Monday, 1 August 2011

Preston Innovations Hardcase Luggage

Having spent a long time pondering over replacement luggage I decided to invest in the Preston Hardcase small holdall and the Hardbase Carryall, I have now owned them for a few months and feel its time I gave you my opinion of them.

The small Holdall and Hardbase carryall

Hardcase Small Holdall:
I will start with the holdall first, I was looking for a holdall that could accommodate long pole sections and this one is 190cm long and so will take any long pole sections even when contained  in tubes. My previous holdall was only 180cm and wasn't quite long enough causing undue strain on the zip which resulted in its early failure. The Preston catalogue states it can accommodate up to 6 tubes which I feel is stretching it a bit, I normally carry 4 tubes but can get 5 in if I don't carry my net handle in the inside pocket although this suites me fine for the fishing I do. The holdall has an umbrella pocket on the outside and a bank stick pocket inside and has a rigid plastic support that is sandwiched between the outer cover and the  lining. This helps maintain the holdalls shape even when its empty and offers additional protection to your valuable rods and poles. Other features are a solid moulded plastic base, a carry handle and a well padded shoulder strap. This holdall will offer more protection than a standard holdall but the trade off is that it is a little heavier but overall I find it a good product and fully expect it to last me for a number of years.

Hardcase, Hardbase Carryall:
Having ordered over the Internet and never actually seeing the carryall in the flesh I was shocked when I saw the size of this thing, I was used to medium carryalls and this was the size of 2 of them put together. I nearly sent it back but after giving it some thought I decided to keep it because if I needed to walk any distance I could use my trolley for my seat box and carry this around my neck.

This is bigger than my seatbox

Having now got used to it I really like the extra capacity that this bag offers, The main compartment has a massive 55Lt capacity that takes my V roller, groundbait bucket, various bait boxes, cool bag, flask and towel and there is still plenty of room for a Jacket and over trousers. There are 4 outside pockets that can carry all sorts of other gear including a net pocket and a large zipped compartment for side trays etc and a good sized pocket at either end. The bag has a moulded plastic base, carry handles and a well padded strap which is very comfortable on the shoulder. I like the capacity of this bag and the solid plastic base can easily be wiped clean if it gets muddy, the net pocket doesn't have any drain holes and keeps the water from leaking into you car when you have to pack away your nets wet through. All in all I am very pleased with this luggage and use it for most of my fishing but if I have a long walk planned on a river or canal I have a much smaller set of soft luggage in reserve as I wouldn't fancy a mile hike with this on my back.

Summary: Good products at a reasonable price,  I would like to see the option of a smaller carryall in the range for days when you don't need the kitchen sink though. 

For: Protection, Capacity, Style, Price 
Against: weight.
Jury Out: Some have complained of zips failing, so far no problems with mine but I am keeping an eye on them.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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