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When you take your drum kit with you to play gigs, the heaviest thing to carry is always the hardware bag. With multiple cymbal stands, drum stands, and pedals placed inside, it’s very common for a hardware bag to weigh up to 70 lbs.
If you gig often, carrying a hardware bag can be taxing on your body. It may be a good idea to get a set of lighter stands for gigging that make things a bit easier.
Many drum brands offer lightweight hardware lines, and they sell them in prepacked sets to give you all the components you need for your setup.
I’ve picked out five of the best lightweight drum hardware sets to show you. I’ve compared them according to build quality, durability, design, and cost to give you my top recommendations.
- What are the Best Lightweight Drum Hardware Sets?
- In-Depth Lightweight Drum Hardware Set Reviews
- Lightweight Drum Hardware Buying Guide
- What Makes Light Drum Hardware a Good Buying Option
- Features to Look Out for in Light Drum Stands
- Lightweight Drum Hardware FAQs
What are the Best Lightweight Drum Hardware Sets?
In-Depth Lightweight Drum Hardware Set Reviews
The Gibraltar 4700 Series Hardware Pack is one of my favorite lightweight options to recommend to people for two main reasons. Firstly, it shares the design of a typical hardware set.
All other lightweight hardware sets have varied designs for the stands, while the stands in this set are very standard. They’re just lighter than usual, which is what makes the set great for gigging.
The second reason is that this hardware pack is more affordable than the specially-designed lightweight options. By getting an affordable pack like this, you’ll have more money to spend elsewhere if you need to.
The set includes two crash cymbal stands, with one being a boom stand and the other having a straight design. The boom stand is great for placing a ride cymbal, while straight stands work better for crashes.
I’m particularly impressed by the snare drum stand that comes with the set. It doesn’t have a fancy design, but it works incredibly reliably, and it can easily hold the heaviest of snare drums. In terms of height, you can raise it from 16” to 24”.
The hi-hat stand has a smooth pedal board that feels great to play. It also has hinged height adjustments to help get your preferred height. The tube feels a lot thinner than what you may be used to, but that’s what keeps the weight so low.
Lastly, the included kick drum pedal is a great lightweight choice for gigging. It performs smoothly and reliably. It’s just a bit of a letdown that it doesn’t have a baseplate to make it feel more secure. That may be asking too much of a set at this price point, though.
I strongly recommend this set, even if you’re a more advanced drummer. You’ll get great use out of all the stands!
- Double-braced legs
- 1 straight and 1 boom stand
- Strap-drive kick drum pedal
- Solid enough to use in permanent practice spaces as well
- Excellent included kick drum pedal
- One of the most affordable lightweight options available
- Particularly impressive snare drum stand
- The included kick drum pedal doesn’t have a base plate
Here’s another great lightweight hardware option from Gibraltar. The Gibraltar 8700 Series hardware pack leans more into the lightweight design features, having flat legs on all the stands.
The flat-leg design is inspired by hardware stands from the early days, so they have a neat vintage aesthetic. It also makes the stands a bit lighter, as they’re single-braced and a lot thinner than regular stand legs.
The pack comes with two cymbal stands, a hi-hat stand, and a snare drum stand. As with the previous Gibraltar pack, you get a boom and a straight stand.
Again, this gives you a bit of variety with your placement options, which isn’t something that many other lightweight packages offer.
All the stands are surprisingly sturdy. You can play the drums and cymbals very hard, and you’ll barely notice any of them moving.
The great thing about flat legs is that you have a bit more freedom in how you place the stands around the drums. There aren’t any angled legs getting in the way, and you can slide the flat legs under drums and stands if you need to.
The hi-hat stand is the one aspect of the set that takes a bit of time getting used to. The legs are shorter than what you may be used to, giving you a sense that the stand may tip over if you’re not careful.
It never does, but it’s a weird sensation to experience. Once you get used to it, the hi-hat stand performs just as well as any regular one would.
This pack is slightly pricier than the previous Gibraltar pack, but it’s worth paying extra to get the lighter flat-based design.
- Flat-based leg design.
- ABS Super Lock systems
- 1 straight stand and 1 boom stand
- Included boom cymbal stand for more cymbal maneuverability
- The ABS Super Lock systems work very well
- Very sturdy when you play hard
- Most affordable hardware set with flat legs
- The short hi-hat stand legs take time to get used to
The Yamaha HW-3 Crosstown Pack is one of the more unique options available. The first thing you’ll notice about these stands is that they look very different compared to normal hardware stands.
That’s because they’re made from aluminum, which is the main contributing factor to them being so lightweight. They also have a satin finish with a non-scratch surface, further differentiating these stands from normal ones.
In this set, you get two straight cymbal stands, a hi-hat stand, and a snare drum stand. It also comes with a bag that you can fit all the stands into.
The bag allows you to carry all the stands over your shoulder, and it even has room to add more hardware parts. This is where I’d suggest putting a bass drum pedal and any other stands you may have.
Compared to all the other options on this list, these stands are the lightest. They’re the easiest to carry around without worrying about weight, and they’re a lot quicker to set up.
However, they’re not as sturdy as all the other options on this list. They work perfectly fine for lighter styles played in small venues, but you’ll find that these stands aren’t great at handling seriously heavy drumming.
You also can’t rotate the pedal on the hi-hat stand to accommodate a double pedal in your setup. That further drives the point that you shouldn’t get this pack if you play heavy music.
Other than that, it’s a fantastic option for gigging drummers!
- Made from aluminum
- Satin finish
- Offset micro-gear tilters
- Lighter than most other lightweight hardware pack options
- Unique satin finish makes your kit stand out on stage
- Included bag has room for more stands if you add them
- Highly responsive hi-hat pedal
- The hi-hat pedal can’t swivel, stopping you from being able to use a double bass drum pedal
Sonor is one of those brands that aren’t widely known for producing amazing hardware, but everyone quickly gets reminded of Sonor quality when trying the brand’s hardware. That’s what you get here with the Sonor HS-LT-2000-S Lightweight Hardware Pack.
The biggest reason that I would recommend this pack to someone would be the two boom arm stands. This is the only hardware pack on this list that comes with two, and most drummers prefer having boom arms over straight ones. So, that’s a huge convincing feature.
These two cymbal stands have flat-legged designs, making them easier to position than the rest of the stands in the pack.
The bass drum pedal that comes with this pack is also incredible. It has a dual pillar design, making it feel incredibly sturdy when playing. The base plate further adds to that sturdiness, and also makes it more durable.
The hi-hat stand is also impressive. While the legs are thin, they have oversized rubber feet to add plenty of sturdiness. The pedal has a dual-chain drive design, which isn’t commonly seen in lighter stands. Those two chains make the pedal feel like you’re playing a high-end hi-hat stand.
The snare drum stand has a snare basket without gears. This makes it infinitely adjustable, which is great for drummers that want specific angles for their snare drum. It’s the only stand in the set with double-braced legs, making it feel a bit sturdier than the rest.
You get fantastic German-made quality with all these stands. They’re not the top-end stands from the brand, but you’d assume that they are after playing with them in a drum kit setup.
- 2 boom arm cymbal stands
- Low-profile flat bases
- Includes SP-2000-S kick drum pedal
- Having two boom arm cymbal stands gives you more positioning options
- Included bass drum pedal has incredible design quality
- Gearless snare basket allows easy snare drum adjustments
- Dual-chain hi-hat pedal is impressively responsive
- It would be great for a bag to be included
If you’re looking for the highest-quality set of lightweight hardware possible, look no further than DW’s 6000 Series. These stands are built to last a lifetime, and most drummers find it very surprising that they’re so sturdy and durable after feeling how light they are.
The stands look luxurious, and they perform very reliably. The cymbal stands have DW’s Glide Tilters, which make angling your cymbals very easy. These tilters are just as strong as the rods and bases, further adding to the durable depth of the stands.
The snare stand has the same tilter, but it also has a 3-point basket design that feels a bit different to most other snare drum stands. It allows you to move one of the basket arms back and forth to accommodate any size of snare drum.
Like the Sonor set, the hi-hat stand here also has a dual-chain design. DW pedals are incredibly popular for how solid they feel, and you get to experience that with this one.
Finally, the set comes with a strong carry bag to house all the stands. The bag is designed so that you can either carry it over your shoulder or on your back as a backpack.
The set is fairly pricey, but that’s just something that you should expect when it comes from DW. You’re paying for stands that will last a seriously long time.
The only minor gripe I have with the set is that you don’t get a boom cymbal stand. It limits the way you can position your cymbals. DW does offer a 6000 Series Ultralight boom stand. You’ll just need to purchase it separately.
- Flat base design
- DW Glide Tilters
- Back canvas hardware bag
- Stands are surprisingly sturdy and durable for how light they are
- Excellent lightweight option for hard-hitting drummers
- Very strong hardware bag included
- Smooth action from the hi-hat pedal
- One of the priciest lightweight hardware pack options
Lightweight Drum Hardware Buying Guide
I wouldn’t recommend getting lightweight hardware as your main option, as it’s better to have sturdy and durable hardware that lives in your practice room.
The main reason for getting lighter hardware would be for playing gigs, as it makes lugging gear around much easier.
There are a few other reasons that getting a lighter pack is a good idea as well.
What Makes Light Drum Hardware a Good Buying Option
- Lightweight hardware packages are easier to carry when you play gigs, saving your body from the strain of carrying heavy things back and forth.
- Lighter hardware packages pair very well with compact drum kits. They look suitable, and they add to the concept of having a smaller and lighter drum kit setup.
- Some lighter hardware packages are more affordable than standard hardware packages.
- Most lighter hardware stands don’t take up as much space, so you’ll have a lower overall footprint from your drum kit setup.
Features to Look Out for in Light Drum Stands
There are three types of legs that you’ll find on lighter hardware stands. These are single-braced legs, double-braced legs, and flat-based legs.
Flat-based legs always have a single-brace design, but not all single-braced legs are flat.
Double-braced legs are known to be on the sturdiest drum stands. However, the extra brace on each leg adds a bit of weight, making the overall weight of the stand a lot heavier. That’s why most lightweight stands have single-braced or flat legs.
Gibraltar is one of the few brands that offer a pack with double-braced legs that is seriously lightweight.
Flat-based legs are fantastic for two reasons. Firstly, they look cool, resembling what older hardware stands used to look like. The practical reason is that you can slide the flat legs under drums and other stands, giving you more positioning options.
Cymbal Stand Types
All the lightweight hardware packs I suggested above come with two cymbal stands, but not all of them share designs.
When it comes to cymbal stand designs, you get straight stands and boom stands. Straight stands have two rods that you can adjust up and down. Boom stands have one straight rod and then a second arm that you can angle.
Boom cymbal stands are typically a better option, but you don’t get as many lightweight boom stands as you do straight ones.
It’s best to place a ride cymbal on a boom stand so that you can position it comfortably among all your other cymbals.
Lightweight Drum Hardware FAQs
Can Lightweight Cymbal Stands Hold Large Cymbals?
Yes, most lightweight cymbal stands can hold cymbals up to 24”. However, you need to use your discretion depending on how heavy the cymbals are and how light your stands are.
For example, a thick 24” cymbal won’t feel comfortable on a stand from Yamaha’s Crosstown line, but it would fit easily on DW’s 6000 Series cymbal stand.
Also, make sure that the legs of your cymbal stands are spaced out as far as possible so that you have a sturdy base.
Who Makes the Lightest Drum Hardware Pack?
Yamaha makes the lightest drum hardware with their HW-3 Crosstown line. These hardware stands are known to be up to 34% lighter than standard hardware, and you can easily carry a full bag of them over your back.
However, you shouldn’t use those if you don’t play softer styles. They can’t handle heavy playing very well.
How Durable Are Lightweight Cymbal Stands?
Lightweight stands are specially designed to be both light and durable. While they aren’t as strong and sturdy as regular stands, they’ll most likely last just as long.
Most cymbal stands last a very long time if you don’t expose them to harsh weather. Just make sure to keep them in a hardware bag if you aren’t using them.
In terms of durability from playing, the lightest hardware stands will fall over if you hit the cymbals too hard. If you’re a heavy hitter, it’s better to get stands that are a bit more solid from the base.