Championed as providing some of the best storage and protective cases, Pelican has long-established itself as the leader in providing cases to meet any mission need. The Protector series provides significant storage and maximum padding, while the 1620 provides an ideal size to support the end-user for a hard day on the range or in the field. The 1620 also comes available with the option of adding an EZ-Click™ MOLLE Panel to the lid and thereby expand on the case’s storage and function.
1620 Protector Case
As with all Pelican cases, the 1620 Protector Case is made from Polypropylene to deliver a watertight, crushproof, and dustproof case that provides a significant amount of external protection and stackabiliy. The 1620 Protector Case itself has four locking and four support cleats designed on the bottom to interlock onto the lid’s design and reinforce its stacking strength.
With an overall exterior dimension of 24.8” (L) x 19.6” (H) x 13.9” (W), the 1620’s exterior is comprised of Pelican’s traditional open-cell polymer construction for maximum strength and an impact resistant shell.
The 1620 Protector Case includes four C-clamp throw latches that secure the lid to the bottom. In addition, there are three double-wide, foldable handles (one on either end, and a third on the front) to aid in picking up and stacking. A collapsible tote handle helps aid in transport of the 1620 when fully loaded.
Several protective features built into the 1620 Protector Case are its stainless-steel padlock protectors, and its one automatic pressure equalization valve.
1620 Protector Case has two reinforced polyurethane wheels to aid in smooth rolling and easy transport of the case and its fully packed weight.
With an interior space of 21.5” (L) x 16.4” (H) x 12.5” (W), the 1620 has an overall internal storage capacity of 2.56 ft³.
A one-piece, rubberized O-ring provides a watertight seal to the interior storage space.
The 1620 Protector Case comes with four layers of open-cell pick-n-pluck foam that is customizable to meet storage needs, in addition to the convoluted lid foam and protective base layer.
- The Protector series comes with Pelican’s Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence
The 1620 Protector Case comes in Desert Tan (featured), and Black.
Product Link: https://www.pelican.com/us/en/product/cases/protector/1620
EZ-Click MOLLE Panel
Intended to easily attach into anchor points inside the lid of select Pelican Protector cases, the EZ-Click™ MOLLE Panel was released in 2021 and intended to augment other case accessories.
Made from the same rigid Polypropylene as Pelican’s hard cases, the EZ-Click MOLLE Panel has the spaced, grid pattern needed to mount any pouch, holster, or other accessory using the associated mounting style. The panel has the same performance specifications as a hard case and can withstand temperature variations between 0°F – 140°F.
The seven twist-cam locking mechanisms allow for rapid and easy attachment or removal, while also allowing for easy access to the rear of the panel for accessory adjustments.
Product Link: https://www.pelican.com/us/en/accessory/cases/ez-click—-molle-panel/1610mp
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Appropriate (3/5): At $304.95, the 1620 Protector Case is among the larger (and more expensive) firearm hard cases offered by Pelican, shy of its multi-gun weapon lockers. As such, it is one of the larger Protector cases within the Pelican line. Pelican acquired its closest competitor Hardigg in 2017, and as such many of its mid/larger products don’t even have direct peers with the same attention to strength, reinforcing Pelican as a world leader in hard polymer cases. The 1620’s closest peer would be the 3019-12 iSeries case ($266.99) by SKB, or Nanuk’s 965 case ($329.95) given the closest similarity in size and included foam. With the legacy of Pelican’s performance, its lifetime warranty, and the cost to storage volume ratio – then the 1620 is an appropriate (or average) product for its cost. The EZ-Click for the 1620 itself is $57.95, which has only one closest comparator, and that being the 27.25×19 RMP ($122.50) by Grey Man Tactical. But the EZ-Click was still significantly cheaper, with integrated mounting hardware that made it an excellent accessory for the case. Perhaps the only limiting factor for the EZ-Click is that it is available for so few Pelican cases at the time of this review.
- Comfort – Average (3/5): At just over 28”x19”x13” in a rough rectangular design, the 1620 was comfortable when picking it up and using both opposing side handles and despite its bulk. The third handle in the middle made picking the case up from either of the other two points of contact much more comfortable, though once fully loaded it was unlikely to be the only point of carry. As is, once fully loaded with gear or firearms, the 1620 was much heavier than its initial 24.62 pounds and thus could necessitate for the end-user to use either a two person lift to place in a vehicle, or utilize the tote handle to maneuver the case around. The deep locking cleats provided a secure anchoring point for stacking and gave the overall shell a good amount of added rigidity. The EZ-Click mounting hardware moved smoothly and securely, and gave no hint of inability to support the panel when fully loaded.
- Durability – Good (4/5): Made from Polyethylene, a type of high-density plastic similar to high-density polyethylene, the principle material of the 1620 (and indeed almost all of Pelican’s hard cases) and the EZ-Click was amazingly durable and resistant to shock. The open-cell foam inserts in the case provided added protection to the equipment and firearms contained inside (more so if the user takes the time to cut specific patterns into the one-piece foam for a specific item), but the foam (by design) tore somewhat easily. The case was dragged over rocks, thrown into a truckbed a number of times, and left out in inclement weather (cold/rain) with no detrimental effect to the foam, stored contents (although some surface marring was noted), or moisture penetration.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): From a functional aspect, the 1620 was like all Pelican hard cases – a protective box. Pelican has a large array of products for the consumer, military/LEOs, first responders and more to choose among that best fits their specific needs. While the 1620 was a pretty straight-forward case (it’s a box – it opens, it closes, it has foam for added padding), it is left to the imagination of the user for use and to expand on the functionality of the case. Features like the rolling wheels and pressurization valves were essential as part of the design for long-term use, transport, or carrying. The stainless-steel protectors and hinge pins likewise filled an essential aspect of design in that it ensured forced entry (shy of cutting) wasn’t possible. Users could custom cut a pattern or design into the included foam to add protection of the specific contents. The downside is then it had to be specific to that item (unless you make the cut pattern very generalized). Pelican further expanded on the function of its 1620 case by incorporating the EZ-Click Panel that allowed for mounting a variety of accessories directly to the lid, rather than in the storage space. The EZ-Click itself was easily removed, configured, and reattached multiple times without any excessive wear on the hardware. Thus, by saving the included lid foam, the end-user had further availability to configure the case per the required needs. It should be further noted that Pelican minimized any potential sag in a fully loaded EZ-Click Panel when mounted to the lid by having evenly spaced anchoring points—but some flex in the panel was experienced when fully loaded.
- Weight – Average (3/5): For its size, and the volume of Polypropylene material, the 1620 case weighed in at just over 24 pounds with foam (or 21 pounds w/o foam) and had a storage capacity of 2.56 ft³. This made its bulk less cumbersome than larger cases like the 1650 given its smaller dimensions, but the multiple handles and tote handle facilitated that to a manageable degree, and made it easy to pick it up when fully loaded (something to keep in mind, the more you add the heavier it will get). In comparison to the market alternatives noted above, 3019-12 iSeries case (28.62 pounds at 4.06 ft³) by SKB, or Nanuk’s 965 case (25.05 pounds at 4.33 ft³) illustrate the 1620 has a slightly smaller internal storage space as other vendors with a slightly heavier weight ratio, but those alternative designs did not reflect the reinforcement cleats, polymer, and integral hardware attributed to Pelican’s longstanding Protector product line. The EZ-Click Panel for the 1620 itself weighed in at approximately two pounds, which would vary in weight as compared to other EZ-Click configurations simply due to variance in dimension and overall volume of polyethylene utilized to produce the MOLLE-compatible panel. The closest comparator to the 1620’s EZ-Click panel would be the 30.25” x 17” RMP from Grey Man Tactical at 2.0 pounds. The minor added weight of the EZ-Click would be directly attributed to the inclusion of mounting hardware and places the overall product within the average range of the current market.
Overall Rating – Above Average (17/25)
Product Link: https://www.pelican.com/us/en/
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, 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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