The clarinet is a beautiful and intricate instrument with many fragile and expensive parts. If you’re a clarinetist, you know the importance of keeping it safe from drops, bumps, and bangs. No serious player, beginner or master, would transport or store their clarinet without a case.
Buying a good clarinet case is one of the best things you can do to keep your clarinet safe from harm. However, a good clarinet case isn’t just durable. It needs to have a number of other features like extra storage and high-quality materials, as well as other features, all at an affordable price.
To help you choose the right one, we’ve put together a buying guide to help you know what to look for when picking your case and reviewed what we think are some of the best clarinet cases on the market.
Quick Answer: The Best Cases for a Clarinet
How to Choose a Clarinet Case: Buyer’s Guide
Before we get on to our clarinet case reviews, if you’re in the market for a clarinet case, you need to know how to judge a quality product. With this buyer’s guide, you’ll learn the specific features to look for before deciding which is the best suited clarinet case for you.
Types of Clarinet Case
There are two main types of clarinet cases available for purchase: Soft and Hard. Which type of clarinet case you decide on will come down to personal preference and where (and how) you plan to use it.
Soft Cases (or Gig Bags)
Soft clarinet cases, sometimes known as a gig bas, are typically lighter and more comfortable to carry, often coming with straps to easily secure the case to your back or shoulders. While they’re much simpler to transport than a hard clarinet case, they aren’t nearly as long lasting and don’t offer the same level of protection to the clarinet.
Characterizing a hard case is a hard outer shell made from various heavy duty materials depending on the manufacturer. They can withstand impacts much better than their gig bag counterparts but are often awkward to carry, only offering a single handle or strap to keep it secure.
Single vs. Double Case
Many serious clarinetists like to pack an extra clarinet in the event that something happens to their primary instrument or if they have a clarinet in A and one in B flat they can store them both. If you’re just starting off, it may not be worth it getting a double clarinet case. They’re much more expensive and harder to find than single clarinet cases are. However, professional players almost always use double clarinet cases when traveling.
Whatever clarinet case you decide on, it should snugly fit your instrument without much room for movement. Otherwise, you run the risk that small and expensive parts get jostled around as you transport the case. Some clarinets are slightly larger or smaller than others, so you should consider the size of the case molding in regards to your clarinet’s size.
The padded interior of a clarinet case dramatically impacts its usability and overall quality. Padding not only keeps the clarinet secure but also helps protect it from external damage from any bumps and bruises it might endure on the road. In addition, good padding prevents smudging that can affect the clarinet’s appearance.
Pockets and Storage
The number and location of pockets on a clarinet case are important factors to consider. Most of the clarinet cases we’ve reviewed include external pockets, but some brands feature internal pockets as well. You need pockets to help organize and secure the various accessories you need to play the clarinet, like your reed case, cleaning swab, and other accessories needed for cleaning your clarinet.
Beyond the simple hard and soft case distinction, the materials of whatever case you buy need to be durable and capable of taking a hit. While gig bag style clarinet cases aren’t the best for keeping your clarinet completely safe, some hard cases don’t have the materials to do so either. Always keep a lookout for if the case has been impact-tested to be completely sure the durability is right for you.
Price is obviously an important factor when it comes to choosing clarinet cases. The best cases for clarinets tend to be more expensive, but they can save you money on repairs and replacements in the long run. If you’re on a tight budget, though, don’t worry, as there are still plenty of high-quality options available for you. But, if you have a high end clarinet then it’s definitely worth spending a bit extra to get a high quality case to keep it safe.
There are quite a few noteworthy brands of clarinet cases out there. Clarinetists often feel quite attached to a particular brand, solely buying cases from that company and nothing else. However, different brands offer different benefits. It doesn’t serve you to remain loyal to a specific brand if there’s another one out there that can serve you better. A few of the brands to look out for include Protec, Gator, Paititi, and Sky.
10 Best Rated Clarinet Case Reviews
Now that we’ve covered what features and things you need to be looking for when evaluating clarinet cases, it’s time to look at some specific modes. Below we’ve put together our clarinet case reviews of what we think are the top ten clarinet cases available today:
#1. Protec ABS BM307SX Clarinet Case
- Fits most Bb clarinet makes/models and protects with soft foam-injected interior mold lined with velvet
- Ultra lightweight, extremely durable and scratch resistant ABS plastic shell
- Extra barrel or other small accessories can be stored inside the interior accessory compartment
Our top pick for the best case goes to the incredible Protec ABS BM307SX. It’s a flashy and robust case designed to protect the most expensive clarinets of concert performers around the world and is well worth the money you may spend to get it.
The Protec ABS’ is a tough and long-lasting ABS plastic shell. However, that doesn’t mean it’s heavy. In fact, it’s one of the lightest clarinet cases we’ve reviewed in out list, coming in at only 1.59 pounds. For those of you looking for a starter clarinet case for your child or a lightweight case for hitting the road, you won’t find a case lighter than this one.
Despite its size, the Protec ABS has plenty of storage space for all of your accessories. You can store sheet music, reed cases, and anything else you carry with your clarinet conveniently inside the interior compartment.
To emphasize, this is definitely the best one in terms of durability, storage, and ease of transport out of anything else on our list.
#2. Protec Slimline Pro PB307TB Case for Clarinets
- Lightweight impact-resistant mold lined with soft velvet and features a precision fit that protects your clarinet from damage
- Long lasting custom metal zippers with a locking ring for an optional case lock
- Extremely durable and weather resistant 1680 ballistic nylon exterior
Coming in at number two on our list is another Protec clarinet case, the Slimline Pro PB307TB. Protec designed this case with easy transport at the forefront, with a comfortably lined handgrip and optional backpack straps great for the plane or bus.
The exterior is a durable nylon material that offers great weather resistance to light rain and snow. Like the Protec ABS, a durable, gusseted metal frame lines the interior, making it extremely impact resistant.
The Slimline Pro also comes with a cool locking ring that you can link to the steel zippers. It prevents the case from opening accidentally, keeping your clarinet and all of its accessories tight and secure.
This clarinet case is also pretty customizable, coming in five different colors, including hot pink, teal blue, and black, among others. If you want to show off your case to your bandmates, this is the one to do it.
#3. Protec PB307D Clarinet Case
- Soft molded interior accommodates Bb and A clarinets, 4 barrels, nonabrasive velvoa lining, and small accessory interior compartment
- Slim lightweight shock absorbing frame, weather-resistant 1680 ballistic nylon exterior, and large rear-side sheet music pocket
- Dual-corded handle design with padded handle wrap, subway rope handle, removable padded shoulder strap featuring an I.D. tag, backpackable with...
Taking the third spot on our ranking is the Protec PB307D, an excellent clarinet case considered by many to be one of the best on the market. It’s one of the lightest clarinet cases we’ve reviewed, weighing only 3.8 lbs. For children just starting off with the instrument, or for those of us who are unwilling or unable to carry around a heavy case, this clarinet case is one of the best options available.
One of the standout features of the Protec PB307D is the shock-absorbent frame. Although it has a soft exterior, the frame is sturdy enough to protect the clarinet from being dropped. However, the case is not for storage alongside tougher bags like suitcases or equipment crates in a van or bus.
In terms of extra features, the Protec PB307D comes with a comfortable padded handle wrap and a removable strap. The interior compartment and rear-side pocket are also great for storing all of your accessories and sheet music.
#4. Protec PB319 Pro Pac (Bass Clarinet Case)
- Lightweight shock absorbing frame
- Soft plush lining
- Built-in organizer to hold pens, keys, and small accessories
You might be noticing a trend here. This clarinet case is the fourth Protec case we’ve included on our ranking in a row, and for good reason. If you play or plan on learning the bass clarinet, then this is the best possible case to buy.
Like many other Protec clarinet cases, the extremely well-designed shock-absorbent frame is durable but lightweight. For bass clarinets, this is a big bonus, as they require larger cases that are often heavier than many other models.
Plush material lines the interior, perfect for keeping your clarinet safe. It also has a convenient compartment for storing all of your accessories. Featuring an integrated organizer, the inside of the case won’t turn into chaos when it’s jumbled around. Unlike many other hard cases, the PB319 Pro Pac comes with an exterior pocket as well, perfect for sheet music.
The case is also extremely easy to carry, with the shoulder strap and padded grip providing maximum comfort on the go.
#5. Gator Polyfoam Clarinet Case
- Lightweight Rigid Nylon Exterior with Interlocking Rubberized Carry Handle
- Removable No Slip Rubber Shoulder Strap with Reinforced D-rings and Clips
- Spacious Front and Back Accessory Pockets
Gator is a trusted brand specializing in different instrument cases but mostly offer hard cases for maximum protection. Their Polyfoam clarinet case is a departure from their typical offerings, but it still offers the premium protection that their hard cases afford.
The Gator Polyform features more storage than other clarinet cases on this list. It has large front and back accessory pockets, enough to carry anything you need for your clarinet, plus some extras. The case also has interior holders designed specifically for mouthpieces and reed cases, adequately separating the especially fragile parts from other accessories that may damage them.
The Gator Polyfoam case is also slightly more affordable than other cases of similar quality. It doesn’t compromise on security, featuring a tough and stylish nylon exterior that can withstand light impact damage and any scratches that may happen in transit. It’s a great case for students and beginners looking for a durable holder for their first clarinet.
#6. Paititi Clarinet Case
- Lightweight Geniune Leather Clarinet case for most standard Clarinets
- Also comes with a shoulder strap for convenient carrying around.
- Featuring water proof canvas exterior with deep, soft velvet lining interior.
The next clarinet case on our list looks like it’s fit for professors and music teachers but is a great case for anyone looking to protect their clarinet from damage. It’s got a high-quality and comfortable design perfect for your daily commute.
This Paititi case has a vegan leather canvas exterior that is surprisingly waterproof in all types of weather. The interior is lined with soft velvet that prevents smudging and scratch damage on your clarinet, a typical feature for many cases but absolutely essential for a gig bag like this one.
Although this clarinet carrier doesn’t have as many pockets as others on our list, the single exterior pocket is roomy enough to store all of your accessories and maybe even some sheet music as well.
If you’ve been searching for a good clarinet carrier that is also animal cruelty-free, then the Paititi clarinet case is the one for you.
#7. Protect Max MX307 Clarinet Case
- Lightweight rigid EPS foam frame with tough 600D nylon exterior
- Molded interior with soft non-abrasive lining
- Hook 'n loop quick-lock case closure and long lasting custom molded zippers
Another Protec case, the Max MX307 is a fantastic clarinet carrier that you wouldn’t even know was for an instrument. It’s a classy and subtle bag with high-quality materials able to keep your clarinet safe from water or impact damage.
Like many of the other Protec cases, the Max MX307 is comfortable and lightweight. It has the standard padded handgrip with shoulder straps that can adjust to make it a backpack. The case is only 2 pounds, but it has a hard wearing plastic frame that keeps your clarinet secure during transport.
The interior is as high-quality as the exterior, with plush lining soft to the touch. However, this case lacks interior pockets for accessory storage that other models have. You have enough room for all your accessories in the large external pocket, but it doesn’t have individual slots for optimal organization.
#8. Gator Molded Case for B Flat Clarinet
- Lightweight ABS Construction and Heavy Duty Aluminum Valence
- Through-Bolted Handle for Extra Strength, and Chrome Plated Latches - (1) Locking (1) Non-Locking
- D-Rings for Adding a Shoulder Strap
The second Gator carrier to grace our ranking, the Gator Molded is an example of the company’s tough hard cases that go beyond the industry standard for durability. Every inch of this case was designed with durability in mind, from the hand strap to the hardshell exterior.
Despite the fact that this model is a hard case, it’s still surprisingly lightweight at only 2.75 pounds. Also, if you prefer a shoulder strap over a handgrip, the Gator Molded comes with D-rings so that you can add or remove one as necessary. Combine both of these traits, and you have a hardshell clarinet case perfect for transport.
However, this isn’t the case for professional clarinets. Only standard student models fit inside the mold well, so it might not be the best option if you’re playing the clarinet at a professional level.
#9. Sky CLHC003 Budget Clarinet Case
- Fits Bb Clarinet
- Deluxe ABS Exterior
- Heavy-Duty Aluminum Valance
For those of you looking for a clarinet case on a budget, the Sky CLHC003 is a sturdy and affordable model for student-sized clarinets. It features a hardshell case design with a high-grade aluminum frame that will retain the case’s shape under high-pressure.
The form-fitting interior of this Sky clarinet case is a standout feature. It snugly fits all the parts of the clarinet so that they don’t move around as you do and also comes in either black or blue for added customization.
However, one major drawback of the SKY CLHC003 is the fact that it doesn’t have any storage pockets. You’ll need to carry an extra accessory bag if you choose this case, which increases the overall price once you factor that in.
Although the manufacturers market this clarinet case as a lightweight carrier, it isn’t the lightest on our list. It weighs 3 pounds, which isn’t heavy but isn’t light as a feather either.
#10. Tosnail 600D Clarinet Case
- High-Density Foam Padding
- Nylon DuraGuard Cover with Zipper
- Shoulder strap. Four pieces of bottom plastic protect box from scratches causing by rough ground.
Taking the last spot on our ranking is another worthwhile clarinet case that is the ideal mix of hard and soft shell cases, the Tosnail 600D.
The Tosnail’s exterior is premium Oxford cloth, which is both water-resistant and durable. It only comes in black, so it gives off a professional look appealing to many serious players.
As you open up the case, a pleasant black foam padding greets you. Although foam isn’t standard for high-quality cases, Tosnail has nailed the security that foam offers to the smaller pieces of a clarinet. It’s lightly malleable, meaning you can wiggle the pieces around to fit without the risk of damaging the parts or the foram itself.
There are two compartments with plenty of space for your accessories and sheet music in terms of storage. You also have two ways to carry it, both with the handgrip and shoulder strap, standard for most clarinet cases.
Conclusion: Which one Should you Buy?
We hope this list has helped you narrow down your search for the best rated clarinet case on the market. The main thing to take away is that you absolutely need to use a case. Any protection is better than no protection and you don’t want to take any chances with something as expensive and fragile as a clarinet.