Sometimes a box is just a box. You put your junk in it and never think twice. Sometimes a box needs to be something more. Plano, the economical end of storage cases, is making a play at that next level of protection, but staying true to their customers’ expectations about pricing. On the high end of the retail spectrum, Plano’s new Sportsman’s Trunk is selling for right at $40.
How big is a 108 quart storage trunk? The exterior is 37.75” x 14” x 18.25”. The interior 34.75” x 13.5” x 16”. 108 quarts is 27 gallons. 102.26 liters. It is just about the size of what I carry on a three day hike, including the pack. It will hold a short AR, or several long ones (if you break them down).
I associate Plano with the basic protection offered by their rifle cases. As I handle a lot of Pelicans and much more expensive cases, Plano’s basic rifle cases have always felt a bit flimsy-but a big step up from simple cardboard. I’m impressed with the new Sportsman Trunk line. The Sportsman Trunk is a well engineered plastic box. It is waterproof. The ribbing inside the lid provides stackable structure and rigidity. The shape of the trunk itself makes it sturdy, and the latches hold the lid on tight.
Above that, there are some nice extras. The box has wheels. I’ve recently used the box to store steel targets out at the range, and I appreciate the wheels much more. On both sides of the box are cleats that are shaped to hold the tension of rope or packing straps (more on that in a bit). The box even has points for locks, though I’ve always looked at locks on a plastic case the way I look at speed bumps. But if you want some speed bumps, they are there.
I recently moved, and drive close to 1,500 miles in a Subaru Outback. We’d packed the car with all of the essential survival accessories as we were going to beat the moving truck by about a week. As we’d be camping out in the new house, I packed the sleeping bags and Thermarests, but the car just kept filling up. At the last minute, I remembered that the Plano had tie down points, so I filled it up. It fits well on the roof, and I ran one strap over the trunk, and then ran another over the tie downs. For the next four days, the box rode on top of the car. We hit typical summer storms and the contents stayed dry. We baked the hell out of it in the sun, and the seal never gave. The plastic flexes well enough to handle most common expansion and contraction. It came through the trip exceptionally well, and did its job perfectly.
That’s all I really ask in situations like this. It worked. It is easy to move, easy to haul, and not so large that when you fill it up you can’t lift it. The seal stays sealed, and the box’s contents stay dry. The next step for us is a long term torture test . The box is now sitting out at the range, exposed, where it will stay through the winter. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.