View Full Version : Polyfoam cases - Kala vs. Lanikai?

06-23-2011, 03:52 PM
I really wanted a Stagg tweed hardshell case, but the vendor is kind of jacking me around. I bought a tenor case, they sent a bari and blamed it on the Amazon fulfillment center. I sent it back.

They admitted they made a mistake in supplying them, said they were going to recall them and sort it all out, but I called the other day and they said they can't be 100% sure, since they didn't actually do the recall. ("I was on vacation when that went down." Whatever.)

I want to buy from Amazon since I have gift credits to pay for it. I'm kinda over the tweed and just want a nice case for my poor Mainland that cries every time I put it back in the cardboard box it came in. Some had suggested the Oscar Schmidt hard case, but I don't like rocking a brand I don't own/use and I'm not into putting stickers on it to cover it up.

Any thoughts on the Kala vs. Lanikai polyfoams? Maybe it's just the photography, but I'm thinking the Kala looks a bit nicer.

Kala (http://www.amazon.com/Kala-Tenor-Ukulele-Foam-Case/dp/B0017I2CO6/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1XXADCVWWYT9R&colid=3AU2DDGV0KEVJ)

Lanikai (http://www.amazon.com/Lanikai-Tenor-Ukulele-Polyfoam-Case/dp/B001V5K2RO/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=IUUQI8FIK39QU&colid=3AU2DDGV0KEVJ)

06-23-2011, 04:03 PM
Try a Stagg brand, less expensive and just as good. Besides, there isn't a Stagg uke, or is there?
Bought a Stagg tenor case from Austin Bazaar and love it.................BO..............

06-23-2011, 04:54 PM
The Kalas are generally good.

06-23-2011, 05:34 PM
There is a Stagg ukulele:


06-23-2011, 05:41 PM
I have a couple of the Guardian cases and really like the fit and construction. One caveat is the your uke needs to have friction pegs rather than geared tuners as in many cases the geared tunered headstock is too wide to fit.

06-26-2011, 05:12 PM
I just pulled the trigger on the Lanikai. Found an Amazon vendor who had it for $33 with prime, nice savings over the Kala for $50.

It's probably way better than any of the gig bags I've got already anyways. :)

06-26-2011, 06:02 PM
Honestly, the Kala and Lanikai polyfoam cases are the exact same thing. As a dealer, I just get them from whoever has them in stock.

I had a dear friend/customer come in because he ordered a Stagg tenor case and his mainland was HUGE in it! He thought maybe it was just the mainland and wanted to see how other brands fit. It was too big for any tenor and his other theory was that they accidentally sent a baritone case, but it was clearly too small for a baritone as well. So, I wonder if this is the same seller that he has had to deal with. The seller told him he would take it back, but that he had to pay shipping both ways. Which I feel is entirely unfair because it CLEARLY was not a standard tenor case.

But you cant lose with either the Kala or the Lanikai polyfoam. Same thing. The Kala just says "uke crazy" small on the flap.

06-26-2011, 06:28 PM
Thanks, Mim, you have reassured me that I made a good choice. :)

I had bought the Stagg via Austin Bazaar, who 808boy said he had a good experience with. But it was thru Amazon and I was able to send it back without costing me anything.

They told me if I bought directly from them, they could guarantee that I'd get a tenor case, but not if I bought from Amazon again. So whatever. Had your customer obtained it via the same source?

This is the first time I've actually had to buy a case for an uke. But the stock gig bags most of the ukes I own came in are probably not as nice as the one I've ordered.

07-05-2011, 05:12 PM
It arrived today! Had originally said it could take 2-4 weeks to ship from this particular source, but they got it here in 9 days from ordering it on a Sunday, and it also sat in UPS's L.A. facility over the holiday weekend.

First impressions and my review...

This thing is very well made! I was expecting something like a more heavily padded gig bag with a shaped foam interior. The polyfoam molding feels almost like a hard care and is very sturdy, yet still very lightweight. Not going to try jumping up and down on it, but I think it'll offer way more protection than any gig bag, even a heavily padded one. In fact, the interior padding is quite a bit thicker than what the hardshell case I returned had.

My Mainland red cedar fits fine, the lower bout is pretty snug. My Cordoba was a little looser in it. There's no indentation for a strap button, but if I do put one on, I imagine you could wedge it into the case and it'll make its own dent. NOTE: This case is for a figure 8 shaped uke and will NOT fit a pineapple unless you're up for modifying the interior. My concert Fluke fits, might need a sock or washrag at the bottom to keep it from sliding. Not sure, but I think a tenor Fluke might fit as well. YMMV.

Mim mentioned that the Kala says "uke crazy" on the flap. This one actually has no indication of Lanikai anywhere on it, just a tag inside that says made in China (well, what did you expect?).

The interior accessory pocket is generously sized, wider in comparison to a hard case with a shaped neck. The exterior pocket took one thin standard sized music book, tried two and it would have scrunched the corners to zip it. But it'll hold a handful of 8-1/2 x 11" printouts.

There are D rings on both the top side and the center back for attaching the included shoulder strap, depending on which you prefer.

The handle is just kind of a cheezy thin plastic thing. I like a nice thick, padded handle (from lugging heavy hardshell guitar cases), but this thing is so light it's not like it's going to break off or hurt your hand.

I noticed a faint chemical smell from the interior when I opened it. I'm going to leave it propped open overnight and hope that will dissipate.

Overall, I'd give this case two thumbs up. Very good protection, excellent value. :)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-05-2011, 05:25 PM
Like Mim sez, they are the same case.
I am a dealer as well and have been through hundreds of them. Here are some things too look out for.
Look at the stitching and make sure there is no runout They can be sloppy at times and seams can come apart. Make sure when you use the case to always open the zippers to their fullest extent. Otherwise you chance breaking the zippers (in the back) when you open the lid. I've also had handles pop off on me. The rivets on the metal brackets can come away. I have found defects in a rather small percentage of them; still, they occur. All in all they are a good value and do and excellent job of protecting the uke.

07-05-2011, 06:30 PM
Thanks for your reply, Chuck. If I owned one of your fine handmade ukes, I'd definitely want a much higher-end case for it. :)

But this is for a <$300 uke. What else would you recommend in this class? For $33 shipped, I think I did pretty good considering the uke it's for. :p

Is there a better handle that would be a fairly easy upgrade/replacement? (My husband's pretty handy. :)) Although, to be honest, when I take it out of the house it will most likely be using the shoulder strap.

07-07-2011, 04:20 PM
I just received the Kala case less than a week ago from Amazon for the Mele I brought back from Maui about 3 weeks ago. I was going back and forth between the two cases also. I went with the Kala only because of the D rings so I could use back pack style. Also, I thought the case would be brown like the picture but it is black. The handle is a bit cheapy. Thank you Chuck for the things to look out for.

07-07-2011, 09:57 PM
To the OP: I would go with the Kala! I agree, it does look nicer.

Not to hijack the thread, but I've been looking at the same case for a soprano (Kala). Any idea if these are waterproof like a traditional hard case? Do you think this would suffice to protect an ukulele for international shipping? I'm ordering from the U.S. and I want to make sure the uke gets here safely! Thanks for the input!