Affordable, Lightweight Travel Case

Edited: September 23, 2021, 7:30 PM · Hi. I am looking for a lightweight case I can use to transport my viola to and from school and around campus daily. I'm hoping for something reasonably protective, but it also will mostly either be in a locker or in my hand for the majority of the time. I don't take the subway or anything like that.

I'm seeing a lot of options for violin cases, but not much for viola that isn't going to be a struggle to walk 2 miles with. Or the few that I do see are ~$1000+ (USD), which is not really affordable for me right now.

Any suggestions?

Replies (8)

September 23, 2021, 7:08 PM · I’ve heard that the BAM cases are light in weight but sturdy.

If you’re walking across campus a lot, then a good shoulder strap is absolutely necessary. Not sure if you can demo a case or not but it might be worthwhile.

Edited: September 24, 2021, 10:11 AM · Most of the brands of violin cases mentioned on other threads have viola equivalents. (Musafia, Riboni, et al.) They will be incrementally heavier-- nobody is adding helium to the viola models. But you're trying to solve the same problem of balancing volume, weight, and strength. And cost.
September 23, 2021, 9:39 PM · The Pedi cases are quite popular with college students in my area. They have comfortable built-in backpack straps that can be tucked in when not in use and they hold sheet music nicely while still being lightweight. They’re not expensive at all and they provide decent protection. They’re foam core cases, so not as tough as hard cases, but hard to beat if you’re carrying them a lot.

I’d recommend the GEWA Pure or Air cases if you want something a little tougher.

September 23, 2021, 11:01 PM · The Pedi cases have what they call "steel-shield" technology. Basically, they inserted steel bars into high-density foam. It's supposed to make the case more resistant to force. They even have a picture of someone standing on it. I've had a pedi case before and liked it quite a bit.
September 24, 2021, 12:21 AM · Lion's viola cases (available on Shar's website) are quite light and sturdy and easy to carry around.
September 24, 2021, 2:00 AM · The comments on Pedi cases are very interesting. I've bookmarked a couple for when my case wears out.
Edited: September 24, 2021, 2:17 AM · Riboni makes a lightweight wood case, a great choice if you like oblong cases:

I use the violin version, custom ordered without music pocket to save weight and size, and it is lighter than the Bam oblong case while keeping the trappings of a traditional wood case and without costing more. You'll have to wait a bit to get one though, as they are made to order.

I know of one viola soloist who uses this case.

September 28, 2021, 4:34 AM · On the budget end of the scale, you can check out Protec Max viola. I got one of these off Amazon, it's dirt cheap and light. I feel like I shouldn't, but my fine viola goes inside this when I don't wanna lug my wooden case around...

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Business Directory Business Directory

Johansen International Competition

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine