As drummers, we often have to be quite versatile in different gigging situations. Things like sticks, brushes, mallets, and even rods, are vital to have in our role as a musician.
Carrying them all without a drumstick bag is a nightmare.
Besides, it’s not just the sticks and mallets we have to carry to gigs. Dampeners, drum keys, bass drum patches, tape, and backup parts are also crucial to have on hand in an emergency.
A drumstick bag is a perfect solution to holding your sticks and other things when playing gigs.
Some stick bags also aid you during the show, as they can be attached to your floor tom for quick access to extra sticks and different mallets.
I’ve owned a ton of different stick bags over the years. I know which ones are good and which ones are terrible.
No matter which one you pick, having something is better than nothing. Read on to see my favorite drumstick bags and reviews of each.
Best Drumstick Bags at a Glance
The table above shows my favorite stick bags. I currently use two — one that stays permanently attached to my floor tom and another that holds my extra sticks and emergency drummer survival kit (extra cymbal felts, tension rods, washers, wing nuts, etc.).
There are mainly three different types of drumstick bags:
- The basic floor tom bag
- A small-to-medium size stick bag
- A large mallet bag for percussionists
I’ll be covering all three in the article.
Let’s get into the drumstick bag reviews.
By far, my favorite drumstick bag of the bunch is the one made by Meinl Percussion. Apart from the impressive design, the bag has five internal pockets allowing you to carry multiple pairs of sticks, brushes, and mallets.
Very Spacious for a Medium-Sized Bag
The big accessory pocket on the front is perfect for your spare drum keys, washers, felts, and dampeners.
The bag’s material is heavy-duty nylon and includes a reinforced carrying handle along with a shoulder strap. The grip features cross-stitching for extra weight.
I never use the shoulder strap, however, but it could be useful when getting around in a busy city like New York. One thing that can be an issue for nylon bags is their tendency to rip. I generally see this on cheap bags who’s material is much thinner, however.
Attaches to Your Floor Tom
For those who want only to use one stick bag, the bag from Meinl will connect to your floor tom with hooks. The stick bag secures to your floor tom tension rods.
It can sometimes be a little tricky to adjust the straps to fit your floor tom with these types of bags, but when you get it set, it will work great night after night.
Meinl always strives to make quality products, whether it’s cymbals or percussion, so there’s no doubt their stick bag is a worthwhile investment for your drumming career.
Kaces “Not Leather” Pro Stick/Mallet Bag
*A larger stick bag made from faux leather
For those who want something a little more durable, look no further than the drumstick bag from Kaces. I’ve owned this stick bag for more than five years now, and it still looks brand new out of the box.
Faux Leather Material
The leather is faux, made from synthetic material. Still, it is astonishingly high-quality and feels solid when held. I’m shocked that it has held up as well as it has.
The interior of the bag features similar nylon to that of the Meinl bag. And I can tell you that after five years of heavy use, the interior of the bag hasn’t ripped anywhere, and the zippers all work perfectly.
For Those Who Need More Sticks on Hand
The Kaces drumstick bag is much larger than the one made by Meinl. Comfortably, the bag holds around sixteen pairs of sticks and mallets.
Beneath the stick slots on the inside are two small accessory pockets, perfect for drum keys and dampeners. On the front and back, there are a total of three large pockets for additional supplies.
Again, there is a strap included with the bag, but I don’t use it.
Attaches to Your Floor Tom
Kaces wins the design war for connecting to your floor tom in comparison to Meinl’s bag. The bag utilizes a heavy-duty elastic band with hooks secured hooks for attachment. There’s no adjustment needed.
That said, I’ve found the bag is a little bulky to use on the floor tom. In the past, I’ve set it on the floor instead.
Vic Firth intends you to use this bag with marching drums, but I find it has an even better use: your floor tom.
Perfect For Your Floor Tom
I keep four drumsticks on my floor tom at all times using this bag. It never detaches from the drum, and I reload it from my other stick bag as gigs demand. At the end of a show, I pack away my floor tom in its case with the sticks still in the bag.
Some nights I never even touch my stick bag because my sticks are ready to go on the floor tom.
While I’d love to sing the praises for the Vic Firth drumstick bag always, there are a few downsides.
The nylon tends to rip at the bottom of the bag after 6-12 months, in my experience — repeatedly dropping sticks in eats away at the bottom of the bag. My solution? It’s not the best fix, but I use gaffers tape to “patch” the hole in the nylon.
It’s also not the most massive drumstick bag in the world. I can only hold four pairs of sticks at the max. If you’re looking for other options, be sure to read my roundup on the best drum stick holders.
For all the percussionists out there, you’re going to want a big mallet bag, especially if you attend music school. It may even be a requirement.
The Innovative Percussion MB3 features high-quality Cordura (a material commonly used on luggage and backpacks) and has sixteen internal pockets for all your mallets and sticks. The exterior of the mallet bag has two large zippered outside pockets for accessory storage.
A word of advice — if you play both drum set and mallet percussion, keep your bags separate. Have one stick bag for each. I’ll never forget attending and playing at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival in northern Wisconsin.
I was questioned by jazz legend Carl Allen telling me, “you have too many sticks with you, what do you need all those for?” He was right, though. I laughed it off.
For those who wish for authentic leather and a rustic look, have a glance at the Walker & Williams DSB-1. This drumstick bag holds twelve pairs of sticks and features brass hardware. Walker & Williams has long been a US crafter of high-end leather goods for well over 100 years.
Tama’s bag is a bit smaller than most but holds some unique features. Despite only holding six pairs of sticks, the bag has a slimmer form factor and still clips to your floor tom’s tension rods.
Due to its size, you can easily toss this stick bag in your backpack when you’re on the go instead of carrying a bigger bag separately — perfect for drummers in college playing in jazz ensembles.
The bag has two inner pockets (one with a velcro fastener) and a unique loop for holding a drum key.
Tips for Picking Out a Drumstick Bag
If after reading, you still can’t decide which one to pick up, read on to see my final thoughts on all the stick bags available on the market.
Get One for Your Needs
Are you just a weekend drummer playing in a cover band? You might not need a massive stick bag.
On the flip side, if you’re a marimba player, you might require a big bag to hold all your different mallet types.
I like to have one bag attached to my floor tom and another for extra sticks. I find it’s easiest when setting up at gigs, and it’s one less thing I have to worry about night after night.
Watch Out For Generic Drumstick Bags
So, it’s important to note that you may notice a trend when searching for drumstick bags (and other products, even). A lot of them tend to have the exact same design.
The Kaces drumstick bag I mentioned earlier is a perfect example. Zildjian also sells the same one (or at least to my eyes, it looks identical).
With Zildjian, you’re paying for the brand name.
For companies, it’s often easier and cheaper to source products from China and slap their brand names on them. Keep an eye out when searching, as I’m sure you’ll begin to notice this trend.
Out of the bunch, Kaces makes my favorite drumstick bag. I love the quality and the fact that it is faux leather.
Which one do you use? Leave me a comment down below with your thoughts and opinions.
Thanks for reading once again.