As a musician, your acoustic guitar is more than just an instrument – it’s your prized possession. Whether you’re a traveling troubadour or a local gigging guitarist, protecting your guitar from damage during transport is critical. One of the best ways to safeguard your acoustic guitar is to invest in a high-quality guitar case. But with so many options to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll explore the top factors to consider before purchasing an acoustic guitar case and provide our top picks for the best cases on the market. We’ll also offer some essential tips on properly packing your guitar for safe travels. So, let’s dive in and find the perfect case to protect your guitar on the road!
Factors to Consider Before Buying an Acoustic Guitar Case
When you invest in an acoustic guitar, you want to make sure you protect it while traveling. That’s why choosing the right guitar case is crucial. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which one to choose. This guide will highlight factors to consider before buying an acoustic guitar case to ensure you make an informed decision. Whether you’re looking for a hardshell or gig bag case, affordable or top of the line, we’ve got you covered. And if you’re not sure which type of case is best for you, be sure to check out our helpful guide on gig bags vs. hardshell cases to help you decide.
Size and Weight
When considering the size and weight of an acoustic guitar case, it is important to make sure that the case fits the specific dimensions of your guitar. A case that is too small or too large could potentially damage your instrument.
Most guitar cases come in standard sizes, but it’s important to double-check the measurements of both your guitar and the case to ensure a proper fit. It’s recommended to measure the entire length, width, and depth of your guitar, while also taking into account any protruding parts, like the headstock or tuning pegs.
Aside from ensuring a proper fit, the weight of the case is also a crucial factor. A heavy case can be cumbersome to carry, especially if you’re traveling long distances. However, a case that is too lightweight may not offer enough protection. Finding a balance between weight and protection is crucial.
When shopping for a guitar case, it’s essential to consider both the size and weight of the case in relation to your guitar. Luckily, there are a variety of options available, ranging from lightweight soft cases to heavy-duty hardshell cases. If you’re unsure which type of case is right for you, check out our article on choosing the right guitar case for more information. Additionally, if you’re specifically looking for hardshell cases, be sure to read our article on the top hardshell cases for acoustic guitars. For those on a budget, we’ve also rounded up the most affordable acoustic guitar cases on the market.
Material and Durability
When it comes to buying an acoustic guitar case, material and durability should be among your top considerations. After all, the case’s primary role is to protect your instrument from damage while traveling. Here are some materials commonly used in guitar cases and their pros and cons:
- Plywood: Plywood is often used in guitar cases due to its affordability, durability, and resistance to humidity. However, it can be quite heavy, making it inconvenient for musicians who frequently travel long distances.
- ABS plastic: This material is lightweight, durable, and water-resistant, making it a great option for musicians on the go. However, ABS plastic may not provide as much protection against impacts as other materials, so be sure to choose a guitar case with sufficient padding.
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass is very strong and resistant to impact, temperature changes, and moisture. However, these cases can be quite heavy and expensive.
- Carbon fiber: This super-strong material is popular among high-end guitar players for its durability and low weight. However, carbon fiber cases can be very expensive.
Apart from the material used in the case’s construction, you should also consider the durability of other components such as the hinges, handles, and locking mechanisms. These parts should be sturdy enough to survive the rough handling that comes with traveling.
It is essential to choose a guitar case made of sturdy and damage-resistant materials that can withstand the rigors of travel. Additionally, ensure that the case’s components, like handles and latches, are made from durable materials that will last long without requiring repairs.
When purchasing an acoustic guitar case, you should take into consideration the additional features that the case offers. Here are some of the features you could look for:
|Waterproofing||For those who travel frequently and have to brave the rain or snow, a waterproof case is necessary. Look for cases with sealed seams, waterproof zippers, or waterproof coatings.|
|Backpack Straps||If you have to carry your guitar for long distances or through airports, backpack straps can make transportation a breeze. Look for adjustable, padded straps for added comfort.|
|Humidity Control||Humidity control can be a lifesaver for those who live in areas with extreme humidity changes or those who store their guitars in less-than-ideal conditions. Look for cases with built-in humidifiers or compartments for storing humidifier packs.|
|Accessory Pockets||Carrying an acoustic guitar means you also have to carry your accessories such as picks, capos, tuners, and extra strings. Accessory pockets can help keep everything organized in one central location.|
|Lockable||If you travel frequently and have to check your guitar, a lockable case can be a lifesaver. Look for cases with TSA-approved locks or built-in locking mechanisms.|
|Shock Absorption||If you’re worried about accidental drops or bumps, look for cases with shock-absorbing foam or padding. This can provide added protection to your guitar.|
Having a guitar case that offers additional features can make your traveling experience with your guitar more comfortable and secure.
Top 5 Best Acoustic Guitar Cases
As a musician, protecting your instrument should always be a top priority, especially during travel. This is where acoustic guitar cases come in handy! With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to choose the best one for your instrument. To help you out, we’ve sorted through the crowd and hand-picked the 5 most exceptional acoustic guitar cases available today. These cases don’t just look good; they provide top-notch protection for your acoustic guitar, ensuring it remains in pristine condition regardless of the bumps and bruises it encounters on the road. Let’s dive into our top picks and find the perfect case for your instrument.
1. SKB 3i-4214-OP
The SKB 3i-4214-OP is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a reliable and durable acoustic guitar case. This case is built with military-grade, high-strength polypropylene copolymer resin, which stands up to heavy use and abuse. The exterior of the case is completely waterproof and dust-tight, making it a great choice for musicians who frequently travel in harsh environments or inclement weather.
Here are some more features that make this case stand out:
- The interior of the case is custom molded to fit most dreadnought acoustic guitars, so you don’t have to worry about your instrument shifting around during transit.
- The foam interior has plush lining to protect your guitar’s finish and prevent scratches or dings.
- The TSA-approved locks keep your guitar secure while traveling on airplanes.
- The case is outfitted with four trigger latches, four reinforced padlock locations, and carry handles for easy transport.
If you’re looking for a case that can handle heavy-duty use and protect your instrument in even the most extreme environments, the SKB 3i-4214-OP is a top-notch choice. Its rugged construction, customizable interior, and additional security features make it a great investment for any serious musician.
2. Musician’s Gear Deluxe Dreadnought Case
The Musician’s Gear Deluxe Dreadnought Case is a great option for those who are looking for a durable and affordable guitar case. It is made of 600-Denier nylon exterior and plush-lined interior to provide extra protection for your acoustic guitar. It also has a generous amount of padding, making it ideal for travel.
This dreadnought case also features a large outer pocket that can fit all of your guitar accessories such as tuners, strings, and picks. It also has backpack-style straps that make it easy to carry your guitar with you wherever you go.
Here’s a table outlining the specifications of the Musician’s Gear Deluxe Dreadnought Case:
|Material||600-Denier Nylon Exterior|
|Outer Pocket||Large, Fits Accessories|
In terms of size and weight, the Musician’s Gear Deluxe Dreadnought Case is designed to fit most dreadnought-style acoustic guitars. It weighs approximately 7 pounds and measures 45 x 18 x 8 inches.
The Musician’s Gear Deluxe Dreadnought Case offers a great combination of affordability, durability, and convenience. If you’re looking for a dependable guitar case that won’t break the bank, this is definitely a model worth considering.
3. Gator Cases Deluxe ABS Dreadnought Guitar Case
The Gator Cases Deluxe ABS Dreadnought Guitar Case is another great option for protecting your acoustic guitar while traveling. Here are some of the features that make it stand out:
- Durable ABS Material: The exterior of the case is constructed with a tough and lightweight ABS material. This material can withstand impact and is resistant to scratches and dents, ensuring the safety of your guitar during transport.
- Plush Lining: The interior of the case is lined with a soft, padded material that prevents scratches and dings on your guitar’s surface.
- Heavy-Duty Hardware: The hardware on this case is built to last. The latches and hinges are made of durable materials and can withstand frequent use.
- Secure Neck Support: The neck support system inside the case ensures that your guitar’s neck is supported and protected during transport. This helps prevent any damage that can occur from the guitar moving around inside the case during travel.
- Spacious Accessory Compartment: The Gator Cases Deluxe ABS Dreadnought Guitar Case has a large accessory compartment for storing extra strings, picks, and other small accessories.
All of these features combined make the Gator Cases Deluxe ABS Dreadnought Guitar Case a reliable and excellent choice for any musician who wants to protect their guitar while traveling.
4. MONO M80 Acoustic Guitar Case
The MONO M80 Acoustic Guitar Case is a stylish, lightweight and durable guitar case perfect for the on-the-go musician. Built with high-quality materials, this case is designed to protect your acoustic guitar from sudden impacts, drops and scratches. Let’s take a look at its features in detail:
|Material||Water-resistant outer shell with industrial rubber sole and piping|
|Size||Fits most standard dreadnought acoustic guitars|
|Padding||Patented Headlock system with a molded rubber sole for shock absorption|
|Additional Features||Adjustable shoulder strap, reinforced handle, storage compartments for accessories, and a built-in rain cover|
The water-resistant outer shell and industrial rubber piping of this case make it ideal for those who travel in unpredictable weather. The interior features a patented Headlock system that suspends your guitar’s headstock, providing additional protection from sudden impacts. The molded rubber sole also helps absorb shocks when the case is accidentally dropped.
An adjustable shoulder strap and reinforced handle make it easy to carry around. The storage compartments for accessories and built-in rain cover add to the convenience factor of this case.
The MONO M80 Acoustic Guitar Case is a top contender for musicians who require a lightweight and durable case that will protect their acoustic guitar.
5. Martin 12C630 Hardshell Case
Martin 12C630 Hardshell Case is a popular choice amongst professional musicians who want to ensure the utmost protection for their acoustic guitar. Here are some of the features that make this case stand out:
- Durable Construction: The Martin 12C630 Hardshell Case is made with a durable and impact-resistant exterior that protects your guitar from bumps and scratches during transportation. It also features chrome-plated hardware that is both stylish and strong.
- Plush Interior: The case’s interior is plush-lined to keep your guitar cushioned and free of scratches. Plus, the accessory compartment provides enough space to store your extra strings, picks, and capos.
- Smart Design: The Martin 12C630 Hardshell Case is designed to fit most standard dreadnought acoustic guitars, and its 5-ply wood construction ensures that your guitar stays snugly in place. The case also features a padded handle for comfortable carrying, as well as a deluxe padded backpack strap that allows for easy and convenient transportation.
If you are a musician who is looking for a reliable and secure way to transport your guitar, the Martin 12C630 Hardshell Case is definitely worth considering. Its tough exterior, plush interior, and smart design all work together to keep your acoustic guitar safe and sound while on the road.
Discover Top 3 Acoustic Guitar Bestsellers
- Two pickup systems: Fender Acoustasonic Noiseless; Fishman Under-Saddle Transducer
- Acoustic Engine delivers a new and unique set of acoustic and electric voices
- Blend Knob selects and blends voices
- Patented Stringed Instrument Resonance System (SIRS)
- Integrated forearm and back contour, and mahogany neck
- The Squier SA-150 is a full-size steel-string acoustic that offers big sound at a small price.
- It's strong enough to stand up to the everyday use (and abuse) that beginning players might throw its way thanks to its all-laminate construction with lindenwood top and mahogany back and sides.
- This guitar also features scalloped "X"-bracing, mahogany neck and a durable dark-stained maple fingerboard to give you an instrument that looks as good as it sounds.
- With its slim, easy-to-play neck and full-bodied dreadnought tone, the SA-150 is an ideal choice for all rookie strummers.
- EVERYTHING YOU NEED IN ONE BOX: A gig bag is included so you can keep your instrument safe when you're on the go. The included clip-on tuner is easy to use and delivers reliable performance. Included in this bundle is a guitar strap, extra strings, string winder and picks so you can start playing your instrument immediately. Our exclusive Austin Bazaar instructional DVD provides the guidance you need as you learn your new instrument.
- Antique white binding Aging toner Forward shifting non-scalloped X bracing Dovetail neck joint Style 28 mother-of-pearl fingerboard inlays Solid headstock with square taper and diamond inlay. SP Acoustic 92/8 Phosphor Bronze Medium (MSP4200) strings Multi-stripe top and back inlays
- Sometimes innovation is in the details and this is certainly true with Martin’s re-imagined 2017 D-28
- After nearly a century at the helm, and as the quintessential workhorse of music legends like Hank Williams, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and so many more, Martin's legendary D-28 has been lovingly and artfully enhanced
- “The post WWII D-28 had a slightly different look than its predecessor and became the centerpiece of the folk and folk rock movements at their pinnacle in the 1950s and 1960s
- " says Chris Martin, Chairman and CEO of Martin Guitar, "We have extracted the finest features from the D-28 of both my grandfather’s and my father’s respective eras
How to Properly Pack Your Acoustic Guitar for Travel
As you prepare to travel with your beloved acoustic guitar, it’s important to ensure that it is properly packed to avoid any damage during transit. Packing an acoustic guitar for travel can seem daunting, but with a little care and the right steps, it can be done easily and efficiently. Here are some essential tips to help you properly pack your acoustic guitar for travel and ensure that it arrives at your destination ready to play.
Step 1: Loosen the Strings
First and foremost, it is crucial to loosen the strings of your acoustic guitar before packing it for travel. This is to relieve the tension on the strings and prevent them from snapping or causing damage to the neck of the guitar during transportation. To do this, follow these simple steps:
- Step 1: Locate the tuning pegs at the headstock of the guitar.
- Step 2: Gently turn each tuning peg counterclockwise to loosen the tension on the strings.
- Step 3: Continue to turn each peg until the strings are noticeably slack.
- Step 4: Be careful not to completely remove the strings, as this can cause damage to the bridge and other parts of the guitar.
Loosening the strings of your acoustic guitar is a simple but essential step in protecting your instrument while traveling. By reducing the tension on the strings, you can prevent damage that may be caused by bumps or jostles during transit. Once you have loosened the strings, you can move on to the next step in properly packing your guitar for travel.
Step 2: Add Padding
When it comes to protecting your acoustic guitar while traveling, adding extra padding to the case is an essential step. This will help prevent any possible damage to the instrument in the event of any bumps or sudden stops during the journey. In this step, we will discuss how to add padding to your acoustic guitar case.
Step 2: Add Padding
The padding material you choose will depend on your personal preference and the level of protection you desire. Here are some popular types of padding materials and their respective properties:
|Type of Padding||Properties|
|Foam Padding||Lightweight, soft, and flexible. Provides good shock absorption and cushioning.|
|Foam Inserts||Preferable for custom cases, they provide maximum protection and prevent the guitar from moving within the case.|
|Bubble Wrap||Great for a temporary solution, bubble wrap is soft, flexible, and provides adequate shock absorption. However, it is not recommended for long-term storage.|
Once you have decided on the type of padding you will be using, cut it into shape to fit inside the case, making sure to leave enough space for the guitar. Line the bottom of the case with the padding material, and then place the guitar on top of it.
Note: Be sure to avoid placing the guitar directly against a hard surface or the edges of the case, as this can lead to dents or scratches.
Next, add additional padding on top of the guitar, making sure to cover all exposed areas of the instrument. This can be done with blankets, towels, or additional foam padding. Make sure the padding is snug and secure, but not too tight as to put unnecessary pressure on the guitar.
By following these steps and taking the time to add proper padding to your acoustic guitar case, you can rest easy knowing your beloved instrument is protected during travel.
Step 3: Secure the Guitar in the Case
Now that you have padded the interior of your guitar case, it’s time to secure your precious acoustic guitar in place so that it does not move around during traveling.
Step 3: Secure the Guitar in the Case
To safeguard against any damages during travel, you need to secure your acoustic guitar correctly. The guitar must be held snugly in the case to avoid any dislocation, impact or scratches.
The following table shows how to secure your guitar in the case:
|Step 1:||Place your guitar in the center of the case|
|Step 2:||Tuck in the neck support cushion between the headstock and the case’s top wall|
|Step 3:||Fasten the guitar neck to the case’s neck joint with the help of the strap. This will protect the neck from any jerks and jolts|
|Step 4:||Place additional padding around the body of the guitar where applicable to keep it from rubbing against the case and causing scratches or scuffs|
|Step 5:||Finally, close the case and ensure that all clips, hinges and locks are fastened securely|
By following this step-by-step process, you are guaranteed to have a snug and safe fit for your acoustic guitar in its case. Once you transport your guitar to your destination, you will be able to open your case and remove your guitar in the same condition as when you packed it.
In conclusion, protecting your acoustic guitar during travel is crucial to maintain its quality and longevity. Investing in a high-quality case that fits your guitar’s size and weight, and is made with durable materials such as ABS plastic, polyfoam or fiberglass, is important. Additional features, such as built-in locks, padded straps, and multiple compartments can also enhance the protection of your instrument while on the road.
The SKB 3i-4214-OP, Musician’s Gear Deluxe Dreadnought Case, Gator Cases Deluxe ABS Dreadnought Guitar Case, MONO M80 Acoustic Guitar Case, and Martin 12C630 Hardshell Case are among the top-rated cases in the market, providing excellent protection to your acoustic guitar.
However, buying a case is only the first step. Properly packing your guitar for travel is equally important. Loosening the strings, adding padding, and securing the guitar in the case can ensure that your guitar stays safe during transit.
Investing in a high-quality acoustic guitar case and taking the necessary precautions when traveling can give you peace of mind and extend the lifespan of your acoustic guitar. So, before embarking on your next musical journey, take the time to research and choose the best case for your guitar and follow the steps to pack it properly. Your guitar will thank you for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the main purpose of an acoustic guitar case?
The main purpose of an acoustic guitar case is to protect your instrument from any damage that may occur while traveling, carrying or storing it.
2. What types of materials are guitar cases made of?
Guitar cases come in different materials like ABS plastic, fiberglass, wood, polyester, and canvas.
3. Can I use a generic guitar case for my acoustic guitar?
No, it is necessary to use an acoustic guitar case that fits your guitar’s shape, size, and length to protect it effectively.
4. How important is the weight of an acoustic guitar case?
The weight of an acoustic guitar case is essential if you travel frequently. A heavier case can cause inconvenience and add extra weight to carry.
5. Should I consider additional features when buying an acoustic guitar case?
Yes, additional features like padding, straps, and storage compartments provide better protection, comfort, and convenience to users.
6. What is the best way to pack my acoustic guitar for travel?
The best way to pack your acoustic guitar is to loosen the strings, add padding, and secure the guitar in the case.
7. Can I bring my acoustic guitar on a plane?
Yes, you can bring your acoustic guitar on a plane. However, it’s essential to check with your airline regarding their specific rules and regulations.
8. What is the difference between a hardshell and a softshell guitar case?
Hardshell guitar cases offer more protection than softshell cases due to its hard exterior. Softshell cases are more lightweight and typically come with padding to protect the guitar.
9. Can a guitar case be recycled?
Yes, guitar cases can be recycled. Contact your local recycling center for specific instructions on how to dispose of your guitar case sustainably.
10. How often should I replace my guitar case?
It depends on how often you use it and how well you maintain it. However, as a general rule, it’s a good idea to replace your guitar case every 3-5 years to ensure maximum protection for your instrument.