Choosing Hard Cases to Protect Photography Gear
Hard cases store and protect sensitive photography equipment when traveling in arduous conditions. Several manufacturers produce these robust cases, including Pelican, perhaps the best-known hard case brand.
Key Benefits of Hard Cases
The primary feature of a hard case is its rigid design that resists deformation. Depending on the application, the interior may be empty, filled with foam, have cushioned dividers, or feature rigid moldings. These cases have extremely tough plastic shells made by high-pressure injection molding or rotational molding.
Lids have rubber or silicon seals that provide a degree of water resistance, and robust latches to ensure proper sealing. Cases are airtight, keeping dampness and dust out, while most have a special vent that compensates for changes in air pressure. Some have reinforced padlock holes that allow the use of case and luggage locks to prevent theft from unattended cases.
Customizing Protective Cases
Optional hard and watertight case dividers allow you to customize interiors. Alternatively, foam-lined cases have foam inserts cut to create an optimal internal layout for storing cameras, lenses, and filters. You can use hard and watertight case organizers placed inside case lids to create additional storage space.
Balancing Size with Practicality
Pelican boxes and other hard cases come in all shapes and sizes, from small cases only a few inches long, suitable for smartphones and small valuable items, right up to large equipment cases that are more than 90 inches long, intended for industrial gear. Large hard cases usually have polyurethane wheels with bearings, and folding handles for easy maneuverability.
It's important to consider size and weight when shopping for a hard case. Larger ones are relatively heavy and bulky to transport, but are able to safely store a lot of equipment. Smaller cases are light and ideal for one or two items. Also, consider what you'll use your case for, as this affects the amount of cushioning you need between items. For heavy-duty applications, use hard and watertight case foam inserts that firmly hold bulky photographic gear in place.
Extreme Protection and Watertight Cases
Standard cases with internal organizers provide adequate protection for most purposes. These cases are dust-tight, water-resistant, and well-suited options for local vacations, overseas travel, or general photography. However, if embarking on an expedition that involves travel on poor roads, off-roading, canoeing, sailing, or extreme weather, you need a hard case certified waterproof to IP67 that's able to withstand heavy loads. These cases float and don't leak even when submerged to 3 feet for 30 minutes. Additionally, they're so strong that a vehicle can drive over them, and they can drop from height without harming your equipment.
Protect your sensitive and valuable photography gear with hard, waterproof cases that withstand serious knocks and extreme weather. Find the right one for your application from the wide selection at B&H Photo and Video.