Our guitars are our most prized possessions. That means we want to keep them safe.
The best way to do this is to keep it in a guitar case. Especially if you have a guitar like a Les Paul that can be quite expensive.
Top 3 - Les Paul Cases
Here is a selection of 6 of the best guitar cases for Gibson and Epiphone Les Pauls.
Best Cases for Les Paul Style Guitars
1. Gator GC-LPS Deluxe
You can never go wrong with a Gator case. The GC-LPS Deluxe is one of those cases that shows why Gator is so well-known and highly regarded.
This is an extremely tough case, it is going to be hard for anything to break its tough exterior. The case also seals very well to keep out the elements. Your guitar is going to be protected, and your strings are going to last longer.
On the inside you have the thick foam padding with its plush lining. Your Les Paul is going to sit snuggly and won’t be scratched, bumped, or bruised.
Under the neck rest is also a nice compartment. This compartment can also be closed to prevent anything inside from falling around in the case.
The case itself is also fairly light. This is always an important aspect of any case for me, but especially for Les Paul cases since they are already not the lightest guitars.
Another thing I also usually look out for is the handle. This is a fairly basic handle, but I didn’t have much of an issue with it being uncomfortable to hold or slipping with sweaty hands.
The only real issue with this case is that it is molded for single cutaway, right handed Les Pauls. So, you will have to look for a different case is you have a left handed guitar. You should also make sure your guitar fits if you have a non-standard Les Paul or a Les Paul style guitar.
2. SKB 1SKB-56
The SKB 1SKB-56 is one of their more basic models. But basic for SKB still means high quality.
SKB are known for their, quite literally, military grade cases. The 1SKB-56 certainly lives up to that standard.
This is one tough case. I actually dropped it down some stairs by accident with a Les Paul inside. I was, of course, terrified, but checking on the case it didn’t even have a scratch. The Les Paul inside also looked like it hadn’t even budged and was completely fine.
Speaking of inside, the interior of the case has some very nice padding that is lined with soft plush lining. It is also molded to fit pretty much any Les Paul or Les Paul style guitar, and can fit both left and right handed guitars.
While there is room behind the neck and headstock for extras like cables, they are open. For this price, I would have expected SKB to also add a cover to prevent things from falling around inside the case.
My other issue, which is kind of just an annoyance, is the lone lock at the back of the case. There are already four very tough and secure locks at the front. This random one at the back isn’t really adding to the security of the case and just makes it take longer to open the case.
But apart from these two small issues, I think the 1SKB-56 is a very good case that is well worth the price.
3. Epiphone ENLPCS
The Epiphone ENLPCS is another fairly basic case, similar to the Gator GC-LPS. It is just a very solid case, designed to keep your Les Paul safe.
The SNLPCS is actually quite similar to the GC-LPS. They both have similar shapes, with very similar interiors.
The ENLPCS does look quite a bit nicer to me though. The gold Epiphone log at the front also adds a lot and makes the case look very classy.
The handle is also a bit better on this case. It is big and heavily padded, giving you a very nice and comfortable grip.
The interiors aren’t as different. The ENLPCS also has a similarly thick and plush padding. Although I do think it is a touch softer.
There is also the same hidden compartment behind the neck rest. The compartment is also quite a bit bigger, giving you more space to store things like cables.
The big difference is in the molding. While the GC-LPS can only fit right handed Les Pauls, the ENLPCS is molded to fit both left and right handed, as well as a wider variety of Les Pauls and Les Paul style guitars.
Just like the 1SKB-56, Epiphone has decided to annoy me slightly with a lock at the back. This one does make a bit more sense though, since there are only three locks at the front and the hinges are further apart.
This is also a very affordable case. If you are looking for something that looks and feels like it costs more than it does, this is the case for you.
4. Gibson Accessories Deluxe
The Gibson Accessories Deluxe Protector is a case that is about more than just keeping your prized Les Paul safe. It is a case that also aims to look good while doing so.
I am not often impressed by guitar cases, but this is one that did. From its tough, yet sleek exterior, to its lush interior.
The outside feels super solid, like you could drop this off a building and nothing would happen to it. The case also has these very cool latches that simply click into place when you close the case. They are then opened again easily with just the press of a button on the bottom of each one.
The inside is what I really liked, though. Instead of the usual black padding, this case has a very nice, soft, blue padding. It really lives up to the deluxe in its name.
The handle is a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, it is thick and molded to give you a really nice grip. On the other hand, it is plastic with no extra padding. It definitely gets a bit slippery if you have sweaty hands.
While this case is a bit on the expensive side, the price isn’t too high that it becomes unaffordable. This is also genuinely one of the nicest cases I have ever tried out. If you want a super solid case that also lives up to the deluxe in its name, this is one of the best.
5. Gator Economy
The Gator Economy is a straightforward, minimalist wood case. This is the case for musicians who just need something simple to keep their Les Paul safe while they carry it around.
This is a just a simple, standard hard case. It is made from wood wrapped in tolex to provide a solid exterior. The inside has some nice, thick padding, and I found the neck support to be great.
The Economy is fairly compact for a hard case. This makes it pretty easy to store if you don’t have a lot of room or when you are traveling and don’t have much space in the back of a car or van.
But that also means that there isn’t much space on the inside. I was able to store my a guitar strap inside with my guitar without issue, but there isn’t really room for spare cables. It is also best to keep the strap on the guitar since there is no way of keeping anything from falling around inside.
My only real issue with this case was the handle. The handle is quite thin and doesn’t have much in terms of padding.
Combined with the relative weightiness of the case itself, carrying this case for longer than a few minutes becomes quite uncomfortable, quite fast.
While there isn’t much going on with this case in terms of extras, I still think it is a very solid case. If you have an Epiphone Les Paul and want an inexpensive case to keep it safe, this is a great option.
6. SKB 3i-4214-56
If a serious case is what you are looking for, the SKB 3i-4214-56 is about as serious as it gets. This is a case that looks as tough as it is.
This is an extremely well-built guitar case. The outside is sturdy and tough, while the inside is soft and luxurious. All together these elements will keep your guitar safe and looking pristine.
The case is also able to fit pretty much any Les Paul, both Gibson and Epiphone models. There are a few exceptions, like the ‘61 Les Paul, that won’t fit. Les Paul style guitars might also not fit due to the cavities made specifically to fit the controls of a Les Paul.
I was also very glad to find a very spacious cavity where you can put extras like cables, guitar straps, etc. The top of the case also seals tightly to the bottom. So, not only won’t your extras fall around inside, but your guitar is also kept tightly in place.
Mobility of this case is also surprisingly great. I found the case to be much lighter than I thought it was going to be.
But you also don’t need to carry the case around. SKB has also added wheels at the bottom, along with two handles on either end of the case. This allows you to wheel the case around, and makes it easier to pick up when you want to store it.
This is a fairly expensive case, unfortunately. But if you have an expensive Les Paul you want to keep safe, it is well worth the price.
Hard Cases vs Gig Bags
It might be easy to think that just buying a hardshell guitar case is the best option. They provide the best protection after all.
But that protection does come at a cost. Quite literally since hard cases can be quite expensive. They are also not the most compact, and can be quite heavy.
This doesn’t really make them the best for carrying around. Gig bags, on the other hand, don’t have these disadvantages.
While they don’t provide the same amount of protection, they are much lighter and pretty cheap. They can also be folded up when not being used, and usually have extra pockets for things like cables.
This makes gig bags ideal if you need to take your guitar to rehearsals, lessons, or the shop for a service. And if you are taking public transport, a guitar in a gig bag takes up less space and can be carried much more comfortably.
Gig bags like the Gator Economy is a super cheap option. There are also gig bags with extra padding, like the Gator 4G if you are worried about your guitar getting damage. These gig bags also easily fit Les Paul guitars.
What Makes A Good Guitar Case?
When choosing a guitar case, there are a few things to look for, apart from just a tough exterior. This applies to any guitar it is meant for, Les Paul or otherwise.
This refers to how freely your guitar can move inside the case. That is that your guitar shouldn’t be able to move very freely at all.
Your guitar should sit quite tightly inside the case. There shouldn’t be more than about a 1/4-inch space between the sides of the case and the body of the guitar.
This will prevent the guitar from moving around too much and help to prevent bumps if the case falls, gets dropped, or bumped somehow.
Similar to the body, the neck shouldn’t be able to move, This is especially important on Les Pauls, since their necks are prone to breaking. A good case will cradle the neck and give it rigid support.
This isn’t as important, but having some extra storage space inside the case is always handy. You are likely always carrying a strap and some extra picks and cables around. Being able to keep those safe inside the case is a nice extra to have.
You also want a case that won’t open easily. This means getting a case with tough locks.
If you are traveling in the USA, get a case with TSA approved locks. The locks can be opened with a master key by TSA agents.
While not common, TSA might want to inspect the contents of your guitar case. If it doesn’t have a TSA approved lock, they will use whatever methods to open the case, usually by breaking it open.
Not only will your guitar no longer be locked inside the case, but you will also need to replace the lock at your own expense, and at worst, the entire case.
This is another convenience thing, but get a case that you won’t struggle to carry around. This usually just means getting one that isn’t too heavy and has a comfortable handle.
I hope this guide has been helpful and given you some good options for a case to keep your Les Paul safe and secure. As a side note, I would recommend getting a gig bag as well as a hard case. There will be times when a hard case just isn’t practical or convenient to use.