• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

Anybody else thinking gig bags might be just as good as hard cases?

I'll elaborate: I've had hard cases for my guitars all the way back to the late 1980's. I figured they offered better protection and were an all-around better idea. Now, living in a small house with little storage space for hard cases, I've been using padded gig bags (such as Road Runner, not the cheapo ones such as those Fender things that are 2 notches above a Glad bag) to haul my semi-hollow guitars to and from gigs. They don't look as protective as a hard case, but I think they're probably as tough as the ubiquitous rectangular hard cases, which are apparently a thin wooden board covered in black vinyl. I can sling them over my back, shove them flat under the bed when not in use, etc.

Anyone else moving from hard cases toward padded gig bags?


Depends on what your situation is, but if you’re just throwing a guitar in the trunk with your other gear, and pretty confident something heavy isn’t going to fall on it, etc., gig bags are fine. I’ve been doing gig bags for my guitars for years now with no problem, they’re much easier to carry and, yes, easier to store.

That being said, if the PA and full band are going in a trailer or something… hard case all the way.
Last edited:


I gig regularly and if we are going out of town it all goes in the truck. Never in a million years would I put my guitars in gigbags stacked in there with all the other gear.
However, playing local and in a car gigbags are great. It really depends on what your doing.


I wouldn't recommend them for any solidbody electric guitar with a set neck, angled headstock and angled neck pocket. Fabric soft cases have some nice benefits that I take advantage of when I don't need or necessarily want a hardshell case. But for maximum protection and ease-of-storage, hardshell cases are the way to go.

Though I have had bolt-on, straight-pull headstock daily driver guitars sustain cosmetic damage in a soft case before (crew member setting them down on concrete at little too firmly - whups! Now there a huge chip of finish gone from the body!), I don't mind transporting those instruments in a soft case for relatively short distances. But if I need to haul something I definitely DON'T want damaged, hardshell cases all day.


Silver Supporting Member
I use a Reunion Blues gig bag for my 335 for one off gigs and rehearsals - I think it's as good a protection for the guitar as a hard case for everything except getting crushed if there's a heavy weight on it (I don't know if I'd do a van tour with one) and in particular, if the guitar gets knocked over in its case/bag which is the silent killer of Gibson headstocks I'd rather take my chances in the RB than a hard case. Obviously the RB is a more expensive bag than many hard cases but I have a couple of cheaper bags I don't mind using as well.

I've been using gig bags with Gibsons on a regular basis for 25 years and yet to have an accident that damaged a guitar in one.


Gigs bags are all I use. Hard cases are in the attic. Never had significant damage but the body edges of my tele have gotten a bit chipped from the cheap gig bag fender provides which certain models.


Senior Member
I got this leather Gibson soft case with my 2019 SG Standard but I managed to get a Gator hard case as part of the deal.

The soft case is lovely and I'd be happy to put a bolt on neck in there, but I don't think I'd have the confidence to put my SG in there when it inevitably needs a repair some time down the line.

It's still nice to get the soft case, as you can see it is pretty nice and has pretty good protection with a strap round the neck but I'd still put the SG in a hard case.


If you're the only person handling your guitar, then sure. But don't expect anyone else to be as careful as you would be, so in that regard gig bags are useless or maybe even worse than no case as others may believe they can throw it around because it looks like it's protected.

On a side note, it seems 80% of cases for Les Pauls aren't actually suitable as they dont support the heel. People think Les Paul headstocks are flimsy, but most cases I've seen are resting half of the weight of the guitar on the top of the neck. If the heel is supported and the headstock has sufficient clearance to the shell of the case then your Les Paul will be safe barring violent abuse.

Headstocks don't just fall off, they're either impacted or the nut area is supporting half the weight in the case


Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
I gig regularly and if we are going out of town it all goes in the truck. Never in a million years would I put my guitars in gigbags stacked in there with all the other gear.
However, playing local and in a car gigbags are great. It really depends on what your doing.
I've been using a gig bag for my JT Variax to and from rehearsals, but when it comes to gig, it'll be in a hard case. Even if it's only needed once out of 1,000 times, I'd rather have the protection.


Active Member
I'm a Les Paul player so soft cases do not exist in my world.
Ive always been a nut about having hard cases for my guitars but have recently been using the Mono brand bags

Iirc, the Mono brand m80 series bags were designed with Les Pauls at least partially in mind- it has a nice block for the neck to rest on and a big strap that wraps around the neck and holds the neck to the block to keep it secure.

I’ve got the two-guitar Mono bag and I’ve thrown an LP and a strat in there with absolutely no problem. though I’d probably think long and hard before carrying two Les Pauls in it.

If you can find one of the dual or single electric cases used, I highly recommend those as a suitable gig bag for Les Pauls , but at the brand new price of 330 USD for the dual case, I’d say if your hard shell cases aren’t bothering you, keep using those

Trending Topics

Top Bottom