Photo Gear,  Travel

Pelican Air 1535 Review and Air Travel Experience

I purchased the Pelican Air 1535 Case with TrekPak Dividers for a photography trip to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.  There was no airport close to the national park where larger jets flew into – only the Embraer RJ145s.

Pelican Air 1535

Pelican Air 1535

I chose to fly into Dickinson, North Dakota on an Embraer RJ145 and figured there was at least a 50% change they would make me gate check my photo bag. More on that later on in the blog.

First Let’s Talk About Installing the TrekPak

Installing the TrekPak was relatively easy, but it does take time.  Unlike other padded dividers, you need to cut the dividers and install pins to hold them together.  The dividers are relatively thin and maximize your storage space.  However if you want to rearrange the case for different cameras and lenses, you may need to buy additional TrekPak dividers and pins.  I only had a little left over after I configured my Pelican Air 1535 TrekPak dividers.

Take your time and layout your gear several times and ways.  Remember to measure twice before you cut.  The included cutting tool makes cutting the dividers easy.  Just insert the cutter into one of the rows in the divider and pull.



What Fits Inside of the Pelican Air 1535?

Pelican Air 1535 Storage

Pelican Air 1535 with TrekPak Dividers

 First off the Pelican Air 1535 is light for its durability and fit quite a bit of gear.  Here is what I fit in the case:

  • Canon 5d Mark III
  • Canon 7d  Mark II
  • Canon 100-400mm Mark II
  • Canon 24-105mm
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • Olympus 12-24mm
  • Olympus 9 – 18mm
  • Olympus 60mm Macro
  • Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye
  • Colorspace UDMA2 Photo Backup

Quite a bit of gear and it was still relatively light to lift.

Now for the Flight Experience with The Pelican Air 1535

1st Leg – Flight to Denver

The first time that I appreciated the Pelican Air 1535 Case with TrekPak Dividers during my trip was when the nice traveler on the first leg of my trip shoved his roller bag into the overhead where my Pelican case was stored.  The Pelican Air and my photo gear we’re fine. However it did rip the lock off my case.

Tip:  Don’t buy the TSA approved lock with the longer wire lock.  2ndTip: Bring a spare lock.

2ndLeg – Flight to Dickinson

Well I made it past the check in but the flight attendant made me gate check the Pelican case and my gear. I tried to talk her into letting me see if it fit, but she didn’t go for it.  At least I got to test checking in the Pelican Air 1535.

It all worked out well. The case and all the equipment inside was fine when I landed in Dickinson.

3rd Leg – Flight back to Denver

On the return trip from Dickinson to Denver, I was asked again to Gate check the Pelican Air 1535 on an Embraer RJ145

4th Leg – Denver to Cleveland

On the way home from Denver, I flew on an Embraer ERJ-170 and the Pelican Air 1535 easily fit in the overhead storage.  The Embraer ERJ-170 has two seats on either side of the aisle so it’s a little bigger than the ERJ-170.

Overall

I have to give a thumbs up to the Pelican Air 1535.  I gate checked it twice and the case an all its contents were fine.  The case also held a large amount of photo gear and wasn’t to heavy to lift in to the overhead bins.

Written by Martin Belan

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