The perfect trombone case should be like a coconut. Safe on the inside but tough and protective on the outside.
A trombone isn’t exactly a small musical instrument. So, keeping such a bulky instrument safe could be quite the arduous task, so it’s essential to invest in a quality carrying case.
See, when you have a strong case, you don’t have to always worry about any dings and drops that could damage your horn.
Fortunately, giving such a level of protection for your horn is actually easier than you might think.
What makes a sturdy trombone case? Well, here’s everything you need to know.
Best Trombone Cases In 2023 Reviewed
Protec MAX is designed for both straight and F-Trigger tenor trombones having a 9.5” bell.
The lightweight case weighs a mere 5.75 lbs. (2.6 kg), and measures 38” x 13” x 12.5” (97cm x 33cm x 32cm).
Rigid EPS foam frame is responsible for the lightweight nature of the case.
The tough exterior is made from rugged 600D nylon complete with high-quality plastic hardware.
The molded interior is covered with soft, non-abrasive plush lining.
There are two interior accessory compartments and a padded mouthpiece pouch has been included as well. The slide is secured to the lid using a Velcro strap.
As far as carrying options go, you will not be disappointed you invested in this case. You may carry it as a backpack, use the side handle, use the subway handle, or use the shoulder strap.
The padded backpack straps are built-in, but when not in use, they can be tucked away in a pocket. Conveniently, the adjustable shoulder strap is removable.
Durable molded rubber feet ensure that the case can stand upright without toppling over.
The compartments are fastened using long-lasting custom molded zippers, complete with hook ‘n loop quick-lock closure system.
There are a roomy front-side zippered pocket and a smaller accessory zippered pocket on the exterior of the case.
Overall, this is a great value case that offers decent protection in a lightweight hybrid design that’s simple, yet functional.
- A terrific case at a great price.
- Incredibly lightweight.
- Highly portable, with a variety of carrying options.
- It is thickly padded with polystyrene foam.
- It has ample room for accessories.
- The case is quite bulky.
SKB 1SKB360 is designed for small-bore straight tenor trombones having an 8” bell.
This lightweight case weighs just 7 lbs. (3.2 kg), and measures 37” x 11” x 10.25” (94cm x 28cm x 26cm).
This fine molded case is made from plastic, hence why it is so lightweight.
Regardless though, the case is guaranteed to provide the right amount of protection for your instrument.
The double-wall construction helps provide security against bumps and bangs. Just as well, the plastic exterior has metal trim all around the seam.
This heavy-duty aluminum valance reinforces the case, thereby offering reliable protection for the trombone.
The three latches are also made from aluminum, and they have been reinforced with backplates ensuring they are mounted forever.
As well, you have built-in D-rings for attaching a removable shoulder strap.
Styrofoam pads the interior of the case, and this foam can be compressed if you need to get a snug fit for your trombone. The foam is then covered with velvet lining that’s soft and plush.
Two interior compartments for accessories have been included, and there is also a partition for the slide in the lid. A mouthpiece pouch has been provided as well.
There is a comfortable handle on the side of the case, and conveniently, this case has been designed to be able to stand on the bell-end if needed.
- Compact design offers a snug fit.
- It provides excellent protection at a remarkable price.
- Fits in many airliner overhead compartments.
- Lifetime limited warranty.
- The shoulder strap hasn’t been included.
Crossrock CRA860TBBL is designed to fit most regular Bb straight tenor trombones.
The case weighs 9.9 lbs. (4.5 kg) and the interior dimensions are 72cm x 23.5cm x 24cm (28.34” x 9.25” x 9.44”).
The first thing you will notice is just how stylish the case looks.
The eye-catching blue exterior is made from robust molded ABS that’s sturdy and scratch-resistant.
Durable metal feet have been included on the side and at the bell end to ensure the case can stand upright without toppling over.
The hardware used further assures you of the quality build of this hard case.
There is a heavy-duty metal valance all around the seam, complete with metal latches that are nice and tight and a sturdy molded handle.
The handle has been leather covered with leather, and this is a nice touch not just for aesthetic but for carrying comfort as well.
Besides the handle, you may also carry the case using the padded shoulder strap that’s been included. Conveniently this strap is removable and so can be stored away when not in use.
High-density hard foam core pads the inside of the case and is covered with blue plush lining, which beautifully complements the blue exterior of the case.
The interior of the case also has two accessory compartments with lids, and these can be used to store small accessories such as the mouthpiece, slide sprayer bottle, etc.
A slide compartment has also been provided on the lid, and it gives a very secure hold for your slide.
- Attractive appearance.
- Sturdy and very well crafted.
- Scratch-resistant exterior.
- It has high-density padding.
- Good value for money.
- It has limited storage for accessories.
Gator GL-TROMBONE-F is a case designed for both straight and F-Trigger tenor trombones.
This slightly heavy case weighs 12.75 lbs (5.8 kg), and has exterior measurements of 91cm x 35cm x 28cm (35.83” x 13.75” x 11.02”).
The exterior is constructed from rugged, stylish 600D nylon that has a wipeable, easy to clean surface.
This has been laid over a polyfoam frame that’s rigid and protective.
On the other hand, the interior features dense molded EPS foam covered with a black plush fabric that protects the shiny finish on your instrument.
This dense foam is partly responsible for the weight of the case, but then it also guarantees that your instrument is adequately protected from any drops or blows.
There are internal mouthpiece holders, along with a nice F-attachment slide compartment.
On the exterior of the bag, there is a spacious zippered front pocket for items such as cleaning kits, bumpers, grips, etc.
As far as carrying options go, you have a rubberized handle on the side and a subway handle at the top.
There are also reinforced D-rings and Clips where you can attach your removable no-slip shoulder strap.
Another nice touch is the durable molded rubber feet at the bell end, put in place so that your case can stand upright.
- It is designed for Student-sized instruments.
- Easy-to-clean exterior fabric.
- It is durably constructed.
- Has reinforced non-slip carrying handles.
- Sufficient room for accessories.
- The front pocket isn’t large enough for a standard music folder.
Being tight for cash doesn’t mean that you can’t have some basic protection for your trombone. This gig bag is proof of just that.
Andoer designed this soft case specifically for Alto/Tenor trombones.
The bag is extremely lightweight, weighing just 1.4 lbs. (620g), and measuring 90cm x 29cm x 29cm (35.4” x 11.4” x 11.4”).
Made from 600 Denier Oxford cloth, the dark blue exterior of this bag is durable and water-resistant.
The interior has been softly padded with cotton that’s about 5mm in thickness. This offers good protection for the trombone from bumps during transport or when you are carrying it.
The zippered main pocket accommodates the trombone, while the other zippered compartment holds accessories and sheet music.
The main compartment is quite roomy; actually, you may go as far as fitting a bass trombone in this bag, which is a good thing.
When it comes to carrying the bag, you can use the backpack straps or the gripped handle on the side.
- Extremely lightweight.
- Roomy enough for a large trombone.
- It is padded for extra protection.
- Waterproof exterior.
- The shoulder straps could use extra padding.
You might not think much of this case merely looking at its exterior. Its interior, however, is to die for.
Protec PRO PAC is designed to accommodate most F-attachment tenor trombones with bells up to 9.5”. This case even fits the largest of valves, including Thayer valves.
It weighs 10 lbs. (4.5 kg), and measures 35.5” x 14” x 10.5” (90cm x 36cm x 27cm).
The exterior of the case is made using a wood shell frame that’s pleasantly compact and shock absorbing.
This frame is then covered with 1680D weather-resistant ballistic nylon, so that’s an added advantage.
The quality build of this hard case is very evident, just looking at it.
There’s reinforced zig-zag stitching, and high-quality metal hardware has been used, not to mention the long-lasting custom molded zippers.
The exquisite interior of this case features a soft, non-abrasive blue velvet lining. Your trombone is held down in place using a strap secured by hook and loop closure, and there’s a padded slide cover for your slide.
A padded mouthpiece pouch with hook and loop closure has been provided, and there is also a large zippered accessory compartment.
On the exterior of the bag, you have a large exterior pocket with a built-in organizer for small accessories.
QuickLock mechanism has been employed, and this allows you to securely shut an empty case without zippering.
To protect the corners and zipper tape from impact, this case has rubber runners all around. Durable molded rubber feet have also been included to ensure the case can stand on its own.
The trombonist has been provided with a variety of carrying options. You may use the removable shoulder strap, the side handle, or the subway handle.
This case is also backpackable, but you would have to purchase the backpack straps separately.
- Robust wood shell frame.
- Features detailed craftsmanship.
- Plenty of accessory storage.
- It has a very luxurious interior.
- There’s rubber protection around zipper corners.
- The slide compartment may be too short for some vintage trombones.
This simple gig bag has been designed to fit nearly all types of trombones, including those with an F-attachment.
The exterior material is a coarse grain fabric that feels durable to the touch and high quality enough to offer the basic protection your instrument needs.
The interior fabric is soft to the touch, guaranteeing the lacquered finish on your instrument from any scratches.
Its fabric construction means that this gig bag is extremely lightweight, weighing just 1 lb. (0.5 kg).
On the other hand, the bag measures 35.43” x 11.81” (90cm x 30cm) in length and width, respectively. The bottom diameter where you have the bell of the trombone is 11.02” (28cm) in diameter.
The two-row zipper design is convenient to use, while the ergonomically designed handle offers exceptional comfort.
It would be perfectly okay to use this gig bag as a stand-alone case for your trombone. However, you may also opt to place it in another bag or hard case.
- Extremely lightweight.
- Good value for the price.
- Clean, simple design.
- Roomy enough to fit any trombone.
- It is padded for extra protection.
- There’s no padding around the slide compartment.
Do You Really Need A Trombone Case?
Of course, you do!
A trombone is a precious and often costly musical instrument, so why wouldn’t you want to do all that you possibly can to keep it in pristine condition?
Here are the advantages of getting a trombone case:
I’ll just start with the most apparent advantage and get it out of the way.
With a case, your trombone is protected from the elements, dirt, dust, etc. Protection is increased when using a hard case because then; you know your trombone remains undamaged even if you happen to knock the case or accidentally drop it.
When your instrument is exposed, the slightest bump against it can cause a slide to get out of alignment or the valve mechanism to get bent.
With a case, the instrument is safely nestled within a padded interior while the hard exterior takes all the blows.
Additionally, some cases come with a weather-proof coating on the exterior, which is a bonus.
Another way to look at it is if your instrument is kept in a case, then it is protected from scratches. This helps protect the finish on your instrument.
Have you ever wondered how some trombones still look new and shiny even after years of use? The secret could be having a trombone case.
First off, some cases are lockable, which is one aspect in which the case keeps your instrument safe.
If you are traveling by plane with a trombone, then you will feel more at ease checking it in as luggage if the case is lockable. Better yet, many built-in locks on trombone cases are even TSA approved!
“Well, I can just put it in the overhead compartment, no?”. Yes, you can, but this isn’t always a guarantee. See, your case might not fit in the overhead compartment, and even if it can, there might not be sufficient room for it in the overhead.
The other option might be buying a seat for your trombone. This would be the more expensive thing to do, but if you can afford it, hey, why not?
All in all, a lockable case offers an elevated level of safety for your horn.
How do people carry a trombone without a case? While going from place to place with your instrument, isn’t it much easier to do so with a case?
A case comes with an ergonomic handle that makes the trombone east to carry. At the same time, there are backpackable options that you can carry on your back, thereby keeping your hands free.
Moreover, other cases conveniently have wheels, which will allow you to drag the instrument around, saving you the energy for your gig.
Fashion and design appear to have made their way into the trombone case market. This means that a case isn’t just a functional accessory. It’s an aesthetic one too – a fashion statement of sorts.
You can choose a case that makes the statement you would like to convey to the world. Would you like to look professional? Funky?
Moreover, you can add stickers on the case which reflect who you are as a musician and bring out your uniqueness.
Being an excellent trombonist isn’t all that there is to music. You need to have an appeal as well.
Types of Trombone Cases
Hard cases offer reliable protection for impact, rough handling, and external loads, thereby doing a tremendous job protecting your instrument from damage.
At the same time, these cases have the advantage of holding the instrument securely in place to prevent internal movement that can shift the trombone’s components.
Typically, hard cases have a very protective interior. This may consist of fabric- or felt-covered EPS foam, with form-fitting molded shapes specifically designed for a particular trombone to fit into.
This holds the instrument in place, preventing movement inside the case. It also provides vital shock absorption from drops and bangs, and it gives a lot more protection against being crushed.
The disadvantage is that hard cases can be bulky and awkward to carry.
Also, the costliness of hard cases in comparison to soft cases is one thing that can discourage many buyers. This is often a misguided concern, though, because the repair to your trombone because of buying a cheap case will cost more than the expensive case did!
Hard cases are available in two main shape styles: the traditional rectangular “Coffin” shape; and the classic, space-saving “French” shape design.
Soft Cases / Gig Bags
Soft cases are made from lightweight materials, and so, they cost significantly less than hard cases. These cases are easier to carry, especially for younger children, and they come with plenty of storage spaces for accessories.
Another advantage is that with soft cases, the buyer had a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from.
The average soft case offers very little protection on the inside.
The biggest downside is that soft cases don’t have a rigid outer shell and so, the trombone can get damaged if other items are piled on top of the gig bag.
Things to Consider When Buying A Trombone Case
Buying a trombone case is a highly subjective matter. What one person likes about a case might be what another person detests.
Therefore, there cannot be a hard and fast rule as to what makes an excellent trombone case suitable for your instrument and lifestyle.
Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself to help to make the selection process easier for you:
- Do you move around with the trombone a lot, or do you usually just play at home, hardly every traveling with it?
- Do you move around by car, or do you rely on public transport, thereby needing to travel light?
- Will you need to keep your hands free for other things? (Subway users, carrying other gear, motorcycle riders, etc.).
- How clumsy or careful are you in general?
- Will the weight of the case be a cause for concern?
- How expensive is your trombone?
- How much are you willing to spend on a trombone case? Are you on a tight budget?
- How big is your trombone? Would you prefer a wheelie bag?
- How many accessories do you usually carry with you?
- Do you need a lockable case?
Your answer to each question above will give you a better idea of your specific needs, therefore helping you choose the best care for your trombone.
Features to Look for In A Quality Trombone Case
While the exterior material of a trombone case needs to be durable, and offer hard-wearing protection, the interior material should be plush, soft, and non-abrasive.
A superior quality hard case should be very rigid such that there is no flex on any part of the case.
Popular materials used for the exterior include Fiberglass, Leather, Nylon, Plastic, Wood, Rok Tex, Foam, Cloth, etc.
The particular material used will depend on whether the case is a hard case or a soft bag and the level of protection the case will offer to the instrument.
The trombone case you go for should be a perfect snug fit for your instrument. Do not go for a case designed to accommodate a 10.62” bell, and yet you own a small-bore trombone with an 8” bell.
Still, on size, you need to establish how much room there is for accessories, compared to how many accessories you often have with you while on the go.
A waterproof exterior means that the case will keep your instrument nice and dry even when you’re walking in the pouring rain.
This adds an extra level of protection for your expensive instrument, ensuring you can whip it out and play a tune anywhere, any time.
Waterproofing isn’t achieved simply by using a waterproof exterior material. It also involves sealing any gaps in the seams and under the zipper as well.
Both hard cases and gig bags have padding on the interior to help cushion your instrument from any impact.
The only difference is that hard cases often feature more padding, guaranteeing shock-resistance even if the instrument happens to fall from a height.
Don’t be surprised if you happen to come across a gig bag with a thicker layer of foam than some hard cases. Those do exist as well.
Besides adequate padding, be on the lookout also for a mid-bag suspension system.
The latest cases will often incorporate this technology, which involves having the trombone ‘float’ on a layer of foam so that it isn’t in contact with any of the exterior panels.
For your comfort, all straps on the case should be thick, padded, and constructed from high-quality material that will not snap easily.
The more the carrying options provided, the better. So, a case with backpack straps and a shoulder strap while still having a handle is the ideal scenario.
Better yet, removable straps give you more flexibility, rather than having straps flapping about when not in use.
If the latches and locks on your case aren’t sturdy, your instrument could end up tumbling out during transportation or storage.
That is not at all what you would want to happen, now is it?
Regardless of whether you are looking into getting a soft case or a hard case, any hardware on the case should be heavy duty. These include drawstrings, zippers, buckles, locks, latches, etc.
FAQs About The Best Trombone Cases
Used Vs. New Trombone Case: Which Is Better?
The best case for your trombone is that which offers the best protection for your instrument and convenient portability for you.
There is nothing wrong with getting a used trombone case, as long as it doesn’t show signs of wear that might compromise the level of protection offered.
As in the case of buying a used car, it is always a good policy when buying a used case, to question why the owner wishes to part with it.
Just as well, perform your due diligence to assess the condition of the case.
Are there any dents? Is the hardware sturdy and firmly attached?
You may find a used trombone case that’s in a far better condition than a new trombone case, so there really is no telling unless you assess each case individually.
How Long Is A Trombone Case?
A typical trombone case is about 38” long, give or take.
Keep in mind, though, that the length of a trombone case will depend on the type of trombone the bag is designed for.
For instance, a marching trombone is much shorter than a tenor or bass trombone, so expect their cases to reflect this.
At the same time, the length of the case will depend on whether the bag is meant to accommodate the mute or if it shall be detached and stored separately.
A contrabass trombone bag could be as long as 48”, while a case for a small jazz trombone may be as short as 35”.
How Much Does A Trombone Case Weigh?
A lightweight trombone case weighs about 7 lbs (3.2kg), while a heavy trombone case can weigh as much as about 14 lbs (6.4kg).
The weight widely varies depending on the size of the case, the material it is made out of, the interior padding, etc.
Do Trombone Cases Need Special Care or Maintenance?
Not particularly, no.
Cleaning a trombone case is a rather straightforward process. First, you start by removing the instrument and all accessories from the case.
The next step involves vacuum cleaning (hard case); or using an air compressor (soft case) to remove dirt and dust off the case.
You can follow up by cleaning a hard case with furniture polish or a multi-surface cleaner. Often, this may be all you need to refresh the appearance of the case.
Cleaning spills, unknown spots, and stubborn areas may require you to use some liquid dish soap, a cloth rag, and a soft nail brush if needed.
Follow up by rinsing well with warm water, mopping up the rinse water with a dry towel as you go. Leave the case out and open in direct sunlight to allow it to dry completely before use.
Take the time to really find out what features you would like in a trombone case. Then go out there searching for the case having the features you desire.
Just like with choosing a trombone, picking out the ideal case is a highly personalized decision that only you can make correctly.
Have fun with it, and I truly hope you find what you are looking for!