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Protect Your Drums On the Go in the Best Drum Case

  1. SKB Hard Drum Cases
  2. Protection Racket Drum Cases
  3. Gator Protechtor Series 5 piece Padded Drum Cases
  4. Stagg Professional Drum Cases
  5. Buyer's Guide

The first time I thought about getting cases for my drums was before my first gig in high school and my rock band was booked to play a set at a local coffee shop. I had to bring my drum set to the venue, and that meant I needed some cases put my drums in while I drove them to the gig. Heading to the local drum shop, I was surprised at all the questions they had for me! Expecting the clerks to just to hand me a set of bags and a bill for $10, I actually had to go back home, measure my drums, determine what kind of bags/cases I needed, and finally borrow some money from my parents because my $10 budget just wasn’t going to cut it!

There are two main types of protection for drums to consider. Hard cases are often called “cases” and soft cases are generally referred to as “bags”. Hard Cases are made of a molded plastic material with most hard case manufacturers offering the option of lining the inside of the case with protective foam. While expensive, it’s highly recommended for individuals seeking the most protection. Hard shell cases with foam lining offer the most protection of any case option because those without the foam lining don’t offer protection against scratching.

Soft bags are made of a synthetic fabric or nylon material. They’re lined with padding and are typically a cheaper option than hard cases. Soft cases are also much lighter making them easy to move around. It’s important to choose cases that are appropriate and cost effective to the drums you are protecting. For example, I have hard shell cases with foam lining for my expensive drums and soft cases for my inexpensive drums.

The best drum cases in 2022 can cost you about $50-100 per case, but in most situations the price of admission is worth the initial cost. I have several snare drums that are custom built and one of a kind. If they were damaged in any way, they could not be replaced. I have had some of my cases for 20 years, and they look brand new. I have quality cases for these drums. These cases have lasted countless plane rides and 2 cross country moves.

It is important to measure your drums properly before you purchase cases. It is also a good idea to talk to the company or venue about things like mounting hardware and snare strainers. Sometimes these items can determine the size of the case that is needed. The actual size and weight of a case is very important for the gigging drummer. Hard cases are going to be more bulky and heavy than soft bags.

We chose the following best drum cases for the superior level of protection they provide thanks to their durable construction whether hard or soft shell, their generous sizes which can comfortably accommodate most any setup. These picks are all the lightest options available which allows for easy transportation without compromising their level of protection.

What are the best drum cases of 2022?

SKB Hard Drum Cases - Top Pick

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.

Protection Racket Drum Cases - Runner Up

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.

Gator Protechtor Series 5 piece Padded Drum Cases - Honorable Mention

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.

Stagg Professional Drum Cases - Consider

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.

Buyer's Guide

As a touring drummer, you need to be equipped with the appropriate information about your drum set and how best to manage it as you move it from gig to gig. Every drummer has a firm grasp of the drum sticks when performing their favorite records, in the same vein, you need to have a firm grasp of the drum cases necessary to maintain the drums. Apart from size and weight, you need to be more familiar with the other factors that would influence your purchase of either hard cases for guaranteed protection or soft bags for more flexibility. In this guide, we will provide you with everything you need to choose the best drum case for your gigs.

What are the factors to consider when buying Drum Cases?

Size matters

The most important information to have when looking to get drum cases for your drum set has got to be the dimensions of the drums. Selecting the most appropriate container for your drums will largely depend on the measurements of the drums it will contain. Buying drum cases that are too small for your drums will inhibit its use while oversized drum cases would leave the drums dancing around in its case, which could be detrimental to its safety.


The weight of the drum set is significant because of mobility. Heavier drums tend to pair badly with hard plastic cases which tend to increase its overall weight making it almost unbearable to move around, therefore a drum bag is most likely preferred in this instance. However, in the case of lighter drum sets, hard plastic cases would be seen as an ideal vessel to convey the fragile equipment. Road cases or ATA cases are usually the heaviest to use when trying to secure your drums. They provide the best protection from external harm but usually require a more sophisticated transport mechanism, trailers are often utilized here.

Your Budget

Always have an appropriate budget in mind when shopping for drum cases. You could be left undone after perusing through different options and selecting the best fit for your drums only to find out you were misinformed about the price. Hard plastic cases are usually more expensive than the simple soft bags but not as expensive as Road cases which provide the optimum protection for your drums. Resist the temptation to use an inferior quality of drum cases that are subpar to the quality of your drum set.

What are the Different Types of Drum Cases?

Soft Bags

Soft cases are often referred to as bags. They are made of a synthetic fabric or nylon material, lined with padding and are usually the cheapest option when shopping for drum cases. They have the advantage of adding less overall weight to the drums, making it easier to unload them at the venue and pack up after the show. The only downside to soft bags is that they offer the least amount of protection compared to the other options and we would only recommend them for quick gigs and storage at home.

Hard-Plastic Cases

Hard plastic cases are often referred to as cases. They are made of a hardened fiberboard or polyethylene plastic outer shell as the primary protection with an optional lining of the interior of the case with protective foam for additional protection. It is a more expensive option than soft bags but they offer the best protection from damage and even scratching. Hard plastic drum cases are the most popular option for drummers performing frequently. We would recommend the hard plastic case because it provides a significant amount of protection without necessarily breaking the bank.

Road Cases/ATA Cases

These road-worthy cases are the toughest, strongest but most expensive option of all three cases. ATA models, popularly known to strictly adhere to the Air Transportation Association’s guidelines for the survivability of reusable cases are those cases that you would often see at big concerts and festivals. Some of their features include locking latches, aluminium edges, and vinyl-over-wood construction. The use of road cases will require the use of a trailer but this is the best option to protect your drums. The downside to this option is that you may need to customize them to fit your drums but we strongly recommend this option if you are a professional that tours often. Remember, protection is an investment into the long-term success of your career.

Drum Set Tips

  • Remember to only use genuine drum covering material to recover your drums. Only recommended materials like drum wraps should be used.
  • Never leave your drum set directly under the sunlight. Always look to play in some form of shade.
  • Regularly wipe down your drum with microfiber cloths. Remember not to use paper towels as they can be overly abrasive and may cause scratching

How much do Drum Cases usually cost?

The best drum cases in 2021 vary from a cheaper price tag of about $50 for a simpler drum bag to a more expensive price of $100 for the more rigid alternative. Always remember to shop within your budget when seeking for the best drum cases but be careful not to select a subpar product in a bid to get a cheaper price.

Best Drum Cases FAQs

Q: How do you size a drum case?

A: Carefully measure your drums by taking the diameter of the drum from the inside of the hop to the other side.

Q: How do you clean a drum case?

A: Gently rub the target area and rinse well with warm water with the help of a small drop of soap and a soft nail brush. Allow time to air dry the case before you use it again.

Q: Why do you need a drum case?

A: Drum cases help protect your equipment from dust and moisture which is prevalent in a rehearsal room. It is also important to note that using cases is the best way to transport the drums from gig to gig while keeping the instruments safe from accidental bumps which could damage the drums.

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