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Drum cases are essential pieces of gear that every drummer needs to store and transport their kit safely.
They’re a worthwhile investment, as they’ll protect your shells from potentially getting seriously damaged. They also make it very easy to keep your entire kit in one place.
There are dozens of good drum case options out there, but some of them tend to have much better quality than others. I’ve put together a list of all the best ones that I’d happily recommend.
Gator GP-STANDARD-100 5-Piece Standard Set Bags – Best Overall
The Gator GP-STANDARD-100 5-Piece Standard Set Bags (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are one of the most loved groups of drum bags on the market. These are high-quality soft bags that come with a very affordable price tag.
The low price is what makes them most appealing, but I love how well they’re designed. They’re made from 600 denier nylon, which is a relatively decent material. These bags will start to wear out after a while, but they’ll always provide a good amount of protection for your drums.
The interior of each bag has 10mm padded material to stop your shells from moving around. It doesn’t feel like much when you’re feeling the inside, but that thin padding makes a world of difference.
The carry straps are strong enough to comfortably hold the bags with shells on the heavier side.
One thing to note about this set of bags is that you can fit most sizes of drum shells, even if the depths are slightly larger than the depths of the bags. It will be a bit of a squeeze, but it’s more than possible.
Something else that I love about these bags is that you can collapse them so that they’re flat when no shells are inside. This makes them very easy to store away.
If you’re happy with soft bags for your drums, these Gator bags are one of your best possible options to consider.
Case Type: Soft bags
Material: 600 denier nylon
Sizes: 14” x 5.5”, 10” x 12”, 13” x 11”, 16” x 16”, 22” x 18”
Humes & Berg Enduro Pro Foam Lined Case Set – Premium Option
The Humes & Berg Enduro Pro Foam Lined Case Set is the best option available if you’re okay with spending close to $1000 for a single set of cases. These cases are fully kitted out to allow you to travel the world without damaging your drum shells.
They’re made from molded plastic, and they have internal foam that fits all your drums snuggly inside each case.
The standout feature of these cases is their self-stacking design. This is a feature offered exclusively by Humes & Berg, and it allows you to stack the cases on top of each other in any order. This means you can put the rack tom case at the base with the kick drum case at the top, and the cases will sit there comfortably.
It’s wiser to put the kick drum case at the bottom, but it’s a great feature to have to save a bit of time at different stages.
Each case has a thick 2” strap to lock them closed. You can then use that strap to carry the cases, or you can use the hard steel handles.
These are cases that will last you a lifetime, so I think they’re well worth the high price that you need to pay. However, the price tag is several times the one of the Gator bags that we previously looked at, so I understand how most drummers would be wary of getting these.
Case Type: Hard case
Material: Molded plastic
Sizes: 14” x 6.5”, 10” x 8”, 12” x 9”, 14” x 14”, 22” x 18”
Tama Club-Jam Suitcase Drum Bag Set – Best Budget Option
The Tama Club-Jam Suitcase Drum Bag Set (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) was originally designed for Tama’s compact Club-Jam drum set. However, the dimensions of these bags make them fantastic for any compact drum set with similar sizes.
This is the perfect drum bag option for gigging drummers that own small kits to use when stages are too cramped for regular kits.
It’s often hard to find drum bags this small, so drummers end up taking their compact kits to gigs without using drum bags. This leads to a higher risk of your shells getting damaged.
So, these bags will stop that from happening, as you can happily fit any compact shells inside them.
They have a polyester outer material with 10mm padded cushions on the inside. This is fairly standard for soft drum bags, but these ones feel very secure.
The beauty of small bags like this is that you can carry all your shells in one trip. You can just hang the kick drum bag over your shoulder, while carrying the other two in each hand.
Note that you don’t get a snare drum bag in this set. You’ll need to buy one of those separately to have a full set of bags for your kit. If you have a compact snare drum, make sure to find a bag that fits its dimensions. It’ll move around in one that is made for standard snares.
Case Type: Soft bags
Material: 600 denier polyester
Sizes: 11.8” x 7.48”, 13.7” x 6.49”, 19.88” x 18.5”
Gator Drum Bag for Electronic Drum Sets
The Gator Drum Bag for Electronic Drum Sets (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the few cases that you can get for an e-kit. If you’re someone who wants to play gigs with an electronic set, it’s essential to own something like this.
If you don’t have a case, you’ll be stacking all your pads and wires in various places, potentially causing them to get damaged.
It’s essentially a long and deep bag that has dividers to organize all your electronic drum kit components. It’s made from the same fabric as the standard Gator drum bags, but it’s a lot larger so that everything can fit.
You can fit all the pads, cables, and hardware inside, allowing you to carry your entire electronic drum kit setup in a single case.
If you’re planning to travel far distances, I’d recommend wrapping a few things in bubble wrap to be safe. The inner padding is very protective, but you’ll get more movement between all the components compared to an acoustic kit in bags.
The bag has a set of wheels on the one side, allowing you to pull it as you would a suitcase. This is really useful, considering it can get quite heavy with some e-kits stored.
Just don’t get this case if you have an acoustic kit. It’s only designed for electronic ones. It will also only work with e-kits that have shallow drum pads. You’ll need normal drum bags for acoustic hybrid shells.
Case Type: Soft bag
Size: 36” x 16”
SKB Drum Case Package 2
The SKB Drum Case Package 2 (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a slightly more affordable case package compared to the one from Humes & Berg. The cases themselves aren’t cheaper. It just doesn’t come with as many, which is what many drummers will prefer if they have a setup that requires these.
You just get a rack tom, floor tom, and kick drum case in this set. The rack tom case is for 12” toms, the floor tom case is for 16” toms, and the kick drum case is for 22” bass drums.
These cases don’t have foam lining inside. However, they offer a surprising amount of protection. You just need to make sure that you place appropriately sized drum shells in them.
The cases have been roto-molded, ensuring that they stay as sturdy and durable as possible for decades.
The straps that you use to keep them closed are heavy-duty, giving you peace of mind that the cases will never open when you don’t want them to.
Overall, I’d say that this is a good case set option for gigging drummers that play on simplistic drum setups. It’s ideal if you already own a snare drum case. If you don’t, you’ll need to get one to have a full case setup.
Case Type: Hard cases
Material: Roto-molded plastic
Sizes: 12” x 10”, 16” x 16”, 22” x 18”
Ahead Armor Cases 24” x 20” Bass Drum Bag
While 24” kick drums are great for getting massive bass tones, they make it very tricky to find bags that are large enough to put them in.
Ahead Armor Cases has you covered, as they made this large kick drum bag to cater to all the rock drummers out there.
The case has three main design features that make it as high-quality as it is. The brand uses what they call the DynaZip system, which is a smooth zip that makes loading and unloading from the bag very easy.
The shape of the bag is due to Ahead’s TruForm design, allowing you to fit a kick drum very snuggly inside.
Finally, the inner part of the bag has the DX-Core, which is a protective layering to stop your bass drum from getting damaged.
All these components work together to give you a high-end drum bag that will protect your large bass drum through lengthy tours.
Just don’t get this bag if you use a 22” or smaller bass drum. The extra room will cause it to move around inside the case.
Case Type: Soft bag
Size: 24” x 20”
Tama Powerpad Designer 5-Piece Drum Bag Set
The Tama Powerpad Designer 5-Piece Drum Bag Set (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a fantastic choice for drummers that want a bit more flair from their drum bags. One of the downsides of drum bags is that most of them are very plain in their designs.
Tama saw the need for more exciting cases and created the Powerpad Designer line. This is one of the few drum bag sets on the market that you can get in different colors.
The color options are black, beige, moss green, navy blue, and wine red. Each color option has a brown stripe around each bag, giving a bit of stylistic uniformity.
While I’d mostly recommend these bags if you want great colors, they’re also highly practical in their designs. The fabric is quite strong, and the exteriors are far more rugged than I thought they would be.
You also get double zips, making it more convenient to unload your drum shells. That’s always a small touch that I really appreciate.
One downside of this bag set is that the beige color option tends to get dirty quite quickly. So, I’d stick to the other colors if you’re worried about that.
Case Type: Soft bags
Material: Black fabric
Sizes: 14” x 6.5”, 16” x 16”, 12” x 9”, 10” x 8”, 22” x 18”
A&F Drum Company Canvas and Leather Snare Drum Bag
The A&F Drum Company Canvas and Leather Snare Drum Bag is a luxury drum bag that would be ideal for storing a high-end snare drum.
This thing is seriously expensive for a single soft bag, but it’s one of those pieces of drum gear that every drummer would love to have. So, I’ve listed it here as the best dedicated snare drum bag on the market.
It’s made from a combination of canvas and Italian leather, giving it a far more luxurious feel than any bag or case that we’ve looked at so far.
As you open the bag up, you’ll see that the protective padding has a map printed on it. The whole aesthetic is epic, making me and other drummers compare this bag to a luxury watch.
There’s a second area inside the bag that allows you to place a laptop. I wouldn’t recommend doing that, though, as it’s better to keep laptops in backpacks. However, that extra space is fantastic for fitting a few extra accessories inside.
Since the bag has a lot of leather, it tends to feel quite rigid at first. It will soften over time, though, with the canvas and leather staying highly durable for decades.
Case Type: Soft bag
Material: Black waxed canvas and Italian leather
Size: 15” x 8”
Ahead Armor Cases Electronic Drum Case
The Ahead Armor Cases Electronic Drum Case (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is another great option for drummers that own electronic drum sets. This one is a bit more affordable than the Gator bag, though.
The downside compared to that bag is that it only has four internal dividers, whereas the Gator bag has six. You may not need six, though, making this bag a better pick.
Something else to mention is that you can’t really fit drum pads in here that are larger than 12”. So, this isn’t a bag designed for high-end electronic drum kits that have large drum pads. It’s just a good option for beginner and mid-tier sets.
Despite the size limitations, this case has excellent value, and it will keep your gear very safe inside. It’s worth checking out!
Case Type: Soft bag
Material: DX-core padding
Size: 8.5” x 15” x 33.5”
What To Look For In a Drum Case
Single Cases vs Case Sets
The first thing you need to decide when picking drum cases is whether to purchase them individually or get a full set.
It makes sense to get individual cases if you don’t have a standard drum kit setup, or if you only need a few single ones for various purposes.
Otherwise, it’s a better idea to get a full set of cases with one purchase. You save a bit of money compared to buying each drum case separately, and it’s just a lot more convenient.
Most drum case sets are designed for 5-piece drum sets with a snare drum, two rack toms, a floor tom, and bass drum. If you have more drums than that, you can purchase the remaining cases on their own.
Acoustic vs Electronic Drum Cases
Acoustic and electronic drum kits look very different, so you can’t use the same cases or bags for them. The only instance where you can use the same cases is if you have an electronic kit with full-sized acoustic shells.
Most people own compact electronic drum kits, though, so you’ll be looking for different things.
For acoustic kits, you get cases and bags that have dimensions to perfectly fit each shell inside them. The tighter the fit, the more protected those shells are.
For electronic kits, it’s all about finding a case that can hold all the components inside. Electronic kits comprise of drum pads, cymbal pads, a drum module, and a drum rack. There are a few available drum cases that house all of those things, so that’s what all e-kit players should search for.
Soft vs Hard Drum Cases
The next question to ask yourself is whether you want soft or hard cases. Both have benefits and drawbacks, and you should know what those are so that you can make the most informed buying decision.
Soft cases are made from materials like nylon and PVC, and they’re the lighter option of the two. Soft cases are easier to carry around when you’re transporting your kit to different venues for gigs.
Hard cases are made from plastic. They provide a lot more exterior protection, but they’re heavier and trickier to carry around.
Your drums are safer in hard cases, but not by much compared to soft cases. Both options are perfectly suitable for keeping your drums safe.
However, I’d recommend using hard cases if you know your drums will be moving around a lot. If you’re flying your drum kit to another city, hard cases are a better option. If you’re just packing your kit into your car to play at your local venue, soft cases are perfectly fine.
Both are good for storage as well, but it’s a bit easier to stack drums on top of each other when they’re in hard cases, so hard cases are better for saving space.
As I said earlier, drum cases are designed with specific sizes so that shells with those exact dimensions can fit inside them.
This means that it’s vital that you get the appropriate sizes for the drums that you own. Most drum kits have 10”, 12”, and 16” toms, but you need to know how deep those toms are too.
If you get a case that is made for a 10” deep floor tom, your 12” deep floor tom isn’t going to fit.
The best way of finding out the exact sizes of your drum set is by looking at the manufacturer’s website. Find the model you have, and then look at the specs to see all the depths.
You can fit shells into bags and cases that are too big, but they’ll move around inside those cases, and that will potentially cause them to get damaged.
It’s a good idea to look at what materials are being used for the bags or cases that you’re considering. If you get cases from a major brand, you’re guaranteed that the materials are good.
All the cases I listed above are highly reliable, so you don’t need to worry about any of them being made of poor-quality materials.
If you’re getting bags from a relatively unknown brand, just make sure the materials are good. You’re putting the safety of your drums in the hands of those cases, so you can never be too careful.
Drum bags tend to last ages before showing any signs of wear and tear. However, just note that hard cases are a better option if you’re looking for good durability.
In my experience, hard cases never show any signs of damage. They may just get a few scratches on the outside, and the straps may come off. But scratches are normal, and straps can easily be replaced.
With soft bags, they have the risk of getting punctured by sharp hardware pieces. I’ve also often seen the zips start to fail after a while, and replacing a zipper can be quite challenging.
It won’t happen anytime soon with a soft bag, though. It’s just good to know how both types of cases fair in the long run.
The final feature to check out is the straps that you use to carry the cases. These will look a little different between soft bags and hard cases.
With soft bags, you’ll either get handles or long straps to carry over your shoulder. On cheaper bags, the handles are made from thin nylon material. On higher-priced ones, the handles tend to be padded and far more comfortable to hold.
When looking at hard cases, you’ll see thick carrying handles made from plastic. These feel incredibly solid, making it easy to carry the cases around.
Hard cases tend to also have straps around them that you can hold as well. These straps are adjustable, and they can even be removed. Many of them are put there to ensure that the case stays closed, but it’s also convenient to put them over your shoulder to carry the cases.
The final thing to consider before pulling the plug and buying cases is how much you’re willing to spend. From my experience, you only ever need to buy one set of drum cases.
They last so long, and most of them are durable enough to stop you from ever needing to buy more. You may just need to get more cases if you own multiple drum sets.
Their longevity means it’s wise to buy a high-quality set. The higher the quality, the longer the bags will last. They may seem expensive at first, but you’ll never need to worry about the expense of drum cases again after that.
Again, it’s also cheaper to buy a full set of cases compared to picking them out individually. You’ll save a bit of money that way.
If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll find soft bags to be the most affordable option. There are plenty of good bag sets that don’t cost much. Just know that they won’t feel as comfortable to carry as higher-priced options.
They’ll last long, but they also won’t last as long as superior bags. With that said, every bag or case that I listed above is a fantastic choice for any drummer, no matter the cost.
Best Drum Case Brands
While there are countless drum case brands out there, only a select few are highly popular. The reason is that they offer multiple drum case options, catering to various types of drummers and drum kit setups.
You can’t go wrong with any of the brands that I’m about to mention.
Gator is a huge music brand that has three main sections. These are known as Gator Cases, Gator Frameworks, and Gator Rackworks.
For drum cases, you’ll find everything you’re looking for under Gator Cases. The brand makes various types of bags and cases to keep your drum shells safe. I’m a big fan of their hard cases, but the softer ones are also good options.
Humes & Berg
Humes & Berg is a highly regarded instrument case company, with popular drummers like Glen Sobel, Ray Luzier, Rich Redmond, and Kenny Aronoff using the brand’s cases.
You’ll find a good mixture of soft and hard cases, as well as some high-quality stick bags being sold by this brand.
Out of all the drum case companies, Humes & Berg tends to offer the most options. So, you’re spoiled for choice if you stick with them.
SKB is an American instrument accessory company offering an impressively large range of drum, cymbal, and hardware cases.
The brand puts a bit more focus on making hard cases, and they offer far fewer soft bags. So, if you’re looking for a good set of hard cases, SKB ones are quite a reliable option.
Tama is a big Japanese drum kit brand. The brand mostly creates and sells acoustic drum sets, but they have a few accessories and alternative products available.
One of those products is a colorful line of soft drum bags. That’s arguably the most popular bag option from Tama, but you can also get standard soft bags that aren’t colorful from the brand.
I know a lot of drummers that like to use the same brands for everything, so using Tama drum bags may make you feel a bit better compared to using bags from a brand you don’t know.
Ahead Armor Cases
Ahead is the smallest company out of all the ones I’ve listed, and the brand offers a range of drum kit products.
This is another brand that only sells soft cases for drum shells, but these bags tend to be slightly more affordable than most others. So, this is a good budget brand to pick.
Top Drum Cases, Final Thoughts
Every case I mentioned in the above list will serve all drummers very well. Whether you’re going on tour or just need bags for storage, you’ll be happy with most of the options we looked through.
Remember to get appropriate cases for the sizes of your drum shells, and then you’ll need to get a good hardware bag or case to keep all the cymbal and drum stands in too.