Pelican or SKB iSeries – what’s the best option for you?
Buying cases can be a difficult job. You find yourself trying to meet needs of specific gear, the unusual shapes and protrusions, or the need for features like wheels and organizers all at the same time. Maybe you need to fly with the gear and it needs to be light and small enough for an overhead compartment. Perhaps you need to check fragile gear as luggage and want it to be extra padded and tough to take on the baggage handling machines. Or most often, you just need a case for a piece of gear to live in while it is trucked around and then used in the field.
No matter what the need, having more options to choose from in your search can only be a benefit. Luckily these days, there are more companies manufacturing professional quality cases for our industry than ever before.
If you’ve worked in the industry, you’re likely already familiar with the classic Pelican line of cases. These are the cases that I prefer to buy and use personally. The company has been around since 1976 and are based out of California, making their products right here in the United States. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with the handful of cases I have owned, and hundreds of cases I have used or traveled with in professional environments over the years.
But, I did say there were options…
Portabrace makes a very similar, but unusually expensive version of these cases. I haven’t used one personally, but if they are the same quality as their other products, I’m confident you would not be disappointed spending your hard earned dollars on that trademark Portabrace blue color scheme. The street cred you’ll get from the broadcast TV guys will be well worth the extra $$.
Coming back down to Earth a little bit, we have the SKB iSeries cases, which are priced just about the same as Pelican cases across the line. These cases have almost identical specs on paper, offer a few different size and shape options that are unique, and overall come in a bit lighter for a similar sized case in comparison to the other offerings. While a slightly reduced weight does mean slightly thinner sidewalls and more overall flex in the case as a whole, this can be a feature as much as a problem, depending on your use.
Check out the video and let me know which cases you use and prefer and why. I’d love to hear your survival or horror stories of when things went wrong and your cases took a beating. Head over & sign-up on the new Forum or leave your story below!