Want to know some of the best record outer sleeves so you can protect your records from ill forces? Come one and all, as we explore some of the key options for outer vinyl record sleeves and why it is so important to use one!
Why Invest in Record Sleeves?
The quality of the material that sleeves are constructed from has a considerable bearing on the longevity of records. You would not store records in inner sleeves of coarse material, right? So, why do so with the outer sleeve?
The traditional option for an outer sleeve is thick PVC. Though this can actually cause some serious damage to the vinyl records and their inner sleeve. This seems rather antithetical as this is how vinyl records are made. Heck, the reason they are called ‘vinyl’ is that the main ingredient is Polyvinyl Chloride.
Indeed, it is because they are made of this same material that it is best not to use a plastic outer sleeve made from PVC. In the wrong climate, they can actually merge into one. Now, this might not destroy the record. But it will ruin the perfect sound it might previously have had.
This is often called ‘vinyl cancer’ by audiophiles. Hence why, it is best to only use outer record sleeves that are made from polyethylene or polypropylene and have the correct record sleeve dimensions. Then, there is a significant chemical distance between them.
1. Spincare Resealable Sleeves
These bold and capable vinyl outer sleeves are made from polypropylene, which is supposedly as clear as crystal. They feature a resealable tape design that should be familiar to anyone that has ever sealed an envelope or used any stationery.
There is only one rim of tape on each sleeve. Hence, though it does retain its adhesive qualities for a number of uses, these kinds of sleeves are best reserved for items that you are not likely to be taking out of their sleeve anytime soon. If this is more your game, then these are some of the best inner sleeves and outer sleeves you could wish for.
2. Vinyl Storage Solutions (VSS) Dual Pocket Outer Sleeves
Also constructed from polypropylene that purports to be crystal clear, these sleeves also come in an extra thick 4-millimeter option. This means that your album covers are able to be displayed proudly without any risk of damage.
This is something that a paper sleeve simply could not promise. And though it is not sealable like some of the others here arrayed, it can still exhibit an album cover with no sweat and prevent dust from getting in.
3. Big Fudge Crystal Clear Outer Sleeves
Likewise founded on the principle that vinyl record sleeves should be sheathed by polypropylene, the chemical composition of this sleeve is particularly dense. This, in turn, means they are less prone to the crumpling that can afflict other sleeves.
This also leads to added clarity alongside high flexibility and strength that is also resistant to moisture and other small chemical reactions.
If you want to fit your whole gatefold into a sleeve, then they have also got you covered there too.
4. Invest in Vinyl Record Sleeves
Many are hopping on the bandwagon of the MoFi rice paper sleeves. However, Invest In Vinyl offers a healthy alternative of thick polyethylene for long-lasting protection that is not going to break up on you.
Opposed to the MoFi sleeves, Invest In Vinyl offers versatile sleeves in several different sizes and bundles. So it is easy to find the right one for you. After all, owning vinyl is worth it, so protecting it from damage is essential.
5. Mobile Fidelity Archival Records Sleeves
Designed with incredibly thick 4-millimeter material, these sleeves do exactly what they say on the tin. They offer a strong choice for those looking to store their records away for a long time.
Coming in a relatively affordable pack of 50, these sleeves are made and endorsed by the Original Master Recordings company. Hence, you know you are in for some quality goodness.
6. Diskeeper Ultimate Outer 5.0 Outer Sleeves
In comparison to others here arrayed, these sleeves are incredibly tough. Likely the thickest sleeves on display here, they come in at about 5 millimeters in thickness.
Being made from polypropylene, these sleeves are about as clear as you are going to be able to get on the market today. There is a bit of leeway in the sizing so that you can fit just about any size 12-inch, even if it has a big gatefold.
7. Cue78 Vinyl Record Outer Sleeves
To round things off, we have this slightly less thick offering from Cue78. Its sleeves are made from high-density polypropylene, are 3 millimeters thick, and are super clear.
Their chemical construction means that they are almost entirely wrinkle-free and will avoid wrinkles like ducks bat off the water.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling a bit better knowing what the best record upper sleeves are available out there. The next step would be to hit the shops and choose the outer record sleeve that would best suit your purposes! Happy shopping!
FAQs 7 Best Record Outer Sleeves
There is no should in this situation. Rather, it would be better for the sanctity of a record for it to be stored in a sleeve. The kinds of sleeves in question – i.e. those either made from polyethylene or polypropylene – provide a safe vacuum in which the record can reside free from the reach of stray dust and debris.
A lot of people simply cannot be bothered with the hassle of having to take a record in and out of the vinyl sleeve each time they want to listen to it.
In some instances, yes. PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride. This is precisely the same material that vinyl is made from. In certain climatic conditions – i.e. when it is too warm – the sleeve might get a bit melty and attempt to merge with the record. While this does not technically destroy the record in the long run, it can spell disaster for the playback of the record, now marred with a bunch of surface noise and hiss.