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Author Topic: Buy another Protec or...  (Read 1401 times)
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papaslides

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« on: Oct 04, 2017, 02:55PM »

Hello wind driven, pitch approximators, I could do with a poll of opinions.

I have been traveling with a Protec ProPac Contoured trombone case for about 5 years now (I have the model from 2012/before that has the molded mouthpiece slots inside the case, with the lid held down by an elastic strap.) Honestly this case has met, and far exceeded my expectations for an affordable case. I fly with it 2-8 times a year, with my trombone stand in the side pocket, and an accessory pouch resting between the bell and slide sections. I have fit it into dozens of different sized overhead bins, gate checked it, and even been forced to check it as luggage at check-in FAR more often than I like (international travel... fun). To date my instrument has never sustained a hint of damage... that being said the case itself is starting to get a bit raggedy.

Here's my question. Do I buy the newer model of the ProPac and ride it out for another 5-8 years, or do I upgrade.

For those of you who have bought a propac recently, I notice that the accessory compartment by the bell is now zippered and completely hollow. Has this been a bonus or a bust for you guys? Also the velcro EVERYWHERE falls apart after a few years (The cover for the slide side of the case barely holds together, same as the strap for the bell, and the zipper cover/handle cover on the outside). If any/all of these things have been replaced by snaps or clasps it would make the case 10x better for me. So ProPac people, is everything still velcro or have they upgraded?

I'd be willing to upgrade my case options but only if the replacement met all of the criteria that I loved about my old ProPac

1. Fits in overhead compartments
2. Stores trombone stand in a way that still works if checked as luggage (sorry Marcus Bonna, that counts you out)
3. Has sturdy shell that can withstand being checked if necessary
4. Doesn't cost over $500

Thanks for any input folks!

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Zandit75
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 04, 2017, 09:45PM »

I have a Protec case for my Shires, and I think it's great in general.
The couple of gripes I have relate to the velco used on the hand grip to hold both handles together has barely any grip, and comes undone at the slightest touch.
The other gripe is the larger pocket you mentioned. I have two mouthpieces in here, as well as a couple of small water spray bottles to fill up the pocket to minimise the amount of rolling around of the mouthpieces. I have a Protec mouthpiece pouch on the way which will help protect my main MP. I would have liked a more compact pocket for this use.
Apart from that, I love the rest of it.
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SilverBone
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 04, 2017, 10:16PM »

I have the Protec case as well (the model that comes with a Shires logo).

I have been generally happy with it.  The zipper on the larger pocket is a minor pain.  The bigger pain is that I bought the backpack straps for it, and periodically the top connection (where the strap connects to the case, just below the bell bulge) unsnaps itself.  I have yet to drop my horn because of this - it dangles from the strap connected by the bottom connectors.

If anyone has a fix for this, I'd love to hear it.
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 05, 2017, 05:13PM »

I have the Protec case as well (the model that comes with a Shires logo).

I have been generally happy with it.  The zipper on the larger pocket is a minor pain.  The bigger pain is that I bought the backpack straps for it, and periodically the top connection (where the strap connects to the case, just below the bell bulge) unsnaps itself.  I have yet to drop my horn because of this - it dangles from the strap connected by the bottom connectors.

If anyone has a fix for this, I'd love to hear it.

Yep, this happened to me also.
The straps were already connected to the case when I received it, and I tried it once, and only once. Luckily I still had hold of the case.
It was promptly removed and is now stored in a drawer in my practice room. I just use the shoulder strap now, that is quite comfortable.
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Full Pedal Trombonist

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« Reply #4 on: Oct 06, 2017, 02:07PM »

Does anyone here have experience with the Protec Platinum line? When I donít want to stuff a Cronkhite somewhere I figured it could be a good alternative. Are the backpack straps on the Platinums better? And the build quality? If so then with all the pockets and compartments it would be a good upgrade from a regular Protec for the OP here.
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Zandit75
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 06, 2017, 04:32PM »

Does anyone here have experience with the Protec Platinum line? When I donít want to stuff a Cronkhite somewhere I figured it could be a good alternative. Are the backpack straps on the Platinums better? And the build quality? If so then with all the pockets and compartments it would be a good upgrade from a regular Protec for the OP here.

The Backpack straps look to be the same regardless of which model case you purchase. I personally wouldn't trust it, but others may have a different experience with it.
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mr.deacon
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 06, 2017, 06:20PM »

You are a brave man to trust a protec case on a airline. I would never fly in a million years with one of their bass cases.

I always fly with a Cronkite and just put my stand in my luggage. It's honestly not that hard to do. If you feel like you really need space in a case you should buy a Protec because it's the only case on the market with a pocket that big.
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 07, 2017, 12:58AM »

Edwards have carbon fiber cases for $500.00
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papaslides

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« Reply #8 on: Oct 07, 2017, 01:53PM »

You are a brave man to trust a protec case on a airline. I would never fly in a million years with one of their bass cases.

I always fly with a Cronkite and just put my stand in my luggage. It's honestly not that hard to do. If you feel like you really need space in a case you should buy a Protec because it's the only case on the market with a pocket that big.

I thought it would be an issues at first. Most of my flights were domestic, or to Europe and I had no problem getting them into the cabin, then one time I flew to Busan S. Korea from SFO and the gate attendant absolutely refused to let me onboard with it, I had to check it straight to Busan despite having a layover in Hong Kong... when I got it back everything was perfectly fine. Also had to check it on a flight from Australia back to SFO (again non-negotiable, check the trombone or find another way home kind of situation) and again my trombone survived without a scratch.

I'm sure some have had issues,  and who knows my next flight could end in disaster, but in 5 years, and well over 20 flights, and having to check or gate check the case for well over half of them, I still haven't gotten so much as a dent in the bell.

I can't justify a gig bag because sometimes you are SOL with the overhead bins, especially international travel. Because I work on a cruise ship I need the extra space in my luggage, and because of the international travel I WILL have to check my horn periodically. So far this has been by far the best compromise for my situation... that being said it has taken it's toll and I need to replace the bag eventually (or take it somewhere to have all the velcro replaced and re-close some of the open seams).  Maybe that's an option, anyone had any luck taking their cases to a place for repairs?
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 07, 2017, 03:03PM »

getting some strong hook and loop from Amazon isn't hard and sewing it on yourself ( can be a pain, but... ) is also possible.
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 07, 2017, 03:38PM »

I bought a Protec a few years back (3 maybe) for my Edwards Bass... Same problem with the Velcro failing, on both the bell side and the hand slide.
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chris612

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« Reply #11 on: Oct 14, 2017, 09:40PM »

I recently upgraded from my ProPac case. I had it for a few years and all the Velcro came apart and it was just too heavy for me ( bass version). I got the new IPac case from Protec and I love it. It is affordable and very compact. I haven't flown with it but I will in November and it should fit in the overhead. It also has a buckle on the inside for the bell section and a zipper compartment and it's everything I was looking for in an affordable case. Check it out!

Chris
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 20, 2017, 10:56AM »

I can't offer any insight on air travel with any of my horns, but I can say that I got a Protec Max awhile back, and it's a great case for $100.  The only thing I'm not sure of with regard to the case is how it'd do on an airplane, but that aside, I can't imagine anyone needing much more than that unless they need something that can haul multiple trombones.
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 24, 2017, 11:28AM »

I've also thought about getting a Cronkhite or a Fusion-Bags (professional) for my situation, and then buying a golf bag flight case for checking it when necessary.

What I really wish is that someone would take the old wolf-pak golf bag design idea and run with it. Like a torpedo bag/wolf-pak hybrid. I owned 2 wolf-paks and from a day to day use perspective they were my favorite bags ever. If they had a slightly larger (but shorter, I would have put an accessory pouch in a much more robust lid and made the whole thing slightly shorter) case that was crush proof like a torpedobag, and somehow made room for a trombone stand, it might have been the worlds most perfect case.

Oh well, I'll drag one more contract out of my protec and see what I can come up with next year. Either find a luggage repair shop to fix/mod my current case, crossgrade to an iPad, or finally take the plunge on something more robust. We shall see, shame Torpedobags gave up on their carcajou, but also baller that they are making good old fashion Cronkhites again!
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