Friday, October 14, 2011

Gear Review- Plano Guide Series Waterproof Cases

This gear review opportunity was offered way back in late May or early June by the good folks at Plano through the Outdoor Blogger Network.  My information got lost in the shuffle and it took six weeks for me to get them, then I had to use them for awhile, since then I've moved etc. etc. ok, enough excuses, but my apologies to Plano and OBN for any seeming delay for this review.


    • Exterior dimensions: 6.5" L x 4.675" W x 2.125" H
    • Interior dimensions: 5" L x 3" W x 1.625" H


  • Exterior dimensions: 14" L x 9" W x 5" H
  • rior dimensions: 12" L x 7" W x 4.625" H

  • Both boxes feature:

    • Airtight and leakproof storage
    • Strong poly-carbonate structure
    • Soft rubber lining prevents your valuables from sliding around
    • Additional layer of soft rubber is used to conceal the contents of the interior
    • Padlock tabs for secure storage
    • Patent pending latch with pressure release

    I think the mark of good gear is if you continue to use it after the review is over.  In this case I do.
    I received these two Plano Guide Series Waterproof Cases in the mail in July, and I immediately thought of some uses.  I'm not just a fly angler, I'm also a kayaker.  Like so many of you, I carry a lot of sensitive items with me to the field and on the water.  I typically carry a somewhat expensive DSLR camera, my iPhone, extra lenses, reels and so on.  And yes, carrying and protecting these things while out and about has been a problem.  I bought a clear vinyl dry bag for the camera, but if I'm not careful in those exciting moments on the water it gets banged around.  I have bigger dry bags for the kayak, but again, there's some things that could use an extra measure of protection.

    First, the smaller box.  I have one use for this box- my iPhone.  It fits perfectly, and the last thing I need to do is replace that little monster.  There's a lot of things you could put in there- keys, other electronics.  An iPhone shaped sandwich.  For better or worse, that little phone always goes with me, especially when fishing alone, and I've always fretted about where to put it.  I almost dropped it in the river once while fishing my camera out of the dry bag.  I can say truthfully that this little box goes with me on every trip, and I don't worry about my phone anymore.  The clear poly allows me to check and ignore missed calls or texts, or for an extra layer of avoiding the electronic tether, you can cover it with silicone pad included.  I don't like always carrying a phone to the river, and really don't like taking calls or texts out there, but I fish alone an awful lot, and it seems prudent these days to take it.  This little box ensures my phone will still work if it's needed.  I also like the wrist strap provided with this box- it provides some extra security when handling on the water or allows you to attach it to your waders or vest if you like.  The cam latches on both of these boxes lock securely and I've never had one open without me.
    3 fly boxes, 2 headlamps, 1 wallet and a load of snacks, floating safely down river

    Ok, the big box.  This one really shines in the kayak or drift boat.  I use it to store my reels, wallet, camera, lenses and fly boxes- all the stuff I don't want to stuff in a dry bag or back pack, or have sloshing around the bottom of the 'yak.     I've used this box kayaking local trout streams, and used it on my trip to Nipigon Ontario.  The clear poly allows you to see what you have stored, or you can use the included silicone sheet to cover it all and make it less visible to prying eyes.  This box has three locking cams, and I've floated this box down rapids with the above mentioned gear in it and it does what it advertises- keeps your sensitive items safe and dry. This box is in use full time, as I've found it to be extremely useful for storing ALL of my fly reels even when I'm not on the water.  It holds six of them plus a few items.  Now I always know where to find my reels, and it keeps them safe from me. (I can be a little tough on gear).

    I didn't find an MSRP on Plano's site, but found these boxes for sale on Cabela's.  At about $20 for the smaller box, I think it's pretty cheap insurance for your phone, wallet, keys etc.  The bigger box sells for $44.99, and with a camera, extra lens and a few reels in it, it's easily protecting over $1000 worth of gear.  Cheap insurance for a one-time premium, and you won't have to make a claim.
    six reels, two headlamps, a GPS my lanyard, all protected from me!
    My thanks to Plano and the Outdoor Blogger Network for the opportunity to test some quality gear.  No disclaimer, we all know the drill.


    1. Nice review. I like the bigger box and can see myself having many uses for it around the water both fishing and diving. Not a bad price either.

    2. I love both boxes, but use the smaller one more often, pretty much every outing. The bigger box gets used on bigger outings- multiple fly boxes, camera etc., anything that involves a boat.

    3. I travel a lot and bring a small cooler. Hotels usually have mini-fridges but most don’t have freezers in them to refreeze ice packs. All hotels have ice machines though so I fill this Plano box with ice. It’s the perfect size, doesn’t leak, and is so much easier than dealing with Ziploc bags.

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