There are many different types of clarinets and many varieties. Whether you have invested in a wooden clarinet, ebonite, resonite, metal, or plastic, you need to keep your instruments safe. This guide will explain the best clarinet case options to protect your investment.
Of the best clarinet case options today, your choice should be based on the construction durability of the case, the price, and whether it fits your instrument and accessories.
Bottom Line Up Front: I recommend the Protec Bb Clarinet Slimline PRO PAC Case for your average clarinet case needs.
Even though there are cases from the same manufacturer that come more highly rated for durability, the Protec Bb Clarinet Slimline PRO PAC Case offers exceptional durability for transit with the added benefit of sufficient storage space.
I have evaluated the best clarinet case options based on their customer reviews, the material from which they were made, and whether they fit different budgets/levels of skill.
Having multiple musical skills in my household, I know how important it is to find the best clarinet case for beginners versus professionals.
As I reviewed the best clarinet case options, I broke down my recommendations based on the material, what customer reviews had to say about the durability of that material and how long-lasting the case was. I also examined different budgets and recommendations for various skill levels.
Picking the Best Case: What I Recommend Most
When choosing the clarinet case, I recommend considering the type of travel or transit you do most and your musical skill.
For example: What someone needs to bring their clarinet on the subway to and from performances will differ from what someone needs if they live in the suburbs and drive to and from performances only.
The Best Clarinet Case Options for Musical Skill
When it comes to choosing based on your musical skill, remember that beginners usually don’t have to take their clarinet very far. At the same time, professionals might need something to protect their clarinet when they travel overseas.
Beginners may only go to and from music classes. Even adults might only take their clarinet to and from lessons or practice exclusively at home. This is why beginners can make do with a softshell case in which the clarinet and accessories can be stored.
Realistically, a beginner only needs something to protect their instrument from dust and exposure.
I define intermediates as people with a few years of practice under their belts, usually, teenagers who play an instrument in school or an adult who has played for many years.
You don’t necessarily need something heavy-duty or durable as a professional at this stage. Still, you might consider something with suspension padding on the inside so your clarinet doesn’t just roll around at the bottom of a soft bag.
Professionals should absolutely stick with a hardshell design that has heavy-duty hardware on the outside and internal padding that fits the instrument on the inside.
You probably travel a lot at this level, and your instrument case might be handled by people other than yourself, so you want to make sure that no matter how they handle it, your instrument is safe inside.
The Best Clarinet Case Options for Travel
When picking your clarinet case, the type of material you choose should be heavily weighed against what you were trying to protect your instrument from during transit.
This video explains how to put your clarinet in and out of your case:
When I was in high school, I didn’t need a lot of protection because I drove everywhere. So, the only hazards my instruments paste included my dropping it or someone trotting on it in music class.
I advise that if you have a small child or regularly keep your instrument either in your house or in your car, you don’t need to invest in a hard case made from the most durable of materials. Chances are you will keep your instrument relatively safe on the floor of your vehicle, in the trunk, or resting against the padded seats.
Train & Subway Travel
When I moved away to college, I attended a conservatory where most of my travel was using public transit. No matter how safe or cognizant I was of my surroundings, I found that someone was always in a bigger hurry and knocked into my bags or myself.
At this point, I decided to upgrade to a hardshell case because it meant that any jostling of my instrument didn’t cause unwanted harm.
I advise it if you live in a big city and you regularly take the train, bus, or subway system, invest in a hardshell case. If you’re taking a train, you might store your clarinet case on the seat next to you, overhead in the luggage rack, or underneath your seat.
In any of these situations, a hardshell case will be much easier to clean after unwanted dust and dirt from the train floor find their way to a new home.
What’s more, it doesn’t matter if somebody trips or has a piece of rolling luggage that they accidentally knocked into your clarinet; your instrument will be safe inside the sturdier material.
Air & Sea Travel
In my later years, I performed professionally, and that meant traveling on airplanes once per year. Major airlines, I found, wouldn’t let me bring my instrument unless it had a hard case.
My clarinet was small enough that it didn’t have to go under the plane, but if I packed enough extra luggage, I still had situations where it didn’t fit in the overhead compartment, or there wasn’t room, so the staff put it under the plane.
I watched people on the ground handle the luggage they threw haphazardly under the plane. I feared for the life of my instrument. Thankfully the hardshell case did its job, and my clarinet was fine.
For these reasons, I highly recommend you invest in professional-grade, durable materials for a hardshell case if you are a professional and regularly fly or use cruise ships.
Best Clarinet Case Options
With the best clarinet case options, it’s up to you to pick something that works well. A few companies like Gator and Protech produce high-quality options suitable for a range of needs.
Gator Clarinet Case
The Gator Cases lightweight polyfoam clarinet case is an excellent option for beginners or intermediate students. It is technically a soft case, but it is made with a rigid nylon exterior, so it’s much more firm than most soft cases for instruments. It won’t crumble or bend as easily.
It has spacious accessory pockets on the outside with a foam interior that holds your instrument securely in place. However, it is designed for a student instrument, so it might not be the right size or style for professional musicians.
It has a zipper that goes around the exterior, which will eventually be a point of failure. Heavy-duty designs for professionals should come with metal hardware on the outside, not a zipper.
Again, there is nothing wrong with this design for students, beginners, or intermediates. It is just not heavy-duty enough for professionals.
- It has a removable strap
- Made with polyfoam interior
- Rigid exterior
- Extra pockets
- Made only for student instruments
- Zipper tends to bind around the corners
Gator Cases Lightweight Molded Clarinet Case
Gator also makes the Gator Cases Lightweight Molded Clarinet Case. This is a heavy-duty case, but it’s not actually heavy. It weighs only a few pounds. The exterior is a lightweight ABS plastic with an aluminum seal along the perimeter. It has chrome-plated latches, so they securely latch in the closed or open position.
There is no risk of a properly locked case like this accidentally coming loose. It is designed to fit student models, perfect for beginners and intermediates. The interior has suspension foam which means each part of your clarinet has a snug fit, protected from bangs or impacts.
It looks very similar to a briefcase, so you don’t have a lot of different ways to carry it. It technically has D rings on either end if you want to add your shoulder strap, but it doesn’t come with one.
- Aluminum seal and ABS plastic exterior
- Chrome-plated latches
- Rings for additional shoulder straps
- Fitted interior lining
- Fits student models
Protec Bb Clarinet Slimline PRO PAC Case
Be advised that your clarinet will fit snugly inside, and you won’t find a lot of extra room for accessories. The Protec Bb Clarinet Slimline PRO PAC Case is an excellent option for intermediate players, especially those who transport their instruments regularly.
The inside has an impact-resistant liner protected with velvet, giving a nice cushion to your clarinet. However, the outside has a separate pocket.
This particular design is large enough that the extra pocket can fit all of your sheet music and accessories. When you transport your instrument, you have luggage tags you can use, backpack straps, a single shoulder strap, and a regular hand grip so you can choose whichever way it feels best.
It comes in three different colors, so if you want to be able to identify your clarinet case from a distance, something like hot pink or teal blue will be perfect. I love that it is weather resistant and, despite having zippers, has very durable metal hardware for everything else, so it’s long-lasting.
- Has many colors
- Velvet lining and impact-resistant mold
- Extra pockets
- Metal hardware
- Luggage ID tags
- There is no extra storage inside, only outside
Protec Micro-Sized ABS Protection Silver
The Protec Micro-Sized ABS Protection Silver is ideal for pros. It’s suitable for anyone if you can spring for the investment. Even though it seems large, it fits in a backpack, so if you have a student performer in your family, they might be able to fit it in their backpack and not have to carry something separate.
This is truly one of the best clarinet case options because of its durability. The interior has a soft foam injection lined with velvet, so your instruments sit snugly inside and don’t shift around. It will fit almost all clarinets. It weighs just over 1.5 lb, so you never have to worry about it adding unnecessary weight to your transportation.
The exterior is a hard plastic shell that is scratch-proof and durable. There is robust metal hardware all over the outside, so you know it will last a long time. It has multiple feet on both the side and the bottom, so no matter how you set your case down, you don’t have to worry about it coming into direct contact with the ground.
There is an adjustable shoulder strap that’s made with a sick, padded neoprene and a grip made from slick plastic that’s easy to hold.
- Retractable handle
- Extra accessories for storage inside
- Scratch-resistant ABS shell
- Foam injection suspension lining
- The interior storage space is quite limited and will only fit extra reeds and a cleaning cloth
Answer: When you set about choosing the best clarinet case options, consider your skill level. If you have a beginner clarinet and only transport it in your car to and from lessons or school, a soft or beginner hard case is best.
Suppose you play more often and need something you can take on public transportation, which has pockets and spaces to hold all of your accessories.
In that case, you might invest in an intermediate level or more professional level clarinet case. Consider your budget as well. You can make good use of a beginner or intermediate level hardshell case if you exercise a bit of caution without breaking the bank.
Answer: A clarinet case ranges between $50 and $250. The higher-end, more expensive designs are intended for professional clarinetists and have additional hard case features like exterior waterproofing. What works best for you is contingent upon your level of musical skill and your personal needs.
Answer: Whether you buy a brand new clarinet or invest in one that is second-hand, you need different accessories, including a clarinet stand, neck strap, and a case. The best clarinet case options will help you quickly transport your instruments and all other accessories inside them.
Answer: The best clarinet case options are made from many materials but most commonly a durable nylon material for soft bags and a polymer material for hard shells. Materials like polymers or carbon fiber are more expensive, but they weigh the least.
I recommend the Protec Bb Clarinet Slimline PRO PAC Case. It is affordable, durable, and suitable for all musical skills. It is a hardshell case with interior suspension lining and has multiple ways to carry your case, with durable metal hardware. Most importantly, it has much better storage for your accessories than similar models.
No matter which of the best clarinet case options you choose, make sure that it fits your instrument well and will last a long time.
All of the options listed in this article are good for different types of skills, beginners versus intermediates versus professionals, and different budgets. So, find the one that fits your situation most appropriately.
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