Review - Max Case MAX380
History of Max Case
Max Case is a global supplier of affordable reliable, tried & tested, secure storage cases. Their products are used by Military, Industry, LEO (Law Enforcement Officers) and other civilian agencies.
For more info - visit Max Case website.
Why Max Case?
Safe and secure storage of kit and equipment is a necessity when it's not being used. When storing expensive equipment, there are a number of factors to take into consideration for both the item and the case; cost, size, quality, waterproof, dust proof, duration of storage, materials used etc. Having recently purchased the TRI AN/PRC-148 (a full review blog of which can be found here) Review - TRI AN/PRC-148 (UV) MBITR and with the original packaging purely being a cardboard box and thin foam, I went on the hunt for a Peli type case to provide safe storage for the equipment that a) provided safety to my equipment, b) gave me piece of mind during transport and when stored and c) didn't break the bank. My online search for affordable durable cases brought me to Max Cases and having done some research and read a few reviews online, I purchased 2.
Having looked at the equipment that required safe storage and after researching dimensions, I purchased two of the 380s with internal foam. Of note is that when purchasing a case, you can either purchase it empty or with foam for an additional cost.
Herein lies the product description from The Case Shop website;
Max Case MAX380H115 Black
Max Cases are IP67 certified, tough, durable and reliable. They may be used in a variety of applications, ranging from marine, photography, scuba diving, hunting, fishing, special corps and even the manufacturing industry. These cases offer superior protection from the elements, water, dust and impacts, making them suitable for a wide array of sectors and applications.
Watertight seal around lid
Automatic pressure release valve
Easy to open double throw latches
Load tested soft grip handle
Holes for double padlocking
Stackable interlocking system
Thick body material
Extra fixing points
Full length hinges
Nylon pins, corrosion free
Screen printing space on the lid
Rectangular resin label space on the lid
What does it actually mean?
IP67 - this is the International Protection regarding protection of equipment from water, dust, electromagnetic interference etc. Further details for IP can be found on Wikipedia. For the 380, the code stands for;
IP - International Protection.
6 - dust-tight and no ingress of dust. Test duration up to 8 hours.
7 - immersion proof up to 1m (3'3") or more. Test duration 30 minutes.
Max Case Models
There are 33 models of the Max Case available, able to store everything from small mobiles up to large equipment in the carry trunks with wheels. All of the cases are IP67 rated and provide locking features and sturdy carry handles, designed to get your equipment from A to B safely and securely.
380 exterior in detail
The 380 is a sleek and sturdy looking case. The exterior features include; 2x throw latches, rotatable carry handle, 2x locking holes, strengthened hinge, auto pressure valve and moulded ridges on the top and bottom providing the ability to stack / interlock additional cases on top or below. The website has an image of the 380s dimensions as shown in the 1st image below. The 2nd image is the provided technical sheet for the 380.
The main 380 information page whilst containing some information around dimensions, description etc, doesn't highlight what is described in the tech sheet, which I've highlighted below;
380 as stated is manufactured from Polypropylene Copolymer which provides the case it's rigidity and dense appearance.
IP67 rated, the case is sealed / airtight when closed and this prevents dust and water from entering the case, ensuring that the contents are kept safe from the environment.
The case is further ATA300 approved which means that it meets the US Air Transport Association regulations, including recessed handles, non-corrosive coating, rounded edges etc.
DEF STAN 81-41 relates to the UK MOD (Ministry of Defence) standard applied for the transportation of military equipment (excluding munitions). Used by NATO.
STANAG 4280 relates to NATO standards for the transportation of equipment. Used by NATO.
There are a few things worth mentioning around the lid of the 380. Firstly, there is a label space directly above the handle which is recessed into the lid allowing application of a label if required. Secondly, there is a larger middle section of the lid that is clear, again allowing application of a large sticker or could be used as a space for a laser engraved marker if needed.
As mentioned above, the raised ridges on the lid provide an interlocking system allowing multiple 380s to be stacked on top of each other with minimal movement. The below images show the interlocking function and stacked cases. The circular foot shown in the fifth image below locks into the gaps of the ridges on the 380 lid.
Focussing in on the front of the case where the handle and throw latches are located, there are a number of parts to mention.
Handle is 180° rotatable and is held in place by two pins through the handle connecting it to the case.
Auto pressure release valve allows the interior of the case to balance the pressure. As the case is sealed and airtight, this allows the pressure to slowly increase or decrease if for example stowed on an airplane.
2x throw latches mentioned are the large durable latches that require the bottom smaller section to be lifted, unclipping the larger section at the top which can then be folded backwards allowing the latch to be completely disengaged.
Clip carry points are located next to the handle hinges which are large enough to accommodate a large shoulder strap / clip to be attached (shown in 6th image to right hand side of latch).
Locking holes are next to the latches and allow the user to affix a large lock, securing the case (shown in 6th image to left hand side of latch).
380 interior in detail
Inside the 380 there is a large amount of room measuring 380 x 270 x 115 cm (L x W x D). As seen below the case houses large amounts of foam. The lid housed dragons teeth style foam which is removable. The main compartment houses 2x trays of pick/pluck foam and at the very bottom was another thin sheet of foam, again which is all removable.
With the foam removed you can see how large this case actually is. Stamped on the interior of the base are some Max Case markings regarding manufactured location and other material related information.
The 380 was for the recently purchased TRI AN/PRC-148 MBITR, and was an upgrade from the MBITRs original packaging consisting of a cardboard box with a thin foam lined interior. The image below is of the newly housed MBITR and having transported it a few times for testing, there has been no movement of the contents. The ability to use the foam to again pick/pluck to fit in and around the contents has been useful.
Having purchased the 380 in order to protect expensive and environmentally sensitive equipment there was a need to conduct a few tests to ensure that it did in fact stand up to and meet the IP67 standards.
The 380 was submerged for 5 minutes in mid temperature water. Interior was empty save for a single piece of white paper that was placed inside to test for ingress of water. Due to watertight seal, the 380 did float and even with 2x housebricks on top, further required additional pressure applied by myself to keep the 380 underwater. After 5 minutes, the paper was checked and no water was found to have entered the case.
The 380 was placed outside and a hoover was set to reverse, emitting dust onto the exterior of the 380 for approx 2 minutes. The interior was empty save for a single piece of white paper that was placed inside to test for ingress of dust. After the 2 minutes, the case was opened and no dust was found to have entered the case.
The 380 was dropped onto two surfaces (grass and concrete) at a height of 1m and 2m. The interior was foam padded and a small plastic pot filled with miniature gravel was used to check for damage to or movement of contents. Having ensured the foam was densely packed around the pot, the case was opened after each drop. In all 4 drops, the pot had not opened and had not received any damage or cracked.
Thoughts and opinion
Storage, transportation and protection of weapons, munitions, optics, cameras etc whilst necessary is also something worth spending time considering. Whilst the 380 has been purchased to transport and store optics, radio comms equipment and other sensitive equipment it's also useful for a variety of other reasons. Storage cases are not cheap, follow the Peli-case route and cases are inherently expensive based on the brand name, but also takes into account the reliability and durability factors proven over years of product usage. If you pay top dollar, you pay for peace of mind and quality. Wanting to transport items short haul and securely again whilst not wanting to break the bank, Max Cases were in my opinion, a sensible and affordable alternative that do exactly what's required.
With the huge variety of sizes / models available you should be able to find a case that suits your requirements and after doing the research, performing the tests, I'm confident that the Max Cases will stand up to the inclement weather and environments thrown at them.
I'd certainly recommend purchasing the Max Cases and I'm now researching and looking to purchase additional Max Cases to house the rest of my equipment and rifles. These cases are ideal to store your rifles, NVDs, optics etc in and give you peace of mind that when you open that case at the other end, everything is exactly where you put it, nestled in amongst the foam, safe and undamaged.
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I am not paid for my blogs by the manufacturers or companies that I purchase my items from. I am not offered freebies to promote a product. These blogs are purely written from my own experience in truth to help advise and inform others who may wish to purchase the items or understand more about them. If I am sent a freebie to review this will be stated at the beginning to make you aware.