Are there any alternatives for solid cases?
January 11, 2018 4:40 PM   Subscribe

I've been looking into some hard cases for moving and long-term storage. Something that can withstand being kicked around and in dirty/dusty environments and protect the stuff inside. Pelican-style cases are the go-to for this but they are not cheap. I've been looking at army surplus cases like this but I'm wondering if there are any other options that would be as effective but not as expensive.
posted by Socinus to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe not as tough as you want but I've had pretty good luck with Rubbermaid Roughneck Storage boxes. A couple steps up but still much cheaper than pelican are their Actionpackers.

The roughnecks are available in a few sizes that all share the same lid and in a rainbow of colours. Empty ones nest together for more compact storage. The plastic is strong enough to stack them eight high even when loaded with clothes or books while being flexible enough not to crack even under pretty heavy abuse. I've found that they won't handle prolonged UV exposure though (like two years prolonged).

Action packers have pretty good latches if you are looking for something a little more mechanically secure.
posted by Mitheral at 8:51 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]

I've been impressed with the new Ridgid tooboxes. If you need something larger, here are a couple of options from Dewalt and Husky.
posted by bradf at 12:53 AM on January 12

A lot of bands and event production companies find "storage totes" like the Rubbermaid ones useful for transporting and storing t-shirts and cables and stuff. A lot of them have moved from the flexible Rubbermaid style to the more rigid plastic kind like this, which are usually black with a yellow lid. (Home Depot link, but they're available all sorts of places.)

Advantages: less flexible means you can't over-stuff it and make the sides bulge out so the lid doesn't fit; also if you try to pick up an over-weight flexible tote there's a good chance the handle area will start to just rip away from the sides; the lids snap down more securely; the lids have a lip so when you stack them the totes kind of lock together.

I guess it comes down to how much moving you're really going to do, and how rough that moving's going to be. Pelican/Hardigg cases are meant to withstand years of serious abuse, the totes I linked or the Action Packers will probably last at least a couple of years of daily/weekly moving as long as you're not literally throwing them around, but if you're just talking about moving your personal possessions a couple of times in a year the cheaper flexible totes should be fine.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:32 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]

If you have time, cruise thrift stores and pwn shops for nice hard shell luggage, toolboxes, ammo crates, etc.

That’s what I do for music gear, end up spending $5-20 instead of $50-500 for new stuff sold as good protective casing.

Also get some of that perforated foam to make things fit snug: the hardest case won’t protect loose great inside.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:45 AM on January 12

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