Hardware Talk: Alps OutdoorZ Waterproof Rifle Case

Hardware Talk: Alps OutdoorZ Waterproof Rifle Case
Here you see the shoulder strap and the compression straps, which you can also use to lash a tripod or other gear to the case with.

The author takes a look at a serious waterproof rifle case from Alps OutdoorZ.

We’ve all got gun cases. Some of us have plenty: the tacti-cool one with 17 pockets and Molle straps all over, one black, one green, one tan, one camo (heck, five camo), the hard one with wheels for flying—I’ve got five or six of those in various sizes—the Cordura one just to go to the range, and I’ve got a whole closet full of those, too, for some reason.

But what do you do when it’s wet? Raining? Pouring? None of those help much, and some are worse than help.

The solution: get Alps. The Alps OutdoorZ Waterproof rifle case, that is. It’s not just some tough cloth, but a 500D PVC shell, with welded seams and inside padding. The opening is a folding roll-top closure like that found on drybags. I’ve used drybags to keep my camera gear dry when wading ashore on beaches a thousand miles from human habitation. The Alps OutdoorZ can handle a rifle or shotgun up to 53 inches long and not quite 11 inches tall, so that means pretty much any hunting rifle.

The end folds before being strapped shut, and that provides enough of a watertight seal that it will float—not forever, but long enough.

Even a bunch of MSRs will fit.

It seals well enough to float … well, float if it doesn’t have 10 pounds of rifle and however much you weigh dragging it down. By my rough calculations, it will provide 50 pounds of buoyancy or so—more than enough to keep your rifle on the surface while you solve your personal flotation problem. It will, like the Volkswagen, definitely float … but not float indefinitely.

There’s a carry handle on top, so you can transport it like luggage.

There are three compression straps on the side: a shoulder strap on the top, a carry handle and a D-ring on one end—plus an over-strap on the other. This allows you to compress the contents or strap it to a conveyance. You can even secure it to something that floats even better, if you’re on board a boat or ship and want to make sure it doesn’t sink if there’s a problem.

If that’s not your worry, use the D-ring to hang it up to dry out after all the wetness has subsided, or you’ve found a dry place to stay.

You’re probably thinking, “All this goodness is going to cost me, right?”

Yes, if you consider a hundred bucks to be costly. I had the occasion to have duck and goose hunters as customers who would have gladly spent a hundred bucks back when that was a lot more money to protect their shotguns … or offer them a way to keep from drowning, should the duck boat have capsized.

The D-ring on the end lets you hang it up to dry or attach more flotation to it just in case.

Yep, puff it up once the shotgun is out, seal it closed, and it’s a flotation device, and probably a better one than the airline seat they encourage you to consider, should your plane go down over water. (Wow, that took a weird turn, didn’t it?)

So far, your choices are limited—one size, one color, one cost—but then again, how many cases like this does one shooter need?

No, it isn’t Molle-strap covered. So, not tacti-cool. No, it’s not airline approved, so you can’t use it on a big hunt, unless it goes into the airline-approved case. But if you have to make sure your rifle, shotgun, whatever, gets where you are going and stays dry in the transit, this is the bag for you.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the May 2024 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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