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Posted by Daniel Johnson on April 17, 2003 21:48:15 UTC

Although the foam that Meade uses will probably break down with time, I see two advantages to it:
1) It has already proven itself sturdy enough to get the scope to me via UPS ground shipping, and
2) It does not differ all that much in construction from foam that can be bought in bulk at various crafts stores and cut to size. So I should be able to replace it with a make-your-own version in future years.
As for which way I lean, I wish I could say with certainty. If you ever plan on shipping the scope, a hard case is clearly preferable, I think. But for transporting it in the car, which is what I do, a soft case would do. I am, in fact, considering building a rack to fit in my Subaru, made of plywood and drawer-sliding hardware such as that found at Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. I could put foam on a plywood "drawer" that would slide out for convenient lifting of the scope, and have room elsewhere in the rack for storing accessories. But that's a lot of work to build.
I do not have a tripod case. I leave my polar wedge permanently attached, and the tripod/wedge combo fits on my back seat. I had thought of buying an oversized, hard-sided case for shipping golf clubs to use for the tripod/wedge combo, but there doesn't seem to be any need.
If I had to choose today, I'd go with the soft case and hope I never had to ship the scope to, say, Australia for viewing down under. Either will serve.

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