Cases and gig bags for left handed Explorer guitars
There are no hard cases made to fit left handed or right handed Explorer guitars other than proprietary brand cases which are made for their own brand models. Because of the extreme angle of the headstock on Explorer guitars the headstock always sits lower than the body of the guitar, i.e. Explorer guitars do not sit flat. Generic hard shell cases are made only for guitars that sit flat and are never deep enough to put a guitar in with the neck raised to compensate.
There are no soft cases made to fit left handed Explorer guitars. There is a right hand Explorer soft case available from SKB (model # SKB SC63) but even if you put a lefty Explorer in upside down not only is the padding the wrong way round, but the guitar still does not fit due to the extreme angle of the headstock. Don't even try it.
There are a number of gig bags for Explorer guitars and a few are ok for left-handed Explorers. See below:
RITTER are a Swiss brand. Their RGP5-EX is a soft case for Explorer guitars. But in order to fit a lefty Explorer the guitar has to go in face down. This means the rear of the guitar faces upwards and the the pickups, bridge, switches are at the bottom of the case. This one has no front pockets so there is no additional padding for that side of the guitar. However, the bag offers 33mm padding and this is exceptional for a soft case, but just not optimized for a left handed guitar. The Ritter website is not very impressive. All it has is a link to their catalog which opens as a PDF. A lefty Explorer is not a good fit for this soft case and I do not recommend this case for the reasons given. I give it a 3/10. This one is overall useless for a left handed Explorer.
THOMANN is a German musical instrument and musical accessories chain store that is all over Europe and the U.K. This gig bag is branded as a Thomann but is a bag sold under other brand names and they are all made in India. I have compared all of these bags side by side and they are identical except for branding. This is a really good gig bag made of 600 Denier cordura nylon and 20mm padding. It is made for right handed guitars so a lefty guitar fits in face down instead of face up. The bag suits the bigger-bodied Gibson Explorer. It is slightly roomy for the smaller-bodied Gaskell shape. Although the same bag as others it is the least expensive. Buy direct from Thomann. Unfortunately for us here in Australia by the time you do the currency conversion and add postage this gig bag is quite expensive. I give the Thomann Explorer gig bag an 8/10.
GB DELUXE is a bag I am very familiar with. I was using these for all my Gaskell Explorers after I ran out of hard cases, until they stopped selling them in Australia. These are made in India and is the same bag as the Thomann and other bags that look the same. This is a really good padded gig bag with 20mm padding. Being for a right handed Explorer the lefty Explorer fits in face down instead of face up, so all the outside pockets are on the backside of the guitar leaving no additional padding for the front of the guitar. The bag suits the bigger-bodied Gibson Explorer. It is slightly roomy for the smaller-bodied Gaskell shape. At US$ 49.95 it is fairly expensive and is only available from online music stores such as Alto Music in the USA or DV247 in Europe. I give the GB DELUXE gig bag an 8/10.
Chromacast is a US company that sells musical accessories including instrument bags and cases. They have a good range of guitar bags. It appears they have discontinued it according to their website in 2023, but the CHROMACAST CC-EXTPB-BAG is (was?) a gig bag designed to fit "extreme" guitars of all kinds which includes Explorer, Flying V, Firebird, Kelly, etc. The good thing about this case is that it is roomy enough to be able to put a lefty Firebird in it without concern of it being the wrong way round / upside down which is a problem with all other Firebird/Explorer gig bags. My only concern with this bag is that it is a little flimsy and it would be better if it was more padded. But it could be ok judging by its specs. I give it 8/10 but the challenge will be finding one.
GATOR make some very good guitar bags. I have used many over the years and I like them. The GBE-EXTREME-1 is not one of their best in my opinion. This bag is a generic oversized bag meant to fit Explorers, Firebirds, Vs and other extreme shapes. It has 10mm padding and is essentially just a zip-up sleeve. You can lay your guitar any way in the bag so it doesn't have the issue of other gig bags as previously mentioned. However, because it is too thin I would not recommend this bag. You may as well wrap your guitar in a blanket. To be fair it is marketed as a budget gig bag and that is most definitely the case. At least you can put your guitar in it face up like it should go. I give it 5/10.
CHASE DIRECT is a UK online musical instrument and musical accessories store that sells cases for all musical instruments. Their Explorer bag is branded as "Chase." They do not deliver outside of the U.K. I have not seen another one like this. The bag has the usual problem with being a right handed bag but also has only 10mm padding. This would be a little risky to use for active musicians. I would not recommend this unless you really need to go somewhere with your guitar that isn't going to be an obstacle course, definitely not gigging. At GBP 29.99 at least it's not too expensive! I give this Explorer gig bag a 5/10.
ROCKBAG RB20620 by Framus & Warwick could very well be the gig bag that offers the best protection for an Explorer shaped guitar. This one features 30mm padding all round, front and rear. As with similar bags it has pockets for carrying leads, strings and straps. This bag will also fit Firebird guitars due to the fact that the bag is a little squarer in the body which accommodates the Firebird lower body contours (when put in face down for a lefty.) This bag can be bought quite easily from European, US and Australian music stores and while not the cheapest is definitely very robust. Framus & Warwick have different bag series and even offer leather bags. If the RB20620 was not still a right handed bag in the first place, I would give this bag a 10 out of 10 so for me it is a 8/10.