What’s the first thing that comes to mind whenever you’re discussing gig bags and cases for bass guitars? – For many musicians, it’s about whether they’re getting paid enough to afford a high-quality gig bag or case.
All joking aside, it’s important to invest in a reliable and secure travel case or bag if you want to protect your bass guitar as a touring musician. Some might argue that you should spare no expenses. I’m of the opinion that you can always find solid options even at affordable prices though.
6 Best Bass Guitar Gig Bags & Cases
Check out my top picks to find out more about travel bags, gig bags, and cases for bass players.
Table of Contents
- 6 Best Bass Guitar Gig Bags & Cases
- The Eternal Debate - Hard vs. Soft
- Check the Size of Your Bass
- Dense Padding or Soft Padding?
- Nice Perks to Have
The Gator Case GB-4G-Bass is a very efficient and affordable bass guitar gig bag. It comes with thick padding for adequate impact resistance, despite its rather flexible exterior shell.
An exterior pocket allows you to carry picks, cables, a FastFret, a tuner, and any other accessories you might need to service or play your bass. It’s also worth noting that the areas around the bridge and headstock are reinforced.
This not only makes the gig bag more durable but also provides extra protection for the most important sections of a bass guitar.
The gig bag is 48” long. On the inside, you have about 3.5” of room for the body height, which should be enough to accommodate a wide range of bass guitars.
Both shoulder straps and regular handles are available on the bag.
The Mono M80 bass case has a plush interior lining which guarantees that your bass won’t pick up any scratches in transit. The case also features a reliable top-loading design and a combination of ABS and waterproof sharkskin for extra protection and durability.
There’s good impact resistance too, which in some cases can be the most important thing. You’ll find gear pockets on the inside.
Another thing that I found interesting was the integral headlock design. This elevates and suspends the headstock and keys just enough that they won’t be affected during transport. This translates to a lower chance of arriving at your gig with your bass out of tune.
It’s also worth noting that the Mono M80 Vertigo bass case comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
The Gator Transit Series GT-Bass is a higher-end gig bag that many bass players would love to get their hands on. It features thick high-density foam padding for superior protection. The interior is lined with microfleece lining that won’t scratch the instrument or attract dust particles.
A zippered pocket can be used to store your cable, sheet music, and other accessories or gear without having to use the inside compartment. This helps you avoid having stuff around inside and potentially scratching your bass.
What’s also cool about this pocket is that it has multiple connection and locking points. This allows it to be stuffed to its maximum capacity without compromising security.
The overall length of the bag is 48.5”, which should accommodate most bass guitars. Additional padding is provided for the headstock, body, and neck. Of course, this is a modular system, completely removable, which makes the Gator bag even better.
One of my favorite features on the ProTec CTG233 bass case is the removable padded neck block. It adds another layer of protection for the bass guitar and helps to keep it in place. It also comes with a small zippered pocket which you can use to store your picks.
Of course, there are other things about it that are just as impressive. Like the weather-resistant ballistic nylon exterior cover. Or the high-density foam that cushions the bass while you’re carrying it.
The perimeter frame is also very rigid and rugged and has great impact resistance. Although the case is on the heavy side, it’s perfectly easy to carry.
The shoulder straps are heavily padded. The carry handles are dual-corded for additional security. The rubber coating also makes it easy to carry the case in wet and humid conditions.
If you’re on the market for an affordable bass gig bag, the ChromaCast might have you covered. This ChromaCast Pro Series bag comes with rubber bottom bumpers and thick padding capable of relieving the wood of stress during transportation.
There’s also a neck cushion which provides extra protection while you’re carrying the instrument. The gig bag is of standard length at 48” and comes with multiple pockets for holding sheet music, books, tablets, a stand, picks, cables, and pretty much anything else you might need as a bass player.
The zippers are durable and work smoothly. The shoulder straps are adjustable and thicker than usual, in part because of the padding and the fact that they are reinforced for extra weight support.
Designed for touring in any part of the world, the BG20DN guitar gig bag is a lot tougher than its humble selling price might indicate. Unlike many other gig bags, this one uses water-resistant Cordura fabric for the outer cover.
The 20mm padding is thick and on par with the best affordable bass gig bags. However, the padding is of the softer variety.
In terms of security, you get heavy-duty zippers that also feature oversized pulls. This makes taking out your instrument very easy.
Three additional storage pockets can be found. Each one is capable of holding one or more pieces of gear, extra sets of strings or maintenance products so that you can always leave the house prepared.
The Eternal Debate - Hard vs. Soft
Regardless of the debate on hard versus soft cases, as a traveling musician you should remember only a few key factors concerning each option.
Hard cases offer the best protection in almost any situation. They can protect against heavy hits and load in addition to wind and water. However, keep in mind that not everything advertised as cases these days come with a hard shell.
Gig bags tend to come with multiple storage options. They are more affordable and often a lot lighter and easier to carry on your back or in your hand.
Check the Size of Your Bass
Not too many people have the luxury of playing custom bass guitars. If you are one of them, you best pay good attention to the scale length of your bass guitar and any custom body or headstock features.
Consider this. Most bass cases and gig bags have a standard length of 48” which should be enough to accommodate most long-scale bass guitars. However, deviations from the classic design may require custom gig bags. This usually implies building your own or paying a premium.
Dense Padding or Soft Padding?
I recommend going with dense foam padding and the thicker the better. Thicker padding will ensure that your bass guitar barely moves while you’re carrying it around. It also means that you get better impact protection, which is very important if you opt for gig bags instead of hard cases.
Also, don’t discount the importance of padding around the shoulder straps either. Bass guitars are heavier than guitars, considerably heavier actually. Therefore, it’s important that you stay comfortable while carrying a heavy load.
While you’re at it, look at adjustable straps too. They can allow you to configure the weight distribution according to your body dimensions and fitness level.
Nice Perks to Have
While you may be able to find very cheap gig bags, very few of them really cater to the needs of a touring bass player. They may hold your bass guitar, but what about everything else like string winders and essential pedals?
You should always make sure to have a dedicated compartment for your cable. If you also use sheet music or music books, you may need additional storage space.
With any one of the travel bags and cases in this article, you can be sure of safe travels and arriving at your destinations with your instrument intact.
Some are better than others, but that doesn’t mean that you should give less thought to how to handle your bass guitar. Protection is mandatory but remember that it’s not a substitute for good judgment.