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Discussion Starter #1
So I've read the various threads on dryboxes and based on inspection of the lid styles, definitely going with either MadCow or Recretec. Similar designs and Recretec will put tabs on it so it sits on frame just like MadCow. My main question is whether the extra 0.02 of aluminum gauge is worth it. Recretec says they use 0.08 and Madcow uses 0.1. I have a tractor seat bolted to piece of plywood (bolts recessed into wood) that will sit on drybox with my 200 lbs on it, thus you would think I would go with Madcow. However, the reason I pause is that due to width I need, it's a special order from Madcow, thus all in cost is nearly $100 (~20%) more than Recretec. Is the 0.02 gauge of additional aluminum thickness worth it / needed?

Also, not looking to recreate the debate between shoebox lid and squeeze flat design. I've decided on latter already.
 

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just when your mind is made up

I'm waiting for a callback from madcow as I write this, but just for fun since you don't want to engage in polemic on lids, I think over the next few years we will see increasing fed and state mandates for bear resistant. So I will argue since you are an obvious man of means, go with a bear resistant. Both madcow and recretec have A (single) box that has that (and seem to be the only ones listed) so no escape there. I will be interested to read what you get.
 

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I have a set of Recretec 44x16x16" boxes used a total of ~80 days, ~ 25 days with a tractor seat attached to a board like you're going to run, the rest with just a 2" throw pad. I haven't had any issues, no deformation of the lid at all. I weigh 170 lb.

I also have 40x16x13 Recretec boxes on an older raft that had ~ 300 days on the river that developed cracks at the joints in the top inside corners that I had re-welded. An additional 0.020" thickness may have been enough to resist the cracking.
 

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I can not speak to the quality of Recretec boxes as I have never used one.

I have, however seen a .1 Madcow box right next to a .08 box from a third manufacturer, while shopping for a dry box. Seeing them side by side made the decision easy. IMO, the extra .02 thickness makes a significant difference in strength and durability.

We ended up buying a Madcow box and couldn't be happier. The welds are all clean, the construction is pretty bomber, the welded-on frame tabs with strap holes are extremely convenient, the box supports my fat ass (220lbs) without a peep, etc, etc.

Looking at the pictures on Recretecs' site, I could be wrong, but it appears that they use a smooth piece of foam to seal the lid. Madcow uses foam rubber with multiple ridges. Much in the same way a drysuit gasket has ridges, I would imagine that the ridges on Madcow's seal woukd do a better job keeping water out...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can not speak to the quality of Recretec boxes as I have never used one.

I have, however seen a .1 Madcow box right next to a .08 box from a third manufacturer, while shopping for a dry box. Seeing them side by side made the decision easy. IMO, the extra .02 thickness makes a significant difference in strength and durability.

We ended up buying a Madcow box and couldn't be happier. The welds are all clean, the construction is pretty bomber, the welded-on frame tabs with strap holes are extremely convenient, the box supports my fat ass (220lbs) without a peep, etc, etc.

Looking at the pictures on Recretecs' site, I could be wrong, but it appears that they use a smooth piece of foam to seal the lid. Madcow uses foam rubber with multiple ridges. Much in the same way a drysuit gasket has ridges, I would imagine that the ridges on Madcow's seal woukd do a better job keeping water out...
Thanks. Great info. Placing my mad cow order tomorrow.
 

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We love our Mad Cow boxes. They are truly bomber and love that with many rivers talking about bear proof regulations that ours are set. We bought a captains box this year and it is great as well.
 

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I narrowed it down to the same two boxes this winter also. I decided that the extra $ for the extra thickness was worth it. Plus I was able to pick up the box myself. I only have one trip on it, but have it under a hinged seat and it is solid. I decided that I'm not likely to buy too many dry boxes, so why not get the best one I could afford. Todd was very good to deal with, he had it done when promised and he builds great gear. You'll be very happy with it.:D
 

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I noticed my friends madcow the lid is taller than my box. Madcows have a 1.5" tall lid which leaves less body height in the box than mine . Some of my stuff won't fit in his box that fits under the lip in mine. Anyone who has had on of these for a while will notice all the gaskets A.K A home weather striping are a pain when they start getting damaged and his box is not as water tight as mine with one gasket.

There are thousands of .080 boxes out there and the .100 are tanks and pretty much overkill for most people. Todd just welds up the boxes some one else makes the box "cutting and bending". Recretec and madcow are not the only bear resistant box and Recretec didn't even pioneer that original design.:idea:
 

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Not trying to jack the thread, but what rivers/agencies are going towards bear proof dryboxes?
 

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Here's the info on bear resistant testing: http://www.igbconline.org/images/pdf/140504_BRC_products_list.pdf

The ranger told us when we launched on the Smith that they are considering it in the next plan. There were 6 campsites shut down this year when we floated due to "problem bears". Makes for a long last day when those last sites are closed.
 

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So wouldn't bear proof be more important with your cooler? I know some of the rotor molded coolers are bear proof certified and there are smaller and cheaper containers that will pass as bear proof. I don't think bear proof aluminum dry boxes will become a mandate. You just won't be allowed to store food in them.


Jim
 

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Here's the info on bear resistant testing: http://www.igbconline.org/images/pdf/140504_BRC_products_list.pdf

The ranger told us when we launched on the Smith that they are considering it in the next plan. There were 6 campsites shut down this year when we floated due to "problem bears". Makes for a long last day when those last sites are closed.
Interesting info, but it doesn't answer the question of what makes a dry box bear proof. They are all basically made the same, and have the same type of latches. The article mentions that coolers that are lockable are considered bear proof. Does a dry box need some kind of locking mechanism? The bear proof coolers I have seen just have a slot that a pad lock can be put through on one or both corners of the lid. Since Mad Cow and Recretec are both on the IGBC accepted as bear proof list, and the OP has indicated a difference in thickness of the material these two brands are made out of, then it must not be the thickness of the material than determines whether a dry box is approved. I'm just wondering what else goes into a bear proof designation?
 

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There is a research center in West Yellowstone. To get the recognized bear proof label the item is baited and must survive a certain amount of time with the bears. I think it is 45 minutes but this is all hearsay. No cooler or dry box would survive if they were tied to a tree or car bumper or the like. They usually survive because the bears can't do much more than roll them around. It isn't really the thickness it's just that the bear will have trouble keeping one half still while the other half gets ripped off. Padlocks or nuts and bolts have to be used. They are tested with them in.


Jim
 

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If rafters dont store any foodstuff other than canned goods and sealed bags inside their drybox, a bear wont learn to search the box for its contents.
 

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The issue the ranger brought up is not that they are going to require dry boxes be bear proof, they are probably going to require that your food be stored in a bear proof container. We don't have a bear proof cooler, but if the regulation does go in we will be able to store food in the dry box and meet the regulation.
 

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The issue the ranger brought up is not that they are going to require dry boxes be bear proof, they are probably going to require that your food be stored in a bear proof container. We don't have a bear proof cooler, but if the regulation does go in we will be able to store food in the dry box and meet the regulation.
That makes more sense. I couldn't figure out how to make a dry box any more bear proof than they currently are. Other than maybe some sort of lock. I have seen a few coolers that have holes on the corners of the lids/cooler body that will accept a lock, so those are probably the ones that are "bear proof." Not many like that however.
 

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Most rotomolded coolers are lockable, unsure how many are certified bear proof though.

NRS, Engel, Black Rock, Yeti, Grizzley. All lockable.

Canyon Coolers are not lockable from what I've seen.
 

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Most rotomolded coolers are lockable, unsure how many are certified bear proof though.

NRS, Engel, Black Rock, Yeti, Grizzley. All lockable.

Canyon Coolers are not lockable from what I've seen.
If a cooler has butterfly latches like a dry box, would that qualify as "lockable?"
My smaller Canyon cooler has dry box latches,but not my larger one. I do have the dry box latches for it, but haven't changed them over yet.
 
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