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5 Awesome Pelican Case Alternatives That Tick All Boxes

When it comes to transporting fragile belongings or sensitive equipment one brand seems to be highly recommended. You can probably guess that Pelican will roll off someone’s mouth the moment you talk about rugged cases.

However, Modern Gent is all about options and we want our readers to get the best bang for their buck. Some of the factors we consider are durability, ingress protection, portability, quality, and best of all, price. Hence we’re sharing our list of awesome Pelican case alternatives that you might want to check out.

How to Choose The Right One For Your Needs

When choosing our luggage, we normally just pick out what looks best and offers a bit of impact protection. This is maybe why you can see more people carrying hard suitcases than the regular ones. These might be adequate enough to hold clothing, small gadgets, and the occasional laptop, but never high-value tools or products.

For the latter, what you need is a container that features a robust exterior (usually made of varying types of molded plastic) and can survive drops from great heights, withstand extreme loads, and excellent ingress protection.

You can also check the reliability by checking the manufacturer’s warranty. Moreover, those that offer a lifetime guarantee are usually the ones with the best overall quality.

Interior Protection

Since you already have an idea on what to look for on the outside, it crucial to likewise check the inside. Most equipment cases generally have foam inserts to provide cushioning and prevent the contents from moving around. These are flexible enough to adapt to the different shapes of whatever it is inside the box.

Furthermore, the material is rigid to a certain point wherein it can hold the contents in place to counteract vibrations and absorb impacts. For a perfect fit, there are shops that sell these with cutouts to keep specific parts or items steady during your trip, others even offer customization for added convenience.

What To Look For In An Equipment Case

Perhaps the first thing we need to do before buying an equipment case is to verify the size of the item we want to store inside. There are lots of brands that cater to almost any type of sensitive cargo that need to be safely transported.

Nonetheless, understanding the space and allowance to perfectly fit the item is essential when shopping for the right model to hold your stuff. These can range from the size of a small briefcase to as big as a regular luggage bag.

Next thing to consider is weight. Depending on the structure or material used by the manufacturer, your next equipment case can just add to your burden. Nevertheless, modern polymers are mostly lightweight with remarkable durability that can survive drops, heavy loads stacked upon it, heat, and the cold.

Since moisture can damage electronics and other equipment, choose those which feature a rubber lining that forms a reliable airtight seal when closed. You’ll never know if rain or a quick dip in a body of water will happen in some circumstances. Over time, these tend to wear out, so a brand that sells a replacement is worth considering as well.

Products that claim to be MIL-STD or MIL-SPEC are traditionally good bets because these are designed according to the standards required by the military for various tactical needs. It is likely that these types of equipment cases come with all the features that you would want in an equipment case. Just remember, if it’s good enough for the troops, then it should be more than capable of exceeding your expectations.

Finally, having durable latches along with robust locking points (preferably with metal reinforcements) can safeguard your belongings from unwanted access. This is handy for those who need to check in their cargo during a trip.

Do You Really Need An Equipment Case?

This one is really challenging to answer outright. The reason is that most manufacturers are already designing their products to withstand almost all kinds of abuse. Just look at the latest smartphones, action cameras, and other gadgets.

Most of these ship with ingress protection from straight from the factory. Others are equipped with shock-absorbing materials in certain points that are prone to impact from falls.

However, equipment cases are still essential to protect other types of sensitive equipment. For example. DSLR cameras, lenses, professional-grade drones, hard drives, firearms, and practically anything else that will not survive being inside your backpack or carry-on luggage.

The bottom line is as long as there is a need to haul items that require extreme protection along the way, these type of containers are your best bet.

Here Are Our Top 5 Pelican Case Alternatives

1. NANUK Hard Cases

Pros:

  • Impact-resistant NK-7 resin body
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Integrated bezel system
  • Dual locking system
  • Affordable price point compared to Pelican
  • 10 color options to choose from

Cons

  • Foam inserts are not included by default and sold as separate add-ons

One brand that came up during our search for Pelican case is NANUK. As far as heavy-duty equipment cases go, the company offers a wide range of sizes that range from the smallest Nano Series and all the way to the Long Series. Furthermore, the company even offers tailor-made models for firearms, drones, gimbals, and cameras. We found the variety on offer quite impressive compared to other competing brands that normally only a one-size-fits-all approach.

The majority of the containers available from NANUK rely on the company’s PowerClaw latching assembly. This patented system uses a two-fold locking mechanism that clamps tightly with the help of compressive force.

Additionally, the integrates slide-locks ensures that the case will not open even with excessive force from drops and bumps. Crafted out of heavy-duty nylon, the latches are tested to endure and flex under extreme conditions, thereby keeping the contents protected at all times.

According to the brand’s product page, each of their protective cases is tested to perform in extreme conditions. The IP67-certified construction keeps the contents dry and free of small particles that can damage small equipment.

The company claims that its cases are ideal for marine transportation, emergency response, and diving. While some of the smaller models are fashioned out of polycarbonate, the bigger ones rely on NK-7 resin, which is lightweight, but impact-resistant.

For added security, the padlock holes on select models sport reinforced metal padlock holes. Users can use their preferred brands, but NANUK also offers their TSA-approved padlocks. The brand practically caters to frequent flyers who need reliable security alongside with their dependable container.

Meanwhile, the versatile nature of the equipment case even comes with an integrated bezel system. This allows users to quickly install compatible panel kits minus the need for drilling holes. We think this might be one of the best brands available in the market right now.

2. Seahorse Protective Equipment Cases

Pros:

  • Impressive customization options available
  • A huge lineup of cases for many types of equipment
  • Accuform foam inserts which can be shaped by hand to hold items in place
  • Latches with additional locks
  • Automatic pressure purge system for air travel

Cons:

  • No metal reinforcements on padlock holes

Just when we’ve thought that one of the brands we’ve listed is hard to beat along comes another that offers even more versatility. Seahorse protective equipment cases are American-made and offer a lifetime guarantee on all of their products.

It might seem like another run-of-the-mill feature, but the best part is the insane customization options available for the buyer. Nevertheless, we should start by learning more about what these rugged containers bring to the table.

First off, we would like to point out that while other brands opt for rounded form factors, Seahorse cases show off a more angular aesthetic. The style gives the exterior a sleek and modern look that will surely stand out from the rest.

There’s also a heavy tactical vibe going on that we can’t help but admire. The company has the basics down such as protection from water, dust, and impacts that are all accounted for.

As indicated by Seahorse, their cases are crafted to meet several certifications. We have IP67, drop testing, Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), and MIL-STD810F 512.4. On top of the molded-in padlock holes, certain models feature heavy-duty latches with integrated locks.

The material used for their cases varies depending on the model. These include fibreglass-reinforced ABS, nylon, polypropylene with calcium carbonate additives, and polycarbonate each with its own set of characteristics to fit the buyer’s need.

Moreover, the company offers a wide range of customization services for their equipment cases. Buyers can request to have branding elements like flat adhesive labels, dome labels, silk screening, metal nameplates, and other printing or labeling solutions.

Next, are the machining services wherein the manufacturer can craft specific openings to accommodate many types of tools and equipment. Then there are the custom colors, which allows you to personalize your Seahorse hard case just the way you want it.

3. Monoprice Pure Outdoor Weatherproof Hard Cases

Pros:

  • Lightweight and durable polyethylene construction
  • Customizable foam inserts
  • Stainless steel latches and padlock holes
  • TSA-approved for air travel

Cons:

  • Fairly pricey for a brand the specializes in other products

Now, this is something totally unexpected as Monoprice is a brand that specializes in audio, video, and other electronic products and accessories. Nevertheless, it seems that the company is likewise offering equipment cases that can compete with some of the best brands out there. Depending on the type and size of the container you need, the price range appears to be on par with other premium brands.

It might be a little bold for a relatively unknown brand, but it could likewise suggest that the quality might be top-notch. The smaller models are pretty much what one could expect, which as the name implies offer reliable protection against the elements.

As far as equipment cases go, these can practically take a beating while the structure takes the brunt of the abuse. Foam inserts keep vibration to a minimum and prevent items from moving about inside.

However, what impressed us is the larger Pure Outdoor series made of rotomoulded polyethylene. The result is a lightweight yet durable equipment case which is equipped with stainless steel hardware, which is a great choice for hauling larger gear.

The outer section of the lid and bottom feature a unique pattern that lets users stack multiple cases together securely. The interlocking surfaces stop the containers from shifting during transport.

The carrying handles are mounted on the sides for the bigger models, while the smaller ones follow the traditional briefcase design. Meanwhile, we found the stainless-steel latches on the stackable variants dependable enough to fasten the lid down securely.

Additionally, you can always add a padlock to prevent unwanted access to your cargo. Then there’s the built-in air pressure valve, which should be a standard among equipment cases that are TSA-approved for air travel. The Pure Outdoor series from Monoprice might be a good choice.

4. Condition 1 Hard Cases

Pros:

  • The cases come in a variety of sizes and shapes
  • Ample color selection for each model
  • Pick and pluck foam inserts are included as standard
  • Competitive price for the quality of offers
  • An automatic pressure release valve for air travel
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • No metal reinforcements on padlock areas
  • No built-in mounting points inside

In our search to bring you the best equipment cases we already spotted two great brands with their own pros and cons. Now, we have another brand for you the check out called the Condition 1 and we think it might be a contender in our search for the best Pelican case alternative. To start off, what we found impressive about it is the large variety of sizes available that could accommodate different equipment. You can choose from the smaller ones to hold cameras and other mobile devices or go for the biggest ones that can fit even more.

Almost all of the cases in the lineup are molded from lightweight polypropylene copolymer. The material can basically survive any type of abuse that you would expect to encounter during regular usage or in extreme conditions.

It functions exactly as what an equipment case does and keeps your valuable gear, equipment, electronics, and accessories safe from dust, moisture, impacts, and scratches. As specified by Condition 1, their products are built to house firearms, scientific tools, military gear, and music instruments.

Then to back up their quality claim, the cases boast a lifetime warranty. Basically, if you by any chance manage to break their containers, the company will send you a replacement for free. Talking about moisture protection, the rugged o-ring seal promises to keep water out even after being submerged up to three feet deep. Another useful feature is the automatic pressure release valve which makes it ideal for traveling by air.

Condition 1 understands the importance of the foam inserts to keep the cargo from moving around inside the case. Therefore, it uses a combination of convoluted foam affixed to the lid, while the bottom section holds a thick sheet of pick n pluck foam. The latter is quite handy to create a snug fit for any type of equipment.

5. Smatree SmaCase GA Series

Pros:

  • Durable and lightweight ABS Body
  • Pre-cut foam inserts hold items in place
  • Affordable price point
  • Bi-directional pressure equalization valve
  • Compact size for superior portability

Cons:

  • Designed specifically for GoPro Hero cameras only
  • Foam inserts cannot be customized
  • Single color option

If you are an adventurous soul who loves extreme sports and other adrenaline-pumping activities, then action cameras are likely in your arsenal. As we’ve indicated beforehand, most of these gadgets are designed to survive almost anything.

However, these are possible with the help of optional accessories such as housings, bumpers, and other similar products. When you require a dependable brand to hold your equipment, the Smatree SmaCase GA series are some of the best ones out there for GoPro products and other similar offerings.

Some of you might recognize the brand for its wide selection of products geared toward the drones, headphones, smartwatches, handheld gaming systems, and GoPro cameras. Unlike other brands that cater to bigger equipment, Smatree prefers to focus on a specific brand and does a good job of designing its cases to deliver outstanding protection. Currently, there are four models available for the SmaCase GA series and all of which can fit most Hero models as well as additional accessories.

Depending on the model, it can fit up to three GoPro Hero cameras with enough space to hold batteries, cables, mounts, poles, and other gear. The material of choice used for the SmaCase GA series is ABS plastic, which is known for its superior performance when it comes to impacts and chemical corrosion.

The cases are engineered with a dual-layer body with excellent waterproofing. It should be noted that it can also float, which is ideal for those who want to that extra peace of mind when they’re near bodies of water.

Meanwhile, the foam inserts are pre-cut to fit the supported GoPro Hero models, which hold the items in place during transport. Like other equipment cases, the Smatree SmaCase GA series uses a latching system that creates enough tension to keep the lid sealed.

Two padlock points are available beside each of these but do not have metal reinforcements. Finally, it even features a bi-directional pressure equalization valve for added protection.

Conclusion:

Now that we’re done with the list, our team has selected a winner that will meet your expectations. It is difficult to go up against a trusted brand that sells products with outstanding quality and performance.

However, we believe that Seahorse edges out on top as the best Pelican case alternative to consider. It offers superior impact protection with a wide range of different materials for each type of equipment case. Moreover, the interior comes with a customizable form insert, which users can easily shape to hold their gear in place.

The brand name alone is already a giveaway that its hard cases are built to keep water out and stay buoyant. Then there are the heavy-duty latches that feature an integrated locking system on top of the padlock holes. The manufacturer even boasts about the certifications its cases have earned that proves its products are designed to withstand all manners of abuse.

What gives it an overwhelming advantage over the others is the insane number of customization options available for the buyer. Not only can you have it in any color you want, but Seahorse will also even custom fit any type of gear into the container of your choosing. Ultimately, the value and quality it delivers for the price are remarkable.

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