Lets see your Packs & Hard Cases. - How do you Protect your Gear?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by jtice, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. jtice

    jtice TPF Noob!

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    I am a Pelican Case nut, when it comes to any expensive of electronic gear, I always end up getting a Pelican case for it.

    I have a Canon 30D on the way, and I want to get a nice Pelican case for it also.
    I was looking at some of the soft padded back packs, etc,
    and while they seem really nice, and well organized, I still dont 100% trust them.
    Though, cutting the foam in a Pelican case makes it a bit less versatile, as you end up setting it up for certain items.

    Those of you that use a Pelican case,
    what size do you recommend for a Canon 30D with a flash, and a couple lens?
    I am thinking it will have to be a Pelican 1500 case.

    Those of you with the padded soft packs, what do you think of them?

    oh guess I might as well start us off.
    Here are some of mine.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks
    ~John
     
  2. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That is only some of yours? :shock:
    Wow, that's more than I've seen at trade show booths.

    I'm not sure which model would fit your needs best...you probably have a better idea than most.

    On a side note, the company I work for has a 'Foam' division and we make custom case inserts. The make 3D models of the gear to be stored and then use a CNC machine of some sort to cut the foam to fit the gear perfectly. They are great...but not very cheap. Check it out here, if you want.
     
  4. jtice

    jtice TPF Noob!

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    dewey,
    Thanks for the link, thats a bit different from other soft packs I have seen.
    I like how they are designed, and that you can move the dividers around to suit your needs.
    Still, just not sure I trust them. Worried about piling gear up on top the bag, it getting smashed behind the truck seat, etc.

    Big Mike,
    Yea, I know, its a sickness. :)
    They have came in very handy for storing my gear though, and I use them all the time on our big camping trips.
    I like being able to stack them up, of pile things on the, knowing they wont crush.

    Here are some of my soft packs.
    [​IMG]

    Interesting site you linked, looks like some very precision cut stuff.
    I have good luck with the Pelican "plucking" foam, but it can be time consuming getting it just right.

    I know that ultimately, I will have to choose the size that fits best.
    But I wanted to see if anyone already have a Pelican case setup with some gear, so I could get a feel for how much I can fit in what case.

    ~John
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What I would do (me being a drafter/designer) would be to lay out the size of the cases in question and make up foot prints of the gear that I wanted to store (in Autocad). Then I would see what arrangements I could come up with. I've heard that it's best to leave a double row of the 'pluck-able' foam around the edges, so I'd take that into consideration.
     
  6. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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    Well it's not going to give you hard case level protection, but I travel alot so I needed something that I could fit on airplanes and not have to check. I also wanted to hike with the same bag I travel with... less baggage is better for airline travel! :thumbup:

    The Tenba has a built in spring like "buffer" in case you put stuff on top of it - but I'm with you if you're going to have stuff tossed around hard case might be better.
     
  7. jtice

    jtice TPF Noob!

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    Big_Mike,
    Heh, good idea, I am surprised I have not gone to that extreme yet, as I am also an AutoCAD Engineer :)

    Typically in the past, I would lay the items out on a table, then measure how much space that took up.

    I have a couple Pelican cases setup for my Video camera, etc, so I have a bit of practice on the pluck foam.
    You cant get it the EXACT shape, like the company you mentioned, but you can get it close enough to hold the items well.

    I am still keeping an open mind on the soft cases, as they are easier to carry.
    but I am leaning toward a hard Pelican case, I, and my buddies, are just too rough on things.
    Plus I can lock the Pelican case if need be, not that I would let it far from my site !

    ~John
     
  8. mortallis288

    mortallis288 TPF Noob!

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    theres a lowepro backpack out there that looks extremely durable and waterproof i havn't bought one because i do not need one right now but here is what it looks like

    http://www.lowepro.com/Products/Backpacks/waterproof/DryZone_200.aspx

    the only problem i really has with this one is the waterproof part is extremly hard to zip up because your zipping up the waterproof thing
     
  9. thanos

    thanos TPF Noob!

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    Hey jtice, what brand are your soft cases and where can I look them up? Looking for something like a m-rock yellowstone (for a nikon d80, biggest lens 55-200 vr) but even more ruggered/weather-waterproof.

    Also some of your stuff looks MOLLE/PAL compatible. is it? I do a lot of hiking with max gear mule or blackwolf adn that would be really useful.


    Matt Keks
     
  10. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    I feel a bit left out - i only have 1 LowePro Mini Orion Trekker for my gear. I have another cheaper stytle rucksack that never leaves the house - it only stores my spare kit.
    The LowePro bag is quite soft but has good capacity and i don't worry too much about the contents being crushed since it never leaves my side when travelling.

    Incidentally, I'm in Civil Engineering and also use AutoCAD daily!
     
  11. jtice

    jtice TPF Noob!

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  12. Frequent Traveler

    Frequent Traveler TPF Noob!

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    This is bit longish - please bear with me. Also, this may seem a bit on the cheap side - because it intentionally is!

    This solution/strategy depends entirely on your personal traveling preferences. I tend to carry my expensive, "difficult to replace" equipment - if possible. For photography stuff i definitely can carry it.

    So for my cases, i first thing i think of is "What usually happens to photo gear?" The answer is theft - rarely actual physical damage. Check your local law enforcement or international police types - they will fill you in on all the juicy details! So anyway, i prepare to protect against that risk first and physical damage second.

    Thieves, though i wish it were not true, are not entirely stupid - particularly in high-risk snatch and grab operations. They know what to look for and then wait for the just right time to make their move. So high-visibility bags like LowePro, Tenba, Pelican, brushed aluminum cases, et. al look really nice to you and also look appealing to thieves. Those nice cases look like they contain something worth protecting - something expensive. I recently taped the price tag of one of my favorites - "$1.99 - Goodwill" in a semi-conspicious place.

    So, i go to "whatever discount store you can think of" and buy an old, but solid, mid-size hard-side suitcase - you know, the funky colored ones! You can get nostalgic and find some that still have class and look good, but they usually will set you back for that nostalgic look (though they are my favorites too!) These cases often have solid hard-ware like locking clasps and full-length hinges - not something to look over.

    Then i go to a craft store and buy dense foam rubber as thick as the suitcase (or enough for each half of the suitcase top/bottom) and begin the layout/cut-out process. Also, the suitcase, depending on the type of hardware on the edge of the top and bottom, can have a "gasket" added to help seal out moisture. This can be made from thin, flat door or window seal material. I have, while in a rush, had to leave one of my cases for a couple minutes in a busy international airport. An easy target for thieves. It was right where i left it - in the open and not far from a main exit door.

    In a prior occupation, it was standard to not stand out in a crowd and these old looking suitcases accomplish that quite nicely. My gear never gets a second look while it is easy to see cool laptop cases and similar items getting noticed all the time. I do it myself and no, i am NOT a thief!!!

    Hope this is fun for all!

    ft
     

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