Hard Cases

         

Professional photographic gear and other electronic equipment are expensive and often equally delicate. But you already knew that. Handing off your gear to someone else—taxi drivers, airport baggage handlers, overnight couriers, and the like—the only thing safeguarding your gear is the case you use to transport it. If you have anything worth protecting, you should do it the way the pros do—with Pelican hard cases.

Even if you’ve never used a Pelican case, you’ve surely seen them. Wedding photographers, DJs, and field service technicians use them all the time. While they usually come in black, Pelican makes them in multiple colors, shapes, and sizes, as well as with wheels or without.

Pelican series hard cases are tested to be watertight, crushproof, and dustproof. They’re made with ultra-durable structural copolymers, watertight silicone O-ring seals, rugged latches, and automatic pressure-equalization valves that adjust the internal air pressure according to changes in the surrounding atmospheric pressure. The cases come in sizes that will fit anything from a cell phone to a desktop computer and everything in between. Along with stainless-steel hardware, Pelican hard cases are built to withstand extremes of hot and cold. Temperature ratings from -10° to +120° F, -10° to +199.4° F, as well as -40° to +210° F are a feature, depending on the size of the case.

Because the cases are waterproof and airtight, they can float—with a certain amount of weight inside. Buoyancy specifications are for salt water, and with properly distributed weight, the cases that are rated IP67 will remain completely dry inside for at least 30 minutes.

Cases with foam cushioning inside feature Pelican’s Pick ’N Pluck foam, which consists of pre-cut cubes that can be plucked as needed to create a cutout that fits whatever gear you want to carry in the case. All you have to do is trace the outline of the item you want to accommodate and remove the foam cubes within that outline.

Consult the chart below for sizes and special features of some of the more popular Pelican cases. The model number of each case is also a link to the product on B&H’s website. There you can see all the different colors and options available, along with any special features and pricing.

Model

Exterior Dimensions
(inches)

Interior Dimensions
(inches)

Handles

Insert

Weight
(pounds)

Buoyancy
(pounds)

Special Features

1020

6.82 x 4.75 x 2.12

5.31 x 3.56 x 1.68

loop and carabiner

rubber lining

0.55

0.75

 

1040

7.50 x 5.06 x 2.12

6.50 x 3.87 x 1.75

loop and carabiner

rubber lining

0.70

1.26

 

1050

7.5 x 5.06 x 3.12

6.31 x 3.68 x 2.75

loop and carabiner

rubber lining

0.81

1.74

 

1060

9.37 x 5.56 x 2.62

8.25 x 4.25 x 2.25

loop and carabiner

rubber lining

1.00

2.49

 

1120

8.12 x 6.56 x 3.56

7.25 x 4.75 x 3.06

fold down

foam

1.23

5.00

 

1200

10.62 x 9.68 x 4.87

9.25 x 7.12 x 4.12

fold down

foam

2.87

12.02

 

1400

13.37 x 11.62 x 6.00

11.81 x 8.87 x 5.18

fold down

foam

4.41

20.06

 

1450

16.00  x 13.00 x 6.87

14.62 x 10.18 x 6.00

fold down

foam

6.39

30.00

 

1500

18.50 x 14.06 x 6.93

16.75 x 11.18 x 6.12

fold down

foam

7.05

50.00

 

1514

22 x 13.81 x 9.0

19.75 x 11 x 7.6

fold down and retractable

dividers

14.19

64.15

wheels and dividers

1520

19.78 x 15.77 x 7.41

18.06 x 12.89 x 6.72

fold down

foam

9.35

63.00

 

1550

20.62 x 16.87 x 8.12

18.43 x 14.00 x 7.62

fold down

foam

11.90

69.89

 

1560

22.07 x 17.92 x 10.42

19.92 x 14.98 x 9.00

fold down and retractable

foam

20.00

115.00

wheels

1600

24.39 x 19.36 x 8.79

21.51 x 16.54 x 7.99

fold down

foam

14.11

117.00

 

1610

24.83 x 19.69 x 11.88

21.78 x 16.69 x 10.62

fold down and retractable

foam

22.30

199.93

wheels

1620

24.76 x 19.57 x 13.90

21.48 x 16.42 x 12.54

fold down and retractable

foam

24.62

149.91

wheels

1650

31.59 x 20.47 x 12.45

28.57 x 17.52 x 10.65

fold down and retractable

foam

28.06

181.0

wheels

Discussion 4

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I recently did a lot of shopping around for a hard case to transport my Steadicam Pilot. I looked, but never considered a brand other than Pelican. They truly have industry credibility. I ended up going with Pelican's line of Storm Cases (a brand they bought not too long ago). I found the Storm Cases to have the same build quality and offer the same protection as traditional Pelicans, but the latch system is far superior.

LL

About 15 years ago, I used to do quite a bit more hiking and climbing here in the Pacific Northwest, which seems to be always wet. I'd carry a small size Pelican case in my backpack to hold my camera body and favorite lens when I knew that I'd be someplace that would be dangerous. One particular afternoon, I was edging along a ledge on a cliff on Canyon Creek, and I slipped and fell into the water below. My camera (an EOS A2) came out snug and dry... but I can't say the same for myself :)

- Matthew Gore

http://www.lightandmatter.org

I have had one Pelican case for about 30 years now and it is still as useful now as it was then.  I still recall early on being concerned when I could not open the case one day after having come down a few thousand feet in elevation.  When I finally got one corner to open and I heard the whoosh of air getting into the case, I knew that this case would keep all that was in it safe and dry.

With my changing uses and hard wear on it, I finally broke down and bought a new foam insert and o-ring about 5 years ago.  Now it is again keeping my equipment clean, dry and safe.  I also bought another one a couple of years ago for some other electronic gear of mine

I use a similar case to the Pelican and use it to ship my gear ahead of me to shooting locations. 

You can ship your gear safely *if* you follow a few precautions.

1. Insure your gear - and keep a complete inventory of every piece, including model numbers and serial numbers.

And if you do any paid work at all, your homeowner's insurance won't cover your camera gear.  Talk to your insurance agent about an "Inland Marine Policy", which will cover your gear for replacement value, not the depreciated value.

2. Buy additional insurance from the shipping carrier (FedEx or UPS - I don't even consider the Post Office).  And declare full-value.

3. Ship your gear so that it arrives at a secure location at least one business day early.  And track the shipment early in the process, so you have the best chance of catching problems early.

4. Pelican cases do a great job of this - pad your gear to withstand a 4-foot drop onto a concrete floor.

Read more details in my recent blog post here: http://bit.ly/gLUbF2

Charlie MacPherson
www.TheAmazingImage.com
www.TheWildInFocus.com