There are a few products which I’ve had for around 12 months that I really should have reviewed by now. It isn’t because they’re rubbish, and subsequently shoved in the shed to become home for spiders and the like, not at all. It’s because they’re so good, and useful, that they’ve engrained themselves into my life, it’s like they’ve always been there, so inextricably entwined into the very fabric of The Mud Life’s daily routine that they’re almost forgotten about.
One of these products, as you may have guessed, is the Peli 1535 Air Case.
The story begins early last year when on a couple of foreign vehicle launches the cabin crew on the flights had insisted that all solid luggage, including carry-ons, no matter how small, had to be put in the hold of the plane. Now that wasn’t a problem for me as I have the Thule Subterra 22”, but my main concern was that my camera and lenses were stored inside, this I certainly wasn’t happy about, especially when they cost over £5k. So I wanted a case that would not just protect my gear, but would also double up as a normal suitcase.
What Peli don’t know about creating safe, tough and durable cases for sensitive and fragile equipment frankly isn’t worth knowing, so after a quick flick through their website, I came across their 1535 Air Case which is specifically designed as a carry-on.
You have a choice of 4 colours, black, silver orange and yellow. I was going to pick black, but I chose yellow because it stands out, a lot. I’ve heard a few horror stories recently of people who walk off and steal carry-ons from airport carousels and even from inside planes. One guy told me that he put his carry-on in the overhead locker, but because he was one of the last passengers to board, he had to sit further to the rear of the plane. Long story short was that an innocent looking old man picked up his case and escaped with over £10k worth of camera equipment.
I also ordered their TrekPac insert which is really easy to configure - check out their video. The TrekPak insert contains two perimeter pieces, two 38cm dividers, two 50.8cm dividers, one cutter tool, 20 pins with 20 red pull tabs, lid and base foam. The most difficult part of assembling it is deciding where you want your equipment be.
It’s very flexible, I can easily fill the 1535 with all my camera gear and customise it depending what I take. On launches or general weekends away, whether that’s with Muddy Madam or a 4x4 camping adventure jaunt, I may only take my trusty Pentax K3-II with a 18-135mmWR lens, and in the other side I pack clothes and overnight essentials.
Peli say that the new 1535 is 40% lighter than the outgoing model, but still 100% tough. Some on-line vloggers who have both cases have moaned about its rigidity, but in truth, if you’re flying these days, weight is an issue, and so far my 1535 has proven worthy of Peli’s legendary reputation.
Everything about it feels tough, from the retractable handle on the top, to the two clasps that keep it secure. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve used it as a table, a seat and even a step!
Although it's yellow and resembles a toolbox, I don't think it looks out of place in swanky hotels either, and it's been in quite a few.
After many weekends away, and quite a few flights, do I have any criticisms? Not many if I’m being honest, apart from that it resembles a tool box, but it was my decision to choose yellow! If I have to be critical, I would moan that the wheels aren’t large enough as they only just stand proud of the body by a fraction of an inch. On rough ground I’ve noticed that I’m dragging the 1535 along as opposed to wheeling it.
Overall I love the flexibility the 1535 gives me. If I need all my camera gear then I use all the TrekPak system, if I don’t and I’m staying away for a night then I remove half or all of it and the rest with clothes safe in the knowledge that whatever happens, it’ll all with be safe.
Weighing in at just 3.95kg, its dimensions are:
Int. Length: 522mm
Int. Width :286mm
Int. Depth: 188mm
Ext. Length: 558mm
Ext. Width: 355mm
Ext. Depth: 50mm
Protection Crushproof, Dustproof, Waterproof
Buoyancy Maximum: 29.4kg
RRP: 1535 - £229.94 TrekPak - £141.04