Gear Closet: Pelican 1535 Air Carry-On Case Review

Pelican 1535 Air Carry-On

These days, it’s not uncommon for us to head out on an adventure with our fair share of delicate technology in tow. That could mean everything from laptops and tablets to drones and camera equipment. Depending on the goals of your expedition, could even be carrying some delicate scientific equipment along as well.

The right protective case plays a vital role in keeping that gear safe while roaming through remote regions of the world, and for years Pelican has been the go-to choice for adventure professionals.

The company quite literally makes a case for just about anything you want to do, with a number of them offering highly specialized capabilities. Take for example the 1535 Air Carry-On model, which is built to allow you to take your most important pieces of gear with you right on the plane.

The purpose behind the Air line of cases is to create something that provides Pelican’s well-known level of protection in an option that isn’t overly heavy. The company says that an Air case is as much as 40% lighter than similar models from the competition.

That’s hard to verify, but I can tell you that they are incredibly lightweight. The 1535 Air Carry-On for instance weighs less than 10 pounds (4.5 kg), and yet it doesn’t compromise on impact resistance, structural integrity, or build quality in any way.

As you would expect, the 1535 Air is water and dust proof, and includes a built-in purge valve for venting air and maintaining the proper pressure. This is an added bit of security for ensuring the contents of the case remains safe and sound no matter where you take it, even keeping excess humidity to a minimum.

Depending on what you’re taking with you, this could be the difference between whether or not the equipment works in the field or is simply dead weight.

Pelican offers several different configurations for the interior of the case, including options with or without foam, and two choices of divider systems. This is a way to keep your equipment not only safe in transit, but also well organized too.

My test model came with the TrekPak Divider system, which is a versatile way to customize the interior of the case to meet your individual needs. For instance, a photographer could set up the case to hold multiple camera bodies, lenses, battery packs, a small drone, and other items to meet their exact individual requirements. That level of versatility is what helps to set Pelican cases apart from the crowd.

As the name implies, the 1535 Air Carry-On is built to meet airline standards in terms of being able to be taken onboard an aircraft and safely stow in the overhead bin. This model is surprisingly compact and easy to carry around with you, making it ideal for adventure travelers who like to travel light, but still need to bring important items along for the trip.

To that end, a rugged, durable handle on the outside of the case make i easy to grab and go, while a retractable extension handle allows you to drag it around on its built-in wheels. This is again a nice touch of versatility that you won’t find amongst many of the competitors.

Made from Pelican’s proprietary HPX Polymer, the 1535 Air is an armored casing around your most valuable items. This thing looks and feels practically indestructible, which is the point of course. But, the thing that will surprise you the most when you first pick up the case is how light it feels in your hand. It is this amazing blend of durability and lack of weight that will truly make you appreciate everything that Pelican brings to the table here.

Available in four colors (black, orange, silver, and yellow) and priced at $229.95, the Pelican 1535 Air Carry-On feels like a real bargain for those of us who need this level of protection. In fact, the price of the case is down-right cheap when you consider the thousands of dollars worth of gear that it is keeping safe from the elements, accidental drops, and other nefarious things out to do it harm.

The outdoor adventure and travel professional will find this to be a very affordable way to not only keep their technology safe, but bring them piece of mind that it will arrive at the destination in one piece too.

Find out more on the Pelican website.

Kraig Becker