Top critical review
15 people found this helpful
Great case, but needs better wheels and more padding
on May 17, 2013
I travel everywhere with my camera and lenses. As I accumulate more and more gear, my setup has gotten increasingly expensive so I felt the need to get this wheeled case. Its durable, waterproof (can float) and there is no way it can be crushed in a car. This is over the legal carry-on limit, but I bet you the TSA and most airlines in the United States would turn a blind eye. Pelican offers a lifetime warranty where they will replace any parts that you break.
While I thoroughly enjoy this case, nothing is without some shortcomings. The wheels are not of the roller-blade variety like on most wheeled carry-ons and there is no active suspension system like on my Samsonite hardcase where bumps are better absorbed. Pelican needs to use the roller-blade wheels and come up with a better suspension system because photography professionals are using this basically as carry-on luggage with their very expensive gear. People are running to the gate to get to their plane and roller-blade like wheels would get them moving just a little quicker. While I think the setup as it is probably absorbs bumps well enough, I would feel better with larger roller-blade like wheels that could better take a bump especially when I have thousands of dollars in lenses in the case. Im going to look into replacing the wheels on this case myself with the roller-blade type.
The padded dividers could use a bit more. I doubled the padding on the bottom of the case by the wheels and on the sides using foam I had around here. In compartments where I was storing an expensive lens, I was sure to put more padding. The padding provided is your basic variety. I am guessing they only used so much because they didnt want to crowd the box and reduce the storage. So if you put lenses or cameras in here, think about doubling up the padding in the spaces you put these items.
Actually I just looked at the wheels right now. I had wheeled the case down about 3 city blocks on a New York City sidewalk and they look a little chewed up. In comparison, on my Samsonite luggage which I have wheeled around the country at various airports and streets that has the Roller-blade like wheels there is not so much wear. I have a feeling I will be calling Pelican about these wheels in the future.
So this case will protect your gear and will make it through a bad storm to boot, but I dont think it was made for the traveler who wheels their stuff through every street and airport. This is an easy modification however for Pelican. The case needs larger roller-blade like wheels.
If you are looking for a good lock for this case, then I suggested the Abus 170/40 (3 digit combination) or the Abus 41/40 (keyed) with the 1/4 inch diameter shackle. For TSA locks, Sesamee makes a heavy duty version with a 1/4 inch shackle which fits, however, I am not too crazy about the construction. The Abus lock has latches on both sides and seems a lot stronger. Here is the Abus lock that I have with my case. I posted pictures. It fits perfectly. I use the TSA lock for airport travel, but once out of the airport the Abus locks go on:
If you want the highest security padlock which can fit this case then there is the Abus 88/40 plus. Its pricey, but its the padlock which offers the best security.
There are quite a few more Abus locks which will fit on there too. Look for a lock which has shackle with a 1/4 inch diameter.
Any padlock can be cut by a bolt cutter, but I prefer to have the best lock available then none. So the Abus 41/40, 170/40 and 88/40 are the best ones available for this case.