I’ve been collection records for about 10 years now but have always avoided using outer sleeves on my collection. It just seemed so overwhelming with so many different types of outer sleeves available, and a lot of the sleeves my friends use either looks too big and bulky on the shelf or eventually get a little hazy and the art work no longer looks crisp while in the sleeve. Then I discovered Channel33rpm’s video with Mike from Vinyl Storage Solutions about his unique dual pocket outer sleeves. After watching the video, I just knew I wanted to give these sleeves a try as the dual pocket design helped preserve the artwork while still giving me easy access to the records to play. These are understandably bit pricey, so I started off with just 1 pack of the 12” 4mil Dual Pocket Outer sleeves, 3 packs of the 12” 2mil Rice Paper Inner Sleeves, and a couple singles of the 7” Dual Pocket Outer sleeves. The idea of the dual pocket is to seal off the record jacket while giving you easy access to your records in the back pocket all while keeping both items well protected.
My immediate thought after I finished sleeving my first record was ‘WOW!’. When they said that these sleeves were crystal clear, they really meant it. The sleeves are made from cast polypropylene, which means that they are crystal clear, heat resistant, moisture proof, and won’t turn cloudy over the lifetime of the sleeve, which are some properties I wouldn’t have thought to look for when investing in outer sleeves – but would definitely want after realizing it’s an option. The sleeves are also acid-free, so you don’t have to worry about it damaging anything.
Once I seal my record jackets, they stay sealed. So I can’t comment on how good the resealable adhesive is, but this works for me as I store any inner booklets and lyric sheets behind the record in the open pocket. It’s also to note that the seal blends in seamlessly, which is a small detail I really appreciated.
I love the idea of the dual pocket. Before discovering Vinyl Storage Solutions, it never occurred to me to store my records outside of the jackets in an inner sleeve. But now that I have, not only do I get easier access to my records, but I feel like I get to enjoy my coloured variants a lot more now. The inner sleeves that I purchased from them also feel sturdy and are pretty transparent, so the records really ‘POP!’ when you look at them.
Sizing wise, the basic dual pocket sleeves works for most of my records. I only have a couple gatefolds that won’t fit. But for the most part, my gatefolds with 2 discs can fit in these sleeves and it doesn’t sit in there tightly. For the ones that don’t fit, I found that you can put two sleeves together in opposite directions to mostly seal the gatefold (see below). Vinyl Storage Solutions does offer a gatefold size, but they are not dual pocketed and have a tuckable flap instead of the resealable one, so I rather just use the 2 sleeve method instead of buying an entire pack for a couple of gatefolds.
The only downside to these sleeves, or maybe just sleeving your records in general, is that it takes up a lot more space on the shelf than I anticipated. I had to clear out a cube on my Expedit so I could start another for my records, but honestly, it was worth it. The sleeves feel very sturdy, and I like knowing that my records are now stored safely and not getting dust in them from just hanging out with no protection.
At the end of the day, I absolutely love these sleeves and will definitely be purchasing more in the future to finish sleeving my collection. It’s also a plus that Vinyl Storage Solutions is Veteran owned and the dual pocket sleeves are made in Canada with materials from Canada and USA.