The Best Hard Case for a Gibson or Epiphone ES-335 Guitar
This is my pick for the best guitar hard cases for a Gibson ES-335 or Epiphone ES-335/Dot. This list will also suit many other brands that match the same physical size of a Gibson. You will get value from this list for those who own a Tokai, Eastman, Orville, Heritage, or Artist Cherry 58.
A good guitar case should last a lifetime. Additionally, a good guitar case should be a snug fit on your guitar. This list includes quality hard case advice for your beloved ES-335 at various price points. Don’t skimp when it comes to purchasing a case for an ES-335. The reason why is these guitars are way more fragile in their design than other guitars.
1. The Official ES-335 Case
If you have spent your hard-earned cash on a Gibson ES-335 or a similar high-end guitar, then get the official Gibson ES-335 Case. These Gibson guitar cases are the perfect fit for your ES-335 and will offer almost zero movements of your guitar when it’s placed inside. A snug fit is the most important thing you should look for when buying any hard case.
The second most important thing to any good hard case is ensuring that the top lid is sturdy enough and won’t push down on the guitar’s top section. After owning this case for my Gibson ES-335, it’s a “hard case” to beat regarding stability and ruggedness (pun intended).
Internally, this case is beautiful. It features plush gray lining, a lidded center picket for stings or picks, and other accessories. The center picket also doubles as the perfect neck rest area for the ES-335 ensuring safe transportation.
Lastly, this case’s classic design and visual is the least important thing, but it’s also a very classy case. The case features the classic Gibson gold letter branding and classic brown exterior. This is the perfect match for your Gibson ES-335, and I can highly recommend this as a replacement. These hard cases are the same type that ship with Gibson guitars currently and will make the perfect replacement.
Included are gold latches that really suit the case’s vintage vibe, and the center latch can also be locked thanks to the provided key.
2. SKB 1SKB-35 Semi-Hollow Guitar Case
I am a huge fan of SKB cases for several reasons, which I will outline, and this ES-335 case is no exception. This case is approximately $40 cheaper than the official Gibson case, but it also offers clear advantages.
The first advantage of the SKB 1SKB-35 case is its weight. Coming in at 10.4lbs. This hard case is lighter than the official Gibson case. SKB keeps the weight down by using an extremely heavy-duty ABS construction. This material is also very light compared with other materials. ABS is also water-resistant, so it has far fewer problems with staining or ripping as there’s no external porous material.
Secondly, if you ever jump on a plane with your guitar, this is the best hard case for your Gibson ES-335. The reason why this is a great choice is it comes fitted with TSA approved latches. You are safe to lock the case for the flight, and TSA will have keys appropriate for inspecting the guitar case without breaking the locks.
Another huge benefit to these latches is that they are far easier to open and close than any other case. SKB makes this large trigger release latches on most of their cases, and the experience is very similar to a Fender TSA approved molded hard case.
Similarly to the Gibson case, there is no sacrifice with the guitar’s internal design and snug fit. The SKB ES-335 case is a very snug fit and includes an internal neck rest and compartment designed to protect from any internal movement. The plush interior provides a scratch-free experience when placing or removing your Gibson ES-335 from the case.
3. Epiphone 940-E519 Case
The third best choice for a great Gibson or Epiphone ES-335 case is the Epiphone 940-E519 case. This hard case could have easily been second on the list as it is affordable and of great quality.
Those without the need for TSA approved locks, and an ABS construction should give this Epiphone ES-335 case a look. One of the best reasons this is a great case great it’s made to fit your favorite Epiphone archtop guitar. This fit translates into the perfect case for any Gibson or Tokai ES-335-style electric guitar.
Internally, the case fits any ES-335 perfectly. This fitted case means there will be next to no wriggle-room when it comes to the guitar moving around internally. The plush interior is nice, but not quite as nice as the Gibson case.
Much like the Gibson hard case, this is a very similar case internally and externally. The major difference other than the price is the build quality. While these guitar cases are very robust considering their price, the material can tear a little easier. This doesn’t mean that the guitar itself will ever be damaged, but the case is more likely to mark over the Gibson.
Another small trade-off with the Gibson counterpart is that the Epiphone case’s visual design is far less elaborate. The case clips and locks are sturdy but are in a basic metallic/chrome instead of the gold, and the case is a basic black color.
The case’s top lid is decent, but it’s not quite up to the same tensile strength of either of the previous two guitars. This case I owned personally with my Epiphone Dot ES-335, and it lasted for many years while gigging and jamming every week. Keep in mind that the vinyl is not as roadworthy as the other options, but it will stand up to years of careful abuse.
This case will fit any ES-style guitar, including the Rivera, Dot, BB King, and Casino models.
4. Gator GW Semi-Hollow Guitar Case
There’s a lot to like about this affordable Gator case for any ES-335 style guitar. Gator has been making some of the best hard-cases and rack cases for years. Gator hard cases have prices that will appeal to those who don’t want to break the bank.
This is a very similar hard case visually to the Gibson case all the way to the gold hardware. The major difference between this Gator case and the Gibson is that this case has more prominent angles near the handle and a different vinyl covering. Does this make it a bad choice? Absolutely not!
Secondly, the lined red plush interior is really great and makes it look far more premium than even the Epiphone hard case above. Additionally, the Gator GW case features an internal accessory compartment and ample neck support. This neck support will allow you to transport your guitar worry-free!
This is best suited to someone who wants the Gibson hard case’s vintage-stylings without the premium price tag. Included with the case is a key for the center latch. While I have not owned this Gator case personally, I can vouch for their quality after owning many others.
The ES-335 Hard Case Guide
Each of these hard cases will be a great decision based on your budget, style, and requirements. If you’d like to learn about the 8 essential things you need in a hard case, click the link to learn more.
The main things you want in any ES-335 guitar case are a solid top lid and the guitar to fit in as snugly as possible. The outer material and weight matter least unless, of course, you are planning on traveling. For those flying with a Gibson or Epiphone ES-335 TSA locks are essential.