Solving The Big Debate: Custom Carrying Cases VS. Off-the-Shelf

Solving The Big Debate: Custom Carrying Cases VS. Off-the-Shelf

As a company that has developed its reputation out of creating custom carrying cases, it’s a bit strange writing a piece advocating for off-the-shelf. Naturally, we’re a bit biased in favor of the former.

Yet, we have enough experience, integrity, and customer mileage to understand there are certain scenarios where one option is better than the other. Below, we will also explore the rise of popular hybrid solutions and see where they might be the best solution.

Making the Case for Off-the-Shelf Cases

Off-the-shelf carrying cases in certain scenarios are exactly what you might need in order to provide enhanced protection, storage, and carrying options for your products and devices.

Choosing an Off-the-Shelf Case, The Main Advantages

Immediate Availability

Off-the-shelf options are always in stock and only require a few hours to semi-customize. Unlike custom carrying case projects that require long development and manufacturing times.


Off-the-shelf carrying cases are more cost-effective when dealing with shorter runs and smaller quantities. As a rule of thumb, if you need less than 500 units, this is a more affordable route. Also, unlike custom processes you don’t have the additional cost of design, tooling, hours, specialized materials, or complex customization that may further increase the cost.

Time & Effort

Off-the-shelf cases require minimum time and effort, from start to finish. Essentially, unlike the labor-intensive processes of custom carrying case creation, off-the-shelf solutions are simply waiting for you. 

Making the Case for Hybrid Cases

The Convenience of Off-the-Shelf with the Advantages of Customization

Shell-Case provides a third unique pathway. We offer the convenience of an off-the-shelf solution combined with features that allow you to add some customization, giving you the best of both (custom and off-the-shelf) worlds. 

Our two hybrid lines, Hybrid 300 and Hybrid 500 series each come equipped with modular dividers, custom foam inserts, and a wide range of pre-cut foams for custom foam interiors. Both the Hybrid 300 and the Wheeled 500 series provide endless options that cater to a wide range of needs, industries, and usage scenarios, often meeting our client’s exact requirements, without the need for full customization options.

Options Include:

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  1. A custom foam insert that creates the snuggest fit and eliminates unnecessary movement.
  2. A DIY divider set that offers easy setup and convenient access between different components.
  3. Pre-cut foam for a cost-effective DIY solution that balances storage and protection.
  4. Branding areas on the zipper, zipper pulls and even custom logo embossment on the lead.

Your customization options are governed by you. Keep in mind, all the above options can be further customized depending on your interests, timeline, and resources.

Making the Case for Custom Carrying Case

There is no greater sense of accuracy and purpose than creating a case that was specifically designed and created for your unique product.

It is simply a more in-depth process that looks at everything that’s gone into it and understands how it’s going to be used in real-life scenarios. Everything from user experience, product functionality, and even frequency of usage, not to mention how your brand will be best served.

Choosing a Custom Carrying Case, The Main Advantages

Brand Amplification

A custom carrying case offers an excellent opportunity for your brand. It allows you to incorporate your logo, tagline, or company colors into the case design, creating a professional and cohesive image. By including all branding options, your carrying case becomes your brand ambassador. 


From design to color, to size, and interior compartment layout, with a custom design company you have the freedom to tailor the case to your exact specifications and preferences. This level of personalization ensures that your case stands out and reflects your unique style. More importantly, it provides the freedom to choose and mix just the right carry case materials and technologies for every case.

Optimal protection

With a custom case, you can design the interior foam padding, dividers, and compartments to perfectly fit and safeguard your belongings. By customizing the protection, you minimize the risk of damage from impacts, shocks, or environmental factors.

Efficient Organization

Have you ever struggled to find an item in a cluttered case? A custom carrying case allows you to create a layout that optimizes organization and accessibility. Design specific compartments for each item, ensuring everything has its designated place. This level of organization saves you time and effort by enabling quick and hassle-free retrieval.

Enhanced Mobility

Carrying heavy or bulky items can be challenging, but a custom case can provide a solution. By incorporating features such as wheels, retractable handles, or shoulder straps, you can enhance mobility and make transportation easier. Consider ergonomics and functionality when designing your case to ensure it is comfortable to carry and maneuver.

Unit Economics

Last, but not least, a custom carrying case makes sense financially when you manufacture at scale. For quantities above 500 units, it is the most cost-effective solution.

Whatever you choose: whether a fully customized case, an off-the-shelf option, or a hybrid; it’s always good to know what’s available. Furthermore, it’s important to think about the short and long-term impact of your purchasing decisions.

We’re a best-in-class custom case company and we have extensive experience casing valuable equipment in a variety of industries. Feel welcome to reach out to our team to request a custom case solutions demo or to have a discussion about which option will best serve your overall purpose and product strategy.

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