Looking to pick up a new guitar case? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Know it or not, cases come in a variety of shapes and sizes making the selection process crucial to finding the right one.
In this guide, you will discover the best soft and hard cases for both acoustic and electric guitars.
Best Soft Cases For Acoustic Guitars
Although all types of guitars are made of wood, acoustic guitars are a little more delicate.
This doesn’t mean they aren’t durable. But the pricier the guitar, the more care you should handle it with.
I wouldn’t go on tour with an acoustic guitar in a soft case. It’s bound to get dropped, tossed around or packed inappropriately at some point.
With that in mind, a soft case is convenient when you’re going to and from rehearsals, jam sessions, lessons, one-off gigs and so on.
And, these days there are some decently sturdy soft cases (also known as gig bags) too. Let’s have a look at a few.
By the way, some cases may not fit your specific acoustic guitar so be sure to check the dimensions before purchase.
Gator Cases Transit Series Acoustic Guitar Gig Bag
Designed for regular sized acoustic guitars the Gator Cases gig bag comes with weather resistant blended fabric exterior and thick rubber tread on the bottom of the bag.
The internal foam padding is covered with plush micro-fleece lining and an adjustable, removable three-point interior padding system.
It also has a large front zipper pocket with flap. It features a G-hook buckle and seatbelt loops for multiple connection points for added security.
This is where you could put your lesson books or music, capos, slides, batteries, cables, strings, string winders, picks and the like.
The padded comfort grip carry handle is removable and it has color-matched back straps too.
Even with all that, the case isn’t overly heavy or bulky.
The Gator comes in Tan, Charcoal and Light Grey.
The Gator Cases has good customer reviews overall, though it hasn’t been issue-free for all. Some mention ripped seams, strange pocket design and lost straps.
You can’t win them all, but this is a good case for acoustic players.
Fender FA620 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Gig Bag
As you can likely guess from the name, the Fender FA620 gig bag is designed with dreadnought style acoustic guitars in mind.
Fender has a long history as a guitar manufacturer, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that they make competent cases too.
The FA620 comes with 20mm of padding and protective bumpers. It features an air mesh back pad with air flow channel and soft touch velour lining.
It also has ergonomic air mesh backpack straps with adjustable ladder lock buckles.
The front pocket has a business card window, pocket for extra strings, removable padded tool pouch, elastic pick pocket and pen loop.
Overall, the gig bag has a simple but somewhat curious looking design.
Customer reviews are good, and the price is also minimal. The Fender is a great choice if you have a dreadnought.
CAHAYA Guitar Bag [Reinforced Version]
For those on more of a budget, the CHAYA gig bag is just the ticket.
Its lightweight and secure, with its 0.7in high density foam padding.
The large storage pocket offers plenty of room for all your accessories, whether a foldable music stand, tablet or otherwise.
The interior features ultra-thick padded sidewalls with soft lining and scratch resistant cloth and adjustable neck cradle.
The heavy-duty rubberized base protects your guitar from knocks and bumps.
CAHAYA claims this is a great gig bag for travel and gigging and the reviews seem to reinforce this fact.
Overall, customer complaints have been minor, citing the thickness of the case, tight fit for specific instruments or otherwise. But for most players, this should work just fine.
Best Hard Cases For Acoustic Guitars
Acoustic guitarists are typically looking for a little more protection for their guitar.
Although hard cases are inevitably heavier, they tend to do a better job of keeping the instrument secure. So, there’s always a bit of a tradeoff.
Hard shell cases are also ideal for gigging and touring. Not that you can’t use a gig bag, but unless you’re the only one handling the guitar, you never know what could happen to it.
And, even if you are the only one handling it, there are no guarantees you won’t bump it or drop it.
In any case, let’s have a look at hard cases for acoustic guitars.
Gator Cases GWE-000AC Hard-Shell Wood Case For Martin 000-Style Acoustic Guitars
The GWE-000AC fits Martin 000 and similarly designed acoustic guitars.
It comes with an ultra-durable arch-topped plywood construction with Black Telex PVC covering.
It has an ergonomic handle, thick plush lining and spacious interior accessory compartment for your extra strings, strap, picks, tuner and the like.
This case represents the perfect balance of price and quality, and as result has done well in the market.
The only concern is dimensions. As I’ve already hinted at, this case does not fit every guitar. So, double check and make sure it’s the right fit your guitar before buying it.
Some customers apparently had issues with the case breaking down, but they seem to be in the minority.
So, for the right guitar, the Gator Cases is great value for money.
And, just so you are aware, Gator Cases does have cases for dreadnought and larger acoustics too, so if you’re curious, check them out.
Gearlux Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Hardshell Case With Accessory Compartment
The Gearlux case is a hardshell wooden acoustic guitar case with durable black PVC exterior.
It comes with 2mm foam padding and interior lining, chrome hardware and accessory compartment.
As the name would suggest, it’s designed with dreadnought acoustic guitars in mind.
Customer reviews are positive, and some have even mentioned that just about any acoustic guitar will fit nicely in it. But I can’t fully confirm or deny that.
Overall, the sentiment is that you would be hard pressed to find a better case for the price.
Negative reviews include those who purchased the wrong product, only decent quality padding and poor packaging.
Regardless, the Gearlux is great bang for buck.
SKB 1SKB-300 Baby Mini Acoustic Guitar Hard Case
If you’ve got a Baby Taylor or a Martin LX, you might want to check out the SKB 1SKB-300.
This case has been molded in bumpers, offers full length neck support and has plush lined rigid EPS foam interiors. It also comes with reinforced latches.
Overall, the case has received good ratings and as its name would suggest, it’s great for Baby Taylor acoustics.
Some customers have noted that it’s quite snug for Martin LX guitars. Others have said it’s sturdy enough for gigging but maybe not airplanes.
It’s obviously not for everyone but the SKB should serve you well if you need a case for your little guitar.
Best Soft Cases For Electric Guitars
My most prized electric guitars always travel with me in a hard-shell case.
But for cheaper guitars or axes that have “been around the block” so to speak, I’m perfectly comfortable transporting them in a gig bag, even if I’m on tour.
This doesn’t mean nothing bad will happen. But solid body electrics are called “solid” for a reason – they’re made of a solid block of wood. They don’t break easily.
Hollow body electrics might be a different matter, of course, and may require additional care.
And, Gibson guitars sometimes have delicate headstocks (the headstock on my Gibson acoustic nearly broke off once), so there are things like that you should be aware of.
As with acoustic gig bags, there are plenty of good gig bags for electrics out there, so let’s have a look.
MONO M80 M80-EG-BLK Electric Guitar Case – Black
The MONO M80 is a premium level gig bag.
This case features a hybrid case design with abs head and body impact panels. It has a waterproof sharkskin shell with industrial rubber sole and piping.
It also comes with a clip/tuck strap system with chest harness, specialized upper and lower gear pockets with built-in cable management and steel rivet reinforced handle and shoulder straps.
With a diverse and eclectic team, MONO designs some cool high-end products.
The M80 is one of the strongest fabric cases on the market. All that while maintaining a lightweight profile.
The neck brace is a particularly nice feature, allowing you to secure your guitar’s neck. You might find that feature on other cases, but not quite like this.
It also keeps the headstock suspended so that your guitar’s neck doesn’t snap in transport.
Again, this is a premium bag, and you will pay a pretty penny for it. But it’s ultra-cool and super usable. Check out the MONO if you want a gig bag to end all gig bags.
Gator Cases GT-ELECTRIC-BLK Transit Series Electric Guitar Gig Bag
Gator Cases offers some great products, which is why they inevitably show up multiple times in lists like this.
The GT-ELECTRIC-BLK features weather resistant blended fabric exterior with thick rubber tread on the bottom.
It comes with 20mm thick internal foam padding covered with plush micro-fleece lining and adjustable, removable three-point interior padding system.
It also features a large front zippered pocket with flap, G-hook buckle and seatbelt loops for multiple connection points for extra security.
The padded comfort grip carry handle and removable, color matched backpack straps are a nice feature too.
It comes in Tan, Charcoal and Light Grey.
So, it’s a lot like the Gator Cases acoustic gig bag we covered earlier.
Customer reviews are also similar.
A good bag for the price, the Gator is worth checking out.
Fender FE610 Multi-Fit Electric Guitar Gig Bag
Like the Fender acoustic gig bag we covered earlier only for electric.
The 600 denier polyester constructed Fender FE610 comes with 10mm of padding, custom ergonomic zipper pulls and water-resistant zipper, soft touch velour lining, ergonomic air mesh padded backpack straps with adjustable ladder lock buckles and a front pocket with business card window, pocket for extra strings and fixed mesh tool pouch.
This gig bag should fit all Fender and Squier electrics like Strats, Teles, Mustangs and similarly sized guitars from other makers.
This is excellent value for money and it’s hard to argue with that.
Some reviewers don’t seem to like how their guitar fits in this case. Others say it works perfectly. It could be a matter of user error, but I’m not one to judge.
I recommend checking out the Fender, especially if you have a Fender electric guitar.
Best Hard Cases For Electric Guitars
There are some exceptional hard-shell cases for electric guitars out there and that’s hardly surprising since the electric guitar plays an important role in most bands.
Hard-shell cases are great for travel and touring. And, if you’re a band traveling with a lot of gear, you want to ensure that your axes are properly protected.
Most high-end guitars come with awesome cases, but if you need one for your beginner or middle of the road guitar, or you need a replacement for your prized possession, here are your best options.
Gator Cases GW-JM-ELEC Journeyman Series Deluxe Wood Case For Standard Electric Guitars
Ideal for Stratocaster and Telecaster style guitars, and guitars of a similar size, the GW-JM-ELEC is a standard rectangular style case with all the goods.
The wooden case comes with antique brass hardware, royal blue crushed velvet interior and a large internal accessory compartment.
Customer sentiment is good, but some have noted it’s not quite up to par in terms of the craftsmanship they expected.
Still a major contender in the case space, the Gator could be a good fit for you, as it has been with many happy purchasers.
And, for those in need of a case that nicely fits a Les Paul or 335 semi-hollow electric, Gator Cases offers the same style case for those guitar types too.
Yaheetech Rectangle Shaped Tweed Hardshell Guitar Case
The Yaheetech hardshell guitar case is made of poplar wood.
It has a red, plush padded interior, a compartment for small accessories, a neck holder with magic tape to secure your guitar and is lockable.
This guitar case is ideal for Strat and Tele style guitars and other similarly shaped axes.
Most customers are quite happy with this case, and that’s no surprise considering its low price point.
Fit is always a factor with cases, and some customers weren’t happy with their purchase for that reason. Others mention issues with the handle.
I know I’m repeating myself here, but always double check to ensure that your guitar will fit nicely into the case before purchase.
The Yaheetech is a solid option for electric guitarists, especially those with Strat and Tele style guitars.
Crossrock 335 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar Case
Also available in Black, Silver and Grey, the Crossrock 335 is designed specifically for 335 style semi-hollow body electric guitars.
This case comes with a durable ABS exterior and density foam core with deep plush lining.
It has a molded handle with high quality hardware, five metal latches with one lockable latch, and a detachable deluxe backpack design.
This case should nicely accommodate many semi-hollow style guitars, but don’t forget to check dimensions before purchase.
Reportedly, guitars fit snugly in the case, and some buyers like that while others do not.
Aside from that, it’s everything it’s purported to be. Check out the Crossrock if you need a home for your semi-hollow body electric.
What Should I Look For In A Guitar Case?
If you’ve been following along to this point, then you probably have a good sense of what to look for in a guitar case.
It should be sturdy. It should fit your guitar well. And, you might like having a locking latch.
There are a few other things to consider, however, so let’s have a look.
Guitar cases are often made to fit a specific style of guitar, e.g. a classical guitar or a specific brand of electric guitar. That means not all cases will be right for you.
Always check dimensions before purchasing. This will help you narrow down your options.
How the guitar fits in the case is also no small matter. Check the reviews for yourself and that should become obvious.
Truly, there is no one size fits all solution, as convenient as that would be.
Proper fit gives you peace of mind knowing your guitar is safe and secure. And, when it comes to prized axes, that’s essential.
When a guitar fits nicely in a case, it’s less likely to encounter issues in transport, whether it’s by car, boat, plane or otherwise.
So, bottom line, do your research and find a case that suits you and your guitar.
Sturdy Exterior, Cushioned Interior
As I mentioned earlier, it’s not essential that you have a hard-shell case for all occasions.
Gig bags can work quite well, even if you’re planning a long, cross country tour.
Assuming you take good care of your guitar and pack it properly, you shouldn’t encounter too many issues, if any at all.
The ideal guitar case has a sturdy exterior that holds up to knocks, bumps and shifting in transport.
My Ernie Ball Music Man Axis came with what I would consider an “air worthy” case, and my salesman even told me so!
It has a few scuff and scratch marks now (I’ve had it for over 15 years), but the guitar has always been secure. I’ve dropped the guitar a couple of times, mind you, and that left some dents on the body (oh well, it just adds to the character).
The interior, of course, should be properly padded. This can help prevent damage to the neck or the headstock, which are usually a greater concern than the body.
The product descriptions and reviews can be quite helpful in this regard, so do some looking around when searching for a case that’s sturdy and padded enough to withstand some abuse.
Most people aren’t paying attention to your case, so I can’t see this being a major buying factor. But for some, it still holds some water.
People sometimes like cool-looking cases and will go out of their way to find them.
But design isn’t just how a case looks, but how it feels and functions, whether it’s the zippers, latches, pockets or accessory compartments, handles and so on.
You can always tell a good case by its design. Was it designed to feel good in your hands or on your back, or was it designed to just hold a guitar? There is a difference.
After all, you will be carrying your guitar with you as you go to fulfill on your musical commitments. And, comfort is a factor if you’re carrying it long distances.
There’s nothing wrong with going with a cheaper model if you’re on a budget. And, there are some good budget cases out there. Some were even mentioned in this guide.
Expensive cases aren’t automatically better, but it can make a difference. Certainly, the materials used for premium cases are bound to be different from standard cases.
So, even if you don’t have an eye for quality craftsmanship, it may be worth digging into a few reviews to see what you can find.
A Case That Matches Your Needs
A guitarist’s needs are individual, since some players play out and tour a lot, some play occasionally, and some only transport their guitars once in a blue moon.
Some players like to keep their best axes at home or at their studio. That’s fine. Just be sure to account for them in case you end up moving, going on tour or otherwise.
If you’re always on the go, and you need to carry an amp, pedalboard and so on, a gig bag is convenient, especially for going to rehearsals, open mics, local gigs and the like.
And, in many cases, a gig bag is enough. These days you can easily get soft cases that hold up well, even over the long haul.
A hard-shell case can always give you some added peace of mind, and I can’t fault anyone for feeling that way.
And, again, you can find hard shell cases that are lightweight and easy to transport, so that’s not always a major factor either.
A properly fitted hard shell case is effective, and it’s great for touring players too.
Another factor is the type of guitar you have. Some guitars are a little less robust than others.
Gibson style guitars are known to have some weaknesses, especially in the neck and headstock region.
As I shared earlier, the headstock on my Gibson acoustic nearly split off (though because it was a secondhand guitar, I suspect it may have had some preexisting issues).
So, be on the lookout for a case that matches your needs, whatever they may be.
What’s The Best Guitar Case Brand?
In the musical world, there are brands that are at the top of their game in specific areas.
But cases are a little different, and it depends more on the model than on the brand.
Many of the brands showcased here are reputable and make good products. That doesn’t mean all their products are good, whether it’s Gator Cases, SKB, Fender or otherwise.
And, it also doesn’t mean that a certain brand will be the right fit for you.
It’s a case, so perhaps it’s nothing to fuss too much about, but if you know you’re going to be taking your guitar out and placing it back in the case a lot, it does make a difference.
So, my recommendation would be to shop for cases based on the model rather than the brand.
Can I Put An Acoustic Guitar In An Electric Guitar Case Or Vice Versa?
In most cases I would recommend against this.
Acoustic and electric guitars are not crated equal, and they usually vary in size. So, it’s not clear whether your acoustic guitar would fit in an electric case or vice versa.
But let’s say the guitar does fit. For taking the guitar from one location to another, that might be okay. But you don’t want to do this over the long haul.
It’s beating a dead horse at this point, but I would suggest finding a case that’s the perfect match for your guitar, and that way you’ll never be in doubt.
Conclusion – Best Guitar Cases For Electric And Acoustic Guitars 2019
You should now be equipped with everything you need to know to find the right case for you.
We all care about our instruments – to varying degrees perhaps – but having the right case can help you feel at ease as you’re traveling to and from rehearsals, jams, open mics, gigs and so on.
I’m somewhat nonchalant in that I tend to use whatever cases I have but I’m also careful in how I handle the instruments so as not to break them unnecessarily.
So, find your case and start getting out there. That’s what guitar playing is all about!