ProTec Pro Pac PB301VAX Combo case
My trumpet case is 50 years old and is not in the best shape. When I was young, it got partly run over by my mom’s car. The Bach Stradivarius was fine, but the case got a little beaten up. My Yamaha 635ST flugelhorn is only 35ish years old and the case is in excellent shape. But I find myself having trouble lugging both cases around. I was using a collapsible hand cart where I could carry my horns, mutes, music, music stand, etc. but it was cumbersome. I also needed to get on an airplane and found myself in a pickle (does anyone still say “pickle”?). How do I carry both on a plane because there’s no way I’m checking my horns as baggage. The solution? The ProTec Pro Pac case modelPB301VAX. I purchased one from Amazon (not sponsored) and here’s my review.
Table of Contents
Exterior and Interior
The case is surprisingly light, and sturdy. The sides and back are solid, I think there is wood in there to make it strong. The front seems equally as strong against hard objects damaging your horns. I found it to be solid behind the front pocket so nothing in the front could damage my horns. I pushed down on the top of it to see if it would collapse and it didn’t budge. It’s super solid. To really test it, I sat on it. No, my horns weren’t in it yet. But fear not, it was as solid as a chair. Granted, I only weigh 150 pounds. It easily supported my weight. It should easily protect my horns even when getting bounced around in the overhead bin of an airplane. Best of all, the dimensions are 9 x 12.5 x 22 inches which is well within most airlines carry on luggage size. Off to a great start.
ProTec Pro Pac Pros and Cons
Pros: All in all, I’m pretty pleased with this case. It’ll protect my horns when I take them out and when I’m on an airplane. It’s very sturdy and you can feel the quality. It has a lot of nice features such as the organizer in the front pocket and adjustable padding. The extendable handle and wheels seem very strong and should last for a long time. The front pocket is pretty big, I was able to store a small mixer, microphone, XLR cables, and still had room for some music. There are spots for pens and pencils and a zipper case that I can put my valve oils, grease, and swabs. Best of all, this one case takes up a ton less room than the two cases it replaces.
Cons: it only has 2 mouthpiece holders. The front pocket would fit a mouthpiece case or two however. The other con is that there’s little to no room to carry mutes. I found I could cram a cup mup or my Yamaha Silent Brass mute in with the flugelhorn stored in a soft bag. I still have a slight fear I might damage my flugelhorn if it bounces around too much. Gotta figure out how to carry my mutes some other way I guess. I have a cup, straight, and Yamaha Silent brass mutes for both horns. I had to play around with the position of the divider between the two horns to let the flugelhorn sit a little lower in the case. Further, the area where the bell rests is near the mouthpiece block and it’s not softly padded. So I put a soft cloth to protect the horn’s finish. The last con is more of a personal thing. The extendable handle isn’t as tall as a typical carry on suitcase so that proved a little odd when I took my first plane trip. Not a big deal, just want to make you aware of it.
Lastly, the hardest thing about moving to this new case is giving up my old Bach trumpet one (it’s the one on the right in the picture above). It’s trashed and I often worry that the handle or hinges will fail at the wrong moment and my horn would get destroyed. But it’s been with me since middle school. I guess the best way to move on is to toss it in the trash. I haven’t done that yet, it’s still sitting in my closet. I know one day soon it’ll have to go. The Yamaha case is even harder to let go. It’s in near perfect shape. But I don’t have the emotional attachment to it should be no problem tossing that puppy. “So why are they both still in your closet ?” you may ask.
Uh…..let me get back to you on that.