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by Wildflower-nut on Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:00 pm
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I'm to the point of biting the bullet and using pelican cases for international travel.  Pelican is now making a "air" model that as EJ pointed out in a previous thread is considerably lighter.  I'd probably get the roll aboard and check another one.  I need to get a 600f4 in as part of the load. Does anyone have experience with these?  Is the preference foam or dividers?  Pelican has a trek pak insert now.  Does anyone know whether these or the regular dividers are better?  One of the older threads talked about having someone cut foam that is in layers so that it is a perfect fit like a mold for the gear you are putting in.  Anyone know someone that provides that service?  The dividers allow change of configuration but I'm not sure they provide the same level of protection.


Last edited by Wildflower-nut on Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:41 pm
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I personally don't like the pluckable foam as it constantly sheds and gets on and in everything over time.
 

by Rhett on Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:58 pm
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Which model are you considering for the one you check? I saw the new foam recently, it looks promising.
 

by Wildflower-nut on Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:17 pm
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Rhett wrote:
Which model are you considering for the one you check?  I saw the new foam recently, it looks promising.



Thinking about the 1605 or maybe the 1555 for a checked bag.  I'd like wheels but that looks too big.  I've ordered a 1535 so that should give me a better feel for what those interior dimension really mean.  They weigh 10-12 lbs which is not that much different than a thinktank airport security or the international version.
 

by kent downing on Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:54 pm
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Yes, I have and travel with a Pelican 1615 Air w/ Pick and Pluck Foam Interior. I have plucked the foam to hold my Canon 600II lens w/ Hood, 400 DO II, 100-400II or 70-200II,  Whimberley Head and misc. items (all under 50lbs). It is the largest Pelican case that can be checked on as luggage without incurring additional baggage charges. I chose the 1615 because of its' interior depth and overall capacity. My Canon 600 II lens with hood and LensCoat  is 7.5 inches in diameter and it just fits in the case depth-wise at 9.4 inches - including one inch of foam covering the top and bottom. Assuming you have a Canon 600 II lens and that you wish to include the hood in the case, the 1615 appears to be the only option, as the 1535 w/7.2" interior depth, 1555 w/7.5" and 1605 w/8.4"  fall below the necessary interior dimensions for both the lens/hood combo and foam. Got the specs from the B&H Photo website. One of the other Pelican models with optional divider sets may hold the 600, but I would be concerned about the minimal protection between the case and your gear as the Pelican Air Case material does flex. I would further suggest that you start with the PnP Foam and decide what layout works best for you before you delve into a custom interior. Hope this helps and good luck. Kent
 

by Wildflower-nut on Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:57 pm
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kent downing wrote:
Yes, I have and travel with a Pelican 1615 Air w/ Pick and Pluck Foam Interior. I have plucked the foam to hold my Canon 600II lens w/ Hood, 400 DO II, 100-400II or 70-200II,  Whimberley Head and misc. items (all under 50lbs). It is the largest Pelican case that can be checked on as luggage without incurring additional baggage charges. I chose the 1615 because of its' interior depth and overall capacity. My Canon 600 II lens with hood and LensCoat  is 7.5 inches in diameter and it just fits in the case depth-wise at 9.4 inches - including one inch of foam covering the top and bottom. Assuming you have a Canon 600 II lens and that you wish to include the hood in the case, the 1615 appears to be the only option, as the 1535 w/7.2" interior depth, 1555 w/7.5" and 1605 w/8.4"  fall below the necessary interior dimensions for both the lens/hood combo and foam. Got the specs from the B&H Photo website. One of the other Pelican models with optional divider sets may hold the 600, but I would be concerned about the minimal protection between the case and your gear as the Pelican Air Case material does flex. I would further suggest that you start with the PnP Foam and decide what layout works best for you before you delve into a custom interior. Hope this helps and good luck. Kent


Thanks.  Your observations are very helpful.  One of my concerns with the 1615 is what to do with it when I get to the other end.  Where the start and finish is at the same hotel, I've left a bag in storage but you can't always count on that.  I'm looking at an overseas photo tour (and most of them don't like hard sided cases at all) and then time on my own in a rented vehicle.  That's a big case to deal with.  You've hit the problem on the head though.  A 600 is a big diameter and you have to get to the bigger cases to have the necessary depth as well as sufficient padding as you are putting this into the baggage hole where rough handling is to be expected.   I'd probably ditch the canon lens hood and use the aquatech or lenscoat hood instead.  That does help a bit.  I've got the roll aboard on order so that should help me to get a better feel on the fits even though I don't think it will go into that case but it will tell me what 7.21 inches means to them.
 

by kent downing on Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:00 am
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New Zealand Airports - Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown all offer long term luggage storage for your Pelican case. Try a Google search. Also ask the tour leader for assistance as well. How are the other participants dealing with their gear ? Lastly consider modifying your travel photo gear. I am a real proponent of the Thinktank Glass Limo for the 600mm Lens, and the Urban Disguise 70 Shoulder Bag as it swallows a lot of gear- MBP Computer, 1DX, 5DM4, 16-35, 24-105, and 100-400. Its heavy, but I have managed to carry it all on the plane many times- both Domestic and International. And if you somehow do get into a bind, remember that Kiwis are generally helpful- and she'll be right !!!
 

by Wildflower-nut on Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:31 am
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kent downing wrote:
New Zealand Airports - Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown all offer long term luggage storage for your Pelican case. Try a Google search. Also ask the tour leader for assistance as well. How are the other participants dealing with their gear ? Lastly consider modifying your travel photo gear. I am a real proponent of the Thinktank Glass Limo for the 600mm Lens, and the Urban Disguise 70 Shoulder Bag as it swallows a lot of gear- MBP Computer, 1DX, 5DM4, 16-35, 24-105, and 100-400. Its heavy, but I have managed to carry it all on the plane many times- both Domestic and International. And if you somehow do get into a bind, remember that Kiwis are generally helpful- and she'll be right !!!

I really appreciate getting a Kiwis thoughts as you really know the situation living there!!!   I like the idea and have a glass limo for working out of a car and in the field.  Your idea of checking at the airport is a good one and I'll look into it. The glass limo has to get on or I have to get off and for me that is scary particularly where I have no experience with the airline. The glass taxi will not survive in the hole a or plane side gate check.  Your experience encourages me to think about it.  Renting the camper in Queensland saves $50/day over Christchurch for the same camper from the same company and it is that flight from Christchurch to Queensland that has got me nervous.  The international leg should be fine as I get an extra cabin weight allowance.  Have no idea what the other participants are doing.  The organizer has warned that NZ is serious about carry on weights.  In the states, I typically carry on 60-70lbs when traveling with a big lens.

My concern comes from from an experience in Denver on a large jet where I had the choice of putting my bag in the cargo hole or getting off the plane. In the end, I got off the plane.  Gate people can be good.  In Hawaii they wanted to check my roll aboard on a 737 and they had no valet service.  They put me in a golf cart with a member of the ground crew and I watched him put it on the plane with tender loving care.  Flying to Iceland, the British air gate at JFK in New York serving Iceland air was checking anything with wheels and some without.  No weighing, no size bin just checking everything in site and no argument from passengers seemed to work.  I explained and showed what was in it to someone who appeared to be potentially sympathetic and was told to go on and see if it was ok with the stewardess on the plane.  When I passed through I was quizzed by another agent but the first one spoke up for me.  The stewardess of course didn't care, all she wanted me to do was find a seat.  On the way back from Iceland, I think I could have carried on a foot locker as they didn't seem to care what you carried on.  Flying to Africa on KLM my roll aboard was clearly WAY over weight.  I was having problems finding a spot for it and reluctantly gave it to the steward who said he would.  He didn't say a word and returned it to me before we got off the plane.  Airline people are typically good people but like the guy in Denver, sometimes they are having a bad day.
 

by Rhett on Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:35 am
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Just to confirm, you check this as regular luggage? I currently use a Kiboko soft sided bag. It sure would be nice to not have to lug through the airport!
 

by Wildflower-nut on Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:31 pm
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Rhett wrote:
Just to confirm, you check this as regular luggage?  I currently use a Kiboko soft sided bag.  It sure would be nice to not have to lug through the airport!



I'm not sure who you are asking this question of.  I currently use a thinktank international and a gura gear hand bag Chobi?  In the states this has generally not been a problem if you board early.  The wt restrictions traveling overseas are more stringent.  I am looking for a solution to that issue.  I really don't want to check as regular luggage but the pelican 1535 appears to represent a carry on that could be safely checked as regular luggage if you had to.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:38 pm
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The solution on travel on foreign carriers in foreign countries is to book business class or at least some sort of premium economy - basically a ticket that allows you to check-in in the priority lane.  Or, if you are an elite level member of one of the alliances like One World, Sky Team, etc which also allows you to use the elite lanes - these are essentially never policed for weight on carry-ons.  If you are an elite level, then make sure you book travel that is outside the US on airlines that are part of your alliance if possible.
 

by TigTillinghast on Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:49 pm
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Wildflower-nut wrote:
I'm to the point of biting the bullet and using pelican cases for international travel.  Pelican is now making a "air" model that as EJ pointed out in a previous thread is considerably lighter.  I'd probably get the roll aboard and check another one.  I need to get a 600f4 in as part of the load. Does anyone have experience with these?  Is the preference foam or dividers?  Pelican has a trek pak insert now.  Does anyone know whether these or the regular dividers are better?  One of the older threads talked about having someone cut foam that is in layers so that it is a perfect fit like a mold for the gear you are putting in.  Anyone know someone that provides that service?  The dividers allow change of configuration but I'm not sure they provide the same level of protection.



I recently got my first hard-sided gear case and chose the 1535Air version because it ekes out what you can maximally get away with regarding domestic US airline limits. I've been surprised by how usable it has been. I find myself now using it many times more outside of air travel, just having a really convenient case to bring lots of gear in and out of the car. I don't think the 600mm would fit in it due to the width. I do get more room for gear by using the TrekPak system. It's actually really nice, but about three times more expensive than it should be. 

It is solid enough that I feel that if I got unlucky, and was forced to throw it into the belly of the plane, its contents would survive pretty well. 

I pack a 5d4 with a 100-400 II and a 7D2 with a 70-200 f/28 II, which combined takes up about one third of the space. I fit another lenses, some large, like the Sigma 185 or Tamron 15-30 (fat) and the Canon 100 L Macro (long). All batteries go in there. Nowadays all your lithium batteries must be carry-on and not in checked luggage. I always wondered if - when confronted with grumpy airline staff who wanted to take my carry-on from me - I could tell them that the bag had lithium batteries that they were not allowed to put underneath. Somehow I think that wouldn't go the way I wished. 
 

by Jens Peermann on Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:41 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
I personally don't like the pluckable foam as it constantly sheds and gets on and in everything over time.


Exactly my experience as well.

And then there is re-configuring. I bought my 1600 case in 2000 with foam, and it appeared to be the perfect setup until I noticed all the tiny pieces of foam sticking to everything, which made me worry for my equipment. So when re-configuring time came around I bought the divider set, which was not only ten bucks cheaper than the replacement foam, it offered more efficient use of the space and can be re-configured over and over again without spending another penny.
Life without a camera is possible but pointless!
 

by Mike in O on Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:49 am
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I have both pelican and nanck cases and prefer "N" FYI
 

by Wildflower-nut on Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:48 pm
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TigTillinghast wrote:
Wildflower-nut wrote:
I'm to the point of biting the bullet and using pelican cases for international travel.  Pelican is now making a "air" model that as EJ pointed out in a previous thread is considerably lighter.  I'd probably get the roll aboard and check another one.  I need to get a 600f4 in as part of the load. Does anyone have experience with these?  Is the preference foam or dividers?  Pelican has a trek pak insert now.  Does anyone know whether these or the regular dividers are better?  One of the older threads talked about having someone cut foam that is in layers so that it is a perfect fit like a mold for the gear you are putting in.  Anyone know someone that provides that service?  The dividers allow change of configuration but I'm not sure they provide the same level of protection.



I recently got my first hard-sided gear case and chose the 1535Air version because it ekes out what you can maximally get away with regarding domestic US airline limits. I've been surprised by how usable it has been. I find myself now using it many times more outside of air travel, just having a really convenient case to bring lots of gear in and out of the car. I don't think the 600mm would fit in it due to the width. I do get more room for gear by using the TrekPak system. It's actually really nice, but about three times more expensive than it should be. 

It is solid enough that I feel that if I got unlucky, and was forced to throw it into the belly of the plane, its contents would survive pretty well. 

I pack a 5d4 with a 100-400 II and a 7D2 with a 70-200 f/28 II, which combined takes up about one third of the space. I fit another lenses, some large, like the Sigma 185 or Tamron 15-30 (fat) and the Canon 100 L Macro (long). All batteries go in there. Nowadays all your lithium batteries must be carry-on and not in checked luggage. I always wondered if - when confronted with grumpy airline staff who wanted to take my carry-on from me - I could tell them that the bag had lithium batteries that they were not allowed to put underneath. Somehow I think that wouldn't go the way I wished. 


I got a 1535 today with the trekpak system.  Without the hood, the 600 is a tight fit.  I don't know that I trust it. The lid is pretty good but the padding on the bottom is a little minimal particularly if it is getting crushed (and I'm sure it is) when you close the lid.  I think it would be ok with a 500 or 200-400.  The 600 chews up a lot of real estate inside.  Outside size airport security and inside volume more like international.   For  the 600, I think the 1605 is the way to go.  I looked at a nanuk that looked like a possibility but it weighs about 20lb with the foam before you put anything in it.  Halliburton does not seem to have anything with the necessary depth nor skb.
 

by Wildflower-nut on Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:53 pm
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On another site someone suggested a pelican ba22 with the trekpak interior. More room and more$ than 1535 and still airline carryon legal.
 

by mikeojohnson on Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:51 am
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Think Tank just came out with a line of hard cases: https://www.thinktankphoto.com/pages/hard-cases

I'm thinking about the same issues as well as the day when we might not be able to bring a laptop on board.
Mike
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http://www.mojphoto.com
 

by Wildflower-nut on Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:41 am
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The model with the removable backpack looks interesting. Not sure how much extra volume the straps take up but it may make it more convenient when you get to wherever you are going.
 

by Wildflower-nut on Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:02 pm
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The skb case with the backpack think tank arrived. Nice but less space inside than 1535. I sent it back. Ok as long as you don't need to take a super telephoto.
 

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