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Best Cymbal Bags to Keep Your Cymbals Scratch-Free

  1. Sabian Quick 22 Black Out Cymbal Bag
  2. Gator Roto Elite Series Cymbal Bag
  3. SKB vaults w/ wheels Cymbal Bag
  4. Zildjian Cymbal Bag
  5. Zildjian 24" Rolling Cymbal Bag
  6. Buyer's Guide

The cymbal bag is perhaps the most important case a drummer can own as protecting one’s cymbals is usually the highest priority. It doesn’t take a lot to scratch a cymbal, so it is important to protect then during travel. Since most drummers spend a lot of money and time to find cymbals, protecting them adequately is of the utmost importance. Fortunately, there are many different cymbals bags to choose from on the market.

The two main options of cymbal bags are soft and hard shell. The hard shell is usually referred to as a “case.” Hard shell cases are made of a hard plastic material and offer more protection. Soft cymbal bags are usually made out of leather or a synthetic material that is lighter and generally easier to carry. I own both hard cases, and soft bags. Soft cymbal bags are usually fine if you will be the only one handling your cymbals. Soft bags are usually easier to open, often only having a zipper. Hard cases usually require a strap or screw being undone, and the case being separated into two separate parts. This can be a hassle and can lead to a lot of time spent fussing with your cymbals. I find hard cases are better for touring and airline travel.

Most cymbal bags/cases can accommodate cymbals as large as 22 inches, and that’s the size bag that I recommend. If you are one of the few people that have a 24 inch cymbal, then obviously you should purchase a bag that specifies it can hold a cymbal that large since some bags can only accommodate cymbals as large as 18 or 20 inches, which in my opinion are too small for normal use. If you don’t have a 24 inch cymbal, you shouldn’t buy a matching 24 inch soft cymbal bag. The extra room in a soft bag allows the cymbals to move around, and that leaves the door open for a lot of scratches and dings.

A cymbal bag should also be as light as possible since they usually become extremely heavy when they’re loaded down with cymbals, so the bag itself should be as light as possible. When I first started playing gigs, I would always bring a cymbal bag with a shoulder strap which led to a lot of unnecessary pain in my shoulder when I’d be playing a gig. This is the reason that most of my picks have wheels. While some bags also have backpack style straps, I find these usually break from the continual heavy weight of the cymbals. Another helpful convenience is a front pouch for high-hats or sticks.

These best cymbal bags in 2022 were chosen for their durable construction which provides a superior level of protection for your cymbals, generously sized interiors sizes to accommodate most cymbals, and they’ve all been designed with features which makes them convenient to transport from one gig to another.

Compare The Best Cymbal Bag Of 2022

Sabian Quick 22 Black Out Cymbal Bag - Best Cymbal Bag Overall

Sabian’s Pro 22 cymbal bag is one of the most innovative cymbal bags available. Although it’s a soft bag, the overall construction is still very solid along with wheels and a pull handle for rolling convenience. My favorite feature is the bags exclusive “fast hat pocket” which allows the hi-hats to be stored securely without removing the clutch. This saves a lot of time when setting up or tearing down and also prevents you from misplacing your clutch in a rushed teardown situation. The bag is also designed to protect the edges of cymbals from denting with Sabian’s “Edge protect” design.

The case can fit up to 22 inch cymbals in its larger pouch and has a separate pouch for hi-hats with the built in clutch support. I really like the accessibility of this case because with one pull of a zipper, I can access my ride and crash cymbals. With another zipper pull, I can access my hi-hat complete with clutch! This quick access certainly makes for easy setups. While this bag is similarly priced to its competitors, the “Fast hat pocket” clearly makes it the better value.

Gator Roto Elite Series Cymbal Bag - Runner Up

Gator is a company that specializes in making cases for all musical equipment and their “Protechtor" cases are manufactured to be especially sturdy and durable. The GP-PE302 is Gator’s rolling hard shell cymbal case and it’s the best hard shell case available.

This case offers the highest amount of protection for your cymbals and will last a very long time. I have had my GP-PE302 for many years now and it has kept my cymbals safe through countless gigs. This is a quality, heavy duty hard shell case with molded handles, wheels, and a fold-out extended handle. The design of the case is actually quite simple but very effective. It has a metal center screw with internal and external wing nuts. The internal wing nut holds the cymbals in place, while the external one keeps the case closed.

The cases outer shell is thicker and more durable than other cases and comes covered by a lifetime warranty against cracking, but honestly I can’t imagine that ever happening. The wheels are recessed into the case which keeps them protected and working properly. The interior is large enough to fit up to 22 inch cymbals and even has enough spare room in the case to store a hi-hat clutch or drumsticks. To be on the safe side, I recommend wrapping any extra equipment in a towel so it doesn’t move around and scratch your precious cymbals.

Available in a variety of custom colors to distinguish it from other cases on the tour bus, this case is less expensive than its competitors while offering the same amount of protection. One final note, Gator offers this exact same case without wheels in a different model number. However, I prefer the one with wheels because it’s obviously easier to move around.

best wheels cymbal bag

SKB vaults w/ wheels Cymbal Bag - Honorable Mention

The SKB Rolling Cymbal Vault is the best case choice for the touring drummer. It’s a hard shell case that is constructed to be very durable while at the same time remaining a little lighter than competing cases. The cases cymbal vault can hold up to 24 inch cymbals and features a center bolt and padded dividers to keep the cymbals in place. It also has wheels for easy transportation and a durable case handle which is seamlessly integrated into the design of the case. While the price tag is a little more than other hard cases because of its high level of quality, it’s well worth the cost of admission to keep your cymbals safe!

Zildjian Cymbal Bag - Consider

Zildjian’s 22 inch Session cymbal bag is perfect for situations that require only a few cymbals. Sometimes you’ll have gigs that don’t require you bring your full cymbal setup and in these situations, it’s often easier to bring this lightweight bag than say, a heavy wheeled case. The bag is large enough to accommodate a full cymbal setup. Thanks to a bottom which has been reinforced for added durability, it can more than handle the weight of many cymbals at once.

The bag has a shoulder strap, carrying handle and most importantly a large main pocket that will fit up to 22 inch cymbals and a separate pocket for up to 15 inch Hi-hats. The bag is designed to be very appealing to the eye with gold “Zildjian” logos embroidered on the sides giving it a professional look. This bag is competitively priced in comparison with other soft bags.

Zildjian 24" Rolling Cymbal Bag - Best Cymbal Bag

Safe Case flight case offers the most amount of protection for cymbals. It’s a rock solid ATA flight case with a lifetime warranty making it a must for any touring musician. The case is as heavyweight as the the road cases used for amps and other sound equipment; as with most flight cases, the heavy duty construction requires a high price tag but offers unparalleled protection.

The case also features a heavy duty handle with twist clamps to keep the lid secure while a center screw keeps the enclosed cymbals secure, preventing them from moving around. These cases are custom made to fit any cymbal setup but what really sets apart the Safe Case brand flight case is the retractable handle and wheels. Flight cases are extremely heavy so having the ability to wheel it around is crucial. The case also has rubber feet on the bottom to prevent it from sliding when stacked on other cases.

Like most drummers, I have several irreplaceable cymbals so it would be a disaster if anything happened to them, so I don't mind spending a little extra to make sure they are protected. Bar none, the Safe Case flight case is one of the best ways to keep my cymbals absolutely safe from harm.

Buyer's Guide

Besides owning a piece of musical gear, protecting it from the environment and the elements is of utmost importance. As a result, investing in the best cymbal bag available is key to a perfect maintenance strategy for your instrument. This buying guide will walk you through all you need to know concerning procuring the best cymbal case for yourself.

What is a Cymbal Bag?

A cymbal bag is a protective package (bag or case) for storing cymbals. It provides protection, easy mobility for its users and is one of the most important possessions for drummers and instrument enthusiasts.

Types of cymbal bags

Even though there are many products and brands for cymbal bags, they are fundamentally classified based on their structural material. As a result, there are two major types: cymbal bags (soft bags) and cymbal cases (hard bags). Usually, drummers choose their cymbal bags based on their activity and intention.

· Soft Cymbal Bags

These cymbal bags are composed of soft structural materials such as leather or other synthetic materials. Most soft cymbal bags come in various styles and designs, like backpacks, while others may have straps. As a result, they are usually portable and perfect for privately used cymbals (when you do not share your cymbals with others).

Recently, there have been other hybrid designs of soft cymbal bags with wheels and handles so that users can roll them along to their destinations. This product is perfect for air travel and mobile drummers who still want bags with soft materials. However, when using soft cymbal bags, you should be careful with selecting the size to prevent the cymbals from scratching across themselves due to the extra space within the bag.

· Hard cymbal bags (cases)

These cymbal bags are also called cases and are made of harder structural material than soft bags. They offer more protection to your cymbals, especially if you share them with other people, including putting them up for rent. They are usually equipped with wheels and a rolled handle for easy mobility. They are also perfect for on-the-go engagements and gigs. One of the fantastic perks of using cymbal cases is that they provide a well-structured enclosure for the cymbals that fit so perfectly that the tendency to scratch is greatly minimized.

Factors you should consider when buying a Cymbal bag

Before rushing off to buy a bag or case for your cymbals, you might want to consider a few things. That way, you get maximum utility for your money and a perfect fit for your instruments.

Your intention for buying the cymbal bag

While some drummers exercise personal ownership over their cymbals, others don’t mind sharing, and some even go as far as hiring. In any case, considering the intended usage of your cymbals can help you choose what type of cymbal to buy, whether soft or hard.

Cymbal bag capacity

In general, most cymbal bags are well suited for cymbals between 20 to 22 inches. However, if you own cymbals of smaller or larger sizes, you might want to specify the required size with the seller. If you opt for a soft bag, you should not buy the exact size bag since the extra space due to the softness will cause the cymbals to move within the bag, leading to a few scratches.

The initial weight of the cymbal bag

The right cymbal bag should not have its original weight added to the weight of the cymbals. Essentially, cymbal bags should be as light as possible, especially if they are soft. If you choose a hard case, they should have wheels to enable easy mobility and keep the weight off your shoulders.

Benefits of using a cymbal bag

Cymbal bags are very beneficial to drummers for the protection and maintenance of their percussion instruments. The package keeps dust and other particles away from the cymbals and prevents them from getting scratched, thus damaging them. If you happen to always be on the go, either for live shows or gigs, then a cymbal bag is necessary to keep your things from being stolen.

How to care for and maintain your cymbal bags

For every drummer, owning the best cymbal bag possible is a worthwhile investment, considering how much it costs to procure a set of cymbals. Although cymbals come in various sizes, they scratch easily, making them prone to early damage and compromising sound effects and quality. Therefore one of the best ways to care for and maintain your equipment is by getting a nice cymbal case and occasionally cleaning it using a soft, damp rag. The rag you use should be a light, non-fluffy and absorbent material. Alternatively, you can also use Windex as a surface cleaner for your cymbals. However, good-quality cymbal bags should easily stand the test of time.

FAQS

Q. What are cymbals?

Cymbals are percussion musical instruments made of thin, rounded plates from various metallic blends- alloys. They are usually arranged in pairs to produce a unique sound when played, and traditionally, most cymbals are a part of a typical drum set.

Q. Why do I need a Cymbal Bag?

A. Beyond protecting your musical gear, a cymbal bag is essential to add a professional feel to your ensemble when you show up for gigs and shows. You do not want to show up with your instruments all over the place and look disorganized, which is why you need to have all your things put together, including your cymbals.

Q. What is the difference between a cymbal bag and a cymbal case?

A. Generally, people get confused about the difference between a cymbal bag and a cymbal case. While they are both used for the same purpose and could mean the same thing, they are slightly different. A cymbal bag is made of soft structural material like leather, while a cymbal case is made of a harder material and functions as a travel box because of the added wheels and roller handle.

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