What’s Your Bag?
If you’re taking your guitar out of the house, you really need something to protect it. What’s more you’ll probably be taking a whole host of accessories with you. Plectrums, pedals, spare strings, tab books, cables, capos and probably a whole lot more. Hard cases can be expensive, and they tend not to have a great deal of storage for all of the aforementioned paraphernalia. That’s where gig bags comes in. A decent gig bag will not only protect your guitar on the go, but will also enable you to comfortably transport all your gear. If you’re expecting your guitar to go into the hold of an aircraft you definitely need a hard case. For most other scenarios a gig bag will probably cover all your needs. So, what is the best guitar gig bag? I’ve reviewed some of the top gig bags available now so you can find the right gig bag for you. Let’s get started!
CAHAYA Guitar Bag (Acoustic Guitars):
This padded bag will house guitars up to 41 centimeters in width. If you’re looking for a cost effective bag that’ll allow you to protect your guitar when you’re out and about, this isn’t a bad choice. The waterproof material protects your guitar from the worst of the weather. It has a carry handle and adjustable straps so you can wear it on your back. It also features 4 outer pockets, so plenty of room for capos, tuners and anything else you might want to take with you. The 8mm thick padding will keep your guitar protected from everyday knocks and bumps. There’s a shock proof pad on the bottom, which is great for the times you want to put it down on a station platform or elsewhere. Unfortunately however it appears that you get what you pay for in terms of materials. You’ll probably need to replace this bag after a while because the build isn’t the best. It’s probably more of a bag for absolute beginners.
- Waterproof materials
- Good value for the price
- Adjustable straps
- 4 front pockets for your accessories
- Not sturdily built
- There’s a bit of a plasticy smell when it’s brand new
- No neck straps to protect against shifting in transit
Tiger Music Full Size Electric Guitar Gig Bag:
This padded bag is for electric guitars. It features a strap that secures around the guitar’s neck to prevent movement in transit. It has 18mm padding, more than twice that of the Cahaya bag. Straps enable you to carry your guitar on your back and three pockets enable you to take your accessories with you. It’ll house a guitar in the telecaster, fender and Les Paul styles with no issues. Quirkily it also has three reflective strips, safety first! The main draw back of this gig bag is the size of the pockets, which are smaller than other gig bags. You can still fit one A4 book in the front pocket however and the other pockets will cater for your accessories. This is a good quality bag for a pretty decent price. I’d say it’s not the prettiest, so if aesthetics are important to you then perhaps look at the Fender FET-610 or the MVPOWER gig bag (both below). This is definitely a step up from the Cahaya bag, but it’s by no means top of the range.
- 18mm padding prevents damage
- Neck strap prevents movement in transit
- Comfortable carry straps
- The front pocket isn’t as big as other bags
- Not very pretty!
Fender Electric Guitar Gig Bag – FET-610:
This is a bit of a niche bag as it’ll really only fit Fender Telecasters and Stratocasters. This bag screams style, potentially to the detriment of features. Certainly in comparison to other cases around this price it’s missing some features. For example it only has one pocket, which is at the front. You can fit smaller accessories, but it won’t take an A4 book. The padding is also a little on the lighter side at 10mm, but it should still prevent damage from every day knocks. It does have straps so that you can carry your guitar on your back, and it’s build using great materials. The inner lining is bright red, but the material is quality so you won’t catch strings or switches when slipping your guitar into the bag. It’s not a hugely expensive bag and you do get Fender quality, but for me the lack of storage is a big issue. You may feel differently, but I just like to have plenty of space to carry everything I might need when playing. This is definitely winning in the style stakes however!
- Quality materials and sturdy build
- Looks great!
- Comfortable carry handles and straps
- Good price for Fender quality
- Only has one storage pocket
- No neck strap
- Only 10mm of padding
Armourdillo Deluxe Padded Gig Bag (Electric Guitars):
This bag fits most electric guitars. It features 20mm padding, reinforced stitching and heavy duty handles to make it a robust option. There are two accessory pockets. One will fit books and larger accessories and the second will cater for capos, tuners, plectrums and spare strings. There’s a carry handle on the front making it easier to pick up when it’s standing upright, which is a small but great feature. You also have the option to carry your guitar on your back thanks to the straps. The case might not look pretty but for the price you’re getting a very sturdy bag that’ll protect your guitar when you’re on the move. This probably offers the most protection without buying a hard case.
- 20mm padding keep your guitar safe and sound
- Durable and hard wearing materials
- Fits most style of guitars
- Front carry handle is a nice touch
- Only two accessory pockets
- Not the best looking bag
RockJam Padded Acoustic Guitar Bag:
The best thing about this case is that it’ll cater for dreadnought guitars. I have a semi-dreadnought electro-actoustic and it can be difficult to find a bag to fit it properly. Other than that this is a pretty basic bag. It has shoulder straps and a carry handle on the side. There’s only one pocket, which is at the front. Whilst it’s not expensive, it’s also not massively durable. You’d probably need to replace it after a while. Whilst the bag will fit a dreadnought style body, the height can be a bit of a problem so it might be tight getting the headstock in. This is a pretty good bag for a beginner, but I’d say the lack of features along with the relatively poor quality materials means that you’d probably be better off with an alternative bag.
- Will house a dreadnought body style
- Shock pad on the bottom to prevent damage
- It’s a bit tight getting the headstock in
- Only one pocket for accessories
- Quality could be better
FESS-610 Short Scale Electric Guitar Gig Bag:
This is one for beginners or guitarists who have a short scale guitar. That might be something like a Fender Squier. It won’t fit a full scale guitar. It’s a good bag for the price with quality materials that should last. The 10mm padding is covered on the inside by material that won’t catch or scratch your guitar’s body. There’s one front pocket, which should fit all of your accessories. The back straps have air mesh, which should make carrying the bag on your back that much more comfortable. There’s no neck strap, so your guitar won’t be protected against shifting in transit. Other bags have more padding and more pockets for accessories but this is a nice looking and practical bag. As with most Fender cases there’s a business card window for when you need to slip your contact details to an A&R rep! Remember this will only fit a short scale guitar.
- Great quality materials
- Great design
- Comfortable to carry on your back
- Not many accessory pockets
- Doesn’t have a neck strap
CAHAYA Classical Guitar Case 18MM Padding Guitar Gig Bag:
This is my favorite of the lot. It’s a really good looking and practical case. The 12mm padding offers great protection for your guitar. Although it’s described as a classical guitar case it’ll fit electric guitars too. The materials used are durable and there are 5 pockets to store accessories. The front pocket will house an A4 book and there’s a pocket for a foldable music stand. There’s a neck strap to prevent movement whilst in transit, which also has removable padding to suit according to neck size. A shock pad at the bottom prevents damage when upright. This bag is build to last and whilst slightly more expensive than some of the other bags, it’s definitely outstanding value for money.
- Quality materials
- 12mm padding
- Neck strap with padding
- 5 storage pockets
- Comfortable to carry on your back
- Hmmm – can’t really find much wrong wit this bag!
Protecting your guitar on the move is important. Hard cases are brilliant for long distance travel, like when your instrument is going into the aircraft hold. However when you’re doing short journeys or just driving your guitar to a gig in the back of your car, you need something more suitable. Gig bags offer protection along with portability. Everyone has different needs but for me it’s a balance of protection and practicality. I like a bag with plenty of pockets so that you can convenient store spare strings, batteries and anything else you might need during a gig. For me the CAHAYA Deluxe bag is the best on the market at an affordable price. I hope this has helped in your search for a bag for you pride and joy. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. If you want to get in touch use my contact page. Happy strumming!
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