In the past, I’ve counted on Pelican cases to protect my $10,000+ medium format film camera as well as professional video equipment. On more than one occasion, I even found myself standing on a 1600 case to shoot over a crowd – they’re that tough, and never let me down. There are still a couple of smaller Pelican cases floating around the house, protecting my laptop (Pelican 1490) and some other electronics, so when Pelican offered their 1055 case for review, I jumped at the chance.
The 1055 is sized for tablets and readers up to eight inches, so it fit my Kindle Fire with a little room to spare. It’s not quite 9.5 inches tall, an even 7 inches wide from hinges to latch, and about one inch thick. The padded interior is nicely lined, and according to the official spec, is 8.55 inches by 5.52 by 0.85 inches. Expected features for a Pelican product include an O-ring seal to keep out water and dust, along with a design and construction that makes it crush proof. Like other Pelican cases, that O-ring rides in a deep channel, and there is a substantial ridge on the other half of the case that mates with it, so the sealing is actually done inside the channel, rather than where the halves meet, ensuring an excellent seal. The hinges are fairly beefy, spaced far apart, and should be pretty durable. On the opposite side is the generous latch, over 4 inches long. My guess is that one large latch is much better than one or two small ones, as it provides plenty of surface area for keeping the case clamped tightly shut, but also enough room to get a couple fingers or both thumbs under it to pop the case open.
Despite my original intentions, we did not test Pelican’s claim that the 1055 would stand up to being submerged under three feet of water for 30 minutes. We did repeatedly verify the three foot drop test, but that was completely unplanned. Between sliding off a bed, and getting knocked off my desk several times, the case proved itself. Thankfully, the Kindle did too. I really don’t think most buyers are going to be putting their devices in serious peril anyway. More likely, they are going to place their tablet or reader inside, and then throw it into their backpack. Whether that backpack is the one they carry on to a plane, or wear for their bike commute, or even a camping pack, they’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their gear is protect while traveling. Mine bounced between a duffel bag, backpack and messenger bag while covering Interbike 2012 in Las Vegas last month, and also traveled to work and back a few times in my messenger bag. It’s nice to know that even if you’re a bit clumsy and spill the contents of your bag, your electronics are protected.
With a retail price under $40, the Pelican 1055 is really inexpensive insurance for expensive electronics. Pelican backs it with their unconditional lifetime guarantee, but I can’t imagine too many people have reason to take them up on that. They haven’t let me down in the last 15+ years, and I don’t expect that they will in the future. If you’ve got any gear that warrants heavy duty protection (at reasonable prices too), check out pelicancases.com