Some violin players have just one case. Whereas others have a collection, they have built over the years.
Regardless of whether you’re a collector, a casual player, or a professional soloist traveling all over the world, we all hope to find the best case for our violin.
Which begs the question, “What are the features of a good violin case?”
Well, let’s dive right in and find out.
Best Violin Cases For Travel In 2020
How Do I Choose A Violin Case?
Sturdiness & Durability
- What material is the violin case made from?
- Does it offer sufficient insulation from temperature and damage?
A case’s interior is made from foam that’s been lined with silk, cotton, velour, velvet, suede, polyester, or nylon. On the other hand, the outer shell may be made from plastics and ABS, compacted foam, wood and wood laminates or fiberglass, and carbon fiber.
a). Compacted Foam
This lightweight and relatively cheap material is commonly used to make beginner cases.
Cases made from compacted foam often have a very well-constructed interior that cradles the violin for ultimate insulation. This makes them ideal for musicians who are always traveling or on the go.
The downside is that cases constructed from this material aren’t very strong or durable.
Traditionally, violin cases were made from wood, and this is still the preferred material for some high-end cases.
Wood is a tougher material than compacted foam, which means it’s more protective and durable. At the same time, wooden cases are the best when it comes to protecting the violin from inclement weather.
On the downside, wooden cases are quite heavy. If you are a stay-at-home musician, then you could go for this option seeing as it’s cheaper than other high-end materials, which makes it an economical choice.
Fiberglass cases come in all sorts of colors and patterns, which makes them an ideal option for student violinists.
Unfortunately, these cases have low thermal insulation, which is why some manufacturers include an outer insulated cover with the case.
d). Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber violin cases are very lightweight, strong, and durable.
These ‘crush-resistant’ cases can travel well, and they are readily available in many stores. The downside is that of all materials; carbon fiber offers the least amount of thermal insulation. So, you may have to buy another outer case to protect your violin from the elements.
Thermoplastic cases are lightweight, strong, and have an incredibly high resistance to heat. This durable and protective material is also more affordable than a carbon fiber case.
Besides mere aesthetics, the case style you go for will largely depend on what your musical life looks like. A few questions that could help you find the right style case include:
- Do I bring sheet music with me wherever I go?
- Will I need to travel with this?
- How long am I walking with the case, and will the weight affect my journey?
a). Oblong (Rectangular) Cases
Also known as rectangular cases, oblong violin cases are designed for the musician who packs on the heavier side. These cases can hold more accessories so you can fit your sheet music, shoulder rests, bows, spare strings, rosin, etc.
Because of their larger size, the trade-off is that oblong cases also weigh more, which makes them heavier compared to other style cases.
b). Shaped (Contoured) Cases
Shaped cases are designed for the light traveler who doesn’t pack a lot of violin accessories.
This compact case is formed to the shape of the violin, and this cuts down on the material used, thereby making it very lightweight. At the same time, the contoured look is sleek and visually appealing.
The trade-off is that there are no compartments for accessories, hence the case offers less storage space. Most shaped cases can only accommodate very few accessories.
c). Half-Moon (Dart-Style) Cases
The half-moon case is an excellent middle ground between the oblong case and the contoured case. Shaped like an oblong case but having rounded edges, this style of case is lighter than an oblong case, but offers more storage space than a shaped case.
- Are you a stay-at-home musician, or do you bring your violin everywhere?
- Do you move around by foot, car, or public transit?
- How often do you plan to travel by plane with your instrument?
The weight of a case largely influences its price, so it is not uncommon to find that lighter cases are also the most expensive.
Cases vary in weight, ranging from 2 lbs. to about 7 lbs. If the case weight is crucial to you as a player, then you need to determine whether it’s worth the extra cost.
Suspension technology is still relatively new to violin cases, but it has become an absolute necessity for the protection of your instrument.
This technology involves using injected foam for the interior padding, thereby lifting and cradling the violin so that it seems to float inside the shell. This way, the scroll is safely placed away from the bottom of the case, which protects is better from bumps and impact.
Suspension technology is available in almost all cases, including the inexpensive ones.
Size and Fit
This seems relatively straightforward, but all the same, allow me to reiterate the fact. The size of a case needs to be an exact fit for your violin.
It is common-sense that you cannot fit a large violin in a small case, but you shouldn’t put a small violin in a large case either. The additional space within the case would allow for movement of the violin, therefore making it susceptible to damage.
A perfect fit will prevent the violin from shifting about within the case, thereby keeping it secure. Actually, the majority of cases have a Velcro neck restraint, which secures the violin during transit to prevent damage to your prized instrument.
A padded French or semi-French fit interior is one designed to have the same contours as your instrument. Such an interior provides a tighter fit, unlike other cases, which is not only better for movement but offers better thermal insulation as well.
- How many bows can you store in the case?
The case you go for should have sufficient bow holders depending on your needs. While some players are okay with carrying 2 bows, others move around with as many as 4 bows.
At the same time, consider the bow placement in the case. The bow should be secured and make sure it doesn’t touch the violin when the case is closed.
Thermometers & Hygrometers
- What kind of environment do you live in?
- Do you experience extreme weather conditions?
Thermometers and hygrometers make it easy for you to measure the temperature and humidity levels in your violin case.
A violin is crafted from organic materials, and so any severe changes in moisture and temperature levels would adversely affect the instrument. The violin could develop hairline cracks or expand and contract excessively, therefore, causing seams to open.
As a result, many high-end violin cases come with these meters so you can monitor interior conditions in the case. In fact, many cases come with a hygrometer.
If a violin doesn’t have these in-case gauges, you could have them installed separately. Just make sure they aren’t touching the violin or the bows when the case is either closed or open.
Besides the thermometer and hygrometer, a humidifier could be another tool to look out for. This helps regulate the interior moisture levels, thereby preventing damage to your violin. If there isn’t a built-in humidifier, just but it separately and keep it in a compartment within the case.
The ideal conditions for your violin are a temperature of about 60°F – 70°F; and relative humidity of 35% – 50%.
To be able to maintain ultimate conditions inside your violin case, the case has to be sealed, therefore making it weatherproof.
Hard-shell cases often feature a tight-fitting rubber grommet, which seals the two composite halves of the shell.
Cases that have a foam or plywood core typically utilize a zippered abrasion-resistant nylon cover with rain flaps to protect against rain and snow.
Cases may be closed shut using wither zippers or latches, or a combination of the two.
Zippers have the disadvantage of being prone to breaking or getting stuck, which isn’t the case with latches. At the same time, many manufacturers will send replacement latches in case of any damage, but most companies don’t offer replacement zipper parts.
All good violin cases come with some form of carrying straps. The key is to find a strap system that is durable and comfortably works for your carrying preferences.
A carabiner system is preferred because straps that are built into the case tend to tear over time. Also, make sure the strap is padded for ultimate comfort when carrying the case.
Carrying styles vary as well. You may have backpack style, over the shoulder, subway strap to hold vertically, or a handle.
Should I Get A Soft or Hard Carbon Fiber Violin Case?
The choice between a soft case and a hard carbon fiber case will depend on your lifestyle, as well as what kind of player you are. Are you looking for a storage case or a travel case?
A hobbyist violinist who just plays at home would be okay with a soft case because they simply need a case to store their violin when it’s not in use.
Such a player doesn’t need to worry about the violin bumping about when carrying it in the trunk of a car. Or having a lockable case for safety when flying with the instrument.
While a soft case is more lightweight and portable, a hard case is more durable and offers better protection for your instrument. At the same time, soft cases also often have better storage solutions when it comes to pockets and zippered compartments to hold your accessories.
FAQs About Best Violin Cases
Are Fiberglass Violin Cases Good?
Yes, they are.
On the upside, fiberglass violin cases are protective, incredibly durable, extremely weather-resistant, and come in a variety of colors and patterns. Better yet, such cases are very affordable.
On the downside, these cases are quite heavy, weighing between 6 lbs. and 8 lbs.
Are Bam Violin Cases Worth the Money?
Yes, they are.
Bam has only been around for about 30 years, but nearly all professional musicians in the world are familiar with the brand.
This reputable company is known for making some of the best violin cases, and this is also reflected in the price tag of their cases.
Bam cases are stylish, protective, well insulated, and impressively durable. They are also incredibly lightweight, owing to the fact that the company uses innovative
If you took a chance and bought a bam case, I guarantee you wouldn’t regret it. The manufacturer even offers a 2-year warranty in case there are defects in workmanship.
What Is the Lightest Violin Case?
Violin cases termed as being lightweight typically weigh under 5 lbs. There are professional GEWA and BAM contoured cases that weigh as little as 3.5 lbs.
The ADM Basic, triangular-shaped full-size violin case weighs a mere 2.6 lbs. which probably makes it the lightest violin case you can find in the market. This case is a sensible travel solution, and yet there is still room to include a shoulder rest.
What Is A Violin Case Made Of?
To offer the best protection and guarantee durability, most violin cases are made from rigid materials such as wood, carbon fiber, fiberglass, thermoplastics, and other innovative materials.
A manufacturer’s decision to use one material over another is often informed by a variety of factors including:
- The weight of the case.
- The amount of protection offered by the case.
- The affordability of the case.
- Climate protection.
Are Violin Cases Waterproof?
Violin cases are water-resistant, not waterproof.
Here’s the difference: a water-resistant case is one you can walk with in the pouring rain; while a waterproof case is one, you can submerge in a swimming pool. The latter doesn’t exist – just yet, but it is possible to find a great water-resistant violin case.
Water-resistant cases prevent water from getting inside the case and damaging your cherished instrument.
When checking the water-resistance of a particular case, consider the material of the outer shell. Also, observe the closure mechanism and check to see whether the hard shell comes with a tight-fitting gasket all around.
Even if your case isn’t water-resistant, it’s possible to get a case cover that is. In any case, if you’ve been out in the pouring rain, remember to thoroughly towel off the case or cover before opening it. This prevents water from dripping on the instrument when you open the case.
How Heavy Is A Violin in A Case?
The weight of a fully-loaded violin case will vary depending on the weight of the case, the weight of your violin, and the other accessories you might include within the case (sheet music, bows, shoulder vest, etc.).
As a result, this weight would vary from anywhere as little as 5 lbs. to as much as 18 lbs. or even more! There really is no telling, just how light or how heavy the case could end up being.
Anyone can agree that violin cases have come a long way. From the era of basic black plywood oblong cases to the fashionable, contoured cases we have today.
Searching for a violin case is, therefore, much more than merely looking to protect your instrument. The ideal case would showcase your personality and individuality, allowing you to carry your violin and related accessories in unrivaled style.
So, what are you waiting for? Head on out and find the case that speaks to your soul. Trust me; it’s somewhere out there.