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Let's say you've just landed a gig that requires a three-week long trip to Guatemala, documenting some magnificent Mayan ruins. How about we up the ante just a bit? Your deadline is 6 weeks away! Uh-oh. Time appears to be tight and you've got to gear up and make a plan, pronto. In fact, it looks like you'll have to start editing on location. Fortunately, you have a few options:
1. You could attempt to drag your studio with you in the back of an all-terrain U-Haul.
2. Befriend the "locals" and hope they have electricity for all your gear (along with some decent renters' insurance.)
None of those ideas seems very practical or cost-effective. Instead, you could check out the new 2850 TB "Tackle Box" Combination Case from PortaBrace.
I recently got my hands one of these and took it for a personal test drive. I must say it's really cool. The idea is simple: in places where a workstation is necessary but isn't entirely feasible, this is the solution. The box appears, on the outside, simply to be a large PortaBrace hard case, equipped with all the staples – injection-molded, crush-proof shell, watertight/airtight frame, along with those easy-to-use snapping latches. Opening the 2850, however, you begin to get the real picture.
The "Tackle Box" is fitted with a series of removable cases that can be removed and used for seating. Flaps and support legs connected to the inside of the lid fold down to form a table. The desktop can hold more than 40 lbs, which is ideal for a notebook computer or any other portable media device. It doesn't end there: it even has a pouch for storing the laptop! I tested it out with my trusty 17" MacBook Pro and it functioned perfectly. For all your small accessories, the lid has four smaller pouches with handy openings sewn into the sides so wires can run to your main equipment. The desktop also has a fold-out sunshade, making the box ideal for monitoring takes on location, even under harsh sunlight.
As for storage, the 2850 is a small warehouse. The two removable genuine PortaBrace storage cases are extremely spacious. I tested the Tackle Box (H) version with two long cases that fit horizontally across the inside of the box. These are perfect for video cameras, tripods, or lighting equipment. They both come with dividers that attach through touch-tab fasteners designed to help you stay organized in the field. Inside the cases you'll find some small cushions designed to fill any open spaces around your equipment in the case, to protect it from impacts during travel. These cushions also double as handy pillows to provide bottom relief when you're sitting. Underneath the removable cases is a hideaway compartment with padded walls and dividers. It held all my other personal equipment with ease (might I add, with room to spare; looks like I need to get more!)
In the interest of living light, when completely empty, the box only weighs 30 pounds. To make it easier to transport, two durable wheels have been placed on the bottom, making travel over long distances more manageable. Both sides have a large handle with rubber grip, used when rolling or lifting.
No stone has been left unturned with the 2850. I can't say that I'm that surprised with its high level of quality — I've been using PortaBrace cases for years, and they've always been built like tanks. You'll find no difference here.
So, good luck on your trip, and bring me back an ancient artifact or something. Cheers.