Way Too Many Hardware Bags
Whether you are new drummer or you’ve been playing for eons, the best drum hardware bag can be a little intimidating to find. Professional drummers use them, so why can’t you? Let’s discuss the best drum hardware bags now and what makes the most sense to you!
The Best Drum Hardware Bags Disclosed!
The best choice for gig bags within an affordable price range are the following 10 based off of average ratings and reviews:
- SKB Mid-Sized Drum Hardware Case
- Gator Drumcart Hardware Bag
- SKB SKB-H3611W Trap Case With Wheels
- Humes & Berg Drum Seeker Tilt-N-Pull Companion Bag
- Ahead Armor Cases Ogio Engineered Hardware Sled with Wheels
- Road Runner Rolling Hardware Bag
- Gibraltar GHTB Hardware Bag
- Protection Racket Hardware Bag
- Gator GP – HDWE Padded Drum Hardware Bag
- Protec Hardware Bag with Wheels
The Details Are In The Bags..
All of these soft bags and hard cases provide excellent protection for your drum hardware, but I wanted to give you more details. Just because it’s a top brand doesn’t mean its YOUR best choice.
Top Hardware Bags And Cases Explained!
1. SKB Mid-Sized Drum Hardware Case
Now as the name suggests, this isn’t a large drum hardware case. Its dimensions are 33Lx15Wx14H, but with that being said, I think this plastic case enough to fit all your hardware in.
Made of Low Linier Polyethylene, it features a pull-out handle, ergonomic handles on each side, and built-in rollerblade wheels.
It also has 2 adjustable straps with buckles to secure the top down. Many drummers love that this case is lightweight, but tough and will keep your gear safe.
Some complaints are that it doesn’t have any padding/lining on the inside and that there are no straps to hold the hardware in the case. I have this case and absolutely love it!
I don’t have any issue putting a few cymbal stands, snare stand, hi-hat stand, and other smaller hardware in.
I still have quite a bit of room left and then I just stuff an old pillow on top of the hardware to keep it from moving around. Plastic cases are really a lifesaver! In my opinion, the best drum hardware bag is THIS case!
- Tough hard case
- Great wheels and retractable handle
- No padding or lining
- No internal straps to secure hardware
2. Gator Drumcart Hardware Bag
Ok this one is basically a dolly cart (lol). Featuring 600-denier nylon, this can handle 100 pounds of your hardware, sticks, and accessories.
It’s built on a dolly, using 25mm tubular steel. It has inline wheels, a push handle, and it is also reinforced with heavy plastic on the bottom. The bags dimensions are 18.90″W x 44.7″H x 14.20″D.
I’ve heard drummers like how solid this one is. Being a hardware bag, you wouldn’t be able to fit a complete set in this case, but there are some drummers who have purchased a couple.
They’ll put all there hardware in one and then all their drums minus their kick drum in the other. Apparently the wheels are not very good. They can’t take heavy abuse and have failed on many drummers.
- Essentially built on a dolly
- Solid construction and able to handle a decent amount of weight
- The wheels aren’t that good
- May not be as durable for heavy gigging drummers
3. SKB-H3611W Trap Case With Wheels
SKB makes great ATA road cases, so you can be sure they are reliable. Made from vacuum-formed polyethylene hard-shell construction, this case features molded handles, built-in wheels, and TSA-approved locking latches.
The interior dimensions are 36-1/2″ x 11-7/8″ x 8-1/4″. Drummers love how conveniently easy it is to move their hardware with this case. It also is easy to maneuver in tight spaces.
This does not have a retractable handle, but the handle is extremely durable. You can choose to roll this, or you can carry it with the handle on the side.
Also, there is a lifetime guarantee on these cases, which is awesome and almost always unheard of! I have heard some issues with the locking mechanism on these cases and one drummer mentioned a flimsiness with this case. I will say, hard drum cases are the way to go, despite these annoyances.
- Convenient and easy to maneuver
- Durable with retractable handle
- Lifetime guarantee
- Locking mechanism issues
- Possible flimsiness when tested with a large amount of weight
4. Humes & Berg Drum Seeker Tilt-N-Pull Companion Bag
Humes & Berg makes some of the best drum cases and bags on the market, in my opinion. You have a few different options in sizes with this bag.
Some of its features are foam padding, a thick fleece lining, removable rigid sides, stair glides, and oversized zippers.
It has 3 large pockets on the outside and the bag itself is enforced with steel in many areas. Of course, it also has wheels and you can be sure the bag material is solid because it is double sewn and it is also riveted, so you get double reinforcements there.
There are 2 handles on each end and 2 on the top of the bag. It also features straps you can hold the hardware down on the inside. I’d feel safe putting my single pedals in this bag/case.
I have been using Humes & Berg galaxy bags for several years with much success. Currently, I have one for my bass drum, floor tom, and rack tom.
I used to have one for a snare drum, but I sold it along with that snare drum… Daggum, I really miss that snare. ☹️ I’ve heard drummers are happy with this one and like how solid, yet lightweight it is. Most reviews on this are overall positive. The best drum hardware bag here? I don’t know, but I’d DEFINITELY recommend anything from Humes & Berg!
- Thick foam padding and fleece lining
- Removable rigid sides
- Double sewn and riveted reinforcements
- Soft bag may not require as much protection
5. Ahead Armor Cases Ogio Engineered Hardware Sled with Wheels
This case from Ahead seems like an excellent choice! It combines a high-quality synthetic fabric case with a roller-board system and bada bing, you can a solid hybrid-like case.
This 600-denier, weather resistant case is virtually indestructible and features a reinforced platform, retractable handle, oversized wheels, and adjustable straps (double-locking).
You can get this in various dimensions, with 28″ x 16″ x 14″ being the smallest size. Many drummers report this case being really sturdy and resilient for the most part. Issues with a plastic piece breaking off near the rear wheel and the base giving out are
- Roller-board system and high-quality fiber
- weather resistant
- Possible plastic piece breaking off near rear wheel
6. Road Runner Rolling Hardware Bag
Here is another to add to the list of soft drum bags. Its dimensions are 18″W x 18″H x 50″D, so you get a little more room with this one.
It’d have no problem fitting all your hardware, including kick pedals, if you don’t have a pedal carrier. Both the exterior and interior on this thing are solid and it includes heavy duty wheels, a carry handle on each side, a middle handle, and an adjustable shoulder strap.
It has 3 external pouches, with one of them being intended for your drumsticks. It seems like a solid bag, but based on reviews, the zippers aren’t really the best.
It also is less likely hold up for someone who is going to be gigging a lot. I don’t have any personal experience with Road Runner products, but they’ve been around a while and I’ve heard a lot of good things about them.
- Good size length on this bag
- Includes heavy duty wheels and an adjustable shoulder strap
- Zippers will likely fail on you
- It may not be the best for someone who is constantly gigging
7. Gibraltar GHTB Hardware Bag
I had to include this in talking about soft cases. Gibraltar is always an excellent choice for a lot of drummers. Their stuff is usually a solid build at a more affordable price, so perfect to just get the job done!
It includes built-in wheels for an easy transport, so you can save your back at the next gig. If you want to break your back and flex your guns, feel free to use the straps as a carry handle.
Overall, the bag measures 32″W x 13″D x 13″H, so a good medium size! It can apparently hold a pretty good amount of gear. It’d have no problem fitting a few cymbal stands, a drum throne, and other miscellaneous hardware.
It also has a side compartment, you could put smaller hardware, drum keys or sticks in. It’s definitely better protection than just throwing your hardware in the back/trunk.
I have heard a few complaints on this product though. The wheel casing and wheels can become loose and damaged and the thin plastic support piece within the bag can become pretty weakened over time.
- Solid reputable brand with great, sturdy products
- Built-in wheels
- Wheel casing and wheel can become loose and damaged
- Thin plastic support piece can become weakened within the bag
8. Protection Racket Hardware Bag
Protection Racket have always made some good quality bags. This bag features poly-prop throughout the case for extra rigidity and strength, shock-resistance foam, plastic runners on the base, and 2 rubber end-handles.
This bag comes in two different sizes, 36″ and 28″. The different dimensions would be 28x14x10 and 36x14x10.
I’ve heard drummers love how padded this bag is and also the solidity it gives them in actually holding up to the abuse.
Some issues are a mildew/mold problem within the bag when drummers have received it. Also, it doesn’t have wheels.
Despite having rolling bag on the description, this bag does NOT have wheels, so be careful stacking weight! Protection Racket has another more expensive model that does have wheels though.
I’ve never personally used their stuff, but I’ve always heard great things about them. I’ve also seen their ads a lot in Modern Drummer, in the past.
- Poly-prop through the case adds rigidity
- Shock-resistant foam
- Possible mildew/mold problem upon receiving bag
- No wheels
9. Gator GP-HDWE Padded Drum Hardware Bag
You can almost never go wrong with Gator cases. This soft case features 10mm plush padding, 600-Denier nylon construction, a synthetic fur-lined interior and some more carry handles for you!
Man, I love carry handles. It also features a side compartment for smaller hardware. Anyway, this bag measures 36 x 14 inches (also another option at 13 x 50) and seems alright for the price.
No high impact protection, but it’ll get the job done if you are a light gigging musician. I’d be careful with overloading it though because it’ll put this bag through hell and you really get what you pay for.
If it breaks in random areas I wouldn’t be surprised. I’ve heard that it while it does offer some basic protection, there almost seems to be no actual padding (or very little).
Also, I’ve heard the shoulder strap may give out, especially when stuffed to the brim. I had a gator hardware bag that I used for a long time and it did its job.
I also used to play with a lot of other metal drummers who’d use this case. They shove everything from double pedals to sticks and drum keys in there.
- 600-denier nylon
- Side compartment for smaller hardware
- No actual padding or very little
- Shoulder strap may give out on you
10. Protec Hardware Bag with Wheels
Protec comes in with a more affordable option. This bag features bottom metal tubing support, 3 end handles, a middle strap/handle, wheels, and few exterior pockets.
Its dimensions are 36.5 x 14 x 13 in. It also has a shoulder strap and the lining is also puncture resistant. This bag has a large top opening and looks decent, for the price.
I’ve heard drummers say this is heavy duty and affordable. I have heard some bad things about the wheels and zippers, however. It may not be the best drum hardware bag, but sometimes we have to buy cheap.
I don’t have any personal experience with Protec and am recommending this based on the affordable price tag and some positive reviews.
- Metal tubing support
- Possible wheels failure
- Possible zippers failure
My Final Thoughts:
If you are looking for hard-shell cases for your 5-piece set or really any number piece, I’d recommend SKB over any of the other brands on this page. Overall, the top 3 choices have my seal of approval, so I think anyone of them is a great choice!
I’d then probably recommend Humes & Berg because the set of drum cases I have are fantastic. A lot of these brands will offer a drum case set, but you can buy individual cases.
Many Choices For The Best Drum Hardware Bag
With so many choices out there, the right case can be a little difficult to find. I think the first step before delving into finding the best drum hardware bag is by figuring out how often you’ll be using it.
If you’ll be using it a lot, I’d recommend that you spend more. Its an investment in the protection of your gear and a long-term plan is always better.
What are your thoughts on hardware bags? Do you prefer a certain brand and how do you keep your drums protected? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Let me know in the comments section!
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Until next time!