Musicians should always be protective of their equipment, it can take years to get your drum set exactly how you want it. The best cymbal bags offer protection for your beloved cymbals whether they’re a brand new set of Zildjian, Sabian or another drum brand, 18″, 20″, 22″ or 24″ cymbals.
It is easy to assume that cymbal bags are all much the same, and do the same job, but there are actually a lot of different varieties of bags. Leather cymbal bags, cymbal bags with wheels, cymbal flight cases, we’ve got them reviewed and tested here.
Cymbals aren’t cheap, and if you’ve invested in a good set the last thing you want is for them to be damaged in transit to a gig or rehearsal. Investing in a cymbal bag or case can change all of this and make sure that you don’t throw your money away by getting a crack in your cymbal that makes it unusable.
The two main types of cymbal bag and case are a hard shell and soft shell. These two come with their pros and cons of course. A hard-shell cymbal bag will offer the most protection as you can probably guess, but they sometimes have screws and are a little more tricky to get cymbals in and out of. A soft shell case is usually just controlled with a zipper and you can simply remove it before playing. There is a trade-off here, you need to think about whether time is an issue, and if you are storing your drums somewhere like a van or a tour bus or are taking it abroad, think about getting a hard-shelled cymbal bag to ensure that even if it happens to get bashed into it should stay safe.
Price of Cymbal Bags. What Should I Spend?
Anywhere musicians can save money I understand them doing it, being a drummer is an expensive hobby or career, but ultimately cymbal bags are an investment. There’s no point in just buying the cheapest cymbal bag, especially if it is flimsy and poor quality, and ending up with a damaged cymbal which you have to replace. It is hard to give a rough guideline for a price, but most cymbal cases are under $100, with some budget models available between the $20 and $50 mark. You may pay a little more than a hundred if you want a hard case or a cymbal bag with wheels. A good bag should last the life of your cymbal and beyond.
Of course one of the main considerations when buying a cymbal bag is size. You need to ensure that the bag is suitable for your size of cymbal. Most are built with 20, 22 and 24-inch cymbals in mind, with plenty accommodating for 18 inches too, but if you have a 26-inch cymbal you may need to buy something specialist to make up for your extra size.
Cymbal Bag Reviews
On with the reviews. We’ve collected some of the best cymbal bags and reviewed them thoroughly below for anyone looking to decide which to buy. There are a few different variants in price, so if you’re on a budget there are some cheaper options, if you are just looking for quality we’ve also reviewed the very best.
SKB 1SKB-CV8 Roto X 22 Inch Cymbal Vault
Durability, flexibility and quality, let’s start with the very best. This stores all of your cymbals up to the size of 22 inches, you can store your hi-hats and multiple cymbals in there and rest assured that the ‘vault’ has you covered.
This can hold up to eight cymbals and hats and has dividers to protect them all individually. The padding and durability of the SKB Cymbal Vault is truly impressive and that means peace of mind for drummers when transporting gear. The welded center post keeps things very secure and the rigid structure is impressive.
A look at some consumer reviews of the SKB 1SKB-CV8 Cymbal Vault should tell you what you need to know. It isn’t cheap, but many drummers are using this to protect hundreds, even thousands of dollars worth of equipment, and that isn’t something to take a risk with. If you rely on your drums for a living or just want to safeguard them against any sort of tragedy striking, the cymbal vault will keep you secure.
Sabian Cymbal Bag Basic
Sabian are a brand name known to drummers everywhere. Our list isn’t just expensive, top-of-the-line products and we’ve included some cheaper bags for those not wanting to break the bank, this being an example of that. The Sabian Cymbal bag is a little on the ‘no-frills’ side, but that’s okay for a lot of us, especially if your cymbals are just taken to and from rehearsals for instance, and don’t endure a lot of transportation.
This can carry multiple cymbals with ease and has padding to offer protection as well as a shoulder strap for easy carrying. In terms of ease, this is super simple to get your drums in and out of.
One con with the Sabian cymbal basic bag is the fact that there aren’t any dividers built in, if you want to carry more than one cymbal in it you need some form of divider so it may be a case of making these yourself (some people use automobile carpet) or buying some separately. For the price though, it is hard to argue, and though it is never going to have the rigid capacity of the hard-shelled case, it is not a bad choice for beginners or those who don’t have a drum kit worth a fortune to transport around!
Zildjian 22″ Deluxe Cymbal Rollerbag
We couldn’t make this list without including a bag on wheels. Rollerbags work in the same way your luggage might work when going abroad with a pop-up handle that allows you to easily roll it around. If you take your cymbals long distances or have to take them on public transport then this is the easiest way to do it. If you’re taking your cymbal on trains, subways or buses then the Rollerbag will make your life 10 times easier.
On top of the brilliant portable nature of the Zildjian Rollerbag, it has more going for it too. It has a rigid shell which protects the cymbals pretty well. It’s somewhere between a soft and a hard shell. Some of the reviews on Amazon and other retailers are talking about this lasting for years, even decades without needing to be replaced and withstanding the wear and tear of regular gigging. You can transport multiple cymbals within the bag and all in all it is very good quality, easy to use and comes with our recommendation.
Tosnail 22″ Gig Cymbal Bag
The term “cheap and cheerful” springs to mind, but maybe that doesn’t do the Tosnail Cymbal bag justice. It is one of the more affordable products on the market but it doesn’t do a bad job. It can hold up to three cymbals and hi-hats. Made from sturdy fabric with 10mm of padding on the inside to keep your cymbals safe.
Does this offer the protection some of the others do? No, but it doesn’t do a bad job. If you’re on a budget and/or have a kit to transport that doesn’t have huge value, then this could be an option for you. It is available with or without a shoulder strap which is down to personal preference.
Buying a cymbal bag isn’t the most straightforward thing in the world and you really do need to consider what you need and what you are protecting. If you have a drum kit you treasure, it really isn’t worth taking any risks, and a case or bag offering high protection is nothing short of essential. You also need to think about how much you transport your equipment. If you tour and gig regularly or have to take your drum set components with you to practices then you may prioritize a strong, sturdy case more than if you only occasionally take them out and about.
With a huge variety of prices and features, this is very much an individual choice, but the options described above are good options depending on your budget. If you have any opinions, further suggestions or have experience using any of the drum cases we’ve reviewed then feel free to leave a comment below.