When you are choosing an acoustic guitar case there are a few important things to consider.
The main purpose of a case is to protect your instrument from damage – caused either by impact or by the elements.
Cases are usually used mostly in transit but are also a great place to keep your guitar safe at home – especially if you experience particularly humid conditions or dry conditions in your home.
The question is – which case is right for you and your guitar?
Gig bag, hard case or flight case?
First you’ll want to decide what your needs are in terms of protection.
If you only ever travel with your guitar in hand (and never have it in the trunk of a car or in a van with lots of heavy equipment), then a gig bag might be enough. It will protect your guitar from the elements (i.e. the run from your vehicle when it’s raining) and from any minor dings and scratches.
Personally, for any instrument that’s worth protecting I would go with at least a hard case. But for a cheaper instrument a gig bag might do.
If you your guitar is going to be competing with other gear – or if you know that others are going to be transporting it and you won’t know how it will be treated, then a hard case is a must.
Also, if you are wanting to protect your guitar from high or low humidity then a good sealed hard case, with something like Humidipaks inside, can keep your guitar at the right humidity.
For any guitar that I am really concerned about protecting I would go with at least a hard case. If you travel via air at all then a flight case is recommended. If you won’t be flying with your guitar then a hard case is a better option because it will be lighter and easier to transport.
If you are going to be flying with your guitar then the best option is a flight case. These are typically heavier and more expensive than hard cases but also offer more protection.
In most cases a flight case is overkill but if you do fly with your instrument or if you want to make sure that it is really protected then it could be an option for you.
I had a flight case with one of my old guitars and was glad I did. My guitar was being moved in in an old style lift. The case was slightly sticking over the edge and got caught as the lift went up! I wasn’t there at the time but when I was told about this I feared the worst.
Thought the case was a bit mangled in places – the guitar inside was perfectly fine! And the case still did up, just, so I kept using it. So I was thankful for the flight case in that situation! I had bought the flight case originally because I was flying with it and it survived the flights too.
How to Pick the Right Hard Case or Flight Case
If you’ve decided you need a hard case or flight case there are some important things to consider.
The most important thing to make sure of with a hard case or flight case is that your guitar fits in it properly.
It should not be able to move around, at all, inside the case. If the guitar can move around it may be damaged if the case gets bumped, falls off something, gets stood on etc.
You also want to make sure that your guitar is sitting flat and not in a position that will be putting pressure on any area of the guitar – particularly the neck.
If there is a specific case that is made for your guitar then I would definitely recommend getting that – particularly if you have a unique shaped guitar.
Otherwise make sure to get a case that is designed to fit your shape/size of guitar. For example, if you have a dreadnought guitar then get a dreadnought case. If you have a jumbo guitar, then get a jumbo guitar case, etc.
Don’t skimp on the quality of your case.
There’s no point in getting a hard case or a flight case if your guitar isn’t going to be protected.
Hard cases and flight cases should be solid. If you push on a case just with your hands and there is give, then the case isn’t strong enough.
As above, get cases that are solid and don’t give under pressure.
Though not necessary, you might want to get a case that is also light (if it doesn’t compromise on strength) – certain materials will be lighter than others – but probably likely more expensive too.
Cases are usually made from either wood, plastic or fibreglass and often have a leather or tweed outer.
The hardware (clips for holding the case closed) is usually metal.
The inside of a guitar case is usually soft and plush.
Most cases have storage space in the space under the neck of the guitar. Here you can store extra strings, your strap, picks, capos, slides etc.
Over to You
Thanks for reading and I hope this post has helped you to choose the best case for your guitar.
If there’s anything else that you consider when choosing a guitar case or if you have any other comments or questions feel free to leave them in the comments section below.