Best Bagpipe Cases In 2020: Buyer’s Guide

best bagpipe cases

Pipers often invest a lot of money in purchasing their pipes along with the necessary accessories.

So, it just makes good sense for players to want to store their bagpipes in the best case their money can buy, no?

What exactly do I mean when I say the ‘best bagpipe case’?

Forget the retrofit homemade bulky box that was traditionally used by most pipers. Or the cheap pulled-off-the-shelf travel case from a department store.

The best case is one that’s portable, well crafted, has plenty of room for accessories, and offers unmatched protection for your pipes.

Hey, it doesn’t hurt if the case is stylish as well!

Certainly, your bagpipes deserve better than to be stuffed inside a gym bag, a large toolbox, a suitcase, or even a guitar gig bag, don’t they?

Best Bagpipe Cases in 2020 Reviewed

1. HARDCASE Bagpipe Case, (HNBP)

We don’t often expect to put our instruments in harm’s way.

If anything was to happen during travel, or while you are at a harsh gigging environment, however, you need to ensure that your pipes will remain protected.

This hard case gives you that assurance and so much more.

High impact polyethylene used to manufacture this hard case guarantees the ultimate in rigid plastic case protection.

This case is extremely tough, guaranteeing to keep your pipes damage-free even when subjected to the highest level of abuse.

The polyethylene material used won’t absorb moisture, and in addition to that, it is resistant to most common chemicals and oils.

One-piece molding has been used for the shell, and this eliminates any possible joint failure.

The fully lined interior comprises 0.4” thick closed-cell expanded polyethylene foam attached to the shell using heavy-duty adhesive. This way, you don’t have to worry about the padding coming undone over time.

Eight high-density foam grip pads inside the case help support the pipes, keeping them from bumping around during travel.

With this high-quality case, a variety of carrying options have been provided. These include side handles having a rubberized comfort grip handle and high tensile detachable polypropylene shoulder straps.

This case measures 28” x 10” x 10” (L x W x H) and weighs just 10 lbs.

Pros
  • It is made using heavy-duty materials and hardware.
  • Waterproof shell.
  • Fully lined interior.
  • Stackable design.
  • Lifetime warranty.
Cons
  • The case isn’t lockable.

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2. Bagpipe Skin Bagpipe Case, Deer Blue

Made from polyester, this lightweight bag weighs a mere 4.2 lbs.!

This makes it extremely flexible and portable, so you can easily move about with your bagpipes.

This polyester material that’s been used is strong and durable, seeing as it is what’s used in making suitcases.

Despite being very light in weight, this bag still offers a good level of protection. The interior is fully covered with a 20mm thick high density and supportive foam.

Furthermore, the bag has sufficient room to accommodate a ton of accessories a piper might need to bring along.

There is an external pocket at the front panel of the bag, while the interior has two smaller mesh pockets.

The bag’s interior compartment has a soft lining to prevent scratches, and there is a Velcro strap that holds the drones in place.

The zip on this bag is pretty thick, which speaks of its high quality. Just as well, the case comes with a side handle, a subway handle, and adjustable backpack straps.

One cool feature is how the backpack straps can be hidden in a special compartment when not in use, thereby getting them out of the way.

The outer dimensions of this bag are 24” x 8” x 12” (L x W x H).

Pros
  • Lightweight.
  • It is quite roomy.
  • Comes with a rain cover.
  • Very comfortable backpackable design.
  • Has a hard-plastic structure on the sides.
Cons
  • Could do with some additional pocket compartments.

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3. Pipers’ Choice Bagpipe Backpack Case

This is a very clean, modern pipe case suitable for the pipers who need a case that’s both functional and stylish.

The up-to-date case is designed to accommodate all styles of bagpipes and piping systems, including Bannatyne, Ross Canister, Canmore, and even leather pipe bags.

Just as well, this bagpipe case by Pipers’ Choice can accommodate all moisture control systems you might need.

One fantastic thing about his bagpipe case is the design of the backpack.

It feels exactly how a good bag should feel like: lightweight and well-padded straps with even weight distribution.

Considering that it weighs a mere 5 lbs., you could comfortably hike for miles while wearing this case.

Better yet, when the backpack straps are not in use, you can unhook them and conceal them within a provided pocket.

This helps get them out of the way and turns the case into a hand carrier.

Besides the backpack straps, you could carry the bag using the handle on the side or the subway handle on top of the case.

The roomy bag has six separate pockets, so you conveniently have sufficient space to store all your essential accessories.

The bag’s dimensions are 27” x 12” x 7” (L x W x H). the width tapers from 12” at the base to 9” at the top of the bag.

Pros
  • Lightweight.
  • Stylish, modern design.
  • Has plenty of compartments/pockets.
  • Backpack straps stow away when not in use.
  • Accommodates all moisture control systems.
Cons
  • It is not waterproof.

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4. R.G. Hardie Standard Bagpipe Case

This piper case is suitable for international traveling, meaning it meets the carry-on dimension of most airlines.

The lightweight case weighs just 6.6 lbs., thereby making it a very convenient option for storing and transporting your bagpipes.

To offer the best protection, the case comes with a sturdy material on the exterior while the interior is adequately padded.

This padding is what cushions the pipes against any bangs and drops.

So, even when rushing through the airport, you can do so knowing your pipes are secure.

Conveniently, this bag has been designed to accommodate any bagpipe design and any canister systems.

Heavy-duty hardware has been used right from the shoulder strap fixings to the extra string zips.

You may carry the bag using the adjustable backpack straps, the removable, adjustable shoulder strap, or using the handles provided on the side of the case.

As far as storage compartments go, this case comes with a large external pocket and two internal mesh pockets.

In the main compartments, two Velcro straps have been provided to hold the bagpipes in place when laid inside the bag.

Internal dimensions of this case are 26 cm x 13 cm x 59 cm (L x W x H); whereas the external dimensions are 31 cm x 17 cm x 65 cm.

Pros
  • Lightweight reinforced shell.
  • Suitable for air travel.
  • Has multiple carrying positions.
  • It is very spacious.
  • 1-year warranty.
Cons
  • This case isn’t waterproof.

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5. Bagpipe Skin Pipe Case, Dark Grey

The shell of this case is quite robust.

The exterior is made of polyester while the shell is reinforced using a hard plastic that offers excellent protection from damage.

At the same time, this case is very well padded using 10mm thick foam.

The padding is slightly thicker on the back of the bag i.e., the section that comes in contact with your body when you’re carrying it backpack style.

This extra padding is meant to make the case more comfortable to carry, guaranteeing that long commutes on foot would be a breeze.

The length of the backpack strap is adjustable, and when not in use, the straps can be hidden away in a provided pocket compartment.

Besides carrying the case backpack style, you may also opt to use the handle on the side or the subway handle at the top of the bag.

This bag has sufficient room to hold your pipes and a ton of additional accessories you might want to bring along.

The bag comes with a free separate pocket, which you can use to store smaller accessories. A rain cover has also been provided for times when you might be caught in a downpour.

External measurements of this bag are 24” x 7” x 7” and it weighs just 5.6 lbs.

Pros
  • Lightweight.
  • Offers padded protection.
  • Very comfortable backpack straps.
  • Spacious.
  • Comes with a rain cover.
Cons
  • The padding on the lid is very thin.

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Types of Bagpipe Cases

          Hard-Shell Cases

Bagpipe hard cases come in a classic rectangular design.

These cases have a very stout build, made from high-impact materials that guarantee no matter how roughly the case is handled; no harm will come to your pipes.

Some hard cases even include special hardware such as corner irons to reinforce the strength of the case.

Despite the hard-wearing exterior, the hard-case interior is usually plush and well-padded to offer soft protection for your instrument.

The best cases will have cross straps on the interior space, and these straps are meant to keep the bagpipes from banging about during transportation.

Lockable latches are an added advantage in most hard cases, and this further ensures the safety of your pipes.

This classic case is handsome in a traditional way and would be a classy way to keep your pipes.

Also, some hard cases are designed to be weatherproof, which is often ideal for particularly valuable pipes.

A hermetically sealed case would also come in handy if the player lives in or travels to places that experience extreme climates.

In this instance, you might also want to get a pipes case humidifier and a hygrometer.

On the downside, a hard case might not be the most convenient way to move about with your bagpipes and accessories, especially if you expect to do a lot of walking.

Besides the weight and bulky nature of the case, there aren’t that many carrying options on a hard case. Often, you just have the handle, and that’s it.

          Semi-Rigid / Soft-Sided Cases

Semi-rigid bagpipe cases are very practical, incorporating the desirable properties of both a hard case and a soft case.

Often, these cases feature an exterior made from a heavy, tough cloth, and padded interior and internal stiffening situated between the exterior and interior materials.

This internal stiffening gives this case its rigidity, but not so much that it’s as bulky as a hard case.

These bags have a zipper closure and a variety of carrying options, including a handle, backpack straps, a subway handle, etc.

You may even have convertible semi-rigid cases that come with wheels and a telescoping handle so the case can go into trolley mode.

Being backpackable is a major advantage of a semi-rigid pipes case as this provides a hands-free means of carrying your instrument.

These cases have more storage compartments than what’s provided by a hard case so that you can store more accessories and supplies.

The downside is that semi-rigid cases do not offer the same level of protection one gets with a hard case. Also, they may not be as weatherproof either.

Nonetheless, they are convenient to use owing to their more compact design, and their lightweight nature makes them more portable. At the same time, semi-rigid cases are more affordably priced compared to hard cases.

How to Choose the Best Bagpipe Case for You

          1. Unrivaled Protection

Ultimately, the prime reason why players get cases is to protect their precious musical instruments. Seeing as the circumstances are no different when talking about a bagpipe case, whichever bag you go for needs to offer a good deal of protection for your pipes.

Firstly, the case you choose needs to protect your pipes from the stress and strains of traveling and commuting. This is why you need a sturdy, hard-wearing exterior and a generously padded interior to cushion the bagpipes against knocks and bumps.

Secondly, the case should protect your bagpipes from scratches, which is why the best bagpipe cases will have a non-scratch lining.

A protective bagpipe case will preserve the life of your instrument, and it will also increase its resale value should you choose to sell this particular set some years down the line.

          2. Waterproofing

In addition to the above-mention protection, your pipes will need protection from the elements as well.

For this, some cases will feature a waterproof exterior, have an airtight sealing, or simply come with a separate rain cover.

Getting your instrument wet will not be good for your playing nor the sound produced. So, to avoid ruining a performance, and ruining your pipe bag also, make sure waterproofing has been taken into consideration one way or the other.

          3. Room for Accessories

With time, a single piper can accumulate quite a collection of piping accessories.

Some pipers may keep a few emergency items on them and leave the rest at home. Others, however, may prefer to have all their accessories on them at all times, which leads to having a separate toolbox that’s stocked to the brim with tools, extra reeds, etc.

Which kind of player are you? Or rather, what kind of piper would you want to be?

My one word of advice would be this: most tinkering on bagpipes takes place at home or in the practice room. So, you really do not need to haul all your accessories wherever you go.

Consider bringing along only your essential accessories which can easily be grouped into four categories:

  • Music Making.
  • Physical Health.
  • Sound Production.
  • Maintenance and Repair.

Music-Making Items may include spare chanter reeds, a backup chanter, deburring tool, chanter tape, etc.

Physical Health Items may be a small bottle of water, a sweat towel, medication (e.g. Tylenol), granola bars, etc.

Sound Production Items include spare drone reeds, reed-smithing tools, spare blowpipe, extra seasoning, extra flapper valve, etc.

Maintenance and Repair Items could be hemp and wax, swabs and brushes, tie cord, cutting tools, electrician’s tape, hose clamps, etc.

If you pick at least two items from each category, you should pretty much be set for just about anything.

Whatever items you’ve picked to be on your person at all times, go for a bagpipe case with enough room for those accessories.

It’s much more convenient if you can store all accessories in the bagpipe case, rather than have to carry a ton of other bags for your unnecessary items.

Having a case with dedicated compartments for certain accessories makes your life that much easier, especially when you need to find something in a hurry.

Dedicated compartments may include a chanter pouch, space for a water bottle, etc.

          4. Effortless Portability

The straps on your bagpipe case should be padded for ultimate comfort. This way, you won’t experience any discomfort even after a long day of being up and about.

Also, your chosen case should be reasonably lightweight, with a slim, compact design.

It also an added advantage if the case has a variety of carrying options for your convenience. You may have a wheeled option, a subway handle, a hold-all handle, a shoulder strap, backpack straps, etc.

Any straps on the case should be adjustable to help you get the best fit and be made from a high-tensile material that won’t snap easily.

Still, on portability, make sure the case has some form of security that holds your pipes in place inside the bag. If your pipes bump about freely inside the case, they will get damaged over time.

If you will need to travel by flight with your pipes, make sure you invest in a specially designed flight case for your bagpipes.

The ideal flight case should be sized to meet the majority of airline carry-on luggage regulations. This way, you would have the peace of mind knowing that you will arrive at your destination with your pipes by your side.

FAQs About Best Bagpipe Cases

Should I Take the Bagpipes Apart Before Storing Them in The Case?

Not necessarily. See, this will largely depend on the size of the bag in contrast to the size of your bagpipes and especially the length of the bass drone.

Ideally, you need to choose a case that won’t require you to take the pipes apart before storing them. This way, your instrument would conveniently be ready to play the minute you pull it out of the case.

If you do end up disassembling your bagpipes, make sure the different parts are stored appropriately to ensure they are well-protected.

This would require you to invest in drone rolls, chanter tubes, reed holders, etc. all designed to keep separate components contained, organized, and protected.

How Much Does A Bagpipe Case Cost?

Most average good quality bags would cost you about $120.

That being said, however, expect to spend no less than $50 and no more than $350 on a pipes case.

Conclusion

I love playing the bagpipes, but I have to admit: carrying bagpipes around without a case can be awkward at times.

Having a case makes my commutes so much easier, not to mention the peace of mind it gives me knowing that my delicate instrument is well protected.

With a good bagpipes case, you can carry your pipes with pride whether you are sauntering to a wedding or showing up for a competition or marching in a festival.

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