Hard Case or Soft Case?

Hard case vs soft case

As a musician, you need to take care of your instrument. Here at Fusion, we’ve been asked many times about the difference between a hard and soft case, and what role each one plays in the everyday life of a musician. 
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Hard case vs. soft case - instruments

Hard Case – Pros and Cons

A hard case usually consists of an outer shell, shaped to the instrument encased inside, and a hard moulded EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam interior, covered by soft fitted or moulded fabric material.

Hard cases - pros and cons

Solid construction
Because of the solid construction, the hard case will usually withstand being stacked and stored alongside other equipment and instruments.

Stowing hard cases

Using a road crew
If you’re gigging and transporting your instrument via roadies and crew, where your instrument is not going to be taken care of by you personally, a hard case is the perfect solution – if your instrument’s going to be stored with other equipment in the back of a tour bus, lorry or a van where there’s a possibility equipment could move around, this is where the hard case excels.

Gigging with a hard case

Possible damage
Although if a hard case is accidentally dropped, the outer shell could be more likely to be damaged or broken than a soft case. There could also be the possibility of transferring the shock of impact to the instrument inside.

Damage to hard case can lead to damage to instrument

User abuse
Though if a hard or soft case is abused, the likelihood of damage to the instrument in both cases is inevitable.

Damage to instruments in hard cases

Awkward to carry
The other downside of a hard case is that it is usually carried by the handle, which is less comfortable to hold over time with the heavier hard case. There’s also a lack of storage space, which is always an issue with musicians on the road.

Hard cases can be awkward to carry

Soft Case - Pros and Cons

Easier to carry and wear
With a soft case, more steps are taken towards comfort and ease of use while transporting the bag personally.

Soft cases are easier to carry

Soft cases will usually be lighter, more ergonomic and have the accessible and comfortable backpack straps and handles that a hard case typically lacks, so you can leave your hands free. The increased pocket and storage space is ideal for a musician who needs to carry extra equipment.

Requires careful handling
However, a soft case requires more consideration when travelling, and it is advised that a bag should always be handled with care.

Travelling with soft cases requires extra care

The downside of a soft case is that it doesn’t have the same rigid structure as a hard case, but the EPE (expanded polyethylene) foam used in Fusion bags helps to absorb the shock and impact if dropped.

Soft cases lack a rigid structure

Conclusion & Fusion’s approach

In conclusion, the old argument between a hard or soft case always comes down to personal choice and the functionality that best suits you.

If you are happy to use a hard case, there are definitely benefits – the structural integrity, relative ease to stow, load and unload whilst travelling. A soft case can bring other benefits – lightweight absorbent construction, comfort while travelling, added storage options for personal belongings and equipment.

Hybrid technology for gig bags and cases

Fusion hybrid technology
At Fusion, we look at both approaches to create and build a new level of hybrid gig bags which take in to account the structural integrity and functional design, bringing together the benefits of hard and soft cases to create a hybrid product.

Hard case protection with soft case functionality

Internal construction
The internal construction of the hybrid soft case on our Fusion bags uses high-impact-and-shock-resistant EPE (expanded polyethylene) foam, along with an additional padded instrument sleeve that cushions the instrument inside the gig bag.

Impact resistant instrument case design

This cocoons the instrument inside the impact-resistant high-density foam padded shell.

Protective construction protects your musical instrument

Pockets and storage
This structure allows you to store accessories and music in the pockets and pouches, with additional space available through adding on one of our Fuse-On bags if required.

Fuse On Bags provide additional storage

Built into the structure of our high-quality, water-resistant robust rip-stop material, additional storage can be Fused On to the main instrument bag.

Practical gig bags for touring musicians

In summary, the debate and choices may never truly end. But as long as it does, the progress, research and development continues at Fusion – more than just a gig bag!

Product development at Fusion - More than just a gig bag

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