Today we are reviewing a lightweight gig bag soft shell case for the mandolin, made by Gator Cases in a lightweight polyfoam.
This case fits both A and F style mandolins. Its exterior is a rugged nylon water-resistant outer shell. There is a zippered outer pocket for accessories such as extra picks, straps, sheet music and whatever else you need to travel with. This case is easy to carry with removable back pack straps. This will come in really handy when you have to carry other equipment with you! Plus, mandolins are so lightweight that this case will be entirely ergonomical.
Dimensions are as follows:
Body length 15”; body height 2.5”; lower bout width 10”; middle bout width 10.5”; upper bout width 7”; overall length 27.75”.
There are, of course, advantages to both using hard and soft shell cases. These advantages depend greatly upon your lifestyle/how you plan to store or travel with your instrument. Hard shell cases, of course, are crush resistant. If you leave your case lying on the floor or on the ground while packing up gear, and someone steps on or runs over the case, the instrument inside will be less damaged than if they had been stored in a gig bag. Additionally, while your instrument is in the back of a van during transport with a bunch of amps and other instruments, then a hard shell will do a far better job protecting the instrument.
However, hard shell cases are big and cumbersome, posing difficulty for those who take public transit or travel by foot any distance to get to their gig. The lightweight polyfoam mandolin case by Gator Cases is special, though, because it is a hybrid of hard shell and soft shell cases. The exterior is covered with 600-Denier ballistic material. It is internally constructed of dense EPS foam interior that is covered in soft plush with foam support for the neck.
It comes with two accessory pockets, a parachute nylon web carrying handle and comfortable, removable shoulder strap. The accessory space is 6”x3”x2”.
The kind of case you select will be determined by your need, as mentioned. Soft shell cases are also known as gig bags, which are handy carriers for musicians given their lightweight nature. The soft shell case won’t add much weight at all to your burden, making it a good choice. Gig bags also come with a front pocket in which to store music, set lists and other necessities. Additionally, soft shell cases make great dust covers at prices cheaper than hard shell.
Depending on the size and shape of your mandolin, you may want to add additional cushioning to make for a snug fit. This mandolin case will hold both A and F style mandolins.
If you are looking for a travel case for your mandolin, this makes a nice lightweight alternative to a hard shell case, but we recommend using it as a carry-on, lest you risk checking it and sustaining damage. We’ve seen how the porters handle luggage. The backpack straps make travel much easier as you maneuver through airport crowds to reach your gate. This case is extremely sturdy and will not get crushed, and fits easily in the overhead compartments.
The price point makes this a great buy, especially if you just play for fun. You can have a protective carrying case without the large price tag, enabling you to transport the instrument to the homes of friends and family.
Some accessories to keep in this carrying bag include:
- electric tuner
- spare strings
- string winder
- nail clippers and emery boards (of the emergency repair kind, should you bust a nail or need to give a quick trim before playing)
The top mesh pocket will hold papers, passport, tickets etc.
This case is easy to carry, lightweight and very well made. It will hold up for years and years and years of use. The interior foam does a better job protecting the instrument inside than a regular hard case, which, while durable on the exterior, tend not to have much padding inside. This case is solid, the zippers hold well and it’s a good fit for both A and F style mandolins.
The only feature this mandolin is missing is some rubber feet. Feet enable the player to stand the case upright while removing the instrument, and keep the case in position before you use it again.
Favourable features include durable exterior, plenty interior padding and backpack straps for ease of carrying, keeping your hands free. It only weighs 5 pounds, making for a very portable instrument protector that you can rely on to transport your mandolin and keep the dust off.
The Gator polyfoam mandolin case sells for around $80.