Choosing A Djembe Bag
You've found the best djembe, now it's time to get out there and play. If you take your djembe drum places, its best to get a djembe case or bag to protect it.
You can buy bags for drums of all sizes, and there are plenty available online.
Some will just cover the face of the drum, some are made of padded cloth and others are made of multiple layers of canvas, padded linings with shoulder straps, zips and pouches.
Let's compare the options for the best djembe bag for your precious drum.
How big is your drum?
You're going to need to know the size of your drum in inches. Get a tape measure and measure the drum across the face. For full size djembes you should find this is about 11-14".
When choosing a bag, make sure to choose the right size.
Bag sizes usually come in 10", 12" and 14".
Whether you're going to lessons, performances, camping or on an airline, there's plenty of choice. Here are the main types of djembe bags:
Djembe drum head covers
These are probably the simplest form of protection for your drum, and are suitable only to protect the head of the drum.
Head covers consist of a simple cloth or canvas cover that fits over the head of the drum, using elastic to keep it in place. It will probably be enough to prevent nicks and scratches to the djembe skin, but won't protect against any hard knocks to the shell.
They are affordable and easy to use. This one by Toca is probably the best in this type:
Cheap Djembe Bags
If you want a really cheap djembe bag that covers the whole drum, this is probably your best bet, available in 10 and 12 inch.
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A black nylon djembe bag, with a zip up top, carrying strap.
Personally I don't think these provide enough protection and I don't think they'll last very long, but they sure are cheap.
Cloth Djembe Bags
These are the kind often made in Africa, with colorful material or patterns that look really funky. They zip up or tie up and often have shoulder straps for carrying on your back.
The best kinds have double stitching on the seams and are made using two layers of material with some sort of foam or padding in between.
They offer relatively good protection for general traveling, although probably not enough to prevent damage from a hard knock.
You could try this one made of Kente cloth, bright and colorful:
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Or this colorful backpack style bag:
Canvas or Nylon Djembe Bags
These are more expensive, but offer much better protection, especially for the head of the drum - good if you travel a lot. Essential for airline travel.
They often have robust zips, both a carry handle and shoulder straps, heavy duty canvas in layers and a pouch for carrying a few extras.
Double-stitching is important to withstand the weight of the drum on the straps.
For a more robust (and slightly more expensive) small bag for the serious player, try this.
A small black padded bag with a zip-up top, adjustable shoulder straps and a strong carry handle. This one also has a pocket for carrying extra bits and pieces.
Made by Stagg, a reputable producer of djembe accessories. Before buying, make sure it fits your djembe.
Before buying, drop the seller a line to find out the exact size, to make sure it fits your djembe - this one is 10", which is on the small side.
Djembe Bags by Brand
Most of the well-known djembe and percussion brands also sell bags. Here are the main ones:
Stagg Djembe Bag
A good entry level bag.
Toca Djembe Bag
About the same quality as the Stagg, Toca and Stagg are good brands in the entry level market.
LP Djembe Bag
Moving up to professional quality bags, we have the LP. This is a really good bag, you could use this for airline travel.
Protection Racket Djembe Bag
This bag is one of my favorites and is a solid contender. Protection Racket have been around for some time and are well known for good bags.
I'm impressed with the thickness of the canvas and big strong zips.
It also has a clever design that zips up the side. You can't go wrong with this bag.
Remo Djembe Bag
Remo is an industry leader in the world of drum skins. They also produce several high quality djembes, and this bag is in the same class. Good protection and a sleek design, we like this bag.
Note that this is designed to fit a Remo djembe. It should fit other djembes too though.
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Meinl Djembe Bag
Meinl are a well known brand. I have a Meinl bag and it has never let me down. Solid construction, thick padded canvas, the drum head cover is padded wood, strong zips.
The shoulder straps are comfy and are adjustable to different lengths.
This bag gets a two thumbs up from us.
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Djembe drum flight cases
If you need a superstar-level djembe case, consider a flight case.
A flight case is usually a shaped fiberglass mold with metal edging and handles. It clearly offers the best form of protection, but is expensive and heavy.
The case opens up using hinges, sometimes lockable and has a soft inner lining, and would probably be custom made for a specific drum.
Quite rare, makers include LP, Gator Cases, Anvil, SKB, Tony Legrutta.
Range from £70/$100 to £700/$1000
If I had to choose one out of all the above, it would be the Protection Racket. It's what I'm using these days and I'm very happy with it.
Don't forget to measure your drum and get the right size bag.
I'd love to know your thoughts, so drop a line in the comms below.
That's it for now. I hope this has helped you find the best djembe bag. Good luck!