How Much Camera Gear Fits in a Pelican 1510 Carry-On Case?

| January 30, 2011

I like keeping things nice and tidy. I have always been a little obsessive when organizing my stuff so I know where it is when I need it. My camera gear is no exception. I was feeling frustrated recently because every time I went out to shoot, I had to make sure I was not forgetting anything. So, I thought the best thing to do was get a single case that can be put in the car or on a plane at a moment’s notice that has all the essentials for shooting in the field. What’s more, I wanted it to be almost bulletproof and weather tight. Enter the Pelican 1510 Carry-On Case.

The Pelican 1510 will last a lifetime. The Pelican 1510 meets the FAA maximum carry-on size and comes complete with wheels and a retractable handle for easy transport. The case also has an o-ring seal to keep it weather tight and a relief valve to protect your contents from pressure changes. But what can you fit in it? Is it up to the challenge of holding all my essential gear in one tidy package?

Except for my tripod, The answer is yes. I am very happy with this solution now that I have the case loaded. Let’s look to see what is inside. Below is a photo of the case. As you can see it is very well constructed and will easily protect your gear from handling abuses and the elements. The interior dimensions are 19.75″ x 11.00″ x 7.60″ (50.1 x 27.9 x 19.3 cm). I purchased the case outfitted with padded dividers and the optional lid organizer. All in, I have about $165 invested in the case itself.

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The Pelican 1510 loaded, locked and ready to go!

This case is FAA approved and comes complete with a retractable handle and sturdy rollers as well as a pressure relief valve and rock-solid latches. Fully loaded with everything you see in this post, the total weight is 32 pounds. This is well under the typical 40 pound limit for most airline overhead compartments.

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A few close ups of the Pelican 1510

Now for the fun stuff. Below is a shot of how I positioned the soft dividers that came with the case. It was very easy to find a configuration that allowed everything to fit with minimal movement amongst the gear. Next I will show what fits in an exploded view and how it looks fully loaded in the case.

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My chosen divider configuration for maximum fit and function

Click to expand the photo below to see what I was able to fit in the lower storage area of the Pelican 1510 Carry-On Case. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was able to get in there. With a little thought you will figure out how to maximize your carrying potential while using the gear itself to secure the contents from shifting while being transported.

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What I have fit comfortably in the Pelican 1510 Carry-On Case

Look below to see how the lower area of the case looks fully loaded with everything in the photo above. Pretty groovy huh? The ST-E2 IR Transmitter is right below the 50mm lens. It is the smallish lens cap to the right of the batteries. The tripod and plate wrenches are directly below the white 100-400mm lens underneath a secured divider that supports the bottom of the lens hood. You can see the divider laid flat in the empty photo two shots above. The wrenches slide underneath the padded divider, which protects the lens from scratches. Also note that the 16-35mm lens hood is slipped over the 24-105mm lens, which is mounted to the 5D on the right. This allows for maximum storage efficiency!

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The Pelican 1510 lower storage fully stocked with my gear.

OK almost done. This case would not be nearly as functional without the lid organizer accessory. It only runs about $20 and it is well worth the money. Take a look below to see the lid organizer with my stuff loaded and also in an exploded view. As you can see, there is still room for more gear in the organizer. I am sure I will think of something else as time goes on.

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Pelican lid organizer stocked with room to spare

Below is the exploded view of the contents of the lid organizer.

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The contents of my lid organizer. More stuff to come!

As for full manuals for my gear, I don’t carry them in paper form. They would take up room and add weight. I have downloaded the PDF files for all of my gear and loaded them onto my iPhone. I always have my phone and I can even search the PDF files for the feature I am looking to reference in the manual.

I hope you have found this write-up helpful. I try to write articles that I could not find when I was looking for my gear. All I really wanted to know is if my stuff would fit in the case. Luckily it did and now I am sharing my discovery with you. If you think I am missing anything, please give me your opinion in the comments section. Thanks as always for visiting!



Category: Photo Gear Reviews, Photography

Comments (3)

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  1. AutumnLeaves says:

    Oh boy! My husband would love this!

  2. Jean Nelson says:

    Wow, a great organizer and good organizing. Now just glue (or attach) two velcro straps to the outside lid and you can attach your tripod. šŸ™‚

  3. Lee says:

    Thanks for taking a look. Being organized make me feel a warm and fuzzy inside. šŸ˜‰