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View Full Version : Uke Crazy polyfoam case + torrential downpour = bad idea



janeray1940
03-01-2015, 04:05 PM
A uke I recently acquired came with a Uke Crazy polyfoam case, which is a type of case I've never owned before (all of my cases are super heavy hard ones direct from Kamaka). I took it and another uke out today and got stuck walking from my car in a torrential hailstorm - I'm not kidding, I walked maybe 12 feet and was soaked to the bone when I arrived at my destination.

Being from Southern California, waterproofing never really factored into my case buying decisions. The uke was fine, but - the water brought out some really awful chemical off-gassing smell from the polyfoam case! As soon as I got home I dug around for an extra hardshell case I knew I had stashed in the attic, and luckily the new uke fits fine. So all's well that ends well, I guess - I'm just glad I learned this little lesson before ordering a few more of those polyfoam cases - I was really enjoying how lightweight they are and I love the storage pocket on the outside.

The smell, though - not so much :)

hollisdwyer
03-01-2015, 04:46 PM
The only case I own and I'd consider waterproof is a Kamoa Fibreglass one. Very well made but doesn't have an interior storage box which I consider a PITA.

mailman
03-01-2015, 04:52 PM
I have two of the polyfoam cases from UkeCrazy. I had no faith in their waterproof capabilities before a trip to UWC, and was afraid I might get caught out on the field in the rain.

Simple solution. I put a plastic garbage bag in the outside pocket of each case. In the event of rain, the uke, in its case, would have gone into the waterproof garbage bag. The bag adds no appreciable weight to the case....problem solved.

janeray1940
03-01-2015, 05:06 PM
The only case I own and I'd consider waterproof is a Kamoa Fibreglass one. Very well made but doesn't have an interior storage box which I consider a PITA.

That's the main reason I haven't looked into getting those - I keep all the things like tuners and thumbpicks and extra strings that I would otherwise forget in those pockets!


I have two of the polyfoam cases from UkeCrazy. I had no faith in their waterproof capabilities before a trip to UWC, and was afraid I might get caught out on the field in the rain.

Simple solution. I put a plastic garbage bag in the outside pocket of each case. In the event of rain, the uke, in its case, would have gone into the waterproof garbage bag. The bag adds no appreciable weight to the case....problem solved.

That's a great idea - once the case dries out, if the smell goes away I'll do that. It would never have occurred to me to plan for rain because, you know... I'm from Southern California :) In nearly 6 years of uke playing, rain has never been an issue.

ukegirl
03-01-2015, 10:06 PM
I have two of the polyfoam cases from UkeCrazy. I had no faith in their waterproof capabilities before a trip to UWC, and was afraid I might get caught out on the field in the rain.

Simple solution. I put a plastic garbage bag in the outside pocket of each case. In the event of rain, the uke, in its case, would have gone into the waterproof garbage bag. The bag adds no appreciable weight to the case....problem solved.
Great idea!

Andy Chen
03-01-2015, 11:09 PM
One of these came to me with my Koaloha from HMS. I don't like it coz the neck of the uke slides about too much inside. Doesn't feel much lighter than the ABS hardshell I bought for the Koaloha instead.

anthonyg
03-01-2015, 11:45 PM
Comparing polyfoam cases to traditional hardcases to fibreglass cases they all have strengths and weaknesses. I LIKE polyfoam cases. They're reasonably cheap, light, have good temperature insulating properties and good dynamic impact protection properties (such as dropping the case). Traditional hardcases have good static impact protection (such as stepping on the case or other heavy items being placed on top of the case) but I wouldn't want to drop it as the impact of the drop would be transferred to the ukulele. Not good insulation either. Expensive fibreglass cases can combine the best protection of both types, but are expensive and usually heavy.

Horses for courses.

Anthony

wickedwahine11
03-02-2015, 12:42 AM
The only case I own and I'd consider waterproof is a Kamoa Fibreglass one. Very well made but doesn't have an interior storage box which I consider a PITA.

I can speak to the waterproof capabilities of that case. I was once drenched in a downpour - I looked like a drowned rat, the uke stayed perfectly dry. That case definitely does have its limitations (the aforementioned lack of storage compartment primary among them) but it is definitely waterproof. The Crossrock fiberglass cases have a sinilar fiberglass construction and seal but have a storage compartment so they are a very nice option.

SteveZ
03-02-2015, 03:03 AM
Comparing polyfoam cases to traditional hardcases to fibreglass cases they all have strengths and weaknesses. I LIKE polyfoam cases. They're reasonably cheap, light, have good temperature insulating properties and good dynamic impact protection properties (such as dropping the case). Traditional hardcases have good static impact protection (such as stepping on the case or other heavy items being placed on top of the case) but I wouldn't want to drop it as the impact of the drop would be transferred to the ukulele. Not good insulation either. Expensive fibreglass cases can combine the best protection of both types, but are expensive and usually heavy.

Horses for courses.

Anthony

Agree! I'm not concerned about the polyfoam case being waterproof. If it's raining that bad, I''m not going anywhere, either. I do appreciate the insulating capability as it gets darned hot here inside the car trunk (boot to some!) and the polyfoam has been very good that way.

Rllink
03-02-2015, 03:59 AM
Not a hard case, but I have a Fusion gig bag that has gone through several torrential rain storms while I was out on the beach, and it has stayed dry inside. Even inside the pockets on the outside. In other words, I guess I'm trying to say that it is made of waterproof material.

janeray1940
03-02-2015, 04:52 AM
Not a hard case, but I have a Fusion gig bag that has gone through several torrential rain storms while I was out on the beach, and it has stayed dry inside. Even inside the pockets on the outside. In other words, I guess I'm trying to say that it is made of waterproof material.

That is good to know - I've been thinking about getting two gig bags, soprano and concert, since I usually take one of each with me when I go out to play and the really heavy cases that my ukes live in are hard for me to carry. I'll keep those in mind.

As for the Kamoa cases - they seem to be hard to come by, but I've seen fiberglass cases by Crossrock on Amazon that look really similar - anybody know if they're the same? These might actually not be an option for me since my ukes are odd shapes (pineapple; Ohta-San) and the molded cases are very figure-8 shaped, so - if anybody could speak to that I'd appreciate it as well.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

hollisdwyer
03-02-2015, 04:53 AM
The cloth covered fibreglass case that came with my DaSilva Martin 3K reproduction is probably the best case I have seen. Light, rugged and has a storage box. I have no idea who made it as there are no markings or labels. The case that came with my Boat Paddle ML Tenor is also very rugged but very heavy. Those are made by the company who makes the Ameritage cases. I recently acquired a strap "upgrade" kit from that company which makes it so much easier to tote around. I can't see why all cases don't come with strap attachments at least.

janeray1940
03-02-2015, 04:58 AM
I can't see why all cases don't come with strap attachments at least.

That was something I really loved about the polyfoam case, the shoulder strap that could be configured a couple of different ways. It got me thinking about modifying my hardshell cases - drill a couple holes, add some hardware, couldn't be too difficult I don't think...

hollisdwyer
03-02-2015, 04:59 AM
....
As for the Kamoa cases - they seem to be hard to come by, but I've seen fiberglass cases by Crossrock on Amazon that look really similar - anybody know if they're the same?

They really look the same. I don't think Kamoa sells their version anymore. Wonder if they sourced them from the people who now make the fibreglass Crossrock?

hollisdwyer
03-02-2015, 05:07 AM
That was something I really loved about the polyfoam case, the shoulder strap that could be configured a couple of different ways. It got me thinking about modifying my hardshell cases - drill a couple holes, add some hardware, couldn't be too difficult I don't think...


It wasn't difficult to add the strap kit. Just make sure that no metal is exposed inside the case.

TheCraftedCow
03-02-2015, 05:21 AM
I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but if there is a zipper anywhere on a soft case that does allow moisture to the inside no matter how rain resistant the shell fabric may be. I have yet to see a zippered case with a rain fly over the zipper. Going around the curves would make getting to the slider a major pain. The idea of the trash can liner stashed in a pocket is a great simple solution for any soft case. Thank you for the idea!

Oregon and SoCal are different. Our lawns are green grass not green gravel. Rain has such names as Frog Stranglers--Gully Washers. I am so glad my 14 years of living in SoCal are just memories. It is ironic that the very next winter the 4plex we owned, and the rest of the town was inundated by FOUR FEET of water from a broken levee on the San Jacinto River.

wickedwahine11
03-02-2015, 06:05 AM
They really look the same. I don't think Kamoa sells their version anymore. Wonder if they sourced them from the people who now make the fibreglass Crossrock?

They are different. I have two Kamoa and used to have a Crossrock. The Crossrock has a storage compartment the Kamoa lacks, but the Kamoa has backpack straps where the Crossrock I had had only a shoulder strap. The Crossrock padding is also a lot nicer. I would have kept the Crossrock except I prefer backpack straps and mine didn't have it - though I have heard of one that did, though I don't know where they got it. For Kamoa they don't sell them online, though Kamoa's store in Kapa'a Kauai still stocks them - perhaps they would ship.

janeray1940
03-02-2015, 06:14 AM
They are different. I have two Kamoa and used to have a Crossrock. The Crossrock has a storage compartment the Kamoa lacks, but the Kamoa has backpack straps where the Crossrock I had had only a shoulder strap. The Crossrock padding is also a lot nicer. I would have kept the Crossrock except I prefer backpack straps and mine didn't have it - though I have heard of one that did, though I don't know where they got it. For Kamoa they don't sell them online, though Kamoa's store in Kapa'a Kauai still stocks them - perhaps they would ship.

Thanks! I would definitely want the backpack straps. I'm going to give this some thought; maybe I'll call the shop in Kauai (or hey, in my dreams pay them a visit in person - I wish!).

Steveperrywriter
03-02-2015, 06:18 AM
They are different. I have two Kamoa and used to have a Crossrock. The Crossrock has a storage compartment the Kamoa lacks, but the Kamoa has backpack straps where the Crossrock I had had only a shoulder strap. The Crossrock padding is also a lot nicer. I would have kept the Crossrock except I prefer backpack straps and mine didn't have it - though I have heard of one that did, though I don't know where they got it. For Kamoa they don't sell them online, though Kamoa's store in Kapa'a Kauai still stocks them - perhaps they would ship.

Yeah, I have one each of these, and note the same advantages/disadvantages. Rains a fair amount where I live in the winter, not usually downpours, but the fiberglass keeps the water out.

Fiberglass is lightweight, and offers better protection than a gig bag, though it certainly costs more. The latches on the Crossrock are a bit sturdier than those on the no-name.

Probably the best case for being weatherproof and protective comes from Hoffee, but they are heavy and a tad spendy. (In the attached image, the blue is the Crossrock, the red, the no-name I got secondhand, which I believe came from Kamoa. I have a black Crossrock coming coming with the next uke, which should be here real soon now ...)

76771

janeray1940
03-02-2015, 06:47 AM
Yeah, I have one each of these, and note the same advantages/disadvantages. Rains a fair amount where I live in the winter, not usually downpours, but the fiberglass keeps the water out.

Fiberglass is lightweight, and offers better protection than a gig bag, though it certainly costs more. The latches on the Crossrock are a bit sturdier than those on the no-name.

Probably the best case for being weatherproof and protective comes from Hoffee, but they are heavy and a tad spendy. (In the attached image, the blue is the Crossrock, the red, the no-name I got secondhand, which I believe came from Kamoa. I have a black Crossrock coming coming with the next uke, which should be here real soon now ...)

76771

Question for you - I can't quite tell from the image, does the Crossrock have latches on both sides? That's a big selling point for me if it does, as I've had a case with two latches on one side where both failed at the same time and I almost lost a uke.

The whole waterproof thing is *almost* a non-issue since it rains so little here - the hard cases I have are definitely enough protection. But the rain soaking clear through that polyfoam was a real eye-opener for me, I would not have thought it was that permeable.

Ukulele Eddie
03-02-2015, 07:56 AM
I agree the polyfoam cases are convenient with the pocket and so lite. Rather than buy another case given how little rain we face, why not get a heavy garbage bag and put it in the side pocket as somebody suggested?


Question for you - I can't quite tell from the image, does the Crossrock have latches on both sides? That's a big selling point for me if it does, as I've had a case with two latches on one side where both failed at the same time and I almost lost a uke.

The whole waterproof thing is *almost* a non-issue since it rains so little here - the hard cases I have are definitely enough protection. But the rain soaking clear through that polyfoam was a real eye-opener for me, I would not have thought it was that permeable.

janeray1940
03-02-2015, 08:06 AM
I agree the polyfoam cases are convenient with the pocket and so lite. Rather than buy another case given how little rain we face, why not get a heavy garbage bag and put it in the side pocket as somebody suggested?

I probably won't be able to use that case again because of the smell that the rain caused - I definitely don't want that odor transferred to my uke! As it is I can hardly stand to have it in my house it stinks so badly, but I'm trying to be patient to see if it goes away after it's dry.

My point was that I really like the lightness of the case and the option to use a shoulder strap. If the Crossrock fiberglass cases combine light weight plus straps, I'd rather just buy a couple to use for taking the ukes out of the house rather than buy a couple more polyfoam cases and go the trash-bag route.

Or I could just stick with my existing cases - which are heavy, and hard for me to carry more than one since two don't fit in one hand easily - and buy a granny cart with a rain canopy to haul them around in... kidding... sort of... :)

RichM
03-02-2015, 08:22 AM
I have both Kamoa and Crossrock fiberglass cases. While I think the Kamoa is a somewhat nicer case, the Crossrock is very close in quality, and Kamoas seem pretty hard to find these days. I also have a Crossrock ABS case, and it's very nice as well, and much less than fiberglass. It doesn't have the same eye-appeal as fiberglass, but it does offer excellent protection. I also have a Crossrock polycarbonate/ABS case, which has a shiny polycarbonate layer over the ABS, making it look pretty much just like the fiberglass cases, without the price-- but I don't think Crossrock makes those anymore.

Yeah, I got a lot of cases. I got a lot of ukes.

Steveperrywriter
03-02-2015, 01:02 PM
Question for you - I can't quite tell from the image, does the Crossrock have latches on both sides? That's a big selling point for me if it does, as I've had a case with two latches on one side where both failed at the same time and I almost lost a uke.

The whole waterproof thing is *almost* a non-issue since it rains so little here - the hard cases I have are definitely enough protection. But the rain soaking clear through that polyfoam was a real eye-opener for me, I would not have thought it was that permeable.

Yep, both are five-latch cases, four on the opening side, one on the hinge side, and the Crossrock's latches are the standard U-shaped style.

janeray1940
03-02-2015, 01:06 PM
Yep, both are five-latch cases, four on the opening side, one on the hinge side, and the Crossrock's latches are the standard U-shaped style.

Thanks - that sounds darned secure!

TheCraftedCow
03-03-2015, 07:36 AM
Have you tried Fabreze on the case? Do you know anyone who has an ozone generator on their air purifier system? That really removes odors.

janeray1940
03-03-2015, 07:57 AM
Have you tried Fabreze on the case? Do you know anyone who has an ozone generator on their air purifier system? That really removes odors.

No to both... but the odor seems to be going away - at least it's now local to the case instead of my whole house!