The best clarinet cases can be much cheaper than you think. It all comes down to finding the right fit really, and looking at the features that matter the most. Things like a soft lining, weather-resistant exterior, and extra storage are among the most important aspects of any clarinet case.
Of course, brands will matter too. And, if you know anything about instrument cases, then you’ll likely recognize the top manufacturers featured in this article.
5 Best Clarinet Cases - Hard and Soft Models
The GC-Clarinet case by Gator Cases is a molded ABS case with a stackable exterior. Although it’s lightweight at 2.75lb and easy to carry, it’s very sturdy and can take a good degree of impact without hurting the clarinet.
On the inside, the case features plush lining that helps prevent scratches and does a good job of keeping dust at bay. The compartments are snug so that no parts would move while traveling with the case.
You can carry the case by its handle, which is strong and bolted through, or you could add a shoulder strap on the D-rings. The strap is included, by the way, so you won’t have to buy one separately. For security, the GC-Clarinet case has impact-resistant chrome-plated latches.
Note that this is not the biggest clarinet case. However, it’s been form-fitted to meet the storage requirements of all student clarinet models. And, due to its stackable design, the case can be stored easily with other orchestral Gator cases.
In the interest of saving some money, you should take a look at the Gator GL-Clarinet-A. This is a soft case that’s much easier to carry than a hard case. Its lightweight nylon exterior offers decent protection and some weatherproofing, which is always nice to have if you’re always on the road.
The handle is a standard interlocking carry handle that’s been rubberized to offer a more comfortable and non-slip grip. The textured exterior pattern gives the case a professional look and the red Gator logo creates a nice contrast.
The case interior is lined with dense EPS foam and topped with a plush cover. This ought to create a cozy environment for your clarinet and protect it from scratches and dust. As with most high-end clarinet cases, the GL-Clarinet-A also has separate holders for mouthpieces.
This case has been designed with student-sized clarinets in mind. This is a reassuring feature since most people tend to use this type of clarinets anyway. What’s also attractive about this case is the accessory pockets, one in the back and one in the front. You can use those for maintenance accessories, sheet music, and other tools.
The Protec MX307MT is a soft Bb clarinet case. It looks pretty much like a laptop bag except it’s much more durable. It’s light but it features an EPS foam frame and a rugged 600D nylon exterior with decent weatherproofing.
While it doesn’t have lockable latches, the molded zippers do a good job of keeping the case secure. You can carry it by its handle. Since it’s light and equipped with padded handles, it should be comfortable to carry.
But, you can also attach two shoulder straps and carry it as a regular backpack. The bag’s hardware is durable and the reinforced stitching makes up for it not being a hard case. The level of shock resistance is most impressive too.
What I also like about this case is the non-abrasive lining. Not only are the interior compartments precisely cut out, but they also protect the clarinet parts from scratches during transport. You should also have less dust deposit to worry about with the MX307MT as your primary storage option.
If you have a Bb clarinet and you’re looking for something small but durable to store and transport it in, you may want to consider the Protec BM307SX. This micro-sized silver clarinet case can fit in a backpack, yet it offers plenty of room to hold the parts of a Bb clarinet and maintenance tools.
Molded foam lines the interior. It’s not a hard foam, but it is dense enough to keep the clarinet pieces from hitting against each other. The rugged ABS case is scratch and impact-resistant. However, it may not handle weighted pressure too well so try to avoid stacking other cases on top.
The BM307SX has a small rubberized handle. To be honest, the handle is a big tight and slim so you may want to use the shoulder strap instead. It’s non-slip, equipped with a textured grip, and attached to metal D-rings that can support plenty of weight.
I also recommend this case if you want something stylish for your clarinet. The slim profile of the case is impressive and doesn’t compromise functionality.
Some cases excel at exterior protection while others in interior design. This Tosnail case is more of the latter thanks to its high-density foam padding. The gusseting is on point for most student-sized clarinets, although you could also squeeze in a larger clarinet. The cotton padding provides a scratch-free environment for your instrument and spare accessories.
You can carry the case by its interlocking handle or by its shoulder strap. The strap is textured, non-slip, and adjustable. There’s also some decent protection from the DuraGuard nylon cover and molded zipper.
The case even has a reinforced ABS bottom that protects the case from impacts and prevents any accidental openings. You may also appreciate the extra storage space in the form of a zippered front pocket, although you may not be able to fit too many bulky accessories in there. The pocket is best used for sheet music, cables, and other slim accessories.
Another reason why I recommend this case is its affordability. It can be a good investment for musicians on a tight budget that want a decent storage and travel case for their clarinet.
Hard Case vs. Soft Case Considerations
Most people think that the only reason to choose a soft case over a hard case is affordability. You would be surprised to learn that many of today’s soft cases are priced on par with hard cases. That’s because soft cases have some very clear benefits when it comes to handling and traveling.
Soft cases are preferable if you want something light and easier to carry in your hand or on your back. You may have to sacrifice impact and weighted pressure resistance, but that’s not even always the case. Generally though, if you need to stack your cases, hard cases may be preferable.
In any event, those using a premium expensive clarinet should probably go with a hard case for the best overall protection.
What’s the Best Way to Carry a Case?
This is a matter of personal preference. Most clarinet cases come with handles and one or two shoulder straps. Since it’s unlikely that your clarinet packs a lot of weight, how you carry the case comes down to personal preference and comfort.
If the case is not too bulky then I’d recommend using the single or double shoulder straps. Otherwise, you might want to avoid strapping it to your back because it could dig into your back and cause discomfort.
Extra Perks and How Much They’re Worth
If you’re a professional clarinet player, you may want to keep an eye out for some exterior or interior pockets that can hold sheet music. Even better if the case has additional storage.
It’s likely that you’ll be carrying spare parts, maintenance gear, cables, and everything else needed to perform. It’s just common sense to be able to store them all in one place.
Never Settle for Anything Less
Although even most student clarinets are built to last, you shouldn’t compromise security or storage capacity when shopping for a case.
As you can see, most clarinet cases, whether they’re hard or soft cases, are gusseted to fit a clarinet as well as some spare parts. Whether you want the highest level of protection or just the best case within your budget, this list should help you cover all bases.