Pelican 1120 Review – The Cheapest Real Pelican Case is Worth a Look

Small waterproof cases like the Pelican 1120 can be useful for carrying fixed lens cameras such as the Fuji X100 when you need a totally waterproof setup. I love to kayak and I never head out on the water without some kind of camera. I’m always looking for different solutions that can be put inside the kayak behind my seat, or strapped to the decking with a carabiner. That’s what lead me to my first 1120 purchase.

As well as a camera, a small case like this can also be a great way to protect your GPS device, InReach, phone, batteries and memory cards. Although I mainly find a use for this case when kayaking, I’m sure that it would also be useful for people who are undertaking multi-day rafting trips or prolonged treks through rainforests.

This little Pelican 1120 case costs around $30 and it’s built just as solidly as all its bigger brothers. A pair of strong latches keep it sealed tight, and there’s a small hole to padlock the case shut. You can also use a cable lock to attach the case to a solid object. In this way, the case could also be used as a portable safe when you’re travelling. Opportunistic hotel room thieves are unlikely to bother trying to get into this if you lock it to something solid, and also lock it shut.

The case comes with the pick ‘n pluck foam that everyone loves to hate. It’s always kind of a pain in the ass to pull it apart, but it does allow you to create a snug, customized fit for your gear. The downside is that you can’t alter the foam afterwards, so you can only really customize it to one specific item, or one regularly used set of items. For this reason I don’t always bother to use the foam. My closet is full of small photography pouches that can fit into this case to keep things protected.

Related Reading: Best Pelican Cases for Photographers

Having used my first Pelican 1120 for a few years and found it to be robust and reliable, I went on to purchase a whole stack of them for customization in my wildlife camera trap setups. They are the perfect size to house my flashes with a wireless radio receiver and an external battery pack. Initially, I made some flash housings from simple plastic food storage tubs, but it turns out they are not bear-proof… So, Pelican case to the rescue! This is one of those great multi-use items that’s useful to have in the closet to solve a problem when you need it.

Photo of author
Professional photographer based in Yukon, Canada, and founder of Shutter Muse. His editorial work has been featured in publications all over the world, and his commercial clients include brands such as Nike, Apple, Adobe and Red Bull.

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