The Flying Kayak

Hunting, Fishing, Rambling, and Complete Outdoor Hilarity

Gear Review: Plano Guide Series Waterproof Boxes

 As an avid kayak fisherman, I’ve noticed that there are a few things that are always constant. Things such as: the wind’s tendency to -always- blow in your face, or the fact that the kayak seems to put on 30 lbs after a long day’s paddle. Another constant is the fact that most everything carried on the kayak will get wet at some point. Sure some things might not always get wet, but give it enough time and it will eventually get soaked. This is why I was extremely excited to try out Plano’s Guide Series waterproof boxes.
The boxes come in several different sizes, each with their own color. I was able to try out both the smallest (1449) and largest (1470) of the Guide Series waterproof boxes. Upon receiving the boxes, my first thought was: “What on earth am I going to put in these?”. The small box (1449) is absolutely tiny. I mean -really- small. So small, in fact, that I can just barely fit my wallet into it with no room to spare. Compared to other guys, my wallet isn’t even that big. Yes, it’s been known to throw my back out if I sit on it for too long, and no, it’s not thick from money (no way). I’d say it resembles that of a small brick, rather than the cinder block that I see other guys carry. Regardless, I need at least my fishing license with me and I don’t want to search through my wallet to take it out every time I fish. Without the wallet, the box is just the right size to fit my phone or keys; both of which need to stay dry. It wasn’t until my girlfriend purchased an iphone that I realized what this box was designed for…
Perfect fit. Go figure. Seems I’m behind the technology curve.
I had the opposite problem with the larger box. I honestly wondered what in the world I needed to keep dry that was -that- big. After some thought, I figured that a very elaborate first aid kit would be perfect. A survival kit would be nice too. However, those thing would need to wait until hunting season comes along. I was, after all, testing the boxes out on the kayak. I finally decided that a fresh change of clothes would be something to put in the box. Yes, I know there’s no point to take a change of clothes out on the kayak with you. I can always leave it in the truck and change when I get back. But I really needed something to fill it that needed to stay dry.
The next question I thought of was “Where am I going to store this on the kayak?”. I immediately remembered the hatch located just in front of the seat. To my dismay, the small box didn’t fit.
Instead, I put it in a zipper pocket on the back of the seat.
The large box fit perfectly inside one of the hatches in the kayak. I felt this was a good place because my kayak has a nasty habit of letting water in. What better place to test it out?
Now I came to the part I -really- cared about. Are the boxes actually waterproof? I was pleased (and relieved) to find that they are. I took both of them out on the kayak with me in the Gulf and found their contents to still be dry after a full day of paddling and having waves over the bow. To add, I tested see if they floated. I did this by (*gulp*) throwing the box with my wallet inside into the Gulf. To my relief, not only did it stay dry, but it floated. I think that the only way for the boxes to sink is if one put a block of lead inside….or maybe really heavy keys.
The only other thing I really cared about with the boxes was their durability. The boxes are made of plastic so at first, I was rather skeptical. I was pleased to find, however, that the boxes were quite durable. The smallest one is so small that it is VERY strong. It would take quite a lot to break it. It was the larger one that I worried about. I worried that with the increased lid and frame size the durability would decrease.
I’m very rough on my gear and durability is often a deciding factor for me. I was therefore shocked to discover that after a full day of dragging the boxes around with me, I hadn’t even dropped them. That’s right. No dropping, running over, or even stepping on. I realized that in order to really give it a fair review, something needed to be done.
So I dropped the largest box. On purpose. On concrete. On the corner of a step. And…
It lived. It was still water tight and would keep its contents dry. I feel that it is important to note that these boxes aren’t made to be submerged very deep. But for keeping things dry on a kayak, in the rain, or whatever it is you’re doing, they do their job quite well.
Design
The boxes are made from very sturdy plastic and come with a plastic latch with a metal hinge (the 1470 has two latches). One side of the box has a place to attach a lanyard. On the inside of the boxes are rubber mats to keep things that like to slide in place. Also, the underside of each box has four rubber pads so that the box itself doesn’t slide around. Finally, each box comes with two rubber stoppers that fit into two padlock holes. I’m unsure as to why there’s a need for a padlock. It seems as though if someone wanted inside the box, they could get in. 
Function
The boxes do what they’re supposed to do which is keep things dry. They also protect items with their sturdiness and even float assuming you aren’t putting an anchor in one.
Pros
          Very sturdy
          Keep things dry
          Rubber parts keep items from sliding around
          Clear plastic to see inside and ensure to leaks
Cons
          The 1449 is almost too small to serve a purpose
          Difficult to find a proper place on the kayak
The Amazing Five Star Rating System: 

***** = Five Stars (The be all-end all greatest thing that I cannot go without. Best thing next to sliced bread and pockets on jeans. I simply must have it with me)

****   = Four Stars (An absolutely great product. Something that does its job and serves its purpose in my arsenal of gear. Almost always carry it with me)

***     = Three Stars (An average product. Something that I can function in life without. It has its usefulness at times, but is often unneeded or is of relatively poor design)

**       = Two Stars (A poor product. Something that either makes my life more difficult, gets in my way, or succeeds in giving me ulcers. Likes to break and finds itself gathering dust on my shelf)

*         = One Star (A terrible product. Something that serves no purpose and doesn’t even do what it’s supposed to do. Often too large to be flushed down the toilet and renders itself a waste of time, space, and money)

Plano Guide Series Waterproof Boxes: ***** – Five Stars
I gave Plano’s Guide Series Waterproof Boxes five stars because they do what they’re supposed to do: keep things dry and protect them. The only negative thing I really have to say about the boxes is that the 1449 is too small for my liking. I can only fit one item inside of it and I can’t think of many situations where one –only- needs their wallet, or their keys, or their phone. Usually, one needs to keep multiple items dry. I would therefore suggest the medium sized box (1460 or 1450). There was also the issue of the 1449 not fitting inside my kayak hatch, but that’s something out of the manufacturer’s control. After all, it may fit inside a different kayak’s hatch. Overall, the Guide Series Waterproof Boxes are a great item if you’re looking to keep things dry and protect them.
The Plano Guide Series Waterproof Boxes featured in this gear review were given to me at no cost through the efforts of the Outdoor Blogger Network in exchange for an honest product review. All ideas expressed within this review are my own personal thoughts and opinions of the product and I received no compensation for the review. Any reviews featured on The Flying Kayak are my honest and unbiased opinions. If one has any questions or concerns regarding the review or product at hand, please feel free to contact me through the ‘contact’ page at the top of the website.  

3 Comments

  1. Nice review! I have some kind of Wal Mart special dry box that I use. Might have to upgrade

  2. we like your review. We sell a good amount of the Plano Guide 3600 for people that run bigger batteries in their kayaks for those BIG fish finders. Cool blog, glad i found you.

    pete.
    Paddlerscove.com

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