Original photograph above by Francesco Cantone / Shutterstock.
While good guitar cases are not cheap, investing in them will save you more in the long run, especially when considering the cost of repair or replacement. More importantly, you can't put a price on peace of mind, so please heed our advice - do not skimp on your acoustic guitar's protection and storage.
Getting a good acoustic guitar case may not be as easy as it is important, with so many options in the market. So here we present you with the best of them, divided into two categories - acoustic guitar cases and gig bags.
- How To Measure Your Acoustic Guitar To Get A Case That Fits
- The Best Acoustic Guitar Cases & Gig Bags
How To Measure Your Acoustic Guitar To Get A Case That Fits
With so many different acoustic guitar shapes and sizes, there really is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all case. This means that you need to match the dimensions of your guitar with the internal dimensions of the case. Thankfully many manufacturers provide this information, but in case there is none, you can follow the steps that we provide below.
First to measure is the body length, and you do this by by running a tape measure starting from where the body meets the neck, down to the opposite end. The body's shape is determined by three measurements, the upper, middle and lower bout. To get the upper bout width, just measure the guitar top along the curve in the area between the neck and the sound hole. The lower bout is similar, only this one is usually wider, and is located at the other side of the soundhole. The middle bout is the narrowest width of the guitar in between the upper and lower bouts.
You should also measure the overall length of your guitar, which is the distance from the edge of the headstock to the lower bout. But it is not as important because most cases have extra length space to accommodate the many different lengths.
The diagram below shows the key parts of your guitar to measure:
- Lower Bout
- Middle Bout
- Upper Bout
- Body Length
- Overall Length
- Neck Length
The Best Acoustic Guitar Cases & Gig Bags
The Best Acoustic Guitar Gig Bags
What they lack in protection, they make up with convenience and portability. Here we feature the best padded gig bags, along with market favorite lightweight hybrid cases.
Gator Transit Series Acoustic Guitar Gig Bag
The Gator Transit Series is a gig bag that offers some of the benefits of hard cases, without being too heavy or bulky. This in particular is a model designed to carry regular sized acoustic guitars. Although light and soft, the exterior is tough and weather resistant, while the interior protects your instrument with 20mm pads. It also features an adjustable and removable 3-point interior padding system that helps keep your acoustic guitar in place, this includes top, neck and bottom paddings. In addition, it comes with multiple pockets for ample storage space, and along with metal rings that let you attach other small bags on to the case, for even more storage space. Wrapping up its features is a sturdy rubber thread on its bottom, which protects your guitar and the gig bag when in standing position.
- Type: Padded Gig Bag
- Lower Bout: 16.50"
- Upper Bout: 13.0"
- Neck Length: 23"
- Overall Length: 44.0"
- Body Depth: 6.0"
Many are impressed with its balance of comfort and protection, from owners of Martin and Ovation, to those with more affordable instruments. There are many who are thankful for its adjustable padding, which allows it to house acoustic guitars of different shapes and sizes. Overall aesthetics also gets a lot of thumbs up, while others commend the case for its nicely implemented storage space.
There are some who complained about the adjustable pads moving around, and there are a few users are not too happy with how the shoulder straps feel.
If you're looking for a comfortable gig bag with good protection and utility, then check out the Gator Transit Series for Acoustic Guitar.
Fender FA620 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Gig Bag
Being a long time manufacturer of guitars, it only follows that Fender knows how to keep the guitars they build safe for travel and storage. And that is precisely what the FA620 does, a gig bag designed for dreadnought shape acoustic guitars with Fender's distinct styling. The shape of the case itself is a strong hint hat this is not your average gig bag, with its angled head portion. Standout features of this case include thick 25mm padding and internal and external Pin Protector strap button protection system, which prevents the strap pin from digging into soft padding. It also comes with well positioned exterior rubber "bumpers", padded handles and straps, and an accessory slot with multiple pockets.
- Type: Padded Gig Bag
- Lower Bout: 16.54"
- Upper Bout: 14.17"
- Body Depth: 4.72"
Awesome and great are just two of the many positive adjectives that owners use to describe the Fender FA620. Many are impressed with the overall quality of the unit, with some describing it as heavy duty, ultimately giving them worry free travels with their precious instrument.
Not many complaints, other than a few who feel that this gig bag is more like a case in terms of size.
It's hard to go wrong when you go for more protection for your acoustic guitar.
Godin TRIC Deluxe Multifit Acoustic Guitar Case
The Godin TRIC Deluxe Multifit guitar case gives you some of the convenience and portability of gig bags, while offering as much protection as traditional hardwood cases. It is a hybrid guitar case that features lightweight yet high impact resistant extended polypropylene, the same material used in protective headgear. This way it offers good protection while keeping weight reasonable at 3.65 lbs. This case is also designed to protect guitars from extreme temperatures, tested to work well from -31°F (-35°C) to +149°F (+65°C), hence its name TRIC, which stands for Thermally Regulated Instrument Case. Other features include shoulder straps, and multiple compartments (both exterior and interior).
- Type: Hybrid
- Lower Bout: 16.25"
- Middle Bout: 11"
- Upper Bout: 12"
- Neck Length: 21.5"
- Overall Length: 42.5"
- Body Depth: 5" (Lid Included)
While most of the reviewers are also Godin/Seagull guitar owners, there are also plenty of satisfied users who put dreadnought guitars from other brands into this case, including 12-string ones. One user nicely puts it when he says that this case "does the trick", compelling some users to make a second purchase for their other acoustics. It is commended mostly for its solid protection, while others give their thumbs up because they get more than their moneys worth.
There are some who feel that this case is too bulky, but this is a small price to pay for the protection it provides.
With its reliable impact and thermal protection, the Godin Tric Deluxe Multifit might just be the right fit for you.
Mono Vertigo Acoustic Guitar Gig Bag
The Mono Vertigo literally stands out from the crowd with its top loaded design, where it lets you open and close the case while standing vertically. This is made possible via a hidden hinge on the front panel of the case, which allows it to naturally open to the front for easy top access to your guitar. Also cool is its headlock mechanism, which ensures that your guitar does not move around when in vertical position. While it does look like a gig bag, the Mono Vertigo is a hybrid case with lightweight ABS impact panels and rubber bottom boot for impact protection.
- Type: Hybrid
- Lower Bout: 16"
- Upper Bout: 13.5"
- Neck Length: 20"
- Overall Length: 42"
- Body Depth: 5"
Having played small bars and cafes where there is no table to lay your case on, I appreciate how convenient its top loaded feature is. And I'm not alone, because many also find this feature to be practical and useful. Overall quality and reliability also get a lot of positive comments, often paired with good opinions on its lightweight design.
There are some complaints about the main pocket being too small.
With its convenient top loaded design, the Mono Vertigo is the ideal companion for local intimate venue gigs.
The Best Acoustic Guitar Cases
Traditional hardwood cases provide the most protection, at the cost of extra weight and bulk. Check out the best rated acoustic guitar cases below:
Gator Economy Acoustic Guitar Case - Auditorium
The Gator Economy Wood Case is a budget friendly case that's doing well in the market, thanks to its good balance of quality and cost. It is a straightforward wood case, crafted from plywood, with black tolex covering. As expected, the interior comes with plush padding, to prevent damage on your guitar, and it houses a compact accessory compartment around the neck area. Finally, it comes with locking latches with keys, to keep unwanted people from opening the case. Note that this particular model is meant for "Auditorium" or concert profile guitars, these are smaller than the typical dreadnought.
- Type: Hard Case
- Lower Bout: 15"
- Middle Bout: 9.5"
- Upper Bout: 11.5"
- Neck Length: 22.5"
- Overall Length: 42.5"
- Body Depth: 4"
Market response to the Gator Economy case is overwhelmingly positive, with many reports of it matching well with Martin 000 series guitars, Breedlove Concert guitars, Ibanez AC240 and many more. It gets consistently praised for its value for money, impressing many users for how solid it feels, given its price. The plush lining on the inside also gets a lot of commendation.
There are no complaints pertaining to the case itself, but there are some who returned the case because of fitting issues - mostly because they own a bigger guitar and thought that it would fit. As long as you check the specifications and match it with your guitar, you need not worry about this.
If you're looking for an affordable yet market proven hard case, then check this one out.
Gator Deluxe ABS Molded Acoustic Guitar Case Dreadnought
Instead of using wood, the outer shell of this case is crafted from molded ABS, a plastic material known for its durability. This gives the Gator Deluxe ABS Molded case improved strength against impact and the elements. While the outside is rough, the inside houses EPS foam with plush lining. Other features include an accessory compartment, and chrome plated lockable latches.
- Type: Hard Case (ABS)
- Lower Bout: 13"
- Middle Bout: 12.5"
- Upper Bout: 16""
- Neck Length: 18.75
- Overall Length: 41.75"
- Body Depth: 5.5"
- Weight: 11 lbs.
Great is the most common adjective that owners use to describe the Gator Deluxe ABS Molded case. It is mostly used to describe its seemingly indestructible outer shell. Many also commend its lightweight design, while others are happy with how snug their guitars fit into the case. I for one own this case, and have nothing but good things to say about it.
There are a few who feel that the padding is not enough, specifically on the bottom side. But this is probably due to their guitar having a thinner body depth, thankfully there is an easy workaround, by simply stuffing the space with micro fiber cloth.
The Gator Deluxe ABS Molded acoustic guitar case is sure to impress with its durability and protection.
Epiphone EDREAD Acoustic Guitar Case
With their long list of dreadnought acoustics, it's only natural for Epiphone to mass produce compatible cases. But what's really surprising is how the Epiphone EDREAD continues to win the hearts of guitarists, even in the face of cheaper alternatives. While there's nothing out of the ordinary in terms of functionality, the EDREAD's ace is its compatibility with Epiphone dreadnought acoustics, which is a long list that includes guitars from these series: Hummingbird, Dove, AJ, PR, DR and more. It doesn't stray too far from familiar wooden guitar case design, the main difference being the extra details that add to its overall visual appeal.
- Type: Hard Case
- Lower Bout: 16"
- Upper Bout: 12.25"
- Neck Length:
- Overall Length: 45.5"
- Body Depth:5"
- Weight:13 lbs,
Market response is generally positive, with many positive reviews centering on its good compatibility with dreadnoughts. Build quality gets a lot of praise, along with its subtle yet distinct styling.
There are some who report minor blemishes on the tolex skin, while others find the case to be too bulky for their taste.
This is the obvious choice to if you have an Epiphone dreadnought, but it will also work well with other dreadnought shape guitars in case its aesthetics have caught your attention.
Taylor Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Case - Grand Auditorium
Taylor guitars continue to build their reputation on the quality of their acoustic guitars, and this same brand of quality is applied to their Deluxe case series. Functionality wise, it is just as much a wooden guitar case as any other, but it stands out with its attention to detail and build quality. This particular model is meant to house Taylor's Grand Auditorium shape, which is essentially a modified version of the dreadnought, with a tighter middle bout. This case features a red velvet interior and gold hardware that adds to its premium appeal. Note that exact specifications of the upper and middle bout are not readily available, but many users are kind enough to provide the measurements that they did on their Taylor GA guitar and case.
- Type: Hard Case
- Lower Bout: 16"
- Middle Bout: 9.5"
- Upper Bout: 11.625"
- Body Length: 20"
- Body Depth: 4.625
- Weight: 10 lbs.
As expected most of the positive comments are from Taylor guitar owners who are impressed with its overall visual appeal and build quality. Many are happy with how it fits like a glove with their guitar, including those who own Washburn, Ibanez and even Martin branded guitars.
The case's tight fit caused some concerns, specifically with older Taylor models with bigger knobs that pushes the pads a bit more than what it is designed for. The price range may be a bit of a stretch for some, but those who invested in this case have mostly good things to say.
This case is a no brainer for Taylor GA owners, but if you're guitar fits the dimensions - this case will not disappoint.
Best Acoustic Guitar Case Selection Methodology
First we looked at popular and highly rated acoustic guitar cases and gig bags, and formed a short list of 25 cases that represent the best of what's readily available from major music gear retailers in the USA. We then analyzed over 4,400 related review sources which include user and expert reviews, ratings, forum discussions, videos and more. All of these data are fed into the Gearank algorithm, which then gave us a numerical representation of actual market sentiment. We used these scores to pick the best of them, divided into two categories - gig bags and guitar case. If your guitar's particular shape is not included in this list, note that many of the cases featured here are available in different shapes - so you'll have to do some more digging yourself. For more information about this process please read How Gearank Works.