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It’s always scary when you see a guitarist carrying around a beautiful $1,000 guitar in a case that offers virtually no protection. It happens a frightening amount, too.
Finding the best waterproof guitar case is a way to ensure that you don’t damage your prized instrument.
Water can be incredibly damaging to any type of guitar, as it can warp wood, cause rust, and even damage the electronics. Water could even make your guitar a hazard. If you’re one of those guitarists who has never really thought about maintaining your instrument or protecting your music gear when on-the-road, don’t worry.
Our guide will help you to find the right case and keep your beloved guitar away from any adverse conditions.
1. CAHAYA 41 Inch Acoustic Guitar Bag – Best Waterproof Guitar Bag
You might think that a bag made of cloth is not the right solution for someone who is looking to stay waterproof. Actually, many of the cloth options are among the best on the market. Like this, the Cahaya 41 inch acoustic guitar bag.
The acoustic guitar bag has an oxford cloth exterior. This type of cloth is waterproof, so you don’t need to worry too much about a bit of rain. It’s worth noting that if you submerged the bag in water then some would inevitably seep through, but for light rain and spillages, this acoustic guitar case has got you covered.
On top of that, you experience all of the benefits of a gig bag. It’s got thick padding to keep your guitar free of dents, and shoulder straps to allow you to carry your bag with ease. There are also three handles and a back hanger so you can hang this on your wall.
There are also pouches for accessories and sheet music. The fact that this model is waterproof means you don’t need to worry about your music books or scribbled notes getting wet and ruined, either. Plus, you can store electronic accessories like tuners.
|Image credit: Cahaya Check Price on Amazon
2. Gator Cases Lightweight Polyfoam Guitar Case – Best Waterproof Gator Electric Guitar Case
This is technically a “water-resistant” case. It’s a fantastic option for those who want to carry their guitars from place-to-place and not have to worry about light rain. Plus, it has all the benefits that come with being made by one of the top guitar case brands, Gator Cases.
Electric guitars come in a number of different shapes and sizes, but this mammoth brand in the world of guitar cases has got your back. The standard model is suitable for most Fender guitars, such as Strats and Telecasters, but there are also models including a long case for bass guitar, and SG-style, as well as Les Paul guitars.
This is described as a “hybrid” guitar case. It has benefits of both gig bags and hardshell cases.
The nylon exterior has an EPS foam core with a thick and plush lining, protecting your guitar. This combines with the water-resistant and tear-resistant outer to give a rugged design.
There are some great pocket spaces inside and outside the main compartment, so you can store all of the accessories you need. It’s also up to you whether you carry via a shoulder strap or a carry handle. Both are included.
|Image credit: Gator Check Price on Amazon
3. Gator Cases Deluxe ABS Molded Case for Dreadnought Style Acoustic Guitars – Best Hardshell Case for Acoustic Guitar
If you want the ultimate in protection for your instrument then a hardshell case is usually a good idea. It costs a little more, but the strength it provides can be well worth it. Many touring musicians wish they’d made this investment earlier after being stuck with a damaged guitar.
Gator Cases is the brand to rely on once more. This product features an ABS exterior which provides from the elements, and the aluminum valance and through-bolted handle provide even more strength to the design. They also have the benefit of adding waterproof functionality.
EPS foam inside the guitar case provides plenty of lining to keep your guitar safe from scrapes and scratches.
Though this instrument case is great for dreadnought style acoustic guitars, the Gator range is large, and they have waterproof case options for most styles of acoustic guitars. There’s even a 12-string acoustic guitar case that provides extra room for the headstock and larger guitar.
For those who are keen to keep a close eye on the humidity of their guitar case (unstable humidity can warp guitar tonewood) then a hard case like this is a good idea, it creates a more stable environment for your instrument.
|Image credit: Gator Check Price on Amazon
4. Donner 36 Inch/41 Inch Acoustic Guitar Bag – Affordable Option
The Donner brand may not have the same huge reputation that some of the others on this list have, but this acoustic guitar gig bag is a great option if you just need a simple and affordable case. We wouldn’t recommend it for storing equipment on a plane or a truck if you are a touring musician, but if you just need to go to local gigs and practice sessions, it will do a good job.
It’s available in a 36-inch model, good for smaller acoustic and classical guitars, or a 41-inch version for larger acoustic guitars. This is not a flimsy guitar case. It has a double-stitched design and dense yet soft lining, perfect for protecting your gear from scratches. There are also quality zippers, which don’t get stuck like a lot of annoying cheaper bags!
In terms of the waterproof capabilities, these are provided by “600D wearable oxford material and waterproof nonwoven interior fabric”. This basically means that tightly woven oxford fabric stops water from penetrating the gig bag and getting to your instrument. You can even store electronics inside with no fear of damage.
Donner’s one-year manufacturer warranty also provides a little peace of mind if you opt for this guitar bag.
|Image credit: Donner Check Price on Amazon
5. Fender FB405 Multi-Fit Electric Bass Guitar Gig Bag – Best Water-Resistant Bass Guitar Gig Bag
The Fender range of water-resistant cases provide a great solution for the majority of guitars. Just because they are made by the world-renowned Fender brand, it doesn’t mean you have to use these to store Fender guitars. Numerous brands fit inside these bags, especially those that have a “multi-fit” design; such as this!
The FB405 is specifically made as a long case for use with bass guitars. It’s water-resistant rather than totally waterproof. This is the case with a lot of top guitar cases. You can use it to carry your instrument in the rain, but don’t expect it to survive if you throw it in a swimming pool during one of your wilder gigs.
There is a 5mm padded section that protects your instruments from small bumps and scrapes. The lining is made of velour for a soft touch. As well as the outside of this case being great for keeping the instrument dry, the zipper itself is water-resistant. This reduces one of the ways water might seep in.
This comes with a slip pocket to store sheet music, capos and other accessories you might need on your travels. It’s also got ergonomic straps which make it easy to adjust them to suit your height and carry the instrument on your back.
For a Fender product, these cases are pretty cheap. If you need an electric guitar case rather than a bass guitar case, the FE405 is a smaller alternative available at a similar, reasonable price.
|Image credit: Fender Check Price on Amazon
5. Amazon Basics Guitar Bag for 41-42 Inch Acoustic Guitar – Best for Extra Storage
If you’re the sort of guitarist who is constantly carrying loads of accessories with you then just having a guitar bag with no extra space for accessories isn’t ideal. You might have to carry an extra bag for your capo, tuner, sheet music, and anything else you want to take with you to practice.
The Amazon Basics guitar bag is not only waterproof, but it also has a great range of extra storage compartments. The fact that you don’t have to worry about water getting in also means you can take electronics with you, such as guitar cables or even effects pedals.
There’s a front pocket for sheet music or for other accessories. There are also 4 external pockets, so you can take picks, strings, and anything else you might need. This is the musical equivalent of cargo pants.
The Amazon Basics brand is pretty reliable, and there are handles as well as shoulder straps for this durable product. Like a lot of the other waterproof guitar cases, this model is made out of a 600D material. You can even demonstrate the water-resistance by sprinkling some water on the outside, you’ll see that it sits on the surface.
|Image credit: Amazon Check Price on Amazon
It’s worth taking some time to explore what makes a suitable guitar case, and what is best for you. If you are taking your guitar all over the country in a truck then you’ll probably want something slightly different in comparison to someone who just needs a case to walk to practice in the rain sometimes. Our buying guide explains more about the options on the market.
Why Do I Need a Waterproof Guitar Case?
Water getting into the electronics of an electric guitar, or even getting on the body of an acoustic guitar, can have grave impacts. It can cause the guitar to totally stop working and require repairs. If the tonewood gets significantly damaged, there might be no going back from that. Some guitars have satin finishes or other protective layers, but they’re not really designed to cope with significant amounts of water.
It might be obvious that you need a waterproof case. For example, if you are the sort of person who goes busking, or takes your guitar with you for practice sessions on the other side of town. However, some people don’t take their guitars out that much. It’s a good idea to store your guitar safely in a case even at home. You never know when there is going to be a spillage or moisture might get into the case. It’s not worth taking a risk.
Hardshell vs Soft Case
There are two main types of guitar cases you need to consider. Hardshell models are usually made out of materials like ABS plastic. These are a good option for stopping the rain from getting into your guitar case. A hardshell case is obviously heavier. On top of that, they might not be as convenient…
Soft cases and gig bags give an extra level of convenience. They’re lighter, and often have more storage space in the form of outer pockets. They also tend to have shoulder straps so you can carry your guitar on your back, freeing up your hands. These can still be waterproof.
There are also “hybrid” styles of case. These are harder than a soft gig bag, but they also usually come with shoulder straps to carry the instrument.
Plastic’s waterproof capabilities are clear, but when it comes to fabric, you might be wondering if there is really such a thing as a waterproof guitar case. The truth is that many of the fabric options are very good at blocking out water.
600D (denier) oxford polyester fabric is almost always used on these. This is a canvas-style material which is tightly wound and rejects water. 600D means that a single strand of fabric weighs 600 grams. It’s commonly used in camping equipment (https://campsandtrails.com/600d-polyester/) and has other utilizations. It’s great for anything that needs to be both strong and waterproof.
The zips may also prove a point of weakness. This is how water may get into the case, even if it has a strong fabric design. The Fender FB405 Multi-Fit Electric Bass Guitar Gig Bag is an example of a product that has a specific water-resistant zip.
Waterproof vs Water-Resistant – How Reliable Are They?
Waterproof models of guitar cases are very reliable in the majority of situations. As we’ve mentioned in the product reviews section, most are capable of handling rain or spillages of water or other liquids.
Water-resistant models offer slightly less protection. These may be made out of fabric with a lower denier, for instance. They’re still fine for most rainy days and give you a good level of security against water.
It is important to consider the whole design of a guitar case, and especially a softer gigbag as opposed to a utility case with a hard shell. If you were to throw it into a pool of water, it’s possible that some is going to get in. There is stitching, a zip, and other compartments that may have some slightly weaker areas to allow water in. Luckily, we don’t see many underwater gigs. As long as you are sensible with your guitar case then you shouldn’t experience any problems.
Getting the Right Size and Shape
Our list of the best waterproof guitar cases includes a number of different shapes and sizes, to ensure that you can choose one that matches up with your guitar. Acoustic guitars vary in length and scale, from around 36” to 41” in a “full-sized” design. The cases on our list cover pretty much any shape and size, even longer bass guitars.
You need to also think about the design of the guitar. Many of these cases have thick sponge padding on the inside, which may fit a certain style of guitar. Look at the difference between a Gibson SG and a Fender Telecaster and you’ll see why each will need its own specific case.
Fortunately, manufacturers like Gator Cases offer models that can cater to virtually any shape and size of guitar. The Gator Cases Lightweight Polyfoam Guitar Case is an example that has numerous options in the range, which suit different styles of instrument.
Protecting Your Guitar (and Accessories)
You can’t just think about the waterproof nature of the case. It needs to be water-resistant, but also offer other protective features. The following factors should be considered when you are buying a guitar case:
- Does it fit your guitar snugly? Too much open space without padding and your guitar will rattle around and potentially get scratched or damaged.
- How much padding is inside? Thick padding absorbs the shock if your guitar gets knocked.
- How hard is the outside of the case. Whether a gig bag or hardshell case, do you think the outer shell is going to prevent damage if something comes into contact with it?
- Is there a safe space for accessories? You might need to carry electrical items like tuners or effects pedals with you, or even want space for your phone so you don’t have to take another bag. Think about whether these will be protected within the case, too.
It’s important to give your guitar the protection it deserves. Even if you have to invest in a top-quality waterproof guitar case, it’s better than spending money on repairs or a replacement guitar.
There are a number of waterproof options, from hard cases like the Gator Cases Deluxe ABS Molded Case, to soft and portable gig bags.
The CAHAYA 41 Inch Acoustic Guitar Bag is one of these portable gig bags. It’s great value-for-money, and protects both your acoustic guitar and some accessories. The waterproof oxford cloth is durable and reliable for repelling water.
For electric guitar, the Gator Cases Lightweight Polyfoam Guitar Case is a great solution. It’s a hybrid model which means that it has the durable protection of a hard case, but the portability and shoulder carrying capabilities of a gig bag.
Whatever guitar model you play, and wherever you wish to take it, you should be able to keep it safe from the environment with one of these waterproof guitar cases.