What would happen to your current camera case if an unforeseen mishap tossed it overboard into a lake? What would happen if, on an African adventure, a lion cub appeared and decided to use your camera case as a chew toy? Worst-case scenario: You're driving along when some bad people detonate a bomb under your vehicle and the only thing between you and the floorboard is your camera case. What would happen?
The above questions are all taken from testimonials submitted by owners of Pelican™ camera and equipment cases on that company's Web site. In each situation, the case came out a hero by saving the contents from harm. In the explosion story, the Pelican case actually saved the life of the soldier using it overseas. I took an interest in Pelican cases when I was filming a bison hunt with a professional videographer from the Cabela's television show near Faith, South Dakota last fall. The guys who are part of the show tote very expensive camera gear on hunts and fishing expeditions all over the world, from the Arctic Circle in Alaska to the hot African plains, and Pelican is the brand of case they use.
I recently purchased a high-end digital camera for use on my outdoor adventures and wanted to protect it from every possible danger until I needed it in the field. After seeing how well the Pelican cases had performed on the dusty and wind-blown South Dakota prairies, I decided on the Pelican model 1300 for my Nikon D-50 camera and accessories. Pelican makes all kinds of cases from very small models for personal electronics up to mil-spec weapons cases capable of holding a dozen rifles and more. The camera case line has models, like my 1300, with Pick 'N' Pluck™ foam inside that's pre-scored so you can pull out little rectangles of foam in order to customize the interior to fit your gear. There was just enough room in the 9.87" x 7" x 6.12" case I bought for my camera, two lenses and accessory cables. But even though the customizable foam interior idea is cool, the effectiveness of a Pelican case lies in its strength.
Pelican bills its cases as watertight, crushproof and dustproof. An O-ring seal and double-throw latches secure the cover firmly over the case, making it impervious to the elements but also buoyant enough to float (provided the gear inside doesn't exceed the case's flotation specifications). Co-workers of mine who have done a lot of air travel also appreciate a special pressure release valve on their cases that equalizes air pressure inside and outside of a sealed case without compromising its watertight integrity. Case exteriors consist of an open-cell core surrounded by a seemingly indestructible solid copolymer polypropylene wall construction that resists temperature extremes, moisture and chemicals. This results in cases that are deceivingly lightweight, yet very, very strong. The lid hinges are heavy-duty stainless steel with deflector ribs. Pelican feels so strongly about the quality of its cases that they are backed by an unconditional lifetime guarantee.
The cost of a Pelican case is extremely reasonable when you consider the value of what they transport. Prices for small cases designed for cameras and a few accessories start around $25, and my model 1300 that is capable of holding any digital SLR or 35mm camera with an extra lens was about $50. You can learn more about the sizes, colors and kinds of cases available from Pelican at Cabela's at this link: Pelican Cases.
No matter what kind of sensitive gear you carry into the wilderness, there's a Pelican case made to do it for you and I recommend them. In fact, I may soon be getting a second one for my GPS and two-way radio equipment. And I may also make a choice from Pelican's large selection of gun cases before my next hunt, as they are capable of withstanding the roughest luggage handlers in the world.