Tested: Pelican 1400 and 1470 cases

By Justin Walker 16 March 2016
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If anyone can put a camera and laptop case through its paces, it’s an adventure and outdoor journalist, reckons Australian Geographic Adventure ed, Justin Walker.

ADVENTURE AND ALL things electronic definitely don’t go well together. As an adventure/outdoors journalist, keeping my valuable (and essential) digital SLR and laptop computer protected from the elements is of utmost importance.

Pelican cases have been my only choice for the ultimate protection of my DSLR and laptop for one simple reason: over the past five years, the two models I have used – the 1400 and 1470 – have never let me down. My equipment has always come home unscathed, despite my sometimes best, unintended efforts…

The Pelican 1400 and the Pelican 1470 feature watertight, dustproof and crushproof construction, with the inside protective Pick N Pluck foam allowing you to pull out the “shape” you need to fit your equipment, safely cushioned, inside.

Pelican 1400 1470 camera case

The 1400 houses my DSLR and has what Pelican dubs “Double Throw” latches, as well as an O-ring seal and an automatic pressure equalisation valve to ensure zero water ingress. It weighs only 2kg and is claimed to stay buoyant up until it exceeds 9kg in weight. I used the 1400 successfully on a Franklin River, Tasmania rafting expedition. During the nine days on the river, I kept the 1400 case attached to the raft via a climbing carabiner. Inside was the DSLR camera, along with some Peli Desiccant (silica gel) to control humidity inside the case. The camera was easy to access and I had no issues with water ingress the entire trip, even though the case got washed over with water on numerous occasions.

The 1470 has also proved its worth, carrying my MacBook Pro laptop. The best example of just how tough these cases are was when I was packing a Land Rover Defender after a night’s camp in the NT’s Gulf Country. I had placed the locked (the 1470 features double safety locks) case on the rear seat and promptly forgot it was there – until I went to shove a swag in that area and then watched as the Pelican case sailed at least two metres sideways in the air, before landing loudly on the ground from a height of at least a metre.

Amazingly, the laptop fired up straight after. The 1470’s O-ring sealing also worked overtime on that trip, keeping the infamously fine-grained outback dust out of the laptop.
After five years of often testing conditions, these cases have proved extremely durable and reliable and, as a result, have become two of my favourite pieces of equipment.