Best Guitar Gig Bags

It’s in the bag!

We’ve all seen people walking around with their guitars and wondered why they don't just put it in a proper bag. My guess is they’ve never had a guitar damaged on transit, but if you have or want to avoid it happening to you then I suggest using a gig bag when you take your guitar with you to a gig, studio or wherever you might need to take it.

Two Guitar Gig Bag Types

There are essentially two types of gig bag: a standard bag and a soft case. A standard bag is basically just that, a bag. A soft case is also basically what the name implies a soft case. The central difference is padding and levels of protection.

Standard Gig Bags

A standard bag will typically be just a bag that the guitar slips into, it may have a pocket or convenient strap but it is essentially a bag that will provide limited protection from bangs and knocks, temperature or humidity. This is the kind of bag that you will often see included in beginners starter packs or on the much lower end of the gig bag range. They have their place but are essentially to protect your guitar from dust, light scratches and light rain while you transport it from one place to another. If all you need to do is move the guitar from one place to another over a short distance I would say these are fine. All you need to look at with one of these is to ensure the strap is sturdy enough not to break while carrying it, will the zip hold, does it fit your guitar? However if you are carrying your guitar beyond round the corner by hand or have a more expensive guitar you want to protect I would recommend spending the extra and getting a guitar bag that fits into the soft case category.

Soft Case Gig Bags

A soft case gig bag will do everything a standard bag will do but to a much higher level plus provide padding to your bag that will help protect the guitar from knocks and bangs as well as insulate against temperature and humidity. Even if just going around the corner if I'm honest, I use a soft case gig bag. Sat next to you in a car in a bag your guitar can still fall and get knocked. In a car boot or back of a van it can slide into things or have other instruments fall on it. Even walking around a street or inside a building on the way to a gig your guitar can take a knock on a corner, door handle or door frame. Every time it does you will be happy your guitar has some protective padding around it (or wish it did if it doesn’t). Although a soft case bag still won't provide the same protection as a hard case it can still do a good job while on the move and is often noticeably lighter.

So how does this padding work if it's still made of material as a standard bag? Well some come with up to an inch (25mm) of padding, often a combination of soft and thick foam. Some also come with extra cushioning on the bottom and around the neck or headstock, much like a hard case, to provide that extra protection on the areas most commonly damaged on a drop (the bottom and neck). Often manufacturers who make soft case gig bags will pay more attention to the strength of the straps as well as water proofing it and making it overall stronger and so safer for your guitar.

Best Electric Guitar Gig Bags

Gator G-PG-ELECTRIC Pro-Go Series Gig Bag For Electric Guitars

  • Usually around £80 - Free UK Delivery
  • 4.5 Stars from over 330 ratings on Amazon

Gator G-PG-ELECTRIC Pro-Go Electric Guitar Gig BagGator G-PG-ELECTRIC Pro-Go Series Electric Guitar Gig Bag

Gator Electric Guitar Soft Case Gig Bag Review

Gator are a family run business that started 20 years ago, specialising in hard and soft guitar cases and gig bags. Since then they have expanded, absorbing a number of competitors and expanded into straps and some leather work, but their focus on delivering quality cases and bags remains. They have won the Music and Sound Retailer ‘Best Bag/Cases Award’ an impressive 11 times out of the last 13 years.

The Pro-Go Series of gig bags that they have made are no different to Gator’s other work and they are great gig bags and our favorite available on the market today. This is a prime example of how well a soft case gig bag can be made.

The exterior is made of a rip resistant, durable material in sleek black. There are two handles, one the side and one on the front plus there are two back straps as well. The back straps are fully removable and can easily be stored in one of the cases' multiple pockets. The straps are also sturdy and strong enough to feel very secure, particularly at the attachment which can be a weak spot on straps on cheaper bags. The way they are attached also helps reduce them spinning round and so getting twisted, which can be an annoying aspect on other bags too. A nice additional feature is that this gig bag comes with its own rain coat. A full cover that can be easily placed around the bag to protect it from the rain which easily folds away and has its own pocket for easy use and storage.

The Pro-Go also comes with multiple pockets which really seem to be designed with the guitarist in mind. There is a large pocket on the front big enough for storing sheet music which also has a padded section big enough for a small laptop or tablet (19" x 14" x 2"). There are also sections for storing smaller accessories and an additional pocket higher up on the bag big enough for an iPad mini or tuner.

The internal of this gig bag is very similar to a hard case although made of softer materials (thus the name) but the design is very similar which helps make this gig bag so protective for your guitar while also having a luxury feel. The interior is lined with over 20mm (¾ inch) of padding 360 degrees around the guitar that is in turn lined with microfleece for extra softness and protection from scratches and bangs. Your guitar will feel quite safe in this soft case bag. There is also an additional shock absorption system in place in the form of two additional pieces of padding, one a sort of molded cushioning neck support, and additional cushioning for the base of the body with a cut away for the strap pin. Both are removable should you not feel the need to have them or have a slightly larger guitar that needs some extra space. One final feature that also shows how well thought out the design for this gig bag is that there is additional durable material on the inside of the bag above the headstock and bridge to protect the interior from scratches from strings and the guitar's hardware. Gator really have covered all bases.

Aesthetically the design is in sleek black with some red trimming and the Gator logo in white. The simple design should not detract you from seeing the deep thought process that went into the clever design of this quality soft case gig bag. Honestly this is a very good gig bag and probably the best on the market today.

Interior Dimensions: Interior Height3.1 "; Body Length19.5 "; Body Height3.1 "; Lower Bout Width14.4 "; Middle Bout Width13.2 "; Upper Bout Width12.4 "; Overall Length42.9 " - Weight 6.97 lbs (3.16kg)

Fender Gig Bag For Electric Guitar - FE620 - Black

  • Usually around £55 - Prime Eligible
  • 4.5 Stars from over 120 ratings on Amazon

Fender Electric GuitarGig Bag FE620 (Black)Fender Gig Bag Electric Guitar FE620 Black

Fender Electric Guitar Soft Case Gig Bag Review

I would imagine every guitarist on the planet knows the name Fender. An iconic brand that have been around since the 1940s and make two of the most recognisable guitars on the market, the telecaster and the stratocaster. To go with these (and many more guitars they make) Fender have also made a range of gig bags and the FE620 falls into the soft guitar case category of gig bag.

The exterior is made of 600D polyester (the strongest polyester you can get) which is a very durable material with a decent degree of thickness. This covers 20mm padding with soft touch microfiber lining. There is an additional ‘tread’ made of dark plastic on the bottom of the bag giving it extra wear and protection for the base of the guitar and avoiding wear on the part of the bag that will likely have the most contact with the ground. There is also some of the tread on the head of the soft case to protect the head of the guitar if the bag is left leaning in a corner.

The interior has the 20mm of padding in addition to a protective support for the guitar neck. There is also a durable extra layer of protection on the interior that will fit over the bridge of the guitar to protect the case from getting worn by the hardware and strings.

Two well padded and adjustable back straps come securely fastened to the bag. This gives an excellent option for transporting your guitar both in comfort as well as protecting the guitar while leaving your hands free for carrying amps or other bits of equipment. The bag also comes with a secure side handle. The handle is well padded and comfortable and is well fastened to the soft case.

The soft case comes with an external zip up pocket with room for extra strings, plectrums and perhaps a tuner again helping to keep your hands free.

Looks wise this is a slick looking bit of kit. It comes in the industry standard black but has a understated stylish design with a quality feel and of course the fender signature logo in red offsetting the black exterior well.

All round this is a decent soft case style gig bag that is not quite as protective or practical as the Gator Pro-Go but looks maybe a little bit better and is good for the money.

Best Acoustic Guitar Gig Bags

Gator G-PG-ACOUSTIC Pro-Go Series Gig Bag For Acoustic Guitars

  • Usually around £95 - Prime Eligible
  • 4.5 Stars from over 330 ratings on Amazon

Gator G-PG-ACOUSTIC Pro-Go Series Acoustic Gig BagGator G-PG-ACOUSTIC Pro-Go Series Acoustic Gig Bag

Gator Acoustic Guitar Soft Case Gig Bag Review

Gator have over 20 years of experience in the guitar cases and gig bags industry. They are market leaders in this area producing award winning hard cases, soft cases and gig bags. A family business run by a Father-Daughter combo this brand has come to be synonymous with quality and innovation in the market. They have grown over the last two decades acquiring a number of smaller companies along the way to increase Gators skillset and offer but always supplying quality. In the last 13 years Gator have won the prestigious Music and Sound Retailer ‘Best Bag/Cases Award’ an impressive 11 times.

Most guitar bags fall into two categories, a gig bag or a soft case. The Gator Pro-Go series definitely falls into the soft case category.

The external material of the soft case is black and made of durable, rip resistant material. The bag comes with a sturdy carrying handle on the side plus two secure, adjustable and padded back straps that allow the bag to be carried easily on your back, spreading the weight and so making it easier to carry, especially over longer distances. The back straps also keep your hands free for carrying other items you might need to take with you. You may well find that the bag is the only thing you need to carry (unless you also plug into an Amp). There is a storage pocket on the front of the bag big enough to hold a tablet or small laptop, sheet music or tab book. The pocket is padded for extra protection and also has extra compartments for other accessories. The bag also comes with its own raincoat. A waterproof cover that folds away into its own pocket higher up on the neck that can be easily pulled out and placed over the whole bag in the case of rain to protect your precious guitar and accessories.

The internal of the bag is very well padded allowing you to see what makes this the softcase type of gig bag. Opened up you could be forgiven for thinking this was a hard case with the amount of padding it has that is shaped to cradle your guitar in place while in the bag. There is 360 padding with an extra removable cushion at the base of the bag and around the neck so the guitar is well protected.

This bag is built for safety, comfort and practicality but also comes in the stand industry black and comes with the signature white Gator logo and some stylish red frills.

Overall this is the best acoustic gig bag on the market.

CAHAYA 18MM Padding Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Gig Bag

  • Usually around £35 - Prime Eligible
  • 4.5 Stars from over 120 ratings on Amazon

CAHAYA 18MM Deluxe Acoustic Gig BagCAHAYA 18MM Deluxe Acoustic guitar Gig Bag

CAHAYA Acoustic Guitar Gig Bag Review

CAHAYA specialise in making decent but affordable guitar stands and accessories. They target the amatuer market more and make items that any guitarist can use to keep their “gear and dreams” protected.

The exterior is made of blended fabric exterior with multiple pockets. There is a plectrum pocket on the external of the upper neck. Honestly this pocket is a bit tight to be able to fit your hand all the way in so could prove a bit hard to get guitar picks back out but could comfortably fit a string set as well. This plectrum pocket sits on a longer pocket, almost the full length of the neck, which is for your guitar stand and would fit a full length guitar or music stand. There is a large pocket on the front of the bag in front of the body which comes with two compartments and is easily large enough for a laptop or tablet, sheet music or tab book.

The handle is padded so can be comfortably carried, even over longer distances and there are two rubber shock pads on the base of the bag. There two adjustable, padded back straps for easily transporting your guitar and gear on your back from place to place. When not in use the straps can be fastened down with a velcro strap to stop them flapping around and getting caught on things when not on your back. This can be very useful when loading into a tight space like the back of a van or when putting away for storage when not in use. There is also a hanging strap on the back above the back straps so the bag could be easily hung on a hook or hanger out of the way when not being used.

The inside of the bag is fully lined with 18mm of padding with a plush micro-polar fleece lining. This is in addition to a neck support with a velcro strap for holding the guitar neck in place while being carried in the bag.

Aesthetically the bag is sleek in a fashionable grey shade and looks professional. There are some back trimmings around the straps that add to the style and CAHAYA’s recognisable orange tag on the front.

For the money this is a decent gig bag. Not quite the quality of the Gator Pro-go with slightly less padding and protection but for guitarists on a budget that are looking for a gig bag to protect their guitar in transit and that can conveniently also carry their gear all in one bag on their back then you can't go far wrong with this affordable gig bag.

Dimensions: Size: overall length: 108cm; upper bout: 33cm; lower bout: 47cm; neck: 16cm.

Best Bass Guitar Gig Bags

Gator G-PG-BASS Pro-Go Series Gig Bag For Bass Guitars

  • Usually around £110 - Prime Eligible
  • 4.5 Stars from over 330 ratings on Amazon

Gator G-PG-BASS Pro-Go Series Bass Guitar Gig BagFender FB610 Electric Bass Gig Bag

Gator Pro-Go Bass Guitar Soft Case Review

With over 20 years in the industry Gator have become the first name on many people's lips when it comes to quality guitar cases and bags. Winning the coveted Music and Sound Retailer ‘Best Bag/Cases Award’ 11 times in only 13 years this is a company who knows how to make a good soft case. A family run business that has gone from strength to strength during its lifetime absorbing a number of smaller companies along the way to help their knowledge and capabilities grow with the times allowing them to stay top of the industry.

The Gator Pro-Go Bass, like the rest of the series, has a durable sleek black exterior with an ergonomically designed handle making it comfortable to carry in one hand. It also comes with padded back straps that can be adjusted to suit your preference, plus contour back padding for extra comfort while carrying your bass to your gig or studio. There is also a waterproof cover that comes in its own pocket so it won't get the rest of your gear wet when you put it away. Gator cover all bases (pun intended).

This soft case comes with a large pocket on the front, which comes with multiple compartments and is big enough to hold sheet music, a tab book, a tablet or a small laptop. In addition to this there is a smaller pocket on the neck for your other accessories like strings, so you can have all your essentials with you.

The interior is fully lined from all angles with a luxurious soft 20mm padding in addition to a moulded neck support cushion and cushion in the bottom of the case to protect the base of your bass. This padding will also gently hold your bass in place while the soft lining protects the finish from scratches.

The Pro-Go series is sleek black with two red trims on the larger pocket which also sports Gators recognisable logo.

All round the Pro-Go series are the best soft case gig bags on the market and the bass edition of the series is no different. It costs a bit more than some of its rivals but is well worth the extra money to know your bass babies are safe, even on your travels.

Fender FB610 Electric Bass Guitar Gig Bag

  • Usually around £35 - Prime Eligible
  • 4.5 Stars from over 90 ratings on Amazon

Fender FB610 Electric Bass Gig BagFender FB610 Electric Bass Guitar Gig Bag

Fender Bass Guitar Gig Bag Review

Since 1946 Fender have been producing guitars and guitar related products and are today an iconic brand that is easily one of the most recognisable guitar brands on the planet. Producers of two of the most important bases in modern music history, the Precision and the Jazz Bass, used by players from Flea to James Jamerson. Fortunately Fender have also made a great gig bag to protect and transport these iconic instruments in the form of the FB610.

The exterior of the FB610 is made using 600 Denier Polyester (that's a strong material by the way) withs 10mm padding. There is also some rubber padding on the base of the bag to protect from scratches on the ground if stood upright. This isn't as much padding as some soft case gig bags but will still help protect your bass from light knocks and scrapes.

There is a padded handle on the side for carrying by one hand (best for carrying indoors to stop the neck hitting the top of the door when one your back) plus two comfortable, also padded, back straps.

The bag comes with a large pocket at the front. While not quite big enough to fit an A4 tab bag or sheet music (without being folded), it can fit a tablet and many other accessories such as strings and straps. It also has a couple of little compartments inside the pocket, one with a zip, to help you find your stuff in a hurry.

Aesthetically the gig bag comes in all black with the iconic fender logo in red on the front. It's a stylish design and although not as protective as some of the more expensive alternatives on the market this is probably still the best looking of most of the gig bags we have reviewed.

In summary, this is a gig bag not a soft case as it does not have the additional supports for the neck and base of your bass on the inside in the way that a Gator Pro-Go has and at only 10mm of padding this is not as protective as other bags on the market however the materials are very durable and the straps are well made making this easy to carry, which is important when you're lugging a bass around. It's also a very attractive looking bag and made of durable material. Good value for the money.

Dimensions: 124.5 x 40 x 8.9 centimetres

Naming

So in addition to the distinctions I have drawn above, between a standard gig bag and a soft case bag it is probably worth noting there are a number of different names for gig bags in general. The most common being gig bag, soft case and guitar gig bag, but I have also known them to be called guitar bags, guitar soft cases, or case bags. For the purposes of this page we will be calling them gig bags or guitar gig bags with the majority of bags on this page falling into the soft case gig bag category however please be sure to look at the padding levels recommended with each to find the right one for you.

What is a guitar gig bag?

Essentially a guitar gig bag is a bag that you use to carry your guitar, often to a gig or studio, thus the name. Gig bags can range from anything to a standard bag made of thin material with a flimsy material handle (much like you would find in a beginners guitar starter pack) to a fully padded soft case bag made of durable material, with strong back straps and extra pockets for your accessories. The range is big so hopefully the advice and recommendations on this page will help you navigate through getting the right gig bag for you.

Why Should I Buy a Guitar Gig Bag?

Pros:

  • Much safer than carrying by hand
  • Cheaper than repairing or replacing your guitar
  • Generally costs less than case
  • Less heavy than case
  • Can come with back straps, making it easier to carry and leaving hands free to carry amps, equipment, etc….
  • Helps protect against knocks, scratches, rain etc… (hough admittedly not as much as a case)
  • Can come with external pockets for carrying tuners, strings, capos, etc...

Cons:

  • Won't protect as well as hard case
  • Guitar may still get damaged on big falls or in transit if in the boot, hold or back of a van

Things to look for when buying a guitar gig bag

  • A sturdy handle is a must - you don't want it to break while you are carrying your guitar
  • Padding on the bag. This seems obvious but not all bags have it. I would recommend looking for a minimum of 10-15mm of padding.
  • Make sure it fits your guitar. It’s a simple point but you’d be surprised how many people buy a gig bag (or case) to find out that it doesn't fit their guitar. Guitars come in all shapes and sizes and so do bags, I would check if the bag is compatible with your guitars model before buying.
  • Choose material that is both durable and waterproof/resistant