases is a wooden casing covered with vinyl. Aluminum protects the sides of the cases while steel corners protect the edges. ATA cases offer some of the best protection for drums and cymbals. Most ATA cases are custom-made to fit the specific sizes of the drum set. Although some manufacturers offer ATA cases that will fit standard drum dimensions. ATA cases could also be a more affordable all-in-one alternative to multiple hard cases.
Due to their convenience and durability, ATA cases are the first choice for touring bands and managers. Its heavy-duty construction and all-in-one form factor make it easily transportable via trailer or plane. However, ATA cases are rather excessive for a beginner, student, or even a starting professional.
3 Things to Consider When Buying Drum Cases:
For a beginner or student, there are three important considerations to be mindful of when purchasing drum cases; durability, portability, and affordability. Striking a perfect balance with these three will ensure that you could easily and safely take your drums to practice sessions or to music venues with cases that will not put a dent in your drums or your savings.
This is the most important consideration of the three. Before considering the other two factors, you must be sure that your drums and cymbals will be adequately protected by the case you plan or getting.
For soft cases, a hefty amount of padding will protect your drums in the event that it gets dropped. A tough outer fabric also helps to increase the longevity of the case. A soft case should be equipped with a durable and long-lasting zipper that would keep the drums inside the case.
A drum case must be portable. Soft cases are more lightweight than hard cases and ATA cases. Multiple soft cases could easily fit in the back of an SUV or even in the boot of a sedan depending on the size of your drums.
For those who do not have the luxury of a vehicle, however, a good soft case must be mobile enough to carry on your person or with the help of a foldable dolly. A portable soft case must have straps to allow you to carry your drums on your back or across your shoulders.
Good drum cases must not only be durable and portable but affordable as well. Beginners and students might now have the funds necessary to fully kit out their gear with hard cases so soft cases could seem like a reasonable alternative.
Because of the number of pieces and accessories a proper drum kit needs, the expenses for cases will add up really quickly. A good set of drum cases must be reasonably affordable while boasting enough durability and portability for easy and safe transporting.
Top 10 Cymbal and Drum Cases for Beginners
Gator Cases Protechtor Series 5 piece Padded Drum Bag Set
Material: Nylon Exterior | 10mm Padded Interior
- Kick Drum – 22” X 18”
- Floor Tom – 16” X 16”
- Tom – 13” X 11”
- Tom – 12” X 10”
- Snare Drum – 14” X 5.5”
Gator Cases offer the Protechtor Series 5-piece soft drum cases that will fit a standard drum set. Boasting a 600D polyester construction —a staple of camping bags and gear— these cases are tough enough for day-to-day transporting. The 10mm interior padding will protect your drums when taking them from point A to point B. The sturdy and long-lasting zippers on the Protechtor Series soft cases won’t break on you even after years of constant use.
Because the Protechtor Series drum cases are soft and lightweight, these won’t add a lot of weight to your drums. You won’t have any trouble hauling your drums to the venue because the Protechtor Series drum cases are equipped with sturdy carrying straps. Since these cases are collapsible, storage is also easy when not in use.
At around $32 per piece, the Gator Cases Protechtor Series soft cases tick the boxes of all three criteria making these a good choice for beginners.
Protec Heavy Ready Series Cymbal Bag HR230
Material: 600D Polyester Exterior | 10mm Padded Interior | Puncture Resistant PVC-lined Bottom
- Cymbals – 22″ and below
Got a valuable cymbal that needs protection? Protec Heavy Ready Series has got you covered. These soft drum cases will fit one cymbal in its 600D polyester exterior and cushion it with 10mm of internal padding. A usual problem for cymbal cases is their bottoms which keep the cymbals off the ground. We drummers have a habit of setting down our cymbals perpendicular to the ground so, these areas usually the first to get damaged. The Protec Heavy Ready Cymbal Bag sports a puncture-resistant PVC bottom reinforcement that protects the bottom of the case from abrasion. This feature also helps support the cymbal’s weight when being carried.
Interested in cymbals? Check out our review of the Top Ten Cymbals for Beginners.
The Protec Heavy Ready Cymbal Bag sports an adjustable shoulder strap reinforced with strong webbing to help you carry your cymbals from your vehicle to the venue. The handles on the case are robust as well. It is important to note, however, that a single case could carry only a single cymbal.
Complementing the Gator Cases Protechtor drum cases with Protec’s Heavy Ready Cymbal bags is a good way to equip your full-sized drum kit with soft cases for hassle-free and safe transport. They are affordable as well at $30 per piece.
Gearlux 14-Inch Snare Drum Bag
Material: Nylon Exterior | 10mm Interior Padding
- Snare Drum – 14″
For beginners that like to travel light and bring only a few cymbals and a snare drum, the Gearlux 14-Inch Snare Drum Bag is a great choice. The exterior is made of durable nylon material and the interior is padded with 10mm of cushioning. Consequently, the padding makes this case road-worthy and will handle being in the back of a car. Gearlux’s 10mm of internal padding is an adequate amount of protection for delicate snare drum hardware and will protect your snare drums from harsh road conditions.
The Gearlux Snare Drum Bag’s reinforced handles let you carry your drums without the risk of it breaking. Although lacking straps, If you are transporting your drums in a car, this handle is good enough for getting your drums from your car to the venue, and back.
Gearlux’s snare drum cases cost around $24.99 which is ideal for beginners and students on a tight budget.
Kinekulle Drum Hardware Bag With Wheels
Material: Polyester Exterior | Padded Interiors and Dividers | Polyethylene Support Panel
- 40″ interior length
- 18″ bottom section diameter
- 16″ middle section diameter
- 14″ top section diameter
The Kinekulle Drum Hardware Bag With Wheels is a compact solution for those who want to transport a few toms and/or a snare drum. These drum cases consist of a single container with three sections separated by padded dividers. The bottom section will fit a floor tom while the middle and top section can fit two toms of various sizes or a tom and snare drum combination. The back of these drum cases is protected by a rigid polyethylene plastic panel with a sturdy set of wheels and legs attached. Additional straps secure the drums snugly to the bag.
This all-in-one solution for carrying toms and possibly a snare eliminates the need for individual drum cases for each piece. The case also features a side pocket that can store floor tom legs and other important hardware. Hence, these drum cases are very portable. Great for drummers with cars, and perfect for those without.
The Kinekulle Drum Hardware bag is priced a an affordable $129.99 which makes it very accessible for beginners and students.
Protec Drum Hardware Gig Bag Deluxe Series CP205WL
Material: 600D Polyester Exterior | Tubular Metal Backside Supports | Strong Metal Hardware
Dimensions: 36.5 x 14 x 13″
Drum sets are not only comprised of drums and cymbals but of hardware as well. Examples of drum hardware are cymbal stands, drum thrones, and kick drum pedals to name a few. Thus, drum cases for hardware are a necessary piece of luggage especially for drummers who are transporting a full drum set.
Protec offers sturdy hardware drum cases that could fit all the necessary drum hardware for your drum kits. The Protec Drum Hardware Gig Bag Deluxe Series is a sizable hardware case protected by a puncture-resistant 600D polyester exterior. The metal tubular supports which reinforce the backside are strong enough to support the weight of drum hardware stored inside.
Even if all your drum hardware still won’t fit in its huge interior, this case features a large side pocket. This extra compartment is large enough to store floor tom legs. Boasting wide and smooth-rolling wheels and a plethora of handles, carrying the Protec Drum Hardware Gig Bag is hassle-free. Certainly a great choice for drummers without cars.
Although priced at a hefty $94.37, The The Protec Drum Hardware Gig Bag Deluxe Series makes up for this with its reliability.
DAMMLIO Snare Drum Bag
Material: Polyester Exterior | Heavy-Duty Interior Padding
- Snare Drum – 14” x 6.5”
For those without the luxury of a vehicle, drum cases that are sturdy and portable enough to be carried on your person are essential pieces of gear to have. These drum cases must be light and ergonomic enough for effortless and hassle-free transporting. Although being mindful of portability is important, you can’t completely trade it off for durability.
DAMMLIO Snare Drum Bags are drum cases that maintain a good balance between durability and portability. The exterior is made of durable polyester material with reinforced stitching and the interior is lined with heavy-duty padding. The rugged zippers on these drum cases can endure years of usage.
In terms of portability, the DAMMLIO Snare Drum Bag is exceptional. It features padded straps which allow you to comfortably carry your snare drums on your back. Because it’s lightweight, it won’t add any unnecessary weight thus lessening the burden on your back.
Protec Cymbal Gig Bag 6-Pack, Deluxe Series
Material: 600D Polyester Exterior | 10mm Padded Interior | Metal Hardware
- Cymbals – 24″ and below
Sometimes all you need for a gig or a practice session are your sticks, snare, kick pedal, and cymbals. Pair a good snare drum case with a good cymbal case that could hold more than one cymbal and you’re good to go. Protec Cymbal Gig Bag 6-Pack, Deluxe Series are soft drum cases for cymbals that allow you to carry more than one cymbal at a time. This eliminates the need for multiple cymbal bags. As a result, these also eliminate extra spending which is always important for beginners and students with tight budgets.
The Protec Cymbal Gig Bag 6-Pack, Deluxe Series features 6 compartments that fit cymbals up to 24″ in diameter. It features a sturdy 600D polyester exterior and 10mm of high-density internal padding. It also has a reinforced puncture-resistant bottom that will support the weight of all the cymbals in it. The metal hardware that attaches the shoulder strap to the bag adds to the sturdiness of the case. Chock full of features, the Protec Cymbal Gig Bag 6-Pack, Deluxe Series is sturdy enough for day-to-day use.
Featuring a sturdy shoulder strap and handle, carrying the Protec Cymbal Gig Bag 6-Pack, Deluxe Series is easy. However, we suggest that you carry these with a hand truck or dolly. This will not only prolong the life of the drum case but will also save your arms or back from being fatigued before you even get to the venue.
At only $79.99, the Protec Cymbal Gig Bag 6-Pack, Deluxe Series definitely is an affordable choice for beginners who need good drum cases for their cymbals.
Gibraltar Single Pedal Carrying Bag GSPCB
Material: Nylon Exterior | Padded Interior
- Bass Drum Pedal – 14.5″ x 10.5″ x 7″
There are times when a full drum set is present in a performance venue or rehearsal space and all you need are your sticks and your bass drum pedal. For times like these, the Gibraltar Single Pedal Carrying Bag has got you covered.
Gibraltar Single Pedal Carrying Bags are drum cases that will carry a single drum pedal along with beaters and a few tools like a set of Allen wrenches and drum keys. With a nylon exterior and a padded interior, you can be sure that your bass drum pedal will be safe while being carried.
This pedal bag has a rugged shoulder strap and carrying handle that allows for easy carrying.
Gator Cases Protechtor Classic Cymbal Series Case
Material: Polyethelyne Plastic | Metal Hardware
- Cymbal – 22″ and below
You might own a particularly valuable or fragile cymbal and you might feel that a soft case won’t protect your cymbal adequately. Notably, examples of situations like these are when you transport your drums via plane. You cannot ensure that your gear will be handled with care. For times like these, it’s wise to invest in a hard case. With Gator Cases Protechtor Classic Cymbal Series, you can be sure that your cymbals will be secure.
Gator Cases Protechtor Classic Cymbal Series drum cases protect your cymbals with a rigid PE plastic shell. With a 2 inch interior height, you can store one or more cymbals inside this case. Although lacking in interior padding, the cymbals inside will be secured by a metal wing nut.
The Gator Cases Protechtor Classic Cymbal Series case has a molded carry handle that helps you carry it. It lacks shoulder straps so carrying it on you may be hard. Still, this case is mainly intended for transport via vehicle or plane so portability should not be a big consideration.
This case is sturdy and could carry more than one cymbal. For $82.99, every cent you spend on the Gator Cases Protechtor Classic Cymbal Series is a cent well spent.
Gator Cases Protechtor Classic Snare Series Snare Drum Case
Material: Polyethylene Plastic | Metal Hardware
- Snare Drum – 14″ X 6.5″
Like cymbals, some snare drums are valuable and fragile. When transporting drums via air or trailer, you cannot always oversee how your gear will be handled. The snare drum throw-off, strainer, and snare wires are delicate parts and mishandling will damage these parts. A hard case may be necessary for transporting snare drums via trailer or plane.
Made of rotationally molded PE Plastic, the Gator Cases Protechtor Classic Snare Series Snare Drum Case is a great choice for protecting your precious snare drums. Due to this cases’ tough construction, you won’t have to worry about your drums being tossed about in the back of a truck or by air cargo personnel. The robust metal handles could potentially last a lifetime and the sturdy straps help in securing the case.
It must be noted however that this case does not come with interior padding. A few foam panels will solve this problem.
How much are drum cases?
Single soft drum cases will typically cost between $20 to $100 while sturdy cases which can hold multiple pieces may cost between $60 to $150. Hard cases on the other hand may cost around $80 to $200 depending on the type of drum. The ranges of prices depend on the features, materials, construction, and manufacturer.
What are the best drum bags?
For beginners who don’t have much to spend on cases, the best choice for drum bags is sturdy and rugged soft drum cases. Professionals on the other hand need to invest in better transporting solutions to protect their expensive gear. It all depends on the drums you own and how much you are willing to spend on drum cases. Where and how you will be transporting is also an important consideration for choosing drum cases.
How do you transport a drum-set?
Touring bands might transport their drums via personal vehicles, trailers, or via plane. On the other hand, beginners, students, or professionals that don’t have to transport their drums through great distances to get to their destinations could transport their gear in the back of their cars or via public transportation.
Drum Cases Are Important:
Drum cases are arguably as important as the drums themselves. Essentially, when transporting your drums and drum gear from point A to point B, The cases become an extension to the drums themselves. Therefore, proper drum sets deserve proper drum cases.