View Full Version : Best Travel Case - HIgh End
I'm interested in purchasing a new high end case(one capable of airline abuse, I know, I carry it most of the time, but there will be times when I'll have to gate check it) and have read many of the comments on this website. Anyone done some comparisons?
My main criteria are
Protection, Durability, Weight, Storage, Shoulder Strap, Customer Service.
Thanks for your assistance.
I have a great case called Supercase. Hardcase covered in nylon with extra straps to carry it like a backpack. Soft lining covering several inches of firm foam, not actually sure what the foam is but it is protective. I will try and get a pic of it up later on here.
The Mother of all Heavy Duty cases (that I have seen) is the #Rectangular Calton. It is as heavy duty as they come,and isnt terribly heavy(16-18lbs).I recently sold mine due to the fact that I didnt need such a rugged case.
Here is what they look like
I certainly recommend the Pegasus. It isn't to large yet fits the mandolin snugly, has plenty of fastners and seems to be practically indistructable. It seals well and if the airline leaves it on the ramp in the rain, it sure won't get wet. The maker, Sam Gifford is most attentive and easy to work with. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Gary Price was producing an extremely heavy-duty rectangular fiberglass mandolin case (http://www.telepath.com/~ghprice/pricnels.htm).
Or, you dan buy all the 'Anvil' style parts & build your own.
And keep a look-out of the Coydog cases...they have shown a prototype. I beleive they are kevlar & should therefore be bullet-proof, if not bomb-proof... <VBG>
I have a Modern Supercase and it is built like a tank. #It is probably not as tough as one of the flight cases in terms of being run over by a tank or something...But I think it does a great job. #My only complaint is that is a little bulky. #It has lots of storage room in the outside pocket, two shoulder straps that are removable and will allow you to use either one or both straps and wear it like a backpack. #The great thing about the Modern is the cost...about $150-160 or so. #Less than half of what a flight case will run you. #I wouldn't want to check it at the gate...but if I had a Carlton I wouldn't want to check it either! #In my opinion I think the Modern will take any abuse you could throw at it. #Another advantage over the flight case is weight and insulation properties. #The Modern insulates extremely well!
As a side note...I have thought a cool experiment would be to take a couple of cases...put them both in the trunk of the car with a thermometer in each case and test the insulation ability...Maybe a project once it starts warming up a bit here this summer.
Evan...I'd rather the plane be bombproof than my case.
My vote is for the pegasus.. Check mine out it. It glows in the dark ! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
You carry that thing deer hunting?
One thing you can say about it is if anybody trys to walk off with my case at a festival you can spot it a mile away ! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
Mav, that is so cool! It would be hard to sneak away with. Maybe if Dawg had his Gil in a case like that...
I have had both Presto and Calton. #I prefer (and kept) the Calton because it seems stronger and it is significantly smaller, however both the latches and the seal seem much better on the Presto (so much so, that the Calton has always been a major pain after having been spoiled by the Presto). #That, and the Presto has a terrific amount of storage capacity compared to the Calton (and certainly more than the Pegasus as well). #Anyway, again I kept the Calton and passed off the Presto because I preferred the smaller, stronger Calton. #
I have never seen a Pegasus, but assume I would like one equally as well as the Calton, if not more so. #I have been on the Coydog list for a long, long time and hope they actually produce a product someday--I am guessing the Coydog will be the lightest-weight, strongest...and most expensive...of all...but I don't mind shelling out the extra bucks for something as important as maximizing protection for an irreplaceable instrument.
Ya'll may call me crazy, but I think the FQMS-style Supercase I've got offers better protection than the Calton I had. For one thing, the body is snug enough in its compartment that the mando will not move at all, and surely wouldn't fall out even if the case fell open. There is plenty of room around the headstock, and the surrounding material is soft and compliant anyway. I'm not sure what the stuff is that the frame is constructed from, but I have used the case on its end as a stool for picking and it didn't flex a bit under my 200 pounds. For all tests except maybe the ever-popular elephant-stepping-on-case test, I think it offers superior protection. If I ever move to the Congo I will have to reconsider a Calton. I am sure a Pegasus would shatter if a freight train hit it, but I think my Supercase would just bounce off like a little marshmallow. Poooo!
One thing about the Pegasus is the headstock room. Check it out.
In looking at Maverick's close-up photo above, it looks like the Pegasus has the same (or similar) latches to the Presto. #If so, then that alone would put the Pegasus above the Calton in my book--in comparison, Calton latches are a pain, once you've lived with the easier latch.
Re. Crowder's above comment as to the Supercase being as protective as a Calton except for the elephant-stepping-on-case test...shucks, I think you buy a case specifically for a once-in-a-lifetime traumatic event. #The elephant test alone would be enough to push someone like me into the Calton/Pegasus camp; you likely would never have such a event happen--but, if it ever did...
what is the problem with the latches that some folks are speaking of on the caltons?....
Just as a matter of record.....
Once Bill Monroe left his mandolin in the case on the roof of his car; drove a bit, the mandolin fell off & he ran over it...only scraped the case; the instrument wasn't damaged at all. That was a standard gibson case.
J. Mark Lane
I have thought a cool experiment would be to take a couple of cases...put them both in the trunk of the car with a thermometer in each case and test the insulation ability...Maybe a project once it starts warming up a bit here this summer.
I think Barbara Liebler did something like this with her case covers (Colorado Case Co.). She was testing the relative insulation effect of different thicknesses of insulation for the covers. There used to be something about it on her website. IIRC, there was a significant difference with double insulation, one that would matter, if you were ever foolish enough....
P.S. I have a custom Calton guitar case that is awesome.
I'll pop in my vote for the Pegasus! Great support, comfortable to carry, great protection.
I still think I'd be a nervous wreck if I had to check it tho... no matter what it was in. The way airline people handle luggage scares me! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif
Just bringing this one back to the top of the list for other comments. At this point, Pegasus is the one for me,
Unless others have more info. Thanks for all of your help.