A hard case is safer but it also makes your guitar heavier, and these types of cases rarely have a back strap. A gig bag makes the guitar much easier to carry but you don't want to end up with it in the undercarriage of a plane or bus. For an acoustic, we recommend an SKB Moulded EPS Case as the best 3/4 guitar case. It has the best of both worlds as it has a rigid foam lining to protect the guitar but is still lightweight with a shoulder strap.
I still wouldn't advise stuffing your guitar as check-in luggage consistently. You should try to take it as carry-on where possible. However, this case is much safer than a gig bag if you are randomly forced to have it in a luggage bay.
If you know your guitar is often going to end up in transit bays you should get a hard case instead.
Unfortunately, there is no equivalent case for a 3/4 electric guitar. So, you will have to decide between a gig bag or a hard case if you're shopping for an electric.
Instrument Max Dimensions
I had one of these cases for my first short scale acoustic. I flew with it from Australia to Europe and a few smaller flights while in Europe. They allowed me to take it as carry-on luggage for the long flight but some of the smaller airlines made me check it in.
I was apprehensive about having my guitar checked in. But, I can say that I couldn't be happier with how the case handled it. It got a dent in it from one flight **cough RYANAIR***. But, that demonstrates the case can absorb a small impact if need be.
A flight case would obviously be better to fly with but this does a fine job if it HAS to go in the undercarriage. I should stress it is not designed for this but is much safer than a gig bag in a pinch.
I had my guitar stolen from the green room at a venue I was playing at in Greece so that was the end of my SKB case. I have since picked up a Taylor GS Mini and just use its standard case as I no longer fly for gigs - thanks covid. I would not hesitate to pick up another SKB case if I was going to be gigging internationally again.
These cases only weigh about 5lb (2kg) so they are very light considering how sturdy they are. I had no trouble carrying my guitar around on my back hiking from train stations and airports to hostels.
I HATE carrying a hard case with my hand and using a backpack for my clothes. It is much easier to carry the guitar on your back and wheel your other luggage around. You don't bump into people or your own shins anywhere near as often.
It's for all these reasons I rate this case the best to travel with. Yet, It's also a nice middle-ground for local gigs. You can trust it in your trunk more than a gig bag.
**I recently discovered this neat little device that adds straps to a hard case. I have not tried it but it could definitely be an option to carry your hard case more comfortably.**
On the other hand. If you are going to use a case as storage for your kid's guitar, it may be better to get something cheaper.
There is only one other direct competition to these cases which is this Gator Case. These are just as tough and light but the only smaller guitar size they cater for is a GS Mini. So SKB wins out in this regard. If you have that size guitar and find the Gator for cheaper don't hesitate to pick that one up.
If you have a Little Martin, Baby Taylor, or Yamaha JR1 you will need to go for the smaller SKB case.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to get a super tough flight case for a 3/4 guitar. At least without spending an absolute fortune.
You could get a custom-built classical guitar flight case but you'd often be spending more than your instrument is worth. Of course, if you actually have a vintage classical guitar that is worth thousands of dollars you should do this. Yet, for most of us, a quality hard case like this Gator case is more than sturdy enough.
The counterweighted design of this case makes it a standout among 3/4 size cases. With its ergonomic handle, it helps to balance the weight of the guitar inside. This means it doesn't sway around too much while you are walking with it.
The plywood construction covered in Tolex is very tough and can withstand years of abuse. It is not as solid as hearty as molded plastic but I have never had any trouble with guitar cases like this.
It's mainly the Tolex on my speaker cabinets that suffer tears often. Guitar cases are much lighter and less likely to get dragged across sharp things or stair edges.
There is a container inside this case that is big enough to fit your guitar strap, capo, a guitar pick (or 20), and extra strings.
There are more budget-friendly 3/4 acoustic guitar hard cases if you can forgo the prestige of a Gator product. You will sacrifice a bit of quality if you do this though.
Most cheap hard cases are still good enough to use for carrying your guitar to and from gigs and lessons.
If the dimensions of your musical instrument are a little too big for this case you could also check out the 000 acoustic size model. This has larger interior measurements.
Instrument Max Dimensions
The case that comes standard with any short scale Taylor guitar is actually really good. They have
The tan color may not appeal to everyone. Also, you might feel a bit strange packing, say, a Martin guitar into a Taylor guitar bag. There are some other options if either of these applies to you.
These are more generic-looking and available in a few different sizes. They won't have any trouble accommodating any mini acoustic guitar.
They have a single shoulder strap rather than backpack style fasteners. Some of you may prefer to carry your guitar like this so it could be a potential selling point for you.
I still definitely prefer the Taylor bags but wouldn't have any issues using one of these bags either.
They're also cheaper than the Taylor equivalent soft acoustic guitar case.
There are plenty of full-size guitar gig bags that each accommodate a particular body style. This is less prevalent among smaller guitars, but if you own a Mini Strat, you are in luck.
This is the best for Mini Strats for obvious reasons. They're also accommodating for plenty of other styles though. An Ibanez Mikro would fit neatly in this package too.
This bag has an awesome 10mm of padding and comfortable shoulder straps. This makes it very easy to wear for long periods.
The pocket is enormous compared to other mini gig bags. Plenty of room for your kid's sheet music and tabs.
If you need a more generic gig bag, this is our favorite. Gator cases are always a safe go-to option if you're unsure ;)
These have 10mm of padding just like the Fender bag. These also have the benefit of added support for the bridge and headstock.
These only have a single shoulder strap.
Not really much else to say about these. They're a reliable small gig bag. Nothing too fancy.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of options when it comes to short-scale electric hard cases. This is because they can fit into a generic full-size hard case, albeit with a lot of extra room around the headstock.
As they're not really specialized it is hard to justify forking out for an expensive model. If you were to consider this, Gator has a nice hybrid case. You should know by now these are our favorite type of case.
Other than that you could opt for pretty much any generic brand like this one. Just be aware that your small guitar may rattle around a bit in this big case so you may want to put some extra padding in to hold it in place.
It is always best to take your guitar as carry-on luggage where possible. If you must check it in, make sure you loosen the strings and have some way to dehumidify inside your case.
Not adhering to these rules can cause your neck to warp beyond repair. The dry, cold air on the flight can mess with the wood. I ruined the action on my favorite guitar by not detuning the strings once, so be careful!
If you aren't traveling a lot or using your guitar at gigs you don't need a hard case. A gig bag is plenty fine to take a guitar to and from guitar lessons or school.
We like the hybrid cases as you get the best of both worlds but a hard case is still better for your guitar's safety.
Hopefully, you have come to the end of this article a little less confused about which is the best 3/4 guitar case for you. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or if you think we missed anything.