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Old 04-16-2013, 10:02 AM   #1

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BirdsOfPreyDave's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Portsmouth, VA
Posts: 5,357

Just clicked "buy" on a Pelican 1514 with Amazon Prime

I've wanted a rolling camera bag for quite some time. My experience this weekend finally compelled me to make the purchase.

We're spoiled when we travel to WDW, because Southwest offers several daily non-stops between Orlando and our home airport. This past weekend, though, we deviated from our standard travel to see Mickey and headed, instead, to Little Rock for a wedding. No such luck on non-stops for that route. Delays on the way down because of weather and a 4 1/2 hour layover in Chicago on the way home meant lots of time in airports. Also, both connections required a long walk between gates. This all led to lots of carrying time for my camera bag -- my big, overstuffed, HEAVY camera bag.

I've been going back and forth for months between wanting a Think Tank Airport Security V2.0 and a Pelican 1510/1514. Both have lots of storage space, are wheeled, are lockable, and meet airline overhead compartment size restrictions.

The Think Tank Airport Security V2.0

The Pelican 1510

The Think Tank looks more like a traditional suitcase, and has external pockets that can be used to hold a tablet or laptop. It also looks as if it is more comfortable to pull on its wheels. Think Tank also offers free replacement wheels if anything should ever happen to the originals. The Airport Security V2.0 also offers a pocket/straps to attach a full-sized tripod to the exterior of the bag.

The Pelican, on the other hand, has a hard shell case that will make me feel better about it if I'm ever forced to gate check the bag on a small commuter aircraft. The fact that it's waterproof is also a plus, although I can't imagine the situation where my camera bag would necessarily be out it extreme weather. The Pelican case is slightly heavier, but actually within a pound of the Think Tank.

A big deciding factor was the price. The Think Tank is close to $400, while the Pelican comes in under half of that.

One other minor consideration was the way the tops open. The Think Tank, for some reason, hinges on the short side. When you open it, you need to flip the lid completely up and over to rest on the ground. The Pelican hinges more traditionally on the long side, and can be propped open.

While it was an agonizing decision (I'm far too analytical and read every review and spec sheet I could find online), it was really the price that drove the final choice. I liked the Think Tank over the Pelican for some factors, and the Pelican over the Think Tank for others. When all was said and done, though, I just couldn't justify the extra $200 for the Think Tank.

Once I'd decided on the Pelican, I had to choose between pluckable foam or movable dividers for the interior. While the foam looks to provide more protection to the equipment, I decided that the contents of my camera bag will probably be changing over the course of the next few years. I went with the 1514 and the moveable dividers to give me flexibility there. I also added the in-lid organizer accessory to have some pockets for small gear and wires. I wanted the sand color, but wasn't willing to pay the extra $50, so I went with the black one that was on sale for $179.

It will arrive Thursday. Now I just need to sit on my hands and try not to think about all the extra room I'll have for new lenses.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:08 AM   #2
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For the love of Disney...
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:27 PM   #3
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Location: In view of the Smoky Mountains
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I really appreciate my Pelican and have been very pleased with it. I added the lid organizer after purchase and am glad I did. I have everything I need in this one case and have room to spare. Even so, I also use a smaller backpack for short trips where I won't need everything in my collection.
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