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Peli 1535 Air Case review

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Review: Peli 1535 Air Case

Using the Peli 1535 with the TrekPak divider system


Peli have a well deserved reputation for making the stuff that lets you transport your gear around without harm.

Keith has been looking at the Peli 1535 Air Case, which is light weight and small enough to count as carry on luggage on many airlines.

You need to stop your gear moving inside, so we’ve also tested the reconfigurable TrekPak interior divider system.

For more details and to order (UK)

peli 1535 Air Case

Peli 1535 Air Case

The case is available in four colours and can be supplied with a soft yellow divider set or the TrekPak option I’m trying out. It’s IP67 rated and sold as  ‘Crushproof, Dustproof and Waterproof’

pelair_1535_pd2pelair_1535_tp

It’s also available with a basic foam block interior for custom fitting of kit.

Exterior dimensions
  • Length (mm): 558
  • Width (mm): 355
  • Depth (mm): 228
Interior
  • Int. Length (mm) 522
  • Int. Width (mm) 286
  • Int. Depth (mm) 188

The black version (as tested) comes with an additional handle on the top of the case.

What you get – external

The case simply feels robust, the moment you pull it out of the box.

peli 1535 Air Case

I was pleased to note that the sticky label leaves no mark as you peel it off – small feature, but noted.

remove label

The pull out handle for pulling the case along is well out of the way – as you grab it, the release catch is directly at your fingertips.

handle-retracted

The handle pulls out cleanly with no slack.

pull-out-handles

Fully extended it’s a good length for dragging through airports…

handle-extended

The wheels are robust enough that I won’t worry wheeling this over rough concrete. The wheels and handle can be removed or washed if need be, since this section of the case is independent of the main body.

wheel-assembly

The catches have a very positive action, forcing the lid gasket to give a good seal.

lid-gasket

Such a good seal that the case has an automatic air pressure equaliser.

pressure-equaliser

The hinges are sturdy and wouldn’t be easy to force.

hinges

Whilst on the subject of security, there are reinforced holes for padlocks or tie-wraps at either side.

padlock-attachment

A plastic business/address card holder can be unclipped when the case is open.

locking-card-holder

This can be moved to the end if you prefer.

card-holder-positions

Configuring your case

The case ships with whatever interior options you’ve chosen unconfigured. I’ll go through what I did in some detail, since getting this right is something you’ll be grateful of when out on a job…

The TrekPak system has dividing panels, special clips for them and a special cutting device for getting everything the right size.

case-with-dividers

You start off with the liner for the inside of the case.

This is in two parts.

edge-liners

This fits in a certain way round, since it has cutouts to allow for the wheel arches and handle recess.

wheel-bumps

It fits tightly, but on checking, one section had been trimmed to one ‘cell length’ too long making part of the liner crumple up if you pushed it.

Since the configuration of internal dividers depends on those little cells running through the foam, I decided to trim it.

divider-too-long

Trimming and cutting the dividers easy very easy with the supplied blade.

Here’s the excess cut off one of the sides.

divider-cutter

There is a dense foam base in the case, underneath this another small foam filled recess.

I’ll admit to wondering what could fit in this secret compartment – obviously I’ve seen ‘From Russia with Love’ too many times [the briefcase with the gold sovereigns etc.]

inner-liner

The inner case bumps can affect your chosen layout.

handle-bump

What goes where?

Take your time over this bit if you are not sure exactly what you want located in the case.

After fitting the edge sections I started placing the kit I’d take for a typical architectural shoot into the case.

planning-layout

This is my typical ‘maximum set’ so consists of a camera body and lenses giving me a range from 8mm circular fish-eye to 200mm.

I’ve various other bits and pieces, but these are the items that need dividers setting up for.

The case sat in the kitchen for a couple of days, and what you see is the final layout I decided upon before cutting dividers.

measuring-divider

Take care measuring your dividers, you want to get things right first cut here.

main-dividers

The first 5 longer dividers fit into place.

secondary-dividers

Then I’ve added three shorter dividers after connecting the sections with the ‘U’ shaped pins supplied.

fully-packed

There are small red tags you can attach to the pins that makes them easier to remove.

I’ve used them for parts of the layout that I’m most likely to change.

split-divider

The example here is actually two offcuts of liner. Removing just one section gives me a more flexible space and helps stop stuff moving around.

Here’s an example of changing layout where I’ve included my spare Canon 1Ds mk3 body. It’s something I’m more likely to use in adverse conditions than the 5Ds.

second-body

Other items I might take would be some different lenses or maybe a flash or two.

The layout below though is my most commonly used set of kit for a job.

extra-moveable-divider

There’s plenty of space for all the odds and ends I like to have with me ‘just in case’.

[As with most images, click to enlarge]

assorted photo kit

Reviews of some of those items:

Compare this with how much I fitted into my Lowepro Slingshot 202 AW

In reality I tend to use it with just a couple of lenses (TS-E17 and EF24-70). The full amount (in the article) would still give me backache after a while.

Using the case

I’ve only taken the case on a few trips as yet and it’s worked a treat, replacing 1-3 ordinary shoulder bags and helping save stress on my back (and Karen’s when she comes along).

You do need to consider vertical movement of items, so I’ve added several cut out squares of bubble wrap under the 70-200 and the shorter lenses.

Items can stick up quite a bit, since you have got another inch or so of compressible space in the foam of the lid.

The case lets me more easily take a ‘full set’ of kit with me. I’ve a range of camera bags of different sizes that can be taken if I need .

For a more unusual arrangement I’ve fitted a light carbon fibre tripod, into the case [from MPB] along with 5Ds, TS-E17mm and 24mm. TSE frame and Benro geared head. All I need for many architectural assignments.

It’s every bit as robust as Peli claim. You don’t need to be jetting around the world or filming up the Amazon to appreciate a good solid camera case.

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