While hard-sided cases are guaranteed to offer your cymbals a lot of protection, they can also be heavy and inconvenient to lug around with you every time you go to a gig. A high-quality cymbal bag can be a great alternative, protecting your cymbals from scratches or damage from impacts without adding a lot of bulk to your load.
While there are a lot of excellent options on the market, the right bag for you will depend on the number and sizes of cymbals in your rack. The protection offered to your equipment is obviously the most important consideration, but added features like backpack straps can be a nice bonus, making the bag even more convenient to transport. If you’re looking for a new cymbal bag, the four options below are all excellent options. They are, in our humble opinion, the best cymbal bags on the market.
Protection Racket Deluxe Cymbal Case
If you use a large variety of symbols in your kit, getting a case that can carry all of them securely can make transporting your kit a whole lot easier. This bag from protection racket uses dividers made out of a fleece-like material called propad that cushions and protects each symbol, preventing any dings or scratches.
The main compartment (see full specs) is 22” deep to fit your largest crashes and ride cymbals, with a 15” outer pocket perfect for hi-hat cymbals. The entire structure is fully padded and reinforced—even the shoulder strap, which can make this bag a lot more comfortable to carry than other similar models. The quality of the build and versatility afforded by the removable dividers makes this cymbal bag well worth the money.
Zildjian 22” Gig Cymbal Bag
The Zildjian company is a leading name across the board when it comes to drum equipment, and they design their drum accessories with the same attention to detail. This bag is designed with the gigging drummer in mind.
The backpack-style straps free your hands to carry the rest of your gear, while the durable construction features a reinforced bottom and plenty of padding, with two pockets to keep your cymbals separated and protected. The roomy interior gives you plenty of space for a standard array of cymbals, and extra features like the third pocket and clip on the front let you keep your sticks, hardware, and other accessories all together. Considering the price tag, this Zildjian bag is arguably the best cymbal bag for the money.
Paiste Cymbal Accessories Bag, 22”
Like other cymbal bags on this list, the Paiste gives you a variety of carrying options. You can wear it like a backpack or carry it just as comfortably with the single shoulder strap, depending on what’s more convenient for you. This bag (see full specs) large enough to accommodate a 22” ride cymbal, with vinyl dividers in the main compartment to keep your cymbals from hitting against each other.
The front compartment is the main thing that sets this bag apart from others. It’s roomier than most, accommodating cymbals up to 16” in diameter, with a squared-off Velcro closure that also makes it suitable for carrying other accessories, like stands and sticks.
Humes & Berg Galaxy GL526CP (50.99)
The minimalist design of this cymbal bag gives you a durable way to keep your brass safe without paying for extra features you don’t need. It fits 22” cymbals in the main compartment with a separate front pocket for hi-hats and other cymbals up to 14” in diameter, with a secure zip closure on both.
Interior dividers in the main compartment and reinforced padding around the outside protect your cymbals from jolts or impacts without taking up a lot of space. The nylon exterior is designed to stand up to standard wear and tear without rips or damage, giving you a gig bag that will keep serving you well for years to come. This should be on anyone’s list of the best cymbal bags, particularly if you’re on a serious budget.
Choosing the Right Bag
There are some obvious factors that you want to consider whenever you’re shopping for any kind of new drum accessory—namely the quality of the material used, the quality level of the construction, and whether or not the item will give you a good value. When you’re deciding between items that fit all of those requirements, like the four cymbal bags mentioned in this article, the question often becomes not which bag is the best but which one is the best option for you.
The first thing to consider is the size of the cymbals on your rack. All four of these bags will fit a ride up to 22” in diameter in the main compartment—large enough for all but the most specialty custom cymbals. The front compartment that’s often used for hi-hats and smaller splash cymbals is where the size difference will come into play.
All of them will fit a pair of standard-sized 12” hi-hats, but if you use 14” hi-hat or splash cymbals, make sure to pick a bag with a slightly roomier front pocket. While you could simply put these cymbals into the main pocket, the extra space will allow them to move around while you’re transporting them, which could ultimately lead to damage to your cymbals.
How many cymbals you have will also be an important factor in which bag is right for you. Unless you have as many cymbals on your rack as Neil Peart, one bag should be enough to hold all of your cymbals at once—just make sure it comes with enough interior dividers to keep your cymbals from rubbing and hitting against each other when they move. Bags that have removable dividers can be especially convenient, letting you adjust the bag to your exact needs as you add or remove equipment from your kit.
Every piece of your kit is an important part of your overall sound. Once you’ve found the right equipment, it’s equally important to protect it from damage. Buying the best cymbal bag you could afford will allow you to store and transport your equipment safely. They’re easy and relatively inexpensive ways to make sure they stay playable for as long as you want to use them. Good luck!