Pelican cases are fantastic for protecting a wide variety of fragile gear and equipment. However, they can come at premium prices, so we’re going to delve into some alternative options in this article.
These sturdy cases have numerous uses especially to protect products that are fragile such as cameras and electronics. To be precise, these can be used for storing music equipment, medical emergency supplies, computer cases, equipment for surveillance and investigation, digital hardware, firearms, etc.
My top recommended case is the Nanuk 930, a lightweight, waterproof, as well as shock resistant case for safe storage.
My second recommended case is the MEIJIA IP67. This is an extremely affordable case with many good components.
The Best 7 Pelican Case Alternatives (2023)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
1. Nanuk 930
The Nanuk 930 hard case has numerous layers of inserts along with a prescored layer that is removable. The foam squares are made of polyurethane and can be customized.
The use of the NK-7 resin shell not only provides its strength but also makes it waterproof. It has been rated IP67 for its waterproofing characteristics. It remains tightly closed even if it falls during transportation. This is owing to its integrated side lock and the patented double PowerClaw latching system which has been molded using extremely tough Nylon.
Its handle has a soft grip made using NK-7 resin and is foldable. There is integrated hardware for an accessory strap as well as Padlock. It has an automatic pressure release valve made of pure stainless steel, which is a waterproof seal.
Any kinds of instruments such as medical equipment, drones or accessories of a camera, etc. can be carried in it safely in this shock-resistant case while traveling.
Nanuk 930 case is lightweight but has been efficiently designed to ensure the safety of any larger or small, delicate equipment in any kind of weather condition. You can customize its attachments by adding a shoulder strap or a panel kit without the need for making any holes or using other hardware.
2. MEIJIA IP67
The MEIJIA Portable IP67 is an extremely affordable and compact hard case with good quality components. Granted, this is a small hard case but it is waterproof and has a customizable fit foam.
This case is particularly useful for smaller items like cameras, small drones, or any small-based equipment that needs protecting. With the reinforced stainless steel construction and the easy-to-open latches, it’s a great all-rounder, especially when you consider the price.
The customizable fit foam is the key component, in my opinion. Depending on what gear you are storing, the foam can be configured and inserted for preference. You can store lenses, and scopes, or even have your GoPro in safe hands.
This portable Polyethylene case is a good choice for those on a budget that need safe storing and transporting. Overall, it has an amazing value-for-price ratio.
3. Monoprice Hard Case
This Monoprice hard case has high standards for safety and protection. It has a shockproof design along with a customizable interior for safely storing various delicate items.
There is a pressure relief valve that facilitates equalizing the pressure gradually. Since it is made up of polypropylene, it provides safety against ultraviolet rays and other impacts.
With this hard case, you can get IP67 level protection in water and remain safe for about 30 minutes in water of 1-meter depth. It is also dustproof. The protection is owing to the seal design that prevents the entry of water into the case when there is a sudden rainfall or in case water gets splashed on it.
It comes with an ergonomic handle that is covered with rubber which implies, you won’t feel any discomfort while carrying it. It also has a nameplate that can be customized. Thus you can safely keep and carry in it your musical instruments, firearms, medical equipment, or anything fragile.
4. Seahorse SE-920
The Seahorse protective case is an American-made product that comes with a lifetime guarantee. It is an excellent one for protecting your delicate items while traveling. It is airtight, as well as waterproof to a certain extent. It is capable of preventing the water from entering the case between 15 cm to 1meter for 30 minutes.
It can resist impact and won’t let the things inside get rusted. Your things will be protected from chemicals and Ultraviolet radiation. It has wider track wheels along with a pre-installed handle which is a telescoping tote in nature. This ensures the ease of carrying it by rolling.
It comes in different colors that not only look classy but are also strong enough to protect your valuable fragile things while traveling or shifting.
It easily fits into the overhead compartments in the airline cabins, so just roll it to the ticket counter and into the cabin for a stress-free journey.
5. Nanuk 935
The Nanuk 935 hard case has a high strength owing to the 2 padlock haps which are directly molded into NK-7 resin in its toughened form. You can close it tightly using the Integrated slide locks for better security so that it won’t get opened while you are traveling. The use of the PowerClaw latching system ensures high compressive force to tightly clamp the case.
It can be easily carried by using retractable handles. It suits your posture well and ensures complete convenience as you can adjust it at two heights as per your need. The presence of a quick-release button enables you to operate it with one hand. Also, it had been IP67 rated for being a waterproof case. Its smooth wheels help you travel in various kinds of terrains with ease.
If you want to carry your photography gears, electronic items, or any other delicate instruments, it can be safely done with this case as it is resistant to water, dust, or any severe impact that might occur while traveling or shifting.
The case comes with an automatic purge valve which helps in equalizing the pressure within it during a journey. Its sturdiness and protection make it the perfect case to be carried for a hike or kayak.
6. Condition 1 25″ Black Waterproof Carrying Case
This case is made out of rugged plastic material which is strong enough to protect any delicate products that you carry in it. Since it has an o-ring seal, it prevents the entry of dust or water into it, keeping the things clean and free from moisture.
Condition 1 25″ Case has an automatic pressure release valve that is much needed when you are traveling, as it equalizes pressure.
The case comes with a foam Made in the USA which can be customized as per the things that you need to carry in it. It has a patented spring-loaded latch system which is strong but can be opened conveniently.
Besides all this, the presence of lock holed and molded handles enhance the ease of use.
7. AmazonBasics WXD0583WD Hard Camera Case
This hard case ensures the complete protection of your valuable camera gear. It protects the pieces of equipment against any kind of impact when it is gets knocked while traveling.
It has a front handle that is foldable. AmazonBasics Hard Camera Case can be easily carried with much security owing to the dual holes that are meant for optional locking.
It can remain airtight as well as waterproof for nearly 30 minutes at 1-meter water depth, thus ensuring the protection of the equipment within. So, you do not have to worry in case of water splashing near a pool or sudden unexpected rain. The case has been tested and rated IP67 for being waterproof.
Inside this case, you can find foam squares that are already cut for customizability as per the requirement to store the SLRs, compact cameras, accessories, GoPro cameras, etc in the right way.
What is the difference between a Pelican Case and an Alternative Hard Case?
Pelican cases are a standard for a reason. Their exterior, as well as the interior, is much more durable than regular alternative hard cases. But, all this comes at a price. Naturally, most musicians or even professionals will opt for a more affordable option, hence, the Pelican alternative.
Hard case manufacturers are not to be taken lightly either, they are a good competitor to Pelican Cases that can sometimes pull off a hard-protective case of high quality. Granted, Pelican Cases are still more durable and consist of better materials, still, some of the best Pelican case alternatives can match as a budget-friendly option.
Do I need Multiple Cases?
This all depends on your needs. If you have many medium or small-sized equipment like camera lenses and scopes that needs to be safely stored inside of the case then two cases might come in handy if you have the budget and means for them.
You should also consider maybe getting one bigger case, preferably with a customizable foam that can hold a few LBS. No need to spend more if you find a good well-rounded solution, luckily, the list above has many.
What to look for in a Pelican Alternative Case when buying?
There are a few things to consider before buying a Pelican Alternative like the quality of the material, protective foam, price, and extra features.
Most commonly, hard cases are made from polypropylene or polypropylene copolymer. This is a rugged and sturdy plastic material that will provide enough protection for safe storage, particularly for frequent travelers and gear carriers.
Foam is a vital part when it comes to safe storage. Customizable foams like ELE polyurethane are a good choice for flexible and organized storage as the foam insert dictates the space within the case.
Naturally, you should always consider your budget and price range. There are budget-friendly and reasonably priced cases that can very well get the job done. Of course, if you have the budget, a Pelican Case is the better option.
The more extra features a case has the better. It can be something as simple as polyurethane wheels, to something as important as a pressure equalization valve. You want a convenient opening lid, or even if a manufacturer is offering a lifetime warranty. Be sure to check for everything before committing.
That’s my roundup of the best alternatives to the pelican cases so that you can keep your fragile items safe during transportation. Such cases eliminate any kind of fear of damaging fragile and pricey products because of unexpected circumstances such as getting knocked or a sudden heavy downpour.
My top pick is the Nanuk 930. It is a lightweight, waterproof, and shock resistant case for storing delicate equipment.
My budget pick is the MEIJIA IP67, a very affordable yet decent case for safe storage.
Featured image (right) credit: “Pelican Case 1510 Wheel Replacement.” (CC BY 2.0) by MIKI Yoshihito. (#mikiyoshihito)