For Local Gigs: Cases or No Cases


Most of the time, I use SKB hard cases. They’re easy to stack on a hand cart for the schlep, and offer the best protection.

I have a kit that I use soft cases for, which is a maple 10/13/16/snare kit. The soft cases are used so I can carry the entire kit in my right hand, my hardware case in my left hand, and my cymbals in a cymbal backpack—a one-trip load in without using a cart! I use this kit for jazz gigs and gigs with very small spaces.
For local gigs/recording? Bags, no cases. They're light, get the job done, and they all fit into one another when empty so you essentially have one bass drum case sitting in the corner until you pack up again.
I had cases for my drums and hardware but when i started to gig more frequently i noticed for me that bags were more easy to transport/lift etc as i have to carry all by myself. The only cases i have are for the hardware and my cymbals, these have these skateboard wheels underneath and are easy to handle.

I think it's a Ferrari FF with gifted matching drums in the trunk.
You also have to consider your car. Drums without cases can scratch leather, center consoles or window film, or leave imprints in the seats. But if your car is a POS, that may not matter.

I vote cases, but I have nice things and I like to keep them nice.

I've spent WAY too much time getting the fit & finish right on my gear to let hitting a doorframe or other solid objects mess it all up.

Bags at minimum, cases at max.
Saving up to purchase heavy duty bags now. In the meantime I wrap up my drums in old blankets in the car. Hardware is in a heavy duty duffel type case from Home Depot. I have cymbal bags.
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I've used nice bags for every kit after my first beater kit. I baby my gear anyway, but it all looks very close to new after many years of being prone to accidental dings while carried, beer/cocktail spills, etc, plus it's easier to carry more at a time when in the bags, plus there's no rogue wingnuts etc. tearing or jabbing holes in my vehicle upholstery.
On advice from you all I got some Protection Racket bags used when some came up for sale locally. Haven’t used them yet though. Drums still ride naked, everything else and snare drum bagged up tight. Still feels good to have the option and I’ll probably use them for all day things with multiple groups moving stuff around.
PR rigid cases for me. Less faff to use compared to soft cases, They offer drop / crew protection, & after 9 years owning my previous car, I now have a new sedan ride to keep damage free.