I’ve long wanted a hard case for my Vivitar strobes. I’ve been using a padded soft bag with everything piled in loose and tumbled and I thought it high time to get everything organized and a little better protected. In my previous employ, I’d used cases made by Pelican for both microphones and radio transmitters as well as one of Pelican’s big cases for a Steadicam rig. Both cases worked very well and were very tough. So time came to get off my duff and get a case.
I chose the Pelican 1550 with the “Pick N Pluck” foam and purchased it through Amazon. If you’re not familiar with Pelican’s pluck foam, It’s a pre-cut square pattern that you can “pluck” to fit the pattern of the item you want to protect. This case also comes in a version with a padded set of inserts instead of pluck foam. More about that later.
When it arrived, I set about customizing the case for my needs. The instructions included with the case suggest you lay everything out on top the foam as you’d like to have it in the case and mark the cubes to be removed. I laid out all of my items, making sure to leave the suggested space between each item, then with a Sharpie I marked which plucks I needed to remove to fit. I checked my work as I went, making small changes and opting for a tight fit for each of my strobes, umbrellas, Radiopoppers and a small compartment for accessories and spare batteries.
It’s good to note that if you make a mistake or want to change something, the instructions mention how to reattach the foam plucks with rubber cement, though I’m uncertain as to how well this works having never tried it. Everything fits snuggly and the depth of the case is just right for my strobes. A nice feature is the “o” ring seal around the lip of the case, making for a tight dust and water seal. The latches snap tightly and make a satisfyingly loud “snap” when closed. There’s even a place for a lock and a name plate which you can order from the company.
So far the case has worked as expected and held up well. The foam protects everything nicely from shock. The snap locks are a little stubborn to close when new and take a little effort, but I know from my previous experience with Pelican cases that the action will get smoother with use and yet retain that “snap”.
Final words… I’d order this case (or others from Pelican) in a heartbeat. But if I was going to do it all over again I would probably order the case but with the internal movable padded dividers and see how that works. In fact, I might still do that as the dividers are available as a separate item.