We look at the best guitar flight cases available right now, from lightweight gig bags to flight-ready hard cases.
If you’re going to a friend’s house with your cherished 6-string, whether it’s on a rare occasion or as part of a regular touring schedule, transporting it in one of the best guitar cases is necessary to ensure its safety. Guitar flight cases and gig bags aren’t simply for touring. For every guitarist who enjoys displaying their precious property on a wall hanging, there is another who prefers to safely store their instrument in its case after use. Which is correct? It depends on your requirements, but we’ll discuss it lower down the page in our buying advice section.
No matter how carefully you handle your guitar, destiny and gravity will eventually catch you off guard, culminating in an accident that leaves your instrument scarred and your ego battered. With that in mind, it makes sense to invest in some safeguards. The best guitar flight cases and gigbags are designed to give you peace of mind whether you’re taking public transportation to a jam session with friends or loading your guitar into the back of a van for a tour – and they don’t have to be expensive.
There is a vast selection of guitar flight cases available, covering all price points and outfitted with a variety of functions. We’ve included some buying tips below to help you select the best guitar case for you and your needs, but here’s our list of the top ones currently on the market.
product review: guitar flight case
- The integral Headlock design suspends the headstock and tuners
- Waterproof Sharkskin shell with industrial rubber sole and piping
- Fits 1 standard solid bodysolidbody solid-body electric guitar including Fender Jazz masters and Jaguars, and 1 standard dreadnought acoustic or archtop guitar
- Can be used with 1 electric guitar and 1 acoustic guitar, the first of it’s kind
- Plush lining protects delicate custom finishes
|Style||Acoustic and Electric|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||15.75 x 45.28 x 18.9 inches|
Why would you spend this much money on a gigbag when you could get a good hard case for less? Weight is the answer. If you spend a lot of time dragging your dread from practice session to gig, your arms, back, and shoulders will appreciate a light and nimble bag.
MONO is known for producing featherweight backpacks that outperform hard cases in every way. They advertise military-spec textiles, which we’re not sure what that means, but we do know they’re built like tanks. High-quality webbing, bar-tack stitching, steel rivet reinforcements, a hard-wearing Hypalon sole, and a water- and abrasion-resistant ‘Sharkskin’ outer show that this bag has been designed to withstand a lot of punishment.
Inside, ABS panels absorb and deflect harsh blows, while high-density foam bumpers direct vertical impacts out and around your guitar’s lower bout to safeguard the delicate strap pin area. The revolutionary Headlock function suspends the headstock, protecting the instrument from side and rear collisions that could snap the neck. MONO is certain that these protective elements adequately ‘drop-proof’ the bag, offering it a worthy alternative to the hard case.
- ATA molded military-grade polyethylene outer shell
- TSA-approved locking center latch
- Custom-fit (most Strat & Teles) EPS protective foam interior nest; gray high-quality polyester plush interior; extended reach protective neck cradle
- Ergo-grip injection molded handle
- Rugged injection molded polyethylene feet; black powder-coated hardware and continuous valance
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||44.5 x 18.5 x 6 inches|
This case was released a few years back by Fender for its upper-mid-range guitars (such as the Professional line), and boy, is it an upgrade over its somewhat poor predecessor. It’s made of military-grade ABS plastic and feels robust as soon as you pick it up.
When you open the latches, you’ll find acres of luxurious polyester fur in which to snuggle your instrument. There’s a spacious storage compartment with plenty of room for strings, wires, and even a strap, as well as a custom-fit cut-out for your Fender guitar.Even with heavier bass guitars, the handle is sturdy, ergonomic, and well-balanced. Rubberized feet make it extremely stable, while indents on the top let you stack additional cases securely. If your Fender did not arrive with a case, or if you still have the original plastic casing, this is an excellent purchase.
- Fits Jazzmaster/Jaguar Guitar and Similar Style Electric Guitars
- Deep plush inside lining with a thick, dense layer of foam padding make this guitar case the deluxe vintage look
- Upgraded deluxe gold latches, high quality tweed PVC covering and strong hinges provides protection against the damages, dings, and bumps
- Heavy duty 5-ply wood core structure provides strength and protection for your guitar, whether in transit or in storage
Since the 1950s, G&G has supplied Fender, and their cases are still included with top-end models and custom shop guitars. This case appears strikingly similar to Fender’s own Classic Series Wood Case, however this is the genuine article, whereas the other is a ‘tribute.’
Handmade in Los Angeles by a small group of artisan types, these cases contain the highest quality materials, including real hide end caps, a bonded leather handle, and a soft velvet ‘antique red poodle’ interior that will not mark the finish on your guitar. They aren’t cheap, but your guitar deserves the best.
- Fits all Electrometric solid body models, G5436T, G5435T, G5438T, G5445T, G5448T, G5435, G5434, G5438, G5435LH, G5434LH, G5655T-CB
- Grey interior
The Gretsch Electromatic series is often regarded as providing excellent value for money. The build quality is excellent, and these fantastic guitars have that distinctive Gretsch tone in spades. What does Gretsch do for a living?
To keep retail prices low, the manufacturer does not include a case or gigbag with the guitars. It has such a cult following, and the guitars are so distinctive, that most potential purchasers won’t be concerned, as they’ll just budget for a case anyhow. The G6238FT, which is cheaply priced, has to be the first choice for sturdy bodies. The specifications are modest (plywood construction with a stylish black Tolex wrap), but the velvety grey interior will create a nice home for your Gretsch.
- Designed to Fit Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster Style Electric Guitars
- EPS Foam Nest Covered in Thick Black Plush Lining and a LED Light Feature to Illuminate the Storage Compartment and Instrument
- ATA Roto-Molded Polyethylene Outer-Shell, with Black Powder Continuous Valence and Ergo-Grip Injection Molded Carry Handle
- TSA approved Locking Latch with Impact Diversion Housings and Red Release Triggers. Includes set of (2) Keys
- Interior Dims: Body Length – 18.5″ Body Height – 2.8″ Lower Bout Width – 12.8″ Middle Bout Width – 12.8″ Upper Bout Width – 12.8″ Overall Length – 39.2″
|Number of Strings||6|
Gator produces some of the greatest third-party cases available, so there’s little debate about its quality. It has all the standard features, such as an impact-resistant ABS shell, a heavy-duty aluminium bumper for added strength, a plush interior that moulds to the shape of your guitar, a padded neck cradle, and useful storage compartments.
What distinguishes it is the integrated LED panel, which literally shines a spotlight on your prized guitar and any stored accessories. This could be dismissed as a vanity light for bedroom musicians, but for touring musicians used to playing on dimly lit stages, it’s a godsend.
You’re about to go on and you can’t seem to discover the appropriate selection in the gloom? Or, for that matter, your guitar? No need to worry; simply flip the switch and your entire case will be illuminated. It may appear gimmicky, but it is rather beneficial. If you’re tired of stumbling around in the dark, this is the one to acquire.
- Distinctively shaped hardcase protection
- Fiberglass reinforced nylon trigger release latching system
- TSA recognized and accepted lock
- Bumper protected valance
- Convenient accessory compartment.
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||47 x 20 x 8 inches|
So you’ve decided on an angular axe, and it’s time to get out of the home. The SKB 63 case protects your Explorer, Firebird, Warrior, Kelly, or similarly sharp guitar, which is vital given that these designs not only have a lot of dangerous peninsulas, but they also protrude further than your normal Strat or Tele. They’re also usually longer, so fitting it inside a regular gigbag won’t work.
The SKB 63 has an almost unbreakable ABS shell that is coated with comfortable foam and has an accessory pocket. The locks are TSA-approved, and the catches use a fiberglass-reinforced, trigger-released latching system to assure longevity. It’s not cheap, but if you want extreme protection for your extreme pride and joy, this is the way to go.
- Guitar Case for Epiphone Les Paul Standard & Les Paul Custom
- Black Tolex Hardshell exterior
- Gray plush interior
- Inner compartment
Some Epiphones, however, do not come with a sturdy case (which is no great surprise considering the price points). It’s not a major deal, though; we’ve featured Epiphone’s Les Paul case here, but the company offers comparable cases for the rest of its models. When shopping for a case to safeguard your new Epi, we believe they should be towards the top of your list. They’re a terrific addition to your set-up because they’re tough, well-made, and fairly sophisticated in black with that bold gold branding.
A case protects your guitar from damage, which means it will need to be replaced at some point. Yes, a Gibson case is higher quality, but there isn’t much in it. So, if you’re a busy touring guitarist who goes through cases quickly, save money by purchasing Epiphone versions instead.
8. SKB 3i-4217-18-T iSeries Waterproof guitar flight case
- Ultra high-strength polypropylene copolymer resin
- UV, solvent, corrosion and fungus resistant (MIL-STD-810F)
- Complete gasket seal makes these cases absolutely watertight (MIL-STD-C-4150J)
- Automatic ambient pressure equalization value (MIL-STD-648C)
- Resistant to corrosion and impact damage
If you’re searching for an almost nuclear-proof solution to safeguard your acoustic guitar from Armageddon-level disasters, this is it. SKB iSeries cases (there are models for acoustics and electrics of all shapes and sizes) are composed of very robust, corrosion-resistant materials, with extra-strong hinges and a slew of sturdy latches.
The fact that these cases are completely waterproof is the most important selling factor. A gasket will keep everything out, including pure H2O and sticky soda, while an equalisation valve will prevent pressure from building up within when temperatures rise. Acoustic guitars are extremely vulnerable to water damage, thus these iSeries cases provide much-needed peace of mind for individuals who live in or travel to wetter climates. The soft handle makes this case easy to transport, but it can also roll on its own integrated wheels. That’s a good thing, because at about 27lbs/12kg, it’s not the lightest case around.
- Ultra- thick padded sidewalls
- Micro-fleece interior
- Protective rain cover
- Multi adjustable, removable backpack straps
- Body Block Internal Shock Absorber
You can go out and buy an inexpensive gigbag for about $30/£22, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Essentially, you’ll end up with a padded, guitar-shaped sleeve that’ll fight off occasional dings and scratches. However, the Gator Pro-Go Series Electric Guitar Gigbag is a step above. First off, it’s a semi-rigid design, meaning that the sidewalls are so thick, they add some rigidity to the bag. Second, you can still treat it like a gigbag. It’s squashable for storage and there are comfy backstraps so that you can handle it like a backpack.
This device has a tonne of pockets, including one for your iPad. The soft micro-fleece interior will keep your guitar as snug as a rock star at Claridge’s, and the padded neck cradle will keep it straight enough to play gig after gig. There’s even a rain cover to keep the weather from ruining your day.
- Overall Length: 42 1/2 inches
- Deluxe, Heavy Duty Fitted Interior
- Warranty: Lifetime Limited
- Arched Top allows Fit For Smaller Jazz Guitars
- Universal Fit for Dreadnoughts and Most 12-Strings
|Item Weight||4.1 Kilograms|
Joe Strummer allegedly threw his Telecaster into the trunk of his Thunderbird after shows before speeding away. The plain slab-like Tele is undoubtedly the toughest guitar of all time, but it makes us question how well the Clash’s more lightly made acoustic guitars stood up to similar abuse.
If you intend to transport your dreadnought in the back of a large American car, we recommend that you put it in an SKB Acoustic Dreadnought Deluxe Guitar Case just in case. It has a strong shell with an aluminium bumper that should protect it from damage caused by abrupt acceleration, violent wallowing through turns, and erratic braking. We prefer the chunky latches on this case to fiddly, traditional hardware because they’re much smoother to operate and less likely to snag.
- High quality Cordura 600 Denier, Tearproof and water protected
- All carrying parts reinforced, 12 mm High-Density foam rubber padding
- Neck and body area with additional side protection, Fluff-free honey comb interior, anthracite
- Sewn-in additional protection in machine head and bridge area, Thickly padded comfort carrying handle, additional front handle
- Fully padded, adjustable, sewn-on deluxe rucksack straps, Large music sheet/accessory pocket
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||18.11 x 2.36 x 46.46 inches|
A V-shaped strummer, like an X-shaped guitar, will require more than the spare gigbag you have lying around. The Economy case series from GEWA attempts to combine the toughness and safety of a hardcase with the portability and comfort of a padded gig bag.
The 212480 Flying V case (and many others) has 12mm of high-density foam padding throughout, with extra protection for the headstock and bridge areas, as well as a thick-padded carrying handle and shoulder straps. The pockets are small, but the front has enough room for an A4 book or two, which is ideal for taking your guitar on short trips.
how to choose the best guitar flight case?
It’s safe to assume that not all guitar flight cases and gigbags are created equal. While every case or gigbag provides some level of protection against damage, the quantity of protection you receive is entirely dependent on the type of case you purchase.
Obviously, we want to optimise security by using something that makes Fort Knox appear as safe and secure as a wet cardboard box, right? Yes, but there are a few things to think about before spending all of your money on a pint-sized panic room for your instrument.