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FYI re: size of Oakcroft/Phoenix West Large Trunk with Bandage Lids & trunk review

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  • FYI re: size of Oakcroft/Phoenix West Large Trunk with Bandage Lids & trunk review

    Hi - we recently purchased a track trunk for our daughter. Several other riders at her barn had trunks ordered through a local saddlery. This saddlery used Phoenix West for trunk orders. I didn't care for the lettering styles that Phoenix West offered so opted to order an Oakcroft trunk through However, my intent was to match the other Phoenix West trunks in the barn in size and style. I was told these trunks were the Phoenix West large trunks with bandage lid.

    Oakcroft offered all the same vinyl colors as Phoenix West so I was able to match colors. And the measurements for the large trunk (without the bandage lid) were the same between the two companies. However, I could not readily find the measurements of the Phoenix West large trunk with the bandage lid to compare to the size of the Oakcroft large trunk with bandage lid. Since the non-bandage lid trunks were the same size, I assumed the trunks with a bandage lid would be the same size which is NOT the case.

    We moved our daughter's trunk into the barn today and hers is significantly taller than the Phoenix West trunks at the barn. I have since tried to find some statement of the measurements of the Phoenix West large trunk with bandage lid. On a reseller website I found measurements that seem to indicate that the Phoenix West large trunk has the same measurements regardless of whether it has a regular lid or a bandage lid. I'm not sure if that is true but it would explain why my daughter's trunk was so much taller.

    It seems that Phoenix West takes height away from the main body of the trunk when a bandage lid (which seems to be about 3-4 inches in height) is included to keep the total height the same whereas the height of the bandage lid on an Oakcroft trunk (5 inches) adds to the total height of the trunk.

    And now, here's my review/feedback on the Oakcroft trunk.

    The Oakcroft trunk is beautiful to look. My daughter's trainer loved it and is not concerned about it being taller. The interior seems well finished. However, the lid is extremely heavy and my daughter (11 and on the shorter side) has to actually jump up a little to sit on her trunk.

    The Oakcroft trunk was shipped directly to house. I cannot tell you how impressed I was with how securely this was wrapped and packed for shipping. It was on a pallet. It was completely covered in a brand new moving pad. The entire trunk was "shrink-wrapped" in plastic. There were multiple stickers that said "fragile", "do not stack", "high cost claim item", etc. There was also a pyramid shaped cardboard item that was on top of the trunk to prevent something else from being stacked on it. Kudos to Oakcroft for really doing a superb job on preparing this expensive item for shipping.

    That being said, I do have two small concerns. One is there appears to be an imperfection on the front vinyl panel of the bandage lid. It seems that there is a visual crease going across the entire panel. However, if you rub it, you don't feel a crease. But you can definitely see it as it distorts the reflection of everything (the trunk is black vinyl so is quite mirror-like). My second concern is with the metal seaming around all of the edges that holds the vinyl panels in place. On the top of the lid, the corners of this metal seaming are mitred. Both my husband and I have cut ourselves on this metal seaming while moving the trunk to install the wheels or transport to the barn.

    I have already written to netequestrian customer service about the vinyl flaw and they are working with Oakcroft to get a replacement panel sent. I'm not thrilled about having to install it ourselves on a brand new trunk. I don't want to do any ancillary damage taking off and re-installng the metal corner beads. I will also be writing to them to ask for recommendations for how to eliminate the sharpness of those metal mitred corners.

    Hopefully this review helps anyone else who is considering making a very significant investment in a custom vinyl tack trunk.

  • #2
    Oakcroft vs Phoenix West

    Phoenix West hands down is better. They stand by their equipment and theirs is also shipped exactly as you state your Oakcroft was shipped.

    Phoenix West will ship it anywhere you'd like them to ship it. It is your retailers who can do this for you. Many times, they do not like to ship it anywhere outside of their stores in the event something isn't perfect.

    Personally I'm not a fan of the bandage lids but to each his own.

    It seems silly that you ordered a trunk for the fonts, Phoenix West could have done whatever font (or logo for that matter) that you wished. Your retailer should have told you about that possibility.

    We have trunks in our barn coming on thirty years which are still usable. They might not be the ones we pick to go to the horse shows because the bumpers are a tad nicked up but the trunks themselves are still in good use. They were original Warner's trunks. Phoenix West was started with the group of employees from Warner's after the fire.

    Oakcroft just doesn't have that track record.

    It is an expensive purchase and with Phoenix West you know you will always be able to get replacement parts.


    • #3
      I thought I read on these forums that Phoenix West was the least desirable of the "big three" (McGuin, Oakcroft being the others), since the fire when they were known as Warner's, but maybe I misunderstood.


      • #4
        I have trunks from all three of the "major" brands listed above. I like all of them, but there are definite differences in quality.

        The McGuinn's is the nicest of the three; the interior fit and finish is lovely and shows a high attention to detail. The vinyl has held up well and the trim polishes up just as nice as the day it arrived. The tray slides easily and the grooming box fits well and is nicely stained, as is the rest of the interior.

        Second best I would say is the Oakcroft. I bought the "premier" model which is a wood trunk with brass trim. (I also have the "regular" wood trunk that is wood trimmed from them, but that one sits in the house so I don't "count" that one since it's never lived in a barn.) The brass trimmed trunk is super pretty to look at; the exterior stain was done properly and has lasted well; the hardware has all held up nicely to daily use. The interior is not as carefully finished as the McGuinn's and the hardware is not as robust, but it works well and I would certainly buy another one.

        I have had nothing but superior service from Oakcroft over the years - including one time when I called them after a barn mate's horse amused itself by raking its teeth across the pretty wood top (after chewing the snot out of the fancy trunk cover, grrrr.) The trunk was about a year old at that point, and when I called about getting a replacement lid, Oakcroft had me send back a shard of the damaged lid so they could match the stain exactly. They sent it quickly and charged me much less than I expected for that, and were just terrific to deal with.

        I also have a Phoenix West vinyl trunk, ordered for me by a trainer who wanted everyone in the barn to have the same trunk. It is a vinyl trunk with stainless trim. There is nothing at all wrong with the trunk, but it's just not the quality of the other two. The fit and finish is just not as good, the interior is not as carefully finished, etc. It is a perfectly serviceable trunk but it's not the quality of the other two brands.
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


        • Original Poster

          I did research on these boards prior to purchasing and also had the ability to directly assess the Phoenix West trunks owned by other riders at the barn. Net net of the reviews and my direct observations is that the two trunks seem to be generally comparable in quality. Some individuals profess great satisfaction with their Phoenix West, others with their Oakcroft. The Phoenix West trunks at the barn seem to be holding up well and their owners have no complaints. Therefore, all else being equal, why not pick the trunk company that offers the circle monogram that I find more appealing? Particularly if ordering a custom monogram would have increased the cost.

          In hindsight I would not have gotten the bandage lid on the Oakcroft trunk if I had realized that it would be so much taller and heavier that the Phoenix West trunk with the bandage lid. Hence why I posted so that perhaps others considering a new tack trunk would have a point of view to consider re: bandage lid vs. no bandage lid. But live and learn for me.


          • #6
            My personal favorite trunks are Braly Woodworking


            Of course, my preference is for the all wood ... I really don't like the vinyl sided trunks at all -- I think good quality wood just looks richer and more beautiful --- plus you don't have to change the panels if you change barns.

            I understand barns wanting a uniform look for their show trunks -- but wood accomplishes the same thing and changing a custom cover is way cheaper.....

            Between Oakcroft and Phoenix -- its a question of personal preference. Same with the bandage lid ---- we love our bandage lid, keeps the wraps clean and out of the way