Your drum is like an extension of your body and, as such, it deserves the same care and respect. When you are transporting your drums, it is important to make sure you do so in a way that keeps them in the best shape possible and protects them from environmental hazards. For some drummers, this will mean simply getting a bag with a strap and for others it could mean deciding to buy a car. How transportation affects you depends upon what kind of drum you are moving around as well as where you live.
Soft drum cases seem to be pretty popular these days. They are light and usually easy to carry. Soft cases are available for almost every type of easily transportable drum, from djembes and congas to drum kits. The main benefit of soft cases, other than the weight factor, is that they will protect your drum during the small bumps and scrapes that come with transporting your drums from a vehicle to a building. Drums like djembes can often be purchased with a soft case, making it easy to throw the drum on your back and go where you need to go. Soft drum cases are generally made of durable material padded enough to protect the drum during small bumps.
If you are touring or transporting your drums great distances, it may be more practical to invest in some hard cases. Hard cases are also preferred if someone else is moving your gear, because you can never be sure how gentle others will be with your belongings. The downsides to hard cases are that they are heavy and bulky. It may not always seem like a big deal, but when you are transporting your drums, every inch counts. You can pack more drum into a small hatchback if the drums are in soft cases. But, you also have to consider the fragility of your drum. A drum with a thin head may fare better if transported in a hard case.
Of course, you want to take some care and consideration when deciding what to use when transporting your drums. The main reasons you would buy anything to carry your drum in are to protect it and make it easier to move. If you choose bags that help move your drum more easily, but don’t offer protection, you may find that the results are the same as if you didn’t pack your drum at all. As long as you take care when transporting your drums, you will be able to beat on them longer with less fuss.