Good quality rifles don’t come cheaply. They need care and attention to remain in tip-top condition. This means that protection and transportation of your weapons and any optical devices is very important. Bearing this in mind, let’s take a look at what is on offer from the wide range of best AR cases available.
The two different styles of case are:
- Hard rifle cases.
- Soft rifle cases.
Which style of case is best?
We are certainly not trying to dodge answering this question, but there are definitely two sides to this coin.
While one of the best hard AR cases on the market will suit some shooters, the reverse is true of the best soft AR cases.
The best type of case is very much dependent upon your specific needs. You need to consider such things as:
- How do you normally transport your weapon?
- What type of terrain do you travel over?
- What level of weapon security do you want to adhere to?
There’s a lot more than one difference!
It is easy to think there is only one difference between the two styles, i.e., one has a hard outer casing (similar to a suitcase). The other is soft and has a ‘duffel bag’ appearance. This really is way over-simplifying things.
As the article progresses, you will grasp some important differences. We trust these will help point you in the right direction in terms of which style case most suits you.
There are lots to discuss and review in relation to 10 of the very best AR rifle cases. But rest assured, all of the cases mentioned have been put through their paces.
We will start by unpacking, repacking, and unpicking the details relating to:
Top 10 Best AR Cases Reviews
Our pick of the best five hard AR cases…
It was tough to whittle down this selection but here goes:
Plano All Weather Tactical Gun Case
Plano has been making cases to protect your weapons since 1952. You don’t stay successful that long without producing consistently popular cases. This one in question is their 36-inch design.
It is a straightforward, yet effective design and will house a AR 15 plus attached scope as long as the scope is not overly large. Do make sure to check this point before committing to a purchase.
Safe and secure…
The interior is padded with high-density foam coating to protect your weapon against damage. From a security point of view, there is a dual-stage locking system. This incorporates both spring-loaded latches and padlock tabs gives security.
The design from one of the longest established AR cases manufacturers is waterproof and comes with an all-round airtight seal. You can be assured of rifle protection against the elements in the most extreme of conditions.
Pelican 1700 Rifle Case With Foam (Black)
Are you looking for an extremely robust, long-lasting rifle case? The Pelican 1700 certainly fits the bill.
It is very likely that you will be able to hand it down for use to your son or daughter!
A solid plastic shell comes with thick, closed cell foam-core design that not only increases durability, but it also reduces weight.
Waterproofing is guaranteed and highly effective. To prove this point, an automatic pressure relief valve is used to equalize the external and interior air around the case. This prevents any moisture from getting in and allows ease of opening. As for the last point, the latches are double-throw style, which means rapid opening.
Inside you get three pieces of thick, high-quality foam that will protect your weapon and accessories. While the foam is fully customizable, there are no perforations to guide cutting.
A word of caution…
Because of this, we recommend you outline any potential cutouts using chalk before you begin cutting out. This stands for any case and foam-cutting you intend to carry out.
Dimension-wise it is 38.12 inches long, 16 inches wide and 6.12 inches in height. It has wheels and comes in 3 different colors. If you are into ‘personalization,’ you can get an engraved nameplate.
Although this is the most expensive best AR case reviewed, it should last a lifetime and beyond!
SKB iSeries Single Rifle Case Black
Another solid option in terms of the best AR hard cases out there is the SKB iSeries Single Rifle Case. It will accommodate different rifle types up to 49 inches in length and comes in 3 different colors – Olive Green, Tan, and Black.
The casing is constructed from a strong, durable resin which is crushproof while the interior consists of high-quality foam for good rifle protection during transportation.
Meeting military standards…
It is more than capable of handling heavy wear and tear no matter what conditions you are in. This is confirmed by the fact it meets military standards.
In terms of best, heavy-duty AR cases, you will be safe in the knowledge that your weapon is protected from the elements due to its water and dustproof properties.
Case Club Pre-Made AR15 Waterproof Rifle Case with Silica Gel & Accessory Box
A case that will suit many AR15 rifle owners. It is one of the best pre-made cases out there.
This case has been specially designed for holding an AR15 rifle up to 35.5 inches in length with stock collapsed. Its interior foam has been pre-cut. This means your rifle will fit in snugly without the need to cut out the foam. The interior is also large enough to accommodate a small scope, full-size or compact handgun, rifle attachments, additional ammo clips, as well as accessories.
Because the interior is made from high-grade polyethylene, you will also find that it can quickly be wiped clean as and when necessary.
When locked, it gives the combination of piano-style plus brass hinges for storage safety. To further enhance security, it is padlock-compatible.
A very important point for air transportation…
Those who fly with their weapon should know that this case is airline approved for carriage purposes. Another plus is the fact it has an inbuilt pressure equalization valve. So any changes in altitude will be negated.
Extras included with this case are:
- A canister of silica gel desiccant.
- Waterproof accessory container.
- Knife in the event you do need to carry out any cutting on the perforated foam.
A couple of downsides on the design – The lid opens only to 90 degrees, and as it is quite weighty, it can shut on its own.
And another catch is…
While there are five latches on the case, one of these is inside of the handle and is not the easiest to unlock.
Flambeau Outdoors 6499NZ Safe Shot Oversized Double Hard Gun Case
Under certain circumstances, you can carry two rifles in this double hard gun case.
Why not always?
It is certainly large enough to hold two rifles, but if you intend carrying a scoped rifle, be aware that the remaining space will not be enough to fit a second rifle.
Having said that, there will still be enough space to fit extras such as:
- A handgun.
- Ammo pouches.
- A AR 15 laser.
This means you are certainly getting one of the best, most spacious AR cases available in its price range.
It’s made of toughened material and will withstand whatever you put it through. The four locking points also ensure increased security.
That’s it for our five best hard AR cases, let’s get straight into…
Our pick of the best 5 soft AR cases
We will explain what you need to consider when deciding on whether one of the best hard or soft cases is right for your needs after this review section.
VooDoo Tactical Men's Padded Weapons Case
VooDoo produce some very well designed AR cases. This Tactical Men’s Padded Weapons Case proves the point.
Check the size you need – Here’s why…
This AR case comes in 3 sizes: 36, 42, and 46 inches. We are reviewing the most popular – The 42-inch version.
Large enough for one scoped AR 15 or two rifles without scopes as long as you pack the muzzle to butt and two pistols. The MOLLE-compatible webbing gives additional storage space if necessary. The design is of a strong build with thick padding for rifle protection. Coming in a host of different colors you are certainly spoilt for choice on this front.
High-quality stitching means it is very durable and will stay secure even after heavy, regular use. It is also waterproof so gives protection against inclement weather.
The external padded pockets allow easy storage of up to six rifle magazines as well as eight pistol magazines. There are lockable zippers and a padlock for additional security.
Condor Single Rifle Case
This Condor ‘single’ rifle case is a bit of a misnomer.
This is because it has two compartments:
- The first is 42 inches. It has hook and loop straps to keep your rifle in place during transportation.
- The second 26 inches. This will take a smaller rifle. Ideal for those who have assault rifles which are 26 inches or less in length.
This is a case that is large enough to hold most rifle models. Those with AR 15 rifles can be assured it is large enough to take their weapon and a small scope.
It has firm, thick ¾ inch padding that affords good rifle protection and the large zippered pockets outer pockets are MOLLE compatible, so you will be able to use them with any other MOLLE gear you have.
These are easily accessible and come with quick-release buckles. Further interior storage is yours. There are two inside pockets that will store such things as handguns, magazines, optics and other necessary accessories.
VISM by NcSTAR Double Carbine Case
Don’t be fooled at first glance by the size of our next best AR cases review. The VISM by NcSTAR Double Carbine Case is larger than it seems. You have two choices in size: 36 inches or 42 inches.
Here’s what it can take…
It will comfortably take a AR 15 with a larger sized scope. Arguably there is enough room to fit in another rifle, your handgun and additional ammo clips with still room to spare.
All storage pockets come with heavy-duty zippers and pull cords. This convenient feature gives fast, easy access. And with a soft interior lining, you will have good rifle protection. The well-designed interior straps also give you a choice in terms of packing preference. They allow for your preferred division of space within the case.
Multiple carrying options…
In terms of carrying, there are two adjustable shoulder straps and an adjustable sternum strap. This means you can carry this rifle case as a backpack. Alternatively, there is a wrap-around carry handle as well as top/bottom compression straps.
BLACKHAWK! Sport Tact Carbine Gun Case, 36-Inch
Our penultimate review of best soft AR cases brings us to one in the lower price range.
It is made from PVC laminate that gives stability and 600 denier tight-weave heavyweight polyester for durability. The inside has a soft fabric which will help protect any rifle or optics from scratches and external damage.
Built to protect…
Utilizing a dual-density interior foam, your rifle or optics will be protected from scratches and external damage.
An open cell foam to protect from bumps and scratches. In addition, the closed cell foam absorbs some of the jolting/picking-up/putting down shocks which are caused by movement.
By collapsing the stock of your AR 15, it will fit into the case nicely while most sizes of optics should fit under the stock with some space to spare.
Plenty of pockets…
Side pocket and accessory pockets for storage are yours. There are five external magazine pockets that can hold a single 30-round magazine each. As for the larger accessory pockets, these can be used for other necessities.
Durability is further underlined around contact points and the shoulder straps through the use of heavy-duty tactical webbing.
Locking is achieved with a case loop that allows you to lock onto the zipper pull.
VooDoo Tactical Men's Deluxe Padded Weapons Case
Our last best AR cases review moves up a huge notch in quality (and price!) but it still certainly gives value.
Coming in three colors: Black, Coyote, and OD, this very well designed case is made from sturdy, high-quality material. Dimension-wise it comes in at 12 inches x 36 inches x 3 inches.
Weapon choice of what you carry…
You may have a compromise here. This case can hold one or two rifles plus additional handguns
Here’s the trade-off…
While it will comfortably fit a AR 15 that is scoped, you will not get another rifle in. It is, however, important to note that carrying a scoped weapon will not stop you storing additional equipment such as pistols and ammo clips.
In terms of a best spacious AR case, this is a contender. For example, you can store six 30-round rifle magazines and eight pistol magazines.
A really important feature – the zippers!
The zippers on this robust case are very sturdy. They are large enough to grasp easily, and the pistol and magazine pouches also have locking zipper pulls.
Best AR Cases Buyer’s Guide
- Deciding factors – Make sure you select the correct style of case
As we mentioned at the beginning of the piece, choosing one of the best AR cases for your personal use will be dependent upon your activity. So here are some of the things to take into consideration when looking at both styles…
If you regularly transport your rifle ‘off-road’ and across various types of terrain, then one of the best, durable hard AR cases is for you. They will withstand vehicle journeys of any sort far better than the best AR soft cases.
Those who regularly go hunting will understand the importance of weapon and optic protection against the elements. For hunters, the best hard AR cases will be preferable.
However, if you are mainly a range user, then there is no reason why a best soft AR case will not suffice.
Hard cases offer far more security. They provide hinge/latch access, and all will be padlock compatible. This will keep your valuable equipment additionally safe and secure.
On the other hand, using your rifle around your land or on the range should mean there is no reason not to carry it in a soft case.
- Air travel
If you intend to take your rifle on a flight, then you must have a hard case in which to transport it in.
- But there’s a catch!
Not all hard weapon cases are approved by the ATA (Air Transport Association). This means that if there is even the slightest chance that you will want to transport your rifle(s) by air that you should look closely at those best, approved for airlines AR cases.
Another point on this. It does not directly relate to weapon use, but it could hit you in the pocket through excess baggage charges!
Plus be aware that your AR case is still subject to the same size/weight restrictions as the rest of your luggage.
There are two angles to consider here:
The best soft AR cases will come with ample, easy access utility pockets.
These are excellent for storing additional kit, such as ammo, data books, and other essentials. Due to this extra storage, use of a soft case can also mean less additional baggage to lug around.
But, for longer-term storage, hard cases could well be more suitable for rifle and optical device storage. This is thanks to their increased water and dust proofing abilities.
With hard cases, you can simply wash the outside and inside of any of the best, easy clean AR cases with a mild detergent and water (make sure to remove the interior foam first). You then dry the case itself and the foam before re-placing your firearm.
Soft cases can be a lot more difficult to keep clean, and the more storage sections you have, the more cleaning is required.
Does it really matter?
Yes, it certainly does! There is no doubt that soft cases are lighter. They also have multiple carry options such as handles, shoulder straps, or backpack straps.
No matter how ‘light’ the best lightweight AR cases claim to be, don’t be fooled. You will still feel the weight when transporting them. Some think the problem will be resolved by purchasing a case with wheels.
This is perhaps true in some situations, but not if you intend hunting in remote areas. Dragging your case over this type of terrain on wheels is not the best way to go!
Also, if relevant, do bear in mind our comment regarding air travel. The heavier the hard case, the more luggage weight allowance you are using up.
When looking at a selection of the best designed AR cases think long and hard about how bulky they are. Soft cases are definitely less bulky.
Some of the hard case designs may be too large to maneuver easily in tight spaces, such as when using a small vehicle to carry fellow passengers and rifles.
If you are a regular hunter, you also need to consider carefully the bulk of a hard case. Some are certainly not easy to carry when foraying into the wilderness.
There’s no getting away from it:
- If you are only going to the range with your rifle(s) do you really need a hard case?
- If you have a gun safe to store your weapons and equipment and rarely transport your weapon, do you need a hard case?
- Are you regularly out and about on dirt tracks and off-road with your rifles? If so, one of the best, solid AR hard cases makes a lot of sense.
- If you have an expensive rifle and/or have invested in an expensive optic, then a reliable hard case to protect your investment makes a lot of sense.
We have already pointed out that cleaning the best hard AR cases is easy. But do bear in mind that the interior adjustable foam can become loose after time. If the foam loosens, then your rifle will begin to shift during transportation.
This means you will need to replace the foam. Some of the hard case model foam is very expensive to replace. You do not have this issue with soft cases.