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Best French Horn Case/ Gig Bag 2024? 13 Bulletproof Horn Cases!

What's the best French horn case? Are gig bags better than hard-cases?

To invest in the best French Horn case you can get your hands is just common sense.

After all, your French Horn case is the main barrier between your horn and any nasty bumps, dints, scrapes and scratches. None of which do wonders for its aesthetics or its value. Important stuff, especially when you consider that the Best French Horns cost well into the £1000s! Not to mention what a neglected horn says about you as a player…

Put it this way, if we were looking to hire a French Hornist and they turned up with a horn covered in dints and scratches, we’d almost instantly scratch them off our shortlist. Why? Because the way you as a musician treat your equipment says an awful lot about your attitude. Not only that but it could affect your sound too. When the way a French Horns play can be influenced by the level of lacquer or its cleanliness, a great big dint or scuff is surely going to impact how it plays.

And we know it sounds petty, but there is some real theatre about extracting a horn from its case in-front of a potential client. Theatre that instantly makes you appear more professional. Let’s face it, we shouldn’t judge on first impressions – but we do! So as you can imagine, finding a case that’s both practical and professional is a serious matter. One that we’re here to help you solve. Read on and we’ll reveal the top 10 French Horn cases for sale today + even more about why a French Horn case is SO worth it!

After something specific about how to best protect your French Horn? Or just curious as to what we think is the best French Horn case fo sale today? Use the menu below to get all the answers you need in 1 click…

french horn laid in its case

NOTE: Curious about more than French Horn cases? Be sure to also check out our guides to the Best Double French Horns + the best French Horn Mutes.

French Horn cases are more varied than you’d think! When it comes to ways to protect your French Horn, you generally have 2 options: invest in a hard case that’s very much geared towards ultimate protection. Or a gig bag, that offers and adequate level of protection, but is a lot more practical and compact.

Then consider that there’s various types of gig bags as well as hard cases to wrap your head around, and suddenly something as simple as a case, has you going boss-eyed and asking 10,000 questions. So to make your life easier & prevent us from having to answer all 10,000 of those questions, we’ve done all the legwork for you. Which is the best French horn case, you ask? Read on to find out…

If you’re after a solid barrier between your horn & the elements, then a hardcase (like these) are the way to go. Not only are they tough & incredibly durable, but they also last the longest & offer the best protection against water & damp. As an hornist will know… excess moisture is NOT good news for instrument health!

So if that all sounds good, keep reading to discover some of the best French Horn cases for ultimate protection…

1: Crossrock ABS moulded hard case

hornist with a french horn gig bag on his back

2: Crossrock moulded fibreglass horn case

3: Gator GC-french horn case 

4: Stagg SC-FH french horn case 

Inside the bell of a french horn

If you generally take good care of your horn, then a gig bag is most likely all the protection you need. By that we mean if you don’t have other people handing it at an airport or your child using it as a goalpost during their lunch break, then chances are, it’ll suffice.

In which case, here’s a speedy rundown of the best French Horn gig bags we could find…

5: Protec MX316CT Max contoured horn case

6: Champion Cases CHCFHOR1 french horn case 

7: ProTec french horn bag (padded backpack straps) 

the mouthpiece of a french horn glinting in the sun

8: Exceart Waterproof french horn carry bag

9: Deluxe french horn case by Gear4Music

10: Gator Rigid lightweight french horn case

travelling musician holding a french horn case

As any travelling horn player already knows, French horns aren’t exactly the lightest of hand luggage.

Not to mention bulky & fragile too. Taking a French Horn on a plane especially, can be for a musician, quite the stressful experience. Let’s just say that luggage handlers at airports aren’t exactly kind to suitcases. And it’s much the same when taking a Horn on the train, bus or piling it into the back of a tour van. Precisely why for travelling hornists, having a case that’s geared specifically towards protection & toughness is a wise idea.

Hence why if you’re looking to make life on the road that bit easier, we’d consider this tough French Horn case…. (oh, & did we mention – it’s also on wheels!)

11: Protec IPAC IP316SB french horn case


A small budget doesn’t have to mean you sacrifice your horn’s safety & go without a French Horn case; no horn deserves to be naked. And while of course, opting for a cheaper case may mean you have to be more careful, at the very least it serves as a barrier between your instrument & the elements. speaking of which, there’s actually quite a good selection of budget French horn cases out there, ranging from gig bags & backpacks to hard cases.

So, if we had limited £$€ & a French horn desperately in need of protection, here’s the case we’d put our trust in…

12: JC Thick Oxford Cloth waterproof gig bag

brass band practicing a tune at a jazz club

In the case you’re a new to the French horn, you may not have even bought an instrument yet.

Wise choice, as not all cases fit every Horn. Aside from size & shape, there’s also details like whether it’s a screw-bell or not to take into consideration. All of which means that you may actually be better off buying your horn & case as one package. That way you know the horn fits the case & thus, does its job. Something that can save you a lot of time & hassle… no one likes paying return postage, especially on bulky items!

So if this sounds like you, then then we’d say this is the best French horn case/ instrument combo to get you started…

13: Montreux Sonata mini french horn (with gig bag)

Choosing a French Horn case isn’t just a snap decision. With there being that many ways to protect your French Horn (from gig bags to hard cases), making the right choice can be quite a task. Even for music fanatics like us, it was no easy feat. Hence why we’ve split our verdict into two parts: the best French Horn hard case & the best French Horn gig bag. So without further ado…

Best French horn hard case = Crossrock ABS moulded French Horn case 

Safe to say if you’re after a hard case for your French Horn, then the ABS case made by Crossrock is the way to go. That’s because this French Horn case does everything a hard case should, yet comes in at substantially less than its (more pricey) fibreglass alternative. For one of those, you’ll be looking to pay over £100 more! And that’s what really stood out to us about this case. While it’s not the cheapest hard case on this list, it’s superb value!

Being ABS, this case is rugged from the outside, be it rested on its side or stood upright. Compared to a gig bag then, the ABS is substantially more protective, as it prevents any sharp corners or sudden knocks from intruding into the space where your horn sits. So rest assured your horn should remain safe. Ideal if you’re a professional who’s stashing your horn in the back of a tour bus or if you’re the mother & father of an erratic student. By that we mean the type to use their horn case as a goalpost in the playground.

Aside from being rugged on the outside though, inside the Crossrock is equally as smart. The amount of high density padding in this case is sensational, as is that soft blue fabric that lines the case too. For any Horn, this is very much a pleasant place to be. And in the end, that’s what’s important in a French Horn case – how well it protects your horn. So while you could upgrade to an even more lux fibreglass version, if you ask us, this ABS case is more than enough.

Saying that though, if you’re a casual player or just have the budget to spend on such protection, then a French Horn gig bag may be more up your street. In which case, here’s our pick…

Best French Horn gig bag = Protec MX316CT MAX Contoured French Horn Case

As far as gig bags go, for us this is the pinnacle. That’s because really this is a whole lot more than ‘just a gig bag’. While you cab buy cheap French Horn gig bags for as little as £70, we’d be tempted to call this more of a ‘gig bag case’. Reason being that from the outside it does look very much like a gig bag. However, once you get to know this case, you soon realise it’s a whole lot more.

In comparison to cheaper gig bags, the Protec is more rigid and uses what is (as far as we can tell) a higher density foam. The lining of the case is also super soft. The kind of soft that you find hard not to stroke. The space for the horn is nice and tight too. Pit this against cheaper gig bags and you’ll soon see the Protec tends to have a firmer hold. In other words, keep your horn more secure.

But what really stole the show for us is that this gig bag is shock resistant. All of which means that in most ‘perilous’ situations it actually does the job of a hard case. And if lightness is a concern then this gig bag may actually be better. Weighing in at just under 2kgs, it’s also one of the lightest gig bags you can get! Team this with those backpack-style straps and for any student or ‘on the go’ musician, it’s ideal.

Enjoy this Best french Horn case review and eager for more? Don’t miss out on our Musical Instrument Care Tips, as well as our Reviews Of Brass Instruments. Recently we’ve also done a full in-depth guide to the Best French Horn Cleaning Kit + another on the best Double French Horns, which may also be worth checking out!

best french horn case reviews

Or if your heart’s set on a French Horn case, keep reading to discover even more about why French Horn accessories like this are SO essential…

The actual size of a French Horn case all really depends on what type of case you go for.

Opt for a hard case and it’s likely that its dimensions will be slightly larger than that of the equivalent gig bag. Most hard cases we know of tend to be longer than your average gig bag. maybe even a bit more girthy too. Reason being that gig bags are made to be portable, whereas protection is the priority with a hard case. However, that’s not to say that you can’t get some slimline French Horn cases, you can.

Only we wouldn’t advise doing so, as with such an exquisite instrument as a horn, you need all the protection that you can get. Ask us and a bit of extra bulk is nothing if it saves your horn from incurring costly damage!

The best French Horn case for protection has to be a hard case.

One of the major reasons they’re slightly more pricey than your average gig bag. Being made of ABS or even fibreglass means that as a case, they have far less flex to them. So if they were to be dropped or come into contact with something sharp, they’d deflect the impact. In other words, the place where your horn sits would not change shape. One of the risks you run with a gig bag.

That’s because gig bags are made to be portable and easy to live with. Whereas a hard case puts less emphasis on this, and more on protection. For any one with a precious French Horn, a hard case is definitely the way to go.

A French Horn comes in at anywhere from £60 – £200, however the best French Horn cases (ones by Crossrock for instance) retail for above that.

That’s because typically with French Horn cases, what you get is what you pay for. So if you were to cheap out on a French Horn case, it’d likely not do its job. Much the same as if you were to invest heavily in case, it’d serve you well for years to come.

Ask us and quality is well worth playing for. Add up the cost of buying multiple cheap cases and pretty soon you’ll have the price of one top-quality one. So providing you can afford to do so, you may as well treat your horn to years of quality & comfort – right?

A French Horn case roughly weighs in at around 2-3kgs, although some gig bags do come in at under that.

But don’t let weight (and weight alone) influence your decision. The best French Horn cases are more than often not the lightest. Why? Because they’re made with quality materials and are designed to protect your horn, opposed to just slightly cushion it. In which case, judging a case purely by its weight is more than often a way the discover a French Horn case that you should avoid. So remember…

The weight of a French Horn case is important. But it’s not the ‘be all and end all’. The quality of the case and the level of protection it offers is SO much more crucial.

Don’t forget that!

The French Horn is special because of where it comes from.

Back in the day the French Horn was actually a hunting instrument, used by the leader of a hunting party to signal that prey was in sight. Almost like a beckoning call. Hence why it faces backwards and (could at the time) be played with one hand. The French Horn would typically be played on horseback and faced backwards as not to alarm the prey to the hunters’ presence. In other words, remain stealthy.

The Horn gets its French name because it was similar to the Horns used by English huntsmen, only bigger. So much so that it reminded the Brits at the time of the French, who used a lot larger horns when hunting. From then on it was dubbed as the ‘French’ Horn. That being said, the ironic thing about the French Horn is that it actually originated in Germany!

Yes – both as an instrument and when nestled inside a case, a French Horn is very easy to carry.

The instrument itself is easy to carry because it was initially designed to be used by hunters on horseback. The horn was blown by the leader of the hunting party when prey was in sight. Hence why the Horn faces backwards – a way not to startle the prey.

And as for a French Horn inside a case, the answer’s much the same. Although it does depend on what type of case you go for. Hard cases tend to be more tricky to carry, as they don’t come with backpack straps. A perk you get with a lot of French Horn gig bags. Something that makes gig bags especially suited to students and travelling musicians.

French Horns last a long time… if you look after them.

Fail to do so however and your horn could be out of action in a matter of years. Just like a car, house – virtually any asset, French Horns require regular maintenance. Be that oiling their valves, polishing up the Brass or performing an Ultrasonic clean once a year. Neglect to do these small chores and you could soon notice a difference both in sound and playability. Hence why getting a French Horn case can actually save you money!

By keeping your horn protected and out of reach of dust, you’ll essentially be doing 50% of the work with minimal effort. Let’s just say that cleanliness is half the battle when it comes to keeping your French Horn in tip-top shape. Explains why Ultrasonic cleaning is so popular with brass musicians.

What’s more, with a case protecting the horn, it protects you against unnecessary repair bills and ensures that your horn plays well every time. So by investing in a top-quality French Horn case, you’re really just protecting your investment (i.e. your horn). Something that if maintained correctly and carried around in a case, could easily last in excess of 10 years, be it a Single, Double or Triple.

Break down the cost of a case over those 10 years and suddenly, it doesn’t seem all that much!

* Curious about Ultrasonic cleaning? Be sure to check out our blog on the Best French Horn Cleaning Kits, linked above this FAQ.

Virtually all French Horns you can buy today are made up of some sort of Brass. However, the formulation of this brass can differ, and as a result make them more/less susceptible to damage.

The majority of French Horns are made up of what’s known as Yellow Brass. In the case of the french Horn this is mostly comprised of copper for its tonal resonance. Usually it’s a 70-30 split between copper and zinc. However, with copper being a soft metal, this can make these horns vulnerable to dints and scuffs, should they get knocked about.

A few select horns are also made of Gold Brass, which ironically is red in colour (had us confused too). But what this means is that the copper content in these horns is even higher – touching on 85%!! So as you can imagine, these horns need full protection. Not many of them are manufactured any more, so if you have one, preserve it right and you could be soon sitting on a gold mine. Maybe that’s why it’s called ‘Gold’ Brass?

But, for those with a silver horn, you can (to some extent) breathe easy. Being silver means that a horn is made of what’s known as Nickel-Silver. In other words, its Nickel content outweighs its copper content. So in terms of durability, your horn is actually quite rugged. So much so that you could probably get away with a beginner case if you wanted to save a few pennies.

Not that we’d advise it though. Nickel-Silver French Horns are by far the rarest type of horn you can get your hands on. Therefore, if you’re a proud owner, protecting your horn with case is likely to make it a lot more desirable, should you wish to sell up for a tidy profit in the future.

FUN FACT: Even though French Horns are today made of a brass alloy, ‘back in the day’ they were made of tusks, wood and even animal horns!

French horn cases are so varied, so if you know whta to look for it makes the job of whittling down your options 10 times easier

  • Level of protection – Your horn is precious (i.e. not cheap) so protecting it the best you can just makes sense. Hence why when searching for the best French horn case you need to bear in mind the level of protection given by a case. Our advice would be to look for something rugged like a hard case or that is at the very least shock resistant.
  • Weight – If weight is a concern then your best best may be off with a French Horn gig bag. Reason being that while hard cases do provide optimal protection, they can be significantly heavier. Couple this with the fact that they also don’t come with backpack straps, and hauling them around can be significantly more of a chore.
  • Price range – French Horn cases can vary substantially in price, so be sure to start your search with a clear budget in mind. However, don’t make the mistake of being overly tight. With French Horn cases you very much get what you pay for, so especially if you have an expensive Double Horn, you can’t afford to scrimp when it comes to a case. Do so and it could well cost you more in repairs, should you have a clumsy moment.
  • How well it holds the horn – A case is great, but a case that holds your horn firmly in place is even better. Why? Because if your horn is too loose inside you case it could actually inflict unnecessary damage. Buy a French Horn case that loosely fits your horn and you could end up (over time) with a dinted bell, or worse, valve damage.

Moral of the story: do your research! Exactly why we made this blog over 5000 words long… you can thank us later :)