We all know that traveling by air can be difficult and a hassle when traveling with photography equipment. The exercise of determining which shooting conditions to target and the lenses to bring along in an attempt to pack as much as possible into a carry-on bag is not much fun. Another downside with a carry-on bag is that it may end up stuffed under the seat in front of me taking away the already cramped seating and leg room. What about traveling by vehicle over a multiple day photography excursion and dealing with concerns on how to secure my equipment in a hotel room or other areas while I am not out shooting. Then there are times when I need to travel to a location for a photo shoot that requires the use of strobes for lighting. I would prefer to get setup up and begin shooting quickly instead of spending many trips to and from my vehicle to unpack the lighting gear. My solution was to buy Pelican cases to protect my photography gear while traveling and for storage while at home.
The Pelican cases are an incredible well built product that I can pack my gear into and feel comfortable having the cases checked as standard baggage and not worry how the airline treats them. The cases are watertight, float in salt water, and are virtually indestructible. I am able to pack all my camera gear into a black Pelican 1604 case, all my current lenses, excluding the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, into an orange Pelican 1604 case (see images above), and a complete AlienBees 4 strobe lighting setup with all accessories excluding backdrop and lighting stands into a black Pelican 1644 (see images below). Each case comes with stainless steal hardware reinforced padlock protectors that allow the case to be securely locked. I also decided to make use of the range of available colors when I purchased the nice bright orange Pelican 1604, which stands out in anywhere it may be. Another great optional feature is you can choose to have a personalized nameplate made for your cases.
The cases have two types of padding to choose from, either pluck apart foam or a padded divider set. For my first case I went with the pluck apart foam and it was easy to pull apart sections of the foam to form the shapes of lenses and camera bodies. The only downside was that as my gear collection grew and I wanted to change the layout, I needed to buy replacement foam inserts. I later decided to spend the extra money and go with padded divider sets so that I could customize the spaces to hold my gear and be able to redesign the layout whenever my needs change. The padded dividers work the same way the dividers work in most of today's camera bags and backpacks. Here's an example of a 1644 with padded dividers with AlienBees lights:
Overall, I am extremely happy with the performance and quality of all three cases and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a convenient, safe, and reliable way to store and travel with their photography equipment.