Pelican cases: the power boxes

Initial release date: November 6th, 2016 by the Talkative Owl.

Illustration couteau Déglon

Retex information:

Acquisition mode: Purchase
Date of purchase: July 2012
Use time at the moment of writing this article: 4 years and 3 months
Price range : 23 to 800 € depending of the model

Short version.

Long version.



Short version:

Containers specifically designed to protect what is fragile and precious: hard, tough, waterproof, resistant to almost anything on the outside ; but soft and protective on the inside. Pelican cases have already largely proven themselves for difficult missions and environments (rescue teams, military, camera crews etc.). So why don’t you trust them for your preciousMy precioussss.




Long version:

I admit it, « power boxes » is a little strange of an expression… But when I started to think about writing this post, it stand out as quite efficient to qualify the Pelican cases.

So what is it about ? Pelican cases are containers purposely built to protect what is precious and fragile. They exist in different sizes, from protective cases for smart phones to large suitcases on rollers. Very sturdy on the outside, Pelican cases are padded on the inside for shock absorption. They are also perfectly waterproof and come with a pressure equalizer valve, which makes them suitable with air transport. Even though they are made of plastic, they are flame resistant for a few minutes.

I will spare you the (rather boring) listing of the manufacturer’s specifications which you can find elsewhere. However, if you like entertainment, you’ll find a selection of videos at the end of this article. They are not necessarily very scientific, but they tell a lot about what Pelican cases can withstand.

There is no doubt that Pelican cases carry out their duties perfectly. It is specifically to this kind of object that I was thinking when I wrote in the about section:

"Using those quality products, or even thinking of them (knowing that for a given task, I have a good reliable tool), brings me some kind of joy."

Yes I dare to say it, even if it sounds weird, it makes me happy when I think of my Pelican cases. How can I explain this. Without delving too much in amateur psychoanalysis, here is what I can say:

  • a flawless design, close to perfection,
  • built with efficient materials that feel nice in use. OK, it’s nothing but plastic, but beautiful, good and well used plastic,
  • manufactured to high standards but also with a great attention to details,
  • a great choice of colours. It’s a shame that retailers do not always offer enough of them,
  • the pre cut foam (called « pick’n pluck ») which comes with the largest models is very easy to use and very customizable.

For me, the above reasons are more than enough to explain why I feel such an admiration for those « power boxes ». What a rare and satisfying product.


All right, enough talk about those marvels, practically how do I use mine?

For now, I own three Pelicases. The first one I got, is the smallest: the 1010

Pelican 1010

I mainly use it to strongly secure a small « survival » kit:

Peli 1010 survival

I guess that the designer of this case had more in mind the protection of small electronic devices, but I must say that it proved very useful to protect those items:

  • a Swiss army knife
  • some string
  • a lighter
  • charred cotton
  • a whistle.

If you practice nautical activities (canoe, kayak stand-up paddle etc.), the 1010 case won’t be too cumbersome and will be very useful to protect you « precious » (whatever it is).

My second Pelicase is the 1050 model:

Pelicase 1050

I mainly use it to store and protect fishing tackle that is too fragile (floaters) or too small (hooks and sinkers):

Pelicase 1050 fishing

The 1050 proved very useful during a trip to New Zealand where I was able to go fishing in rather wild environments:

fishing Stuart Island NZ
Shore fishing at Stuart Island

In sometimes difficult conditions with a lack of comfort, it is not easy to take care of the equipment. The 1050 Pelican case was very useful to protect the most fragile items. Note that sometimes, some anglers are able to find comfort in the most inhospitable environments:

Fishing Wanaka NZ
Lazy fishing at lake Wanaka

However, for fragile equipments, things are always risky. Pelican cases bring a lot of peace of mind in those situations.

Lastly, my third box, has been assigned to protecting my Japanese sharpening stones:

Pelicase 1200

As you can see, thanks to the pick and pluck foam, I was able to customize the case to fit my stones quite precisely. Those heavy and costly stones have found their perfect home in the Peli case 1200:

Pelicase 1200 double latch
Note the double latches. They give a better leverage to allow the user to manipulate the strong latches without having to use too much force.

On the smaller models, the internal protection of the content is done thanks to a rubbery coating. On the medium and large cases, internal protection is typically achieved thanks to three pieces of foam:

Pelicase foam

On the bottom of the box goes a regular piece of foam. Inside the lid goes an egg box like piece. Finally the central part is fitted with the pre cut piece of foam:

Pelicase foam detail
Pelicase foam pick and pluck
Details of the pick and pluck foam.

All right, I guess I made it clear: I am totally satisfied by my three Pelican Cases.
If you too would like to purchase one, here are two advices:

– Make sure that the internal dimensions of the case are large enough to fit the items you intend to store inside. On the pictures they have a tendency to seem a little larger than they are.

– Take their weight into consideration. If those boxes are strong it is mainly because the plastic they are made of is thick and dense. For the internal volume they offer, they are quite heavy. For example, my smallest one (the 1010) weighs 182g whereas an aluminium mess tin (which can also be used to store – but not protect – a survival kit) weighs 152g for about twice the internal volume:

Pelicase 1010 versur mess tin

So choose your Pelican cases with care to make sure they will suit your needs.

Pelicase collection




A few example of what Pelican cases can withstand:

Water and shock resistance.
Resistance to firearms.
Protective capabilities.
Various tests…

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