pelican case, sail case

Top 5 Most Effective Waterproof/Lifeproof Containers For Sailing

Waterproof containers and cases help to keep our valuables dry at all times. They vary in size and design and materials that are used to to produce them. Some are labeled waterproof, when in fact they are determined not to live up to this bell. Some waterproofed, windproof , water resistant and  may serve as shock absorber at any time during your voyage. Some high quality phones such as iPhones have high quality cases of various designs and these smart phones are kept and protected in a "lifeproof" case to make them last for a long period of time before getting damaged , as evident  their high cost and high functionality.

Below we will look at the best 5 all-purpose cases for your sailing needs on the market today.

Essential RatingI.D. ModelFeaturesCompare Prices
#1Water resistant O-ring sealMTM SPUD2 Sportsmen's Plus Utility Dry Box
Water resistant, O-ring Seal Compare Prices
#2 Lifeproof FRĒ SERIES Waterproof Lifeproof FRĒ SERIES Waterproof Case for iPhone X (Shock Proof, Built-in scratch protectorCompare Prices
#3Waterproof Case (Dry Box) | Pelican Storm iM3075Waterproof Case (Dry Box) | Pelican Storm iM3075Rugged In-Line Wheels/
Molded-In Lockable Hasps
Compare Prices
#4AmazonBasics Hard Camera Case - LargeAmazonBasics Hard Camera CasePre-cut foam squares /
Pressure equalization valve
Compare Prices
#5Waterproof Case (Dry Box) | Pelican Storm iM2950 Case With Foam Pelican Storm iM2950 CaseMolded-In Lockable Hasps/Compare Prices

Why WaterProof Boxes for Boating?

This may sound self explanatory for some, and yet still many sailors today still ignore the tried and true waterproof technology that is out there on the market today and at very reasonable prices might I add. You want to be able to concentrate on your voyage when sailing and not on your equipment getting pummeled by some rip waves, that will inevitably put you in an unpleasant mood while potentially out on an unforgettable trip.

What purposes do sailing cases serve?

Sailing cases serve various purposes and are designed to meet some certain functions. 

Cases function as dust proof capsules, water proof, shock proof and other designs which helps to keep gears safe at all time. Cases can be in various forms or can be made out of various materials such as rubber or plastic materials. Their shapes, size and functioning capacity varies, also their abilities to carry out these stipulated functions varies from one case to another. Some case can vote deep in water while some can only resist water to quite a low depth.

What about Sailing Containers?

Sailing containers have been an essential gear for everyone for quite a while now and must be carried along whenever one is going out to sail.

Sailing containers do much of the same things sailing cases do in that they   protect and keep gears dry at all times thereby increasing the rate at which gears damage when exposed to an extreme weather condition. Containers that are water resistant can be used for   diving, fishing,  kayaking and other water sports.

Some containers come in the form of luggage boxes while some are used for our various high quality phones so as to prevent them from getting damaged. Most waterproof case are designed to suit underwater use, swimmers, surfers and scuba divers.

Ever since Pelican put out these unbelievably tough polypropylene cases around 2002-03, they have led the way for others to follow and dilute the prices of this technology. The idea is to look for boxes like Pelican that have IPX waterproof ratings.

Testing Boxes

First We selected random boxes from random brands (usually two models per brand)

On Board

Initially, my team gets ready for a long offshore trip, and during this trip all the crew members will have covered cellphones, lighters, keys and other essentials that may need to be brought on board , such as POV cam’s and any other boat gadget we could think of(some even brought the new retro Gameboys with them for down time)

Throw OverBoard!

We spent about an hour watching each of these cases work at a nearby lake before heading offshore, plunking these cases with our contents inside into the water. We wanted to see if they lived up to the billing before taking them to more rugged conditions. We watched as they dropped to the bottom of the lake.

Testing pressure changes

For those that had pressure valves, and after dunking them into water, we put them in mini freezers to see if we could open them after time 30 minutes time. These purge valves are meant to help with equalizing the inner with outer climates of the contents and adjusting rapidly to leave the contents just as before. We then did the inverseby heating them in the hot sun after removing them from these freezers.

The following are reviews post trials and also valuable information for the cases above. Please read before purchasing!

    If you are bringing a laptop, external speaker, printers, adapters, music amplifiers, cables or anything that needs added protection from the inevitable sailing elements then this is the case for you. The foam inserts are for additional protections. This case can probably get run over by a submarine and still endure/do it’s job! Pelican’s secret sauce are the construction of the latches. You can literally put anything fragile in this case, rest assured you are in great shape(press and pull with molded in lockable hasps sliding handle is a very nice touch and the top handle is absolutely brilliant!

    Improvements: The only thing we can say is that it is definitely not light. However, it is not made to be light and will protect all your valuable devices from water damage. Worth the price of admission 10 fold.

    Overall Rating: 5/5

    4| AmazonBasics Hard Camera Case

    AmazonBasics Hard Camera Case - Medium

    All of our camera’s and Gopro’s get filled into this case. For the price, you really can’t beat the quality as we’ve found out the hard way on a sailing trip down in the Keys!

    Built very similarly to a Pelican Case, the latches we found to be a little stiff yet solid. The air release valve works really well.  We love that this case is 100% watertight at 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. The top handle slides up and down really conveniently. Easy to store in underseat compartments. The pre-cut foam allows for customization so that you can practically mold any type of camera to fit snug and be protected.

    Improvements: The large sizes meausre about 22 inches long by 13 inches high. We would like to have seen these cases a little bit bigger.

    Conclusion: If you have a specialty camera and lenses to bring on board with you, we implore you not to use the standard camera carrying case it came with. Your camera will not be protected from the elements. Instead, this hard case will get  the job done. You get a 1 year warranty which we also like. It also meets carry-on regulations for almost all domestic airlines and FAA’s max size for carry-on’s

    Overall Rating: 4.7/5

    How are Pelican Cases Forged?

    Made of polypropylene pellets, these pellets get stored in silos until a high pressure vacuum moves them into mixers where a liquid blowing agent is added (creating the internal bubbles in its structure which makes it more resistant to impact) . These plastic pellets are then heated to 400 degrees °F to liquify (30 -45 seconds to plasticize to a liquid) Then the liquid plastic is injected into the colossus (pressure molding machine) which is an 1800 ton press. All of the assemblage steps ( hinge pins, valve, latches, wheels, trolley) use injection molding . The O-ring is what clasps the case together, sealing the base and lid of the case. Dave Parker was a diver that made the original Pelican case. 

    The iM3075 model has hard & soft rubber( where the fingers get rounded), and is made with the highest quality HPX Polymer . It measures 29.8″x20.8×17.8 , has press and pull latches. We highly recommend the iM3075 Case for it’s unbelievable strength and for the volume it can hold.  It has a Vortex Pressure release valve and the microscopic filter which acts to block water molecules in humid temperatures and dryness in arid climates.

    Conclusion: it really doesn’t get any better than this when it comes to keeping your valuables at status quo even in the toughest conditions out on the sea. We tested these cases for ourselves and own 2 for mostly all of our high end equipment we bring on board. We would be completely confident even if these  cases landed in the water that we were retrieving our stuff without any issues at all.

    Improvements: Not as lightweight as you may think at 31 LBS but for what it does impact wise, you cannot beat it.

    Our Rating: 5/5

    Well, considering almost everyone on all sides of the world uses an apple product(especially the iphone), we had to add the Lifeproof FE series for the Iphone X to the mix for things to use when you are on board sailing the open seas. Although the Iphone 10 is water resistant, it is not water PROOF as these are two distinctive differences in function and design. Resistant only means you are safe if little droplets of water, rain, etc get on your phone that can easily be dried off. Do not attempt to drop your phone in the ocean to test without a Lifeproof case! 🙂

    You will notice with the FRE series to be sleek and since there is no longer a touch ID, they keep it all as one piece as a screen protector without getting an extra piece for the touch ID. There is a built in screen protector(one complete polycarbonate sheet). The matte finish on the cover allows for no oily effect or watermarking which we really like. We like that you can feel the ring  switch actuate which is great. The notches give off a decent grip , protective cover  for the apple logo. We like it for up to 2m of water, so we would just leave the phone in the case on the boat, rather than swim with it on you.

    Improvements: the anti-glare screen protector muffles the speaker but since the protector is pretty thin, it isn’t all that bad. The volume just needs to increased in order to hear well.  The covers and buttons are slightly hard to press but they still work very well

    Conclusion: Don’t even think about taking your phone on-board , on any kind of sailing expidition without a LifeProof case . If you can find an alternative case that works just as well  so go for it! We highly recommend getting quality here.

    Overall Rating: 4.9/5

    If your plan is to bring some odds and ends onboard and you plan on day sailing only then this may be all you need to protect your valuables. We like there there are hidden compartments for all of your tools that you may also need to bring with you. There is a rubber gasket that acts to keep water out and after testing it a few times, seems to work great. 

    Improvements: We would have liked to see more than one latch (atleast 2 or 3) in order to guarantee waterproofing. This is only good for small key items. The top four inches of the case is dedicated to the tray so keep this in mind. We also wanted to see the lid hinge instead of just flopping opened. (we recommend resting it against something) 

    Conclusion: at 15'' L x 8.8'' W x 13'' H make sure you do not plan on putting big bulky items in this case because you will be disappointed. These dimensions are hard to find elsewhere especially at this price point of $25 Dollars. That is why we like this box so much, because of its O ring technology and the price you can pick these up for. 

    Overall Rating 4.8/5

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