Storing LPs Outside their Covers

What are the pros and cons?

I can see a decreased chance of causing seem split, but are their any other advantages? 
I've heard people say less ring wear, but that doesn't really make sense to me because the LP is still against the cover, just on the outside.
I like being able to easily see both sides of the cover, and I feel like the vinyl is more protected when inside.

What do you do and why?


  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 2,410 Posts

    If a record isn't going into the sleeve easily, and there's a cover sleeve in play, I'll just slip it in alongside the cover rather than in it.  So it's about laziness for me.  On some level, I'm sure I'm doing less damage to the opening over the cover by not trying to jam the record in there, but that's really beside the point for me.


  • MondeyanoMondeyano Reykjavik 830 Posts
    Super interested in what people think.

    I've thoroughly enjoyed purchasing records where the record is in an inner sleeve outside the cover. Usually means no spine wear and that the vinyl is super clean, but I live in Japan where that's more than not the case.

  • asstroasstro 1,752 Posts
    With valuable records I usually replace the paper sleeve with a nice Mobile Fidelity sleeve but if the original sleeve has lyrics, pictures, etc on it I'll keep the sleeve in the cover just for completeness sake. Sometimes the record won't fit in the cover with the original sleeve and the new one so in those cases I'll leave the record outside. Doesn't happen that often though.

    I do like it when shops store used records this way though, makes it easier to check condition.

  • para11axpara11ax No-style-havin' mf'er 353 Posts
    For hard filed shit, I leave it in the cover. For pricey shit I play every once in a while, I leave it outside for easy access, but store it in an "onion skin" inner sleeve. For easily replaceable stuff I play often, or stuff I don't intend to ever sell and also play often, I don't use platic outers. I'll leave the shrink exposed, or tear the shrink entirely if it's tattered.

    What I'd LOVE to know, is where can I get those thin but very durable plastic outers that fit super snug? 

  • CBearCBear 902 Posts
    All my records get stored in a plastic sleeve with the opening at the top of the record. The record gets put behind the cover with the opening at the top. I've heard a lot of requests from mail order buyers to pack the record outside of the jacket to avoid seam splits and ring wear. So far it's working for me. The only downside to this is not being able to see the back of the jacket easily. I also feel good that I have an extra 12" of flood protection because water would have to get into the top to affect the record. Gatefolds get the record stored in the middle of the gatefold so I can see the back of the cover and still pull the record out of the top. This system has been easy to use and relatively hassle free. Credit to mylatency for showing me this.

  • BallzDeepBallzDeep 612 Posts

    All mine go in the covers unless:

    1. Cover is near splitting

    2. Record doesn't fit nicely.

    3. Cover is one of those annoying unipak deals where it goes in from the inside?

    I've never seen a record cause a split seam on a shelf.

    And the ringwear thing sounds like nonsense to me as well.


  • dukeofdelridgedukeofdelridge urgent.monkey.mice 2,439 Posts
    I tend to store my records in the manner I acquire them. I probably only have like five stored outside the cover. Car show style, open for all to see. I don't really like it. 
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