Yet Another Weatherproof Case Thread

Edited: March 12, 2020, 12:09 PM · I have recently decided to upgrade my violin case to something that offers superior impact and waterproofing/waterproofing compared to my current one (American Case from Shar that has actually held up quite well for the last 15 years).

The original plan was to buy a Dealer Sample Musafia that had their tropicalization feature, but given the situation in Italy this looks to not be possible any more.

So I'm down to a couple options:

1) Buy an off-the-shelf Musafia without the added weatherproofing

2) Find another brand that has weatherproofing or some sort of heavy rain jacket option. (But which brand?)

3) I'm way overthinking all of this and most decent modern cases will have no problem even with heavy rain or cold/dry winters.

I'm willing to spend between $500 and $1000 to protect my instrument. What are some options given these parameters? Location is in Chicago, if it matters for weather reference point.

Replies (21)

Edited: March 12, 2020, 11:13 AM · I imagined a could buy a can of spray-on silicone waterproofing, but in an outdoors shop a while back all I could see was "systems" of two or more pots with paintbrushes, and it looked more complicated than it needed to be, so I didn't bother with it.

To judge by Amazon, Nikwax do a number of useful products, and I was just in a lousy shop.

March 12, 2020, 11:53 AM · Most cases indeed offer sufficient rainprooofing! No need to spend more unless you have special requirements.
March 12, 2020, 12:51 PM · Get the Musafia as they're amazing and buy a waterproof bag at Shar. 5 bucks!

March 12, 2020, 1:50 PM · Are the Musafia cases waterproof? I have one but never tested it out.
March 12, 2020, 2:01 PM · If I had something as expensive as a Musafia case, I'd wrap it up in plastic bags, lol!
March 12, 2020, 2:25 PM · Musafia cases will last a lot longer than this pandemic. Be patient.
March 12, 2020, 2:58 PM · This is true. However the NEED for a violin case is more immediate than that.

I'm wondering what the specific requirements are that would require the Tropicalization or Waterproofing option. In other words, when Chicago gets really cold and really dry, are the stock cases sufficient? If not, would an off-the-shelf violin case jacket be the solution here?

LOL it seems that Mr. Musafia himself has replied. Does the current suspension of operations in Cremona mean that even the Dealer Sample discounted cases are impossible to be shipped? Or does that only apply to the custom cases?

March 12, 2020, 3:24 PM · Is there not a variety of sprays that can be applied to fabric to make it hydrophobic? I remember looking this up at one point and finding a few products like that.
March 12, 2020, 10:22 PM · I pick option #3, you're overthinking.

Musafia Tropicalization is for dealing with temperature and humidity fluctuation.
Musafia Weatherguard is a vault-like case closure.
Musafia Waterproofing basically lets the case float.
Musafia seems to have recently introduced an option for new zippers for their case covers that provide a little more water-resistance.

However, perfectly ordinary, high-quality case (a Bobelock or something along those lines) will close securely. Zipped and with the case cover's flaps buttoned (thus covering the zipper), water should stay out of the case even in a relatively heavy downpour.

If you're planning on staying outdoors in a torrential downpour for long enough that a case cover will be soaked through, I recommend keeping some 30-gallon black garbage bags in the music pocket of your case. Double-bag the case in garbage bags. It will stay dry.

If you intend to spend a lot of time outdoors in frigid weather, I recommend being patient, and ordering a case with Tropicalization. It makes a nontrivial difference in the temperature change within the case, in my experience. If you're just transporting the violin from car to concert hall or the like, any high-quality case will do. If you spend 30 minutes outside in below-freezing weather in the midst of a snowstorm (I once had an awful wait outside in a cab line in NYC with my violin during a snowstorm), I'd invest in the Musafia.

Edited: March 13, 2020, 2:40 AM · James, I own a few of these hard shell, Bam high tech slim cases for my violins: They have air tight seals, which helps protect instruments in all types of weather, and they are very easy to travel with. The only drawback is that there is no pouch for sheet music. So you will have to get something to carry around your music in.
Edited: March 13, 2020, 6:50 AM · @James. Everyone in Cremona is on lockdown. I got stopped by the carabinieri going to the (deserted) atelier this morning to make sure the payrolls to my employees got processed (I have a pass, so they let me go).

That said, here nothing is moving and nothing is being shipped. But like I said above, a lot of non-Musafia cases in that price range will satisfy your stated needs. Riboni and T.A. Timms are suggestions in the higher range. Cheers!

March 13, 2020, 9:26 AM · Dimitri. Our thoughts are with you and Lorenzo and all of your team and your families and all of the people of Cremona and the surrounding area. Be safe.
Edited: March 13, 2020, 10:04 AM · There are sprays, but they pretend they are suitable either for cotton or for GoreTex or for tents (UV-proof) or for leather.

I ordered some of this, by guesswork

March 13, 2020, 12:28 PM · Not only Cremona is locked down. The whole Italy is.
March 13, 2020, 1:08 PM · For rain protection, there is hardly anything simpler or more effective than covering the case with a large plastic garbage bag. You can keep one in the music pocket so it is available upon a moment's notice.
March 13, 2020, 2:50 PM · Thank you Matt, very appreciated!
Edited: March 13, 2020, 3:00 PM · The hydrophobic sprays and such don't really guarantee water proofing. All they do is stop the outer layer becoming saturated with water so that the Gortex (or similar) layer, which is waterproof, is still 'breathable'. And in my experience, they don't even do that very well.
March 13, 2020, 6:40 PM · if you have the money to buy a wonderful Musafia case you will never be sorry or regret it as long as it is the style and color you want. If you really want the extra insulation just wait a month or so and order exactly what is important for you.
March 14, 2020, 2:07 AM · If you go the way of a custom made case, you can ask to have YKK AcquaGuard zippers installed instead of normal ones. Between those and the Cordura cover, the case becomes a virtual raincoat.
Edited: March 19, 2020, 3:51 PM · I was able to get my hands on a Musafia Momentum, maybe one of the last we'll see in the states for a good long time.

For waterproofing, I spend $5 on a heavy Shar nylon rain jacket. It doesn't have any straps or attachments for straps, so I may look into getting a Cushy later.

Thanks for the advice here, and best of luck to Mr. Musafia in this moment.

Here is a link to the reddit picture:

March 19, 2020, 9:24 PM · So you bought the violin, I see! Did you manage to get your Musafia with Tropicalization and so forth?

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