Released in 2016, the line of Air cases by Pelican is one of the latest in a series of hard cases that is up to 40% lighter than other models. The 1615TRVL is specifically designed for transporting a variety of range or field equipment, but can accommodate a variety of other items. The Air series of cases provides Pelican’s leading protection to consumers using its proven materials and die-hard design.
Like other Pelican cases, the 1615TRVL Case is made from super-light proprietary HPX²™ Polymer with features taken from Pelican’s Protector series to deliver a lightweight, watertight, crushproof, and dustproof case that offers a significant amount of protection. The polymer has an operational temperature range between -60° F and 160° F.
With an overall exterior dimension of 32.58” (L) x 11.02” (H) x 18.40” (W), the 1615’s exterior is the maximum TSA/airline size for approved check-ins. Its shell is comprised of Pelican’s Super-light proprietary HPX²™ Polymer for a lightweight shell that maintains maximum strength and impact resistance.
The 1615 includes five newly redesigned Press and Pull™ latches made from an ABS polymer that secure the lid to the bottom. In addition, there are three heavy-duty, ergonomic and foldable handles on either end to aid in picking up. The 1615 also includes an extendable handle for rolling transportation.
Several security features built into the 1615 are its two stainless-steel padlock protectors, and its single automatic purge valve made with hi-flow Gore-Tex with a 3 micron, hydrophobic non-woven material.
The 1615 has two quiet-rolling wheels with stainless-steel bearings that aid in rolling and transport of the case, and its fully packed weight. On the exterior is a single, clear plastic business card colder for an identification placard. This card holder is only accessible with the lid open and thus prevents tampering.
With an interior space of 29.6” (L) x 9.38” (H) x 15.5” (W), the 1615 has an overall internal storage capacity of 2.49 ft³.
The interior of the lid features two zipper-secured storage compartments, and three mesh envelope pockets. A one-piece, rubberized EPDM O-ring provides a watertight seal to the interior storage space.
While the 1615 comes without any layers; the foam, or internal packing cube organizers can be purchased separately to meet any storage need. The 1615 does come with two mesh storage bags (one large, one small)
Available in Black (featured), Charcoal, Oxibod, and Indigo.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Average (3/5): At $419, the 1615TRVL Air Case is one of the premier cases within the Air series of protective cases. It can be readily found on third-party sites (with and without foam) for between $346 and $273. But care should be taken when ordering from non-direct vendors however, as the condition and legitimacy of such products can sometimes prove dubious. As a whole, the 1615 is part of the overall ‘Air’ line and made from Pelican’s proprietary HPX²™ Polymer. This new material provides for consistent strength and impact resistance over its more traditional products, yet is still lighter. Comparable market alternatives would be the 965 Case by Nanuk ($279) or the 2918-10 iSeries Case by SKB ($243). Depending on the vendor found, and if foam or internal dividers are also purchased, the cost of the 1615TRVL Air is appropriate (or average) within the current market and for the materials/design used.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): Within the Air line the 1615 is a relatively larger case, but thanks to the HPX²™ Polymer was very light in comparison to other protective cases of similar size. The HPX²™ Polymer clearly held a factor in weight reduction while sacrificing none of the protective capabilities. The near 2.50 ft³ of storage easily accommodated a significant amount of gear (plate carriers, body armor, etc.) and also was a convenient way to transport competition gear (belt, mags, pistol, clothing, gear, etc.) for travel to the range or potentially to any competition that would require air travel. The collapsible handles felt very comfortable in the hand and did not dig or pinch in the hand. The push-button latches were a notable improvement over more traditional C-type clamps, and provided an improved level of security against accidental opening (despite several attempts at trying to force it open from the bottom of the latch). The 1615 also had the same locking cleats as the Protector series that enabled for stacking as necessary. The only negative in comfort came from the extendable rolling handle which felt somewhat frail at full extent due to its interlocking design. If Pelican could somehow make it of a more secure design when deploying/collapsing then the score could be improved.
- Durability – Excellent (5/5): The 1615 itself had Pelican’s legacy in durability, which is often regarded as the gold standard for hard cases. It held up during multiple transports to/from the range in the back of a pickup truck (on and off road) with other gear and use, with only minimal surface marring (superficial scratches, gouges, dents, etc.). At no point did dust or moisture penetrate the interior storage space. There was no foam nor packing inserts that came with the 1615, although they are available to order separately—thus for this evaluation items had to be predominantly mass packed. The pockets on the interior lid was able to hold lighter items (gloves, eye protection, etc.) however there was a weight limit the material can hold before the thin fabric risks being compromised. Likewise, the mesh organizer bags also held good durability thanks to its nylon fabric.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): The 1615 is similar to other Pelican Air cases in that it was designed to be a protective hard case for ease in ground and/or air transport. Its overall dimensions did meet with current TSA regulations on the maximum size of checked in luggage (however it was noted that some airlines may have different sizing regulations due to smaller airframes). While the 1615TRVL Air Case has an improved polymer blend and new push-button latches, the Air series as a whole had a low-profile appearance and was designed more for the avid traveler (such as trainers or instructors) in mind, not members of the military. Features like the rolling wheels, extendable handle, and pressurization valve were essential as part of the design for long-term use or carrying. The stainless-steel protectors (in conjunction with TSA-approved locks – not included) and hinge pins likewise fill an essential aspect of design as it ensured forced entry (shy of cutting) wasn’t possible. While there was no included foam, one noted drawback was that while the 1615’s open interior did allow for the user to pack the contents in the best way possible, there was no means to secure loose or smaller items not packed into the lid or storage bags. For that, one would need to order the foam or internal dividers that is sold separately. As noted above, the 1615 did share some rigidity aspects of the Protector series of Pelican cases with the locking cleats on the lid that aided in reinforcement.
- Weight – Excellent (5/5): At 16.66 lbs. (empty), the 1615TRVL Air Case has an appropriate (or average) amount of weight for a case of this size and intended to hold a variety of equipment. As such, once fully loaded, the 1615 was very heavy and bulky to maneuver but the multiple handles aided in maneuvering the case and contents. Truthfully the best method in transporting the fully loaded 1615 was rolling it around with the carrying handle extended—provided it was a smooth, improved surface. The rolling wheels did not facilitate rolling over loose rock, therefor necessitated the carry method. In comparison; the 965 Case by Nanuk (25.05 pounds) or the 2918-10 iSeries Case by SKB (22.13 pounds) were all over the weight of the 1615TRVL Air Case despite similarities in overall dimensions and design. This validated the benefit of the proprietary HPX²™ Polymer in the 1615 and gave it an excellent scoring.
Overall Rating – Good (21/25)
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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