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Pelican 1510

Seriously protect your equipment!

The Pelican 1510 is the absolute perfect gear bag for us and we recommend it over and over again!  Unfortunately, we had to discover this bag the hard way with lots of trial and error.  With so many choices and different bags that exist for photography it can become overwhelming digging through the almost endless sea of options all over the internet.  It was becoming cumbersome to read reviews of other highly rated cases and order them, only to find out that they don’t fit into our workflow like we had envisioned. At first we tried backpacks made for photographers only to find them hard to carry all day and looked very unprofessional.  We later upgraded into the standard giant duffle case from Canon. While the larger Canon did accommodate everything, this solution never really offered ample protection and we felt it was marginal at best.

However, we can assure you that there is nothing marginal about any of the Pelican cases.  The company actually caterers to police and military personnel as their primary customers.  These cases are designed and built for war scenarios and will certainly survive the normal wedding day! We trust our most prized photography gear to its safekeeping and never think twice!  Seriously, we bang our’s into stuff and never worry about the gear inside, its really that good.  The team at Pelican seem to take pleasure in putting their indestructible cases through torture tests not only to amaze, but to make a very clear point.  The company depicts extreme examples such as dropping it from great heights, driving over the case with a truck and even shooting it with a shotgun all to prove without a doubt that this case reins impervious to mere mortals.

Pelican cases are made from molded plastic and are fitted with an airtight and watertight gasket.  We find this to be the ideal way to store our gear when it’s not in use.  Not only does it ensure that our collection is safe in our waterproof/bombproof case, but it also keeps dust and other particulate matter away from photography equipment that disagrees with dust.   Pelican cases are made to last forever, and they mean it!  Visit their website and you will immediately notice their mantra “You break it, we replace it… Forever”.  What an amazing slogan!  With a warranty like this and its largest clientele being military and police personnel you know they stand behind their product’s.  Immediately after receiving our 1510 we felt that this case can be trusted to safeguard our significant photography investment and haven’t considered any other brands since.

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A great travel companion.

The Pelican 1510 case is the largest FAA carry-on approved case available from Pelican which also makes it the best solution we have found for photographing weddings out of town.  With its side handle and retractable pull handle and wheels its easy to tote around and requires very little effort (even with 40 pounds in it) to maneuver.  It easily fits in an overhead compartment and knowing its close by give us peace of mind on the journey.  Also it remains safe from dust and water even at hight altitudes thanks to its automatic pressure equalization valve, which balances the air pressure as altitude increases.

When traveling via airplane we recommend making a comprehensive list of all the gear in your bag, including serial numbers.  This should be an exact list of every single item regardless of how small. Arrive at the airport a little early and swing by the customs office at the airport, they will be able to verify the contents in return for a certificate of registration.  If you are planning to leave the country it’s best to investigate carnets, which are international customs documents that allow for the importations of goods.  However, these can be expensive and should be considered carefully.  Check out The Slanted Lens’s excellent video about traveling abroad with your gear!

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More Features

Another great featured is the effortless release latch system, which makes sealing and unsealing the case a very simple endeavor.  It’s difficult to explain, but once you use it, you will quickly realize that this addition is as practical as it is clever.  The case also sports reinforced padlock clips, allowing you to put two regular sized pad lock on it, however we rarely let ours out of our sight.  The last featured you will not find on any of the spec sheet is its transformative ability to make a quick seat or foot rest anywhere!

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Customizable

We ordered our version with the padded dividers as this added the most versatility and adaptability to the case long term.  In addition to the case we also purchased the 1519 lid organizer.  This add on piece allows you to fit the inner panel of the lid with additional storage.  It merely screws into the inner panel via 6 screws.  We use this extra storage for our memory cards, extra batteries, etc. and find it to be a great add on that we also highly recommend.  In addition we used industrial strength peel and stick velcro to coat the back of each panel of the lid organizer, allowing us to stick things to it!  This keeps stuff in these compartments from banging onto the lenses and is also part of our battery strategy!

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Final Thoughts

We love this case for a myriad of different reasons!  It really keeps our gear safe and performs its most important task superbly.   Pelican stands behind their product, with its forever warranty and with their extreme testing practices we feel their products are built to last a lifetime. We have owned our 1510 for a couple of years and traveled great distances with it.  It has never let us down, it has never failed in any capacity, nor has anything ever broken on it.  If you are looking to make your studio mobile investigate this bag and you will sleep soundly knowing your gear is safe and sound!

*Past Love: We actually still use this case for destination weddings and if it were to somehow break we’d replace it! Howeverwe’ve owned it for almost a decade of occasional travel and it’s 100% operational! 

More Resources

Are you interested in learning more about this bag?  There are lots of great, useful resources all of the web to help us photographers achieve our photographic dreams!  We have included some of the articles and resources that were helpful for us when researching our own gear purchase.

Pelican Official – Pelican Tech Specs