Which cymbal safe case is best?
Every mobile musician is aware of the knocks and scrapes that affect instruments while practicing and gigging. A safe case protects your prized cymbals from damage during transit and, along with a stick bag and drum cases, is an essential component of a traveling drummer’s accessories. Cymbal safe cases are available in various styles and materials, but if you are looking for a rugged yet portable cymbal safe bag, the Gator GP-CYMBAK-24 is a great all-around solution.
What to know before you buy a cymbal safe case
Cases can either be hard or soft in their construction. Hard-shell cases usually use polyethylene plastic, and soft bags typically have a nylon fabric exterior with a fleece or foam padded lining. Whether you opt for a soft-shell or hard-shell case depends on your budget and requirements, with hard cases being more protective but generally more expensive and soft cases being cheaper, lighter and more portable.
Every drummer has a preference as to the size of their cymbals. The ride cymbal is usually the largest in a set, and it dictates the size of the cymbal safe case, with most ranging between 20 and 24 inches in diameter. Soft cases often have a side pocket for smaller cymbals such as hi-hats and effect cymbals, and this is also worth checking for size if you have any special requirements for your case.
A basic drum kit usually comprises four cymbals, including a ride, crash and a pair of hi-hats. However, most drummers expand upon their setup as they become more musically adept, incorporating extra crash cymbals and effect cymbals into their kit to embellish their music. If you typically use more cymbals in your setup, you may wish to buy a case with a large enough capacity to accommodate them all at once.
What to look for in a quality cymbal safe case
Cymbal safe cases can be heavy, large and unwieldy. Soft-shell cases should have adequate handles that offer some padding and have durable stitching. Hard-shell cases should have molded, ergonomic handles with strong hardware that is unlikely to fail. Some soft bags have straps, and you can wear them like a backpack. Some hard cases come with wheels and an extendable handle to assist with portability.
Many good soft-shell safe cases come with padded dividers to prevent your cymbals from touching when being transported. They may also include a separate zippered compartment on the front to store hi-hats and more delicate, smaller cymbals. Similarly, some hard cases have a center bolt upon which you slide your cymbals and felt dividers to restrict their movement within the case.
Cymbal safe cases should fasten securely to prevent their contents from becoming damaged during transit. With soft cases, any zippers should be durable enough to maintain their integrity under strain. With hard cases, buckle clips must also be sturdy enough to retain a heavy cymbal set and not be prone to snapping or slipping on their straps.
How much you can expect to spend on a cymbal safe case
Soft-shell cymbal safe cases can cost as little as $20, with a midrange option costing around $50. A high-end soft case or an entry-level hard case will cost around the $100 mark, while a top-quality, hard-shell cymbal safe case will cost closer to $150.
Cymbal safe case FAQ
Are cymbal safe cases necessary?
A. Any musician who has ever performed on a stage or traveled to a rehearsal space knows how vulnerable instruments are while maneuvering through doorways. If you travel with your cymbals, it is recommended you use a soft safe case at a minimum or a hard-shell safe case if you tour regularly or cover large distances to play.
Are cymbal safe cases water-resistant?
A. There is always a possibility that you will be caught in a downpour while transporting your cymbals between vehicle and venue, and most cymbal safe cases offer some water resistance. Hard cases are most effective at keeping their contents dry. However, some soft cases use impermeable material, and all safe cases should repel a light shower.
What’s the best cymbal safe case to buy?
Top cymbal safe case
What you need to know: This high-quality soft-shell case from Gator is eminently portable with its two backpack-style straps.
What you’ll love: It has a 24-inch main enclosure with padded dividers, plus a separate front cymbal pocket and three smaller compartments for accessories. Its reinforced bottom helps protect against drops and knocks while in transit.
What you should consider: While this case is high quality, it will not protect against hard impacts.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top cymbal safe case for the money
What you need to know: This is a very rugged safe case, made with high-quality materials, despite its moderate price tag.
What you’ll love: It features tough 600-denier outer fabric with 10-millimeter padding and five padded and non-abrasive separators to ensure your cymbals don’t damage each other. The outer pocket comprises several useful compartments, including an organizer.
What you should consider: This case can be a tight fit if you use a 24-inch ride cymbal, but it keeps the contents well-secured.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Zildjian 24” Rolling Cymbal Vault
What you need to know: The well-reputed cymbal manufacturer doesn’t disappoint with this hard-shell model that is both sturdy and portable.
What you’ll love: It glides on inline skate-style wheels and has an extendable handle to pull it along. There is a large integral molded handle for carrying it up steps, plus a central bolt with felt pads to keep cymbals locked in place.
What you should consider: This case has no separate compartment for accessories, and space is limited to seven cymbals.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Luke Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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