Pelican 1510 Protector Case

This time we're reviewing an absolute tank of a case, the Pelican 1510 Protector Case!

When you're traveling with top-end glass and bodies you want security and convenience.  You can't always rely on bags, sometimes you need something a little... tougher.  On the surface the 1510 seems to offer the perfect balance between strength and weight, with the size being universal to airline carry-on, what's not to love?  Let's take a look at where this case shines and where it struggles.

 

Single Sentence Summary

If I had to pick only one camera travel case this would be it.

Why I Bought It

I travel a lot.  I mean a LOT.  That means I need a case or bag that packs nicely into the overhead compartment of any airline.  That being said, I do have a number of bags like the Lowepro Pro Trekker 400AW and the Peak Design Everyday Messenger which easily snug into one, but the problem with those were that the soft casing doesn't stack well in the back of my SUV with the larger cases I use like thePelican1660 and the Pelican 1620. 

What I Like

Well, like I mentioned, the size first and foremost.  It easily fits the bare necessities for shooting a wedding or a military event: 2 Nikon D810 camera bodies, 5 lenses, a Nikon SB-910, a handful of batteries, ND filters, battery charger, cables, a card reader and cleaning cloths, and I'm sure I could squeeze more in the spaces around them if I needed to.  Not to mention that's only in the convenient padded lower section which is easily modified through use of foam padded, velcro-stripped, dividers which can be tailored to whatever layout you may need. With that size I've never had any issue fitting it in an overhead compartment on a plane, in the luggage stows of a bus, or in the boot of a car.

Then there's the Pelican 1519 lid organizer accessory.  It's amazing, just take a look at the image above.  I can store more batteries, flash gels, Pocketwizards, memory cards, flash modifiers, business cards, marketing materials, triggers, a light meter, my passport, etc., etc., etc., you get the point.  It's super convenient to have it all in one spot, and to be able to lock it easily (locking is not an option with the Everyday Messenger nor the Pro Trek 400AW) is awesome.

The case is built like a tank.  It's can bear a lot of weight, so if I find I really need a little more height I can also stand or sit on it.  It has a convenient rubber gripped handle, and an extending arm to pull it along the ground on its wheels that locks away into the bottom of the case easily.  Given how solid it is you would think it would be heavier than it is, but it's honestly not that bad at all, even fully-loaded.  But I suppose that's relative to how much you're comfortable carrying.

What I Don't

This is going to be a short list.  There are only two things I haven't liked about it that force me to keep my messenger bag and my backpack:

1. It doesn't do well with traveling over sand such as when I'm on a beach or in a desert.  As you can imagine the wheels aren't designed for that type of use, and it basically becomes like dragging a hard plastic case.  This is when a set of backpack straps really shine.

2. Access can be a bit slow and loud sometimes because of the lid clasps.  I can't be loud during a wedding, so I rely upon the messenger to carry items I may need so I can quietly access equipment.  But I absolutely would not want this case without them, they ensure the weather sealing that protects my gear.

Bottom Line

It's a must-have if you're going to travel a lot like I do.  I couldn't imagine being a functional destination wedding photographer or military photojournalist without it.

Score

9.5/10

I'm not sponsored, merely enamored.

 -Wes.