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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Pelicase as a regular suitcase/recommendations for a new suitcase

Pelicase as a regular suitcase/recommendations for a new suitcase
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Jul 16, 2013, 09:23 AM
 
I need to buy another suitcase and since I travel quite a bit (including long-distance), I was thinking of something robust. Even though I have two good suitcases, getting those fixed (e. g. getting new wheels or a zipper replaced) costs a sizable amount (think 1/3 to 1/2 the price of a new suitcase).

That got me thinking out of the box: I've seen one or two Pelicases at the airport, but I was wondering whether they are a good fit if all I want is a really sturdy suitcase. They are clearly very durable, but probably also quite heavy (which reduces the amount of luggage I can practically take with me).

Has anyone used a Pelicase as a replacement for a suitcase here? What are your experiences? Any other suggestions?
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Jul 16, 2013, 02:03 PM
 
I love Pelican Cases. Do not do this.

People almost exclusively use Pelican cases for expensive electronics. You might as well stick a label on it which says "$50,000 worth of camera gear - please take me".
     
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Jul 16, 2013, 02:54 PM
 
I don't know anything about Pelican cases, so I can't speak to that.

There's generally three philosophies when it comes to suitcases:

1) Can't afford much and don't care - buy something cheap
2) Care and buy a top notch suitcase brand (like Rimowa, Briggs&Riley, Tumi) with the hope they will last a long time.
3) Even expensive suitcases break, and it's not worth the hassle. Just buy a new medium priced suitcase every few years.

Now, for me, personally, there are two important aspects about suitcases:

1) Can it be carried-on ?
You want it to be as light as possible. Also, spinners are just way too convenient to forgoe.

2) Are they expandable
I quite frequently find myself bringing back stuff from overseas. Being able to pack more stuff than what I had brought originally was always helpful.

If money is no concern, check out Rimowa. Both the polycarbonate and aluminum suitcases are excellent.

-t
     
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Jul 16, 2013, 03:30 PM
 
If money is actually not an issue, go Louis Vuitton. It's expensive because it's really well made with really good materials. LV (surprisingly) doesn't coast on their name when it comes to luggage.

Now, if you want cool, check out Saddleback Leather. When Mythbusters recreated the Valkyrie assassination attempt on Hitler, these guys made the reproduction of the bag the bomb was in.

Cool is the operative word here. Very well built, but much heavier than other options. Also not cheap, but not LV not cheap. It's probably what I'm going for with my next set.
     
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Jul 16, 2013, 03:40 PM
 
I have a Samsonite carry-on bag which is, with the exception of one zipper, still in perfect condition (I've replaced the wheels with wheels from the hardware store). The other suitcase I have is a TravelPro Crew-line suitcase: not highest-end, but certainly a decent suitcase. Honestly, even though it's only 5 years old, it looks relatively beaten up already, but hey, it still works, so what do I care.

@turtle
1) No, I already own a carry-on bag.
2) I like expandable suitcases, because I always fill them to the brim (to my detriment).

Rimowa makes nice suitcase, but they tend to exceed my budget by a factor of 2 or 3. I was planning of investing up to 250 €.

@subego
I figured there's a reason, I found not one review of someone using a Pelicase as a regular suitcase. That, and their high gross weight which eats up almost half of the 23 kg allowance.
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Jul 17, 2013, 01:52 PM
 
It's probably not an option for you, but Pelican cases are great especially if you can lock them with REAL locks. All you have to do is travel with a starter gun, declare it upon checkin, and no one but you can have the key. It's awesome.

Packing & the Friendly Skies

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Jul 17, 2013, 02:20 PM
 
Not an option ANYWHERE outside the United States.

In Japan, especially, the regulations for owning a gun are so onerous (and expensive) that absolutely no one does. Checking one in at an airport — let alone as a gaijin — would cause a major uproar.
     
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Jul 17, 2013, 02:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I have a Samsonite carry-on bag which is, with the exception of one zipper, still in perfect condition (I've replaced the wheels with wheels from the hardware store). The other suitcase I have is a TravelPro Crew-line suitcase: not highest-end, but certainly a decent suitcase. Honestly, even though it's only 5 years old, it looks relatively beaten up already, but hey, it still works, so what do I care.
So you essentially opted for my option 3), which is what I have done so far as well. Samsonite are good to ok suitcases, depending on which model and line you get.

I used some quite sturdy and practical suitcases from Ricardo. They look banged up after 8 years of travel, but I had only one zipper break so far (out of 3 pieces - 1 carry on, 1 wheeled garment bag, 1 suitcase). Wheels are still ok.

-t
     
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Jul 17, 2013, 02:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Not an option ANYWHERE outside the United States.

In Japan, especially, the regulations for owning a gun are so onerous (and expensive) that absolutely no one does. Checking one in at an airport — let alone as a gaijin — would cause a major uproar.
I have read that for some countries, travelling with a FLARE gun (w/o ammunition) is the way to go.

-t
     
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Jul 17, 2013, 02:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Not an option ANYWHERE outside the United States.
That's not true. AT ALL. One of the speakers that talks about this at Defcon does it all of the time. There are some countries where it's not an option, but it's possible and dudes I know have done it as well. It takes some research and there's the potential for some hassle.

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Jul 17, 2013, 02:55 PM
 
That seems like way more trouble than it's worth.

The best (though not the cheapest) option I know of to move Pelicases around is with FedEx. They have accountability, the TSA does not.
     
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Jul 17, 2013, 03:33 PM
 
I know it's not viable for most, just pointing it out for those who could potentially benefit. A little piece of mind when you're carrying $10+k in gear is nice. Having a firearm when you arrive at your destination is icing on the cake if you need to grab some quick cash.

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Jul 17, 2013, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
So you essentially opted for my option 3), which is what I have done so far as well. Samsonite are good to ok suitcases, depending on which model and line you get.
The thing is I need another suitcase in addition to the two I own, and I was weighing my options here. I don't mind the Travelpro, but I wasn't 100 % enamored with it. I had to use duct tape to fix a broken handle and jury rig new wheels on it. But they work.

The Pelicases, on the other hand, seem robust, you can order all the replacement parts online and if they really last an eternity, I can stomach the price. But I have googled quite a bit, and it seems that no one uses them as a regular suitcase (at least no one posts about that ). I just didn't want to automatically go for the boring Travelpro (sensible, not cheap, but not super expensive standard suitcase) route again without asking about other options.
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Jul 17, 2013, 06:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by pooka View Post
I know it's not viable for most, just pointing it out for those who could potentially benefit. A little piece of mind when you're carrying $10+k in gear is nice. Having a firearm when you arrive at your destination is icing on the cake if you need to grab some quick cash.
I don't get to put a cap in someone, but it's more peaceful knowing the people touching it know they're on the hook for the insurance if there are any shenanigans.
     
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Jul 17, 2013, 06:46 PM
 
If you want peace of mind, Briggs & Riley has a LIFETIME warranty:

If your Briggs & Riley bag is ever broken or damaged, even if it was caused by an airline, we will repair it free of charge – Simple as that! Here’s how the Briggs & Riley Simple as that® guarantee works:
Our Simple as that® Lifetime Warranty Even Covers Airline Damage | Briggs & Riley Official Site

-t
     
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Jul 17, 2013, 09:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by pooka View Post
That's not true. AT ALL. One of the speakers that talks about this at Defcon does it all of the time. There are some countries where it's not an option, but it's possible and dudes I know have done it as well. It takes some research and there's the potential for some hassle.
The original poster is German and lives in Japan.

It might not be too much of a problem for a US citizen (though probably still a hassle), but it's probably not an option for anywhom else.
     
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Jul 17, 2013, 09:42 PM
 
I've got a Rimova aluminum case that's 20 years old. Battered, bruised, stickered, flooded, forgotten, forwarded, still going strong. I couldn't really afford it at the time, but given how long it has lasted (with no signs of giving up) it was a really great investment.
     
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Jul 17, 2013, 09:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
I couldn't really afford it at the time, but given how long it has lasted (with no signs of giving up) it was a really great investment.


I think you made an excellent point for investing in quality.

-t
     
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Jul 18, 2013, 02:13 AM
 
I travel a lot and opt to buy the ~$50 suitcases, which suits me well. Sure some zippers have broken, wheels broken, etc, but that is to be expected and easily replaced (zipper, wheel, or the entire suitcase).
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Jul 18, 2013, 02:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The original poster is German and lives in Japan.

It might not be too much of a problem for a US citizen (though probably still a hassle), but it's probably not an option for anywhom else.
… and fortunately, I don't intend to transport guns, grenades and explosives

@turtle
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into it. I noticed that the gross weight of Briggs & Riley bags is below 5 kg, over 2.5 kg less than my big Travelpro bag. Thanks a lot.
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Jul 19, 2013, 06:23 AM
 
I was exactly in this same boat, and I even went way out of my way to get a nice Pelican Case. Why? Because I initially bought a smaller Pelican case for my camera, and it's perfect, for the camera. I thought this kind of bag would also do well as a travel case. So I bought a carry on size case (Pelican Style : 1510nf). I was totally excited about this. But one trip after using it I realized this really wasn't good enough for a travel case. Everything is great about it, except that it's way too heavy for it's size.
After that trip it's just been sitting in my room, looking pretty.

A better alternative IMO would be RIMOWA. Since 1898 Or something similar which can be bought at a fraction of the cost and is just as durable.

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