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Your electric guitar is an investment and you need to protect it with a good case. We have personally experienced broken parts and other misfortunes where a quality guitar case would have made all the difference.
Case or Gig Bag?
In the past, hardshell cases were the way to go for optimal protection. However, gig bags are catching up. There are many on the market that combine high-quality protection with portability.
The choice today may depend on your usage. Flying with your guitar? Touring with a band? We recommend a hard case for optimal protection.
On the other hand, do you need a case for local gigs? Are you taking your guitar to friends houses or to your office? You may just need a quality gig bag.
Our Top Picks for Gig Bags
The Mono Vertigo features protection that goes beyond the typical gig bag. The bag is designed to be loaded from the top so you can remove your guitar more naturally.
Mono has created an innovative “headlock” system that secures the neck of the guitar and keeps it stationary within the bag.
The heavy-duty rubber sole on the bottom of the bag acts like a shoe’s outsole and protects your guitar from bumps. The strap pin is additionally protected with internal padding to lesson shock.
Strategically positioned ABS panels protect the guitar from impact. The Vertigo also has external storage, and attachment points for an additional storage bag.
Though relatively expensive at $249, the Vertigo provides top-notch protection rivaling a hard case and is our top pick for gig bags.
The Mono Sleeve is similar in design to the Vertigo, but is thinner and more minimal. It features the same top-loading design, and a slimmer headlock system.
With an external storage pocket, the Sleeve has no attachment points for an additional bag as with the Vertigo. And the same internal protection for the pin strap is included, though no ABS panels or rubberized boot outsole.
The Sleeve combines excellent protection with portability, and is $100 less than the Vertigo at $149.
The Gator Transit supplies excellent protection and padding for a gig bag. The bag features three removable areas of interior padding for the headstock, the neck, and the strap-pin.
The weather resistant exterior is a barrier between your electric guitar and the elements. And the rubber bottom tread protects against wear and minor bumps. Stash your picks, strings, and other accessories in two exterior compartments.
With three available exterior colors and a soft red and black interior, the Transit is stylish. Some reviewers have reported quality issues with the straps and handles. However, at $109, we think this case is a great value, and perfect for light use.
If you want even more padding and protection, check out the Gator Pro-Go series.
Our Top Picks for Hardshell Cases
If you want the maximum amount of protection for your electric guitar, there is no substitute for a hardshell case. Here are our top picks.
SKB Shaped Electric Hardshell
If you are flying with your guitar, you absolutely need the most protection you can get. SKB is a leader in hardshell cases. The SKB Shaped Electric Hardshell gives you a compact contoured design to accommodate most electric guitars.
The heavy-duty exterior features molded bumpers, a large, cushioned handle, aluminum valance, and TSA approved locks. The rigid EPS foam and soft plush interior protects your guitar from bumps and scratches.
If you want a more traditional rectangular version, SKB also makes a pro rectangular hardshell case with fiberglass reinforced latches. You’ll have the advantage of some interior storage as well.
Gator Deluxe Molded Hardshell Case
If you are looking for hardshell case protection, the Gator Deluxe ABS Molded Case provides excellent protection at a reasonable cost. The exterior is impact-resistant ABS plastic, and the case edges are reinforced with aluminum.
The plush interior keeps your guitar safe from scratches. Store picks and accessories in the interior storage compartments. The exterior latches are lockable to keep things secure.
If you are flying with your guitar, we recommend checking out the Gator Molded Flight Case instead. You’ll get a higher level of protection and TSA approved locks.
Crossrock Electric Guitar Case
The Crossrock Electric Guitar Case is a bargain at $109. While we have not personally tested it out, some reviewers compare it to Fender cases.
The exterior is ABS molded plastic with protective bumpers along the edges. The high-density foam and plush interior keeps your guitar protected.
While we wouldn’t fly with it, this looks to be a good hardshell case at a gig bag price.
Fender Classic Series Case
If you’re after that classic wooden hard case look, Fender has a couple of options with their Classic Series Case. These cases match the appearance of their USA-made Deluxe Cases with some differences in materials.
The textured exterior sports the company’s logo and striped accents on the case ends. The bottom of the case includes metal feet for standing the case up, and the latches are lockable.
The plush interior features a large accessory compartment with a lid. It’s available in both black and traditional tweed color.
In our testing, we did find a strong chemical smell that must be a result of the manufacturing process. Other reviewers have reported this with different cases, so it’s not unique to this one.
Protect Your Investment
Finding the right case will be a combination of your style preference, and application.
Will you be traveling extensively, or just lugging your guitar around locally? Do you need the added protection of a hard shell, or can you use a gig bag?
Once you determine your needs, you’ll narrow in on the right fit for your budget. We hope one of these cases will fit the bill.