Best Acoustic Guitar Bags

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

20 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
150 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best acoustic guitar bags

Last Updated November 2019

If you’ve reached the point where you’re playing out – either at venues or just with friends – you have also reached the point where you need a bag or case to protect your acoustic guitar from everything the world can throw at it. One option is an acoustic guitar bag, also known as an acoustic gig bag.

Acoustic guitar bags are a viable alternative to much more expensive hardshell cases. Gig bags are a great option for beginners, with the majority offering padding, weatherproofing, and pockets to keep your guitar and accessories, such as tuners and sheet music, safe.

Our buying guide helps you navigate through the various features and other considerations when trying to decide on an acoustic guitar bag. We also take a close look at prices and what you can expect from an acoustic guitar bag based on its price tag. For our favorite acoustic gig bags – both in terms of price and quality – on the market, check out the matrix above.

One plus of an acoustic guitar bag over an acoustic guitar hard case is that gig bags weigh much less than hardshell cases.

Key considerations

Construction

An acoustic guitar bag has one job: to protect your guitar on the go. As such, it needs to be rugged enough to withstand day-to-day use. Usually constructed from nylon or polyester, a gig bag should be durable enough to resist tearing, ripping, and punctures. Some acoustic guitar bags include rubber tread on the bottom to limit damage to the part of the bag that receives the most wear.

Padding is an important element of gig bags, and the amount of padding and its placement largely determines how protected your guitar will be. Padding can run from a thin one millimeter up to 20 millimeters in thickness. Obviously, the more padding, the more cushioned and protected your guitar will be. Padding, which is usually foam, should protect all elements of your guitar, including the body, neck, and headstock. You can adjust the padding in some gig bags to better fit your guitar’s particular shape. The interior lining of an acoustic guitar bag should be soft enough that it won’t scratch or otherwise damage your guitar.

Size

Like acoustic guitars, acoustic guitar bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You’ll want a bag that fits your guitar without being too loose. A bag with too much space will allow your guitar to move around, which could lead to damage. Be sure to measure your guitar before purchasing an acoustic guitar bag.

Weather resistance

As your gig bag will probably be spending some time outdoors, it should be able to hold up to rain, snow, and other weather. Some acoustic guitar bags are water-resistant, which does not mean the bag is 100% waterproof. A water-resistant gig bag is great, but you should still limit its exposure to inclement weather whenever possible.

Features

Pockets

Pockets on a gig bag are handy for holding all the various picks, tuners, cords, strings, capos, and other accessories that you need to bring with you when playing out. One large pocket – big enough to hold loose sheet music or books – is standard on gig bags, but many bags have additional pockets. The more pockets an acoustic guitar bag has, the easier it is to organize your accessories. That said, everything you stuff into the bag will add additional weight. Some acoustic guitar bags also feature long pockets designed to hold a collapsible guitar stand.

Zippers

Zippers aren’t only used on gig bag pockets. The primary zipper on a gig bag – used to seal the guitar within the bag – is a vital part of the bag. As such, it should be durable and sturdy enough to keep the bag closed and your guitar secure. The zipper should also operate smoothly and not be stiff. Some bags feature a two-way zipper system, which is not only easier to use but has the added benefit of an additional zipper in case one breaks.

Handles and straps

There are two ways to carry a gig bag: handles or straps. Handles are the traditional method. Handles should be attached to the bag securely and should be comfortable to grip.

Straps are one of the features that elevates acoustic guitar bags above their hardshell cousins. With straps, you can carry your guitar bag around like a backpack, which frees up your hands. Straps may be permanently affixed to the bag or removable. They should be adjustable and ergonomic in design, so you can comfortably carry your guitar.

EXPERT TIP

If you plan on using your acoustic guitar bag every day, your best bet is to go with a bag that offers more padding, not less.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

A flap on an acoustic guitar bag’s outer pocket offers increased protection from the elements.


Staff  | BestReviews

Acoustic guitar bag prices

Acoustic guitar bags under $20 are little more than a dust cover for your guitar. While a bag in this range will offer some protection, its minimal padding and cheaper design won’t allow for heavy wear.

Mid-range acoustic guitar bags offer more protection via their overall design and added padding. These bags, which cost $20 to $50, are also more durable and able to stand up better to punctures and ripping.

Gig bags over $50 offer the best protection, often rivaling acoustic hardshell cases. They also tend to be much more comfortable to wear or carry around.

Tips

  • One gig bag can look much like another, particularly in a room or van filled with guitars. Decorate your bag with pins, patches, or stickers so that your bag stands out from the pack. This will allow you to keep a better eye on your guitar.

  • A strap on the outside of a gig bag storage pocket is handy for securing the pocket even when it is over full with accessories.

  • If you are worried that a gig bag may not be sturdy enough for how you intend to use it, consider paying up for a hardshell case.

  • Keep your acoustic guitar bag pockets filled with the accessories you need. This lets you more easily pick up and go, and you will have the added advantage of never forgetting anything.

  • While not standard, some acoustic guitar bags do ship with extras, usually in the form of guitar accessories. These can be a welcome addition, particularly if you are just starting out. Some extras include picks, guitar straps, and string winders.

  • If you plan to play the majority of your gigs outdoors, consider adding sunscreen and bug repellent to your gig bag.

  • When carrying an acoustic guitar bag in your car, pack it in the trunk securely so it doesn’t bounce around every time you hit a pothole or take a corner too fast.

An acoustic guitar bag’s outer pocket should be large enough to carry all the accessories – including sheet music – for the gig you’re heading to.

Staff
BestReviews

Other products we considered

There were a few more acoustic guitar bags that caught our eye.

The YMC Acoustic Guitar Bag is water-resistant and includes straps and two handles. It also ships with a variety of extras, including a string winder, pick holder, and several picks.

The bohemian design of the ZHRUNS Acoustic Guitar Bag may not be for everyone, but it does catch your attention. In addition to its appearance, this bag stands out for its neck belt, which you can use to better secure your guitar.

For an inexpensive option, we recommend the Wayfinder Supply Co. Lightweight Acoustic Guitar Bag, which fits the majority of standard dreadnought acoustic guitars.

Less obvious items to keep in your acoustic guitar bag include 9V batteries, aspirin, gloves for moving gear around, and a mini flashlight for setting up on dimly lit stages.

FAQ

Q. Can I fly with an acoustic guitar bag? Are they TSA-approved?

A. While some manufacturers claim their gig bags are TSA-approved, you’ll largely find that flying with a soft acoustic guitar bag is a poor idea. These bags tend to be too large to carry onto a plane, and you don’t want to trust your guitar to baggage handlers and the belly of a plane. If you need to fly with your acoustic guitar, we recommend a hardshell case.

Q. How do I know if my guitar will fit in a particular gig bag?

A. The manufacturer should list the dimensions of the bag. Measure your guitar to verify that it fits those dimensions. First, measure the body length. This is the length from the bottom of the guitar to where the neck meets the body. Also, measure the neck, and then take an overall measurement of the length of the complete guitar.

The width is a bit trickier, and consists of three unique measurements: the lower bout (typically the widest part of the guitar, near the bottom of the instrument), the middle bout (the width across the guitar where the sound hole is located), and the upper bout (the width just before where the neck meets the body).

Q. Can I use an acoustic gig bag for an electric guitar?

A. Acoustic gig bags are designed for acoustic guitars. Acoustic guitars have much larger bodies than electric guitars, so an electric guitar will not fit snugly in an acoustic gig bag, which can lead to damage. Electric guitars should be carried in electric guitar cases.

The team that worked on this review
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Rich
    Rich
    Writer

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