The gear that we carry with us on our expeditions has come a very long way in recent years. In the past, we’d take the usual stuff, tents, sleeping bags, fuel, food, and so on. But in the modern era of exploration, adventure travel, and mountaineering we’re also heading out with a host of electronic equipment that helps us to stay in communications with friends and family back home, while also documenting the adventure. Smartphone, tablets, laptops, drones, cameras, and various other devices are our constant companions, even when venturing to remote corners of the globe. That means we need to find ways to keep that equipment safe and secure, lest we find ourselves with a very expensive paperweight once we reach our destination. Thankfully, Pelican offers its line of Vault Cases to help our most fragile gear survive pretty much any environment.
Recently, I was able to get my hands on the Vault V600 Large Equipment Case to determine if it lived up to Pelican’s legendary build quality. This case is built to safely carry any number of items to and from remote destinations, ensuring that whatever is inside remains well protected throughout every stage of the journey. Whether you’re shipping it to your destination, checking it at the airport, or throwing it on the back of a bus headed towards the backcountry, the Vault V600 is designed to not only survive the journey, but shrug off any rough treatment that comes its way.
The interior of the V600 measures 21″ × 17″ × 9.5″ (53.3 x 43.1 x 24.1 cm), which is surprisingly spacious. This gives the Vault plenty of room to carry our most precious gear, particularly when you begin to customize the space. Pelican ships the V600 with a thick, impact resistant foam that can be easily altered to fit your individual needs. The foam can be sculpted to hold a camera body and several lenses for instance, while also carving out space for a laptop and a drone as well. In this way, no two Vault cases are likely to ever be exactly alike, as individuals create their own version to hold the items they bring with them.
On the outside, the Vault cases are built from an incredibly tough high-impact polymer that remains reasonably light, while also absorbing punishment. The term “bulletproof” is thrown around a lot when it comes to outdoor and expedition gear, but when it comes to these cases, it is a pretty accurate assessment. While not likely to be literally bulletproof, this case is as close as it gets in terms of keeping its cargo safe from potential disasters. In fact, when the V600 is sealed up tightly, it is dust and crush proof. Pelican also says that it is weatherproof as well, which is a safe way of saying that it will keep water and other forms of moisture out, but you probably wouldn’t want to immerse it in water.
Other nice features include rugged handles that make it easy to carry the Vault V600 around and four super-sturdy button latches that lock the lid securely in place. Those latches are built to prevent a catastrophic failure, and while they are easy to operate once you’ve used them a time or two, they never feel like they’l accidentally come open in some way. Two stainless steel locks also help to secure the contents further.
While the Vault V600 is incredibly tough and durable, that comes at the expense of weight. The case tips the scales at 15.3 pounds (6.9 kg), even before you start to put anything inside. That means this isn’t the kind of case you’ll be taking with you on a casual backpacking trip or a trekking excursion that has you lugging it over high mountain passes. Instead, it’s designed for use on supported expeditions that use vehicles or pack animals to help move your gear, or in base camp situations where items need to be transported to a location where they’ll stay put for awhile.
Adventure photographers and filmmakers will love the V600, as it allows them to safely take their fragile equipment with them just about anywhere. But explorers and researchers will also appreciate the versatility and protection this case offers too, keeping delicate scientific equipment, laptops, tablets, and other high-tech gear safe in remote regions as well. Even mountaineers who want to carry a few electronic luxuries with them on their adventures will find a Vault Case is well worth the investment.
Speaking of which, the Vault V600 is priced at just $140, which to mean seems like a tremendous bargain for what it delivers. I would have expected this case to cost twice that much, but was pleasantly surprised to realize that it was so affordable. This definitely isn’t a product that everyone needs, but those that do will not only find it incredibly useful, but will also be happy to see it won’t break their bank accounts either.
It should be noted that the Vault V600 is one of the largest cases that Pelican makes and there are numerous other options available in various sizes. If you’re looking for something a bit smaller, chances are you’ll find one that fits your needs as well. Check out the Pelican website for more details.