Which cymbal bag should I get?

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I'm trying to decide between the Ahead Armor Deluxe or the Mono cymbal bag.

Let me know if you've tried either of these or if you have any other quality bags to suggest. I'd prefer a bag with cymbal dividers and shoulder straps.

Less bulky would also be a plus, but I'm not sure that's possible with premium bags with all the extra features. It's not like I play for a Rush tribute band, so I won't need space for a ton of cymbals, but I want something that won't fall apart in 10 years like my Zildjian bag did.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...-heavy-duty-cymbal-case-up-to-24-inch-cymbals

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/M80-CY-BLK--mono-m80-cymbal-bag
 

C.M. Jones

Drum Authority
Though I use a Zildjian bag for my cymbals, I have AHEAD Armor cases for my drums. They're the best drum cases I've ever owned, reliably durable and easy to maneuver. I don't think you'll be disappointed with anything from AHEAD's factory.
 

bongoman

Junior Member
I have the Mono, and I have several Ahead bags for my drums but not the cymbal bag. I think you really can’t go wrong quality wise either way. My one “complaint” about the Mono is that extra splash pocket, I don’t use it so it’s a smidge of extra bulk. But like how is that even a complaint. I do like the dividers in the Mono better than the ones in all my other cymbal bags.
 

SharkSandwich

Junior Member
I use the Ahead Armor cymbal case and I'm very happy with it.
 
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IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I have a bunch of Ahead Armor bags for my drums now, which is why I know I'd be happy with the Ahead cymbal bag. But the question is, is the Mono bag better and worth the extra money? :unsure: One con I can think of for the Ahead bag is that I don't need a 24" capable bag. I would prefer a 22" capable bag so there's less bulk. But it's a small quibble.

@C.M. Jones @SharkSandwich
 

C.M. Jones

Drum Authority
I have a bunch of Ahead Armor bags for my drums now, which is why I know I'd be happy with the Ahead cymbal bag. But the question is, is the Mono bag better and worth the extra money? :unsure: One con I can think of for the Ahead bag is that I don't need a 24" capable bag. I would prefer a 22" capable bag so there's less bulk. But it's a small quibble.

@C.M. Jones @SharkSandwich
I understand your opposition to AHEAD's 24" capacity. I don't (nor will I) possess a cymbal that large; thus, the extra space seems something of a waste. Even so, I have complete confidence in AHEAD products, so of the two options you're vacillating between, I'd go with AHEAD. In addition, the AHEAD bag is a bit less expensive. Any savings is a plus, so long as quality isn't sacrificed in turn. In this instance, I don't believe it would be.

I do love my premium Zildjian bag, which has padded dividers and holds cymbals up to 22", with a separate compartment for hats up to 16". It's a redesigned model with excellent durability.

 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
The Zildjian Premium Back Pack is a killer bag.
My old Zildjian bag was a hot mess. The seams were coming loose and there was a big hole in the bottom.

But to be perfectly fair, I did use it for at least 400-500 gigs, so maybe that was what did it? ?‍♂️

Maybe I'll give the Premium bag another look.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Just curious: why not a hard case like an SKB?
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Just curious: why not a hard case like an SKB?
I want the best case for gigging. Easy to get in and out of, minimal weight and bulk.

I already have a hard Zildjian cymbal vault which I use more for storage. It's a pain to get cymbals in and out of, so I assume most hard cases are like that, with the single spindle in the middle?
 

s1212z

Drum Expert
I've broken a cymbal in the SKB, not that it was the case's fault. I had it standing upright and it got knocked over... but I never used their inserts, they were were a pita and bound to lose them but it may not have mattered. Nonetheless, will never stand a cymbal case ever again. I use the Road Runner now, the wheels and handle are helpful.
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
Staff member
I had a Meinl bag once - until one day on a ride back home from a festival a wing nut of the floor tom pushed a tiny dent into my Paiste Twenty 24" Ride, which developed into a crack, growing over time, until this beauty was not more than a trashy piece of metal. No more bags, only hard cases - and yes, mine also has a spindle in the center making using it a pain in the butt. But since they don't build this particular cymbal any more the loss was way more of a pain.

paistetwenty.jpg
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I want the best case for gigging. Easy to get in and out of, minimal weight and bulk.

I already have a hard Zildjian cymbal vault which I use more for storage. It's a pain to get cymbals in and out of, so I assume most hard cases are like that, with the single spindle in the middle?
Yes, it has a spindle, and yes, it’s a stack not a queue so theres a method to using it. I use mine only for gigging, and only carry what I need. I was just curious. I had a cheap cymbal bag in high school and never felt comfortable about the edges and overall safety of my tins.
 

Jasta 11

Regular Poster
the only complaint about the Ahead which i own is my 15 inch hats dont fit in the outer pocket. That's ok though as there is a ton of slots inside the bigger pocket. I like the full protection the inner wool pieces offer. Too many cymbal bag have a thin layer of nylon between cymbals, this has good padding.
 

Soulfinger

Senior Member
My one “complaint” about the Mono is that extra splash pocket, I don’t use it so it’s a smidge of extra bulk. But like how is that even a complaint.
I know how you feel - that pocket puts me off as well. I have a Mono bag for my bass - the quality is top notch but it has that weird flap on the front that I can´t make sense of. Why would anyone need this and for what? I can´t stand useless features. :)

Speaking of features, I like backpack straps so personally I´d get the Mono. No experience with Ahead but they get rave reviews.

BTW, I have the Protection Racket bag mentioned above and I´m a bit underwhelmed. For one, "securing" the shoulder strap with plastic clips instead of metal carabiners seems a bad idea, especially since the bag has space for six cymbals each in the big and the small compartment. Second, the fit is VERY tight. 22" cymbals barely fit, and the HH compartment, although advertised as 15", is too small for hats this size.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
You can find used hard shell cases (like a Zildjian Cymbal Safe, for example) for a good price. I know thre are advantages to both hard cases and bags, but cymbals are so valuable, expensive and fragile (at least if dropped on concrete) that I always try to carry mine in a hard shell case. If you go the hard shell route, get one with a bolt that goes all the way through the center and secures the two halves of the case that way. The SKB, for example, uses a plastic clip and a nylon strap to secure the case. Are you trusting a plastic clip to protect your cymbals? I'm not.

I do use bags on occasion as well, mainly because of the hands free backpack feature for loading in/out. The "On Stage" Cymbal bag is a reasonably priced option and offers very good protection. The large rear pocket can hold a decent sized stick bag or tablet and the backpack straps "disappear" into that pocket if you're not using them. A cool feature!

https://on-stage.com/products/view/14045/471677

Here are a few tips to make cymbal bags even better and more protective:

I use the bolt/spindle idea on bags too. I just take a 3/8" carriage bolt (smooth head with a square shape directly underneath the head) and large washer and felt, and stack my cymbals on that as you would in a hard case (largest to smallest) and then secure it with another washer, felt and wingnut, just make sure the bottom washer has a large enough hole to fit over the square underside of the carriage bolt. By using the carriage bolt/large washer combo, I've never had a problem with the screw "turning" as I tighten the wingnut. It stays firm. That way, the cymbals are tight together and won't scratch each other or roll around. Plus, if there is any kind of impact to the cymbal at the bottom or outside edges of the bag, it only effects the largest cymbal, all the others are "floating". You can also add more protection to the bottom of any cymbal bag by using a simple bicycle tire. Get a 20" or 22" bicycle tire (just the tire, not the inner tube that gets filled with air) and cut it in half. Place it tread side down (open end up) at the bottom of the bag, and just make sure that your cymbals are inside of the tire. This provides shock protection at the bottom of the bag for the cymbals, and it also prevents the edge weight of all the cymbals from eventually cutting through the bottom of the bag. You can also layer some foam, old towels, old t-shirts etc. inside the bike tire for even more protection.
 
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