Gear Closet: Pelican 1535TRVL Air Travel Case Review

Last week, I reviewed the Pelican Dayventure soft cooler, finding it a fun and durable option for keeping drinks cold while hiking, attending a festival, hanging out at the beach, or even just roaming around the backyard.

That product was a relatively new option for Pelican, which has jumped into the premium cooler market in a big way. As I noted in the review, the company’s bread and butter have always been durable, protective cases for keeping our gear well-protected while traveling or venturing into the backcountry.

Case in point, the new Pelican 1535TRVL Air Travel Case delivers on that legacy nicely while somehow managing to be incredibly lightweight at the same time.

Pelican’s protective cases have always been built with adventure travelers, mountaineers, explorers, and other active individuals in mind. Their shells are made from nearly-indestructible hard plastics that are designed to absorb impacts and keep the contents perfectly safe at the same time.

Their Air travel cases follow a similar diagram, although as their names imply they are considerably lighter than most other hard travel cases on the market that offer this level of protection.

Designed for Perfect Air Travel

The 1535TRVL case for instance is designed to be a carry-on bag, meaning you can fit it in the overhead compartment of most aircraft.

The case weighs just 10.35 pounds (4.7 kg), which is very light for what it brings to the table. In fact, Pelican says that it is as much as 40% lighter than the other cases it offers or anything that the competition has in its catalog too.

Well Thought Out Design

What makes this case so special isn’t just the fact that it is lighter and less bulky than most others on the market. It also has a lot to do with the amount of thought that went into the design.

From the outside, it looks like a typical armored case, made to keep your valuable equipment and gear safe in transit and while living at Base Camp. Look a little closer, and you’ll also see that it has built-in stainless steel bearing wheels and a rugged handle that allow it to roll along through an airport terminal with ease.

While also being durable enough to survive those times when you have to dash to catch your flight.

Carry on or Checked at the Gate

The 1535TRVL Air Travel Case is also equipped with very rugged latches, which not only keep the lid held firmly in place but also have locks that are compatible with TSA-friendly keys.

That means that if you don’t want to carry the bag on your flight, you can check it with confidence and know that your gear should arrive safely at your destination.

Designed with Organization in Mind

Inside the Air Travel Case is a study in organization.

It features zippered pockets in the lid, along with several mesh organizational pockets as well. Each is great for storing important items you may need to find as quickly as possible with the see-through mesh being especially helpful.

Whether you’re at camp or at a security checkpoint at the airport, you’ll feel like everything you need is right at your fingertips, while remaining very well protected at the same time.

The 1535TRVL case also comes with a set of packing cube organizers that make it easy to pack all of your gear safely inside. These organizers are lightweight, but surprisingly tough, and make it easy to keep things incredibly well organized throughout any trip.

Simply pack all of your clothing, toiletries, and other items inside the cubes, then place them inside the case in a logical manner.

You’ll not only be able to find exactly what you’re looking for so much faster and more efficiently, but you can also do so without disrupting everything else you’ve packed in the bag too.

Optional Foam Inserts for Equipment

If you’d rather use the Air case to protect camera equipment, a drone, laptop, or other delicate equipment, Pelican sells protective foam inserts or padded dividers that give the case an even higher level of versatility.

As good as the organizational options are for this case, what I love most is the level of durability and protection that it offers, while still remaining relatively lightweight.

This is truly an armored shell that you can take with you just about anywhere, without it becoming too unwieldy.

Granted, whatever you put into it is going to add to the weight, but the 1535 Air Case is well balanced and compact enough to make lugging it about fairly easy and straight forward, even when it is weighted down with gear.

The Pelican 1535TRVL Air Travel Case is a bit of an investment. One that your casual traveler probably will find a bit too expensive.

My Final Thoughts

For the mobile professional, explorer, photographer, mountaineer, or field researcher this thing is practically mandatory gear. If you’re taking fragile and important – not to mention expensive – equipment with you to remote and demanding places, this is the case you want.

It will provide plenty of protection without becoming too heavy, while still managing to survive just about anything you throw at it. When you come at it from that perspective, the price for this case isn’t expensive at all. Particularly when you consider just how expensive it is to replace your gear.