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Vinyl Tack Trunks! McGuinn vs Smartpak

Please tell me why it’s worth spending $700 more for a vinyl Mcguinn trunk vs. the Dover or SmartPak options. Is there really a difference in the quality of the craftsmanship? Will the SmartPak and Dover trunks stand the test of time the same as a Mcguinn??

I wish money grew on trees, but in my yard it doesn’t. If I can save the money and still get a well built trunk, that’s the route I’m taking. Give me your thoughts!

No idea on the Dover/SmartPak options. But…

I got my McGuinn tack trunk in the late 80s/early 90s (I don’t remember the exact year). It travelled with me everywhere for years, including down to Florida, etc.

Then I stopped showing. And it sat at my parents’ farm for about 15 years in a non-temperature controlled tack room, getting moldy.

I grabbed it this past summer, and it looked AWFUL. Completely covered in mold and dust. I debated sending it off to the dump, but decided to see if I could save it. So I contacted McGuinn, and at their recommendation spent about 40 minutes cleaning it with Tilex, and WOW. I couldn’t believe how good it looked.

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Ugh……and this is why I want one so bad. Their medium trunks start at $1400 now. I guess their website listing them under $900 is a little outdated lol.

I think I paid $500 for mine at the time (a large). At the time, that seemed like a LOT of $. I was a junior, and I basically babysat and mowed lawns and did other stuff to save up the $ to afford it.

I believe Dover and Smartpak order from Phoenix West. Look into just who their supplier is.

Phoenix West used to be Warner’s Tack Trunks back in the day. They are the West Coast’s answer to McGuinn Farms.

I have a trunk of theirs that dates back to 1990 or so and it’s going strong. I have seen McGuinn trunks, but not worked around a lot of them. I think their quality will be comparable.

All of my trunks and equipment is from Warner’s/Phoenix West (because once a company has your artwork on file it’s easier to have them continue to make stuff for you).

A couple of years ago, when Smartpak was having a 15% off sale, Phoenix West products were included and I ordered some trunks then. Smartpak took my order, but I noted that it needed customization. They got with Phoenix West, I confirmed what was going to be made (even modifying the inside of one of the trunks) and it all arrived fine.

I’d do that again in a heartbeat.

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I still have my old Warner’s tack trunk from the same era: circa 1995-ish. It was hauled around to shows for a solid decade and since then has been thoroughly abused. But it’s still functional and if I made an effort would look nice once again.

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One of my McGuinn’s is 30 years old and except for a few spots where the wood is showing it’s age from being outside all the time. I can’t speak for the other brands but I don’t regret spending the money.


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McGuinn quality is the very best. They last forever and are worth every cent. That said I rarely bring them the the travel/overnight shows because it’s only me setting up and they are heavy and cumbersome. I use the 50 Gallon “rolly” trunks from Stanely or Dewalt. I bought custom fabric covers from Hanson Equine more than 10 years ago but usually do not use them. I cover the logos with black duct tape and added our barn logo instead.

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I have a phoenix west circa mid 2000s that I think is noticeably cheaper than the McGuinn- the wood veneer flaked off in a few spots inside, the hinges don’t line up evenly so it has to be jiggled just so to latch, and the interior finish isn’t quite as smooth. It’s not a bad trunk but it’s retired to being a coffee table. I would go for a McGuinn again next time I’m shopping or one of the new aluminum kinds.

My favorite trunk was from the now defunct Georgetown stable outfitters and was a rebranded athletic trainer’s case. I tried to get another one by getting a trip case from a musician and it’s not quite as nice. That trunk rocks, though. Built in wheels, waterproof, all recessed hardware, not offensive looking, and a HANDLE that sticks out so you can roll it like a suitcase. A dream.

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I had a Dover trunk made by Oakcroft a couple decades ago. It was one of the walnut finish ones, with brass hardware. Structurally it was quite sturdy however the sealant over the wood stain was garbage, and the brass hinges got a rust patina in just over a year.

I now have a vinyl covered McGuinn and am very happy with it. It’s built like a brick house and all the finish work is top notch. That said… it’s built like a brick house. So if weight is a consideration I’d go with the Stanley and cover.

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Wow how times have changed!

Thank you everyone for the insight! It’s been helpful hearing everyone’s different experiences. Sounds like Mcguinn is as solid as they come though and may be worth the extra $$$. Now off to convince the hubby LOL, wish me luck!

Also, I hope this thread helps others riders looking for a comparison. I couldn’t find any info on this until now. Best wishes to all!

Thank you! Good to know!

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Thank you for this. This is exactly what I was wondering!

Thank you for this, I will definitely check it out.

Same. I have the Dover trunk from wayyyyyy back when I was in high school. In less than 10 years, the hinges broke and shortly after, the finish on the wood started to buckle and flake, not the wood, just the finish.

I ended up buying a McGuinn from a barnmate and having it repaneled, and its still perfect. I got it about 15 years ago maybe, so that means it’s probably 20-25 years old. It will outlive me :rofl:.


I have half-jokingly said that it’s OK to bury me in my McGuinn tack trunk when the time comes because you’re right, they are built to last an eternity.

OP, used ones DO come up. If you’re not too picky about what the vinyls look like, that could be a good compromise where you’re not breaking the bank. Or I know there was a poster on here that I think got an auto detail place to make new vinyls for hers.

Can I brag AGAIN about how I found an $85 one in great colors WITH my EXACT monogram??? I refinished the wood and love it. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Yes, I’m totally okay with one that’s used, in good shape. I kid you not though, the only ones I’ve found near me that were worth buying, we’re either gone in the blink of an eye, or one guy was actually insisting the very used Mcguinn was worth $1700! Apparently they’re in high demand right now, but that was just plain ridiculous. I could just buy a new one lol!

Okay, that’s just not fair! :rofl: