6 Pelican Case Alternatives – Cheaper Yet Sturdy!

Author: Brett Clur | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

Pelican cases have been the industry-standard transport solution for a long time. They’re extremely sturdy and carry everything from music equipment to firearms.

The biggest downside is that they’re highly expensive. There are some other brands on the market that offer similar quality at more affordable prices. Are they as trustworthy and durable as Pelican cases? Let’s have a look.

Top 3 - Pelican Case Alternatives


The Nanuk 910 is an impact resistant and waterproof case that is fantastic for carrying small things like drum microphones, cameras, LED lights, and electronics. The price point makes it a real contender with Pelican, providing security and durability for a cheaper price.

A standout feature is the PowerClaw latching system. It clamps the case shut seriously tight while sliding locks add an extra bit of security.

You can bet that this case will never open while being transported. The case also comes with two sections that allow you to add padlocks, giving you an extra sense of security.

The 910 case comes in 8 different finish options, allowing you to choose from subtler dark colors to extravagant bright ones. So, whether you’re a calm and collected photographer or an eclectic musician, there’ll be a color just for you.

When looking inside the case, you’ll see that the included piece of foam is extremely deep. It’s one giant thick piece. This is perfect for storing larger items.

However, you may need to cut the foam in half to store smaller items so that they don’t move around when being transported.

You can easily cut the foam to fit any type of item in it and it will be kept securely inside. The case will survive all kinds of weather conditions and your equipment inside won’t be affected.

PROS

  • PowerClaw latching system
  • Included foam insert is great for storing larger items
  • Extremely weather-resistant

CONS

  • Foam may need to be cut in half to store smaller items

If you need a case that is a bit bigger, the Seahorse 920F is a great one to look into. It has fantastic overall quality, a double latch, and turn lock system. The wheels are incredibly smooth and allow the case to glide easily. The retractable handle is also quite smooth.

The best thing about this case is that it can fit a serious amount of equipment inside of it. When it seems to be full, you’ll always be able to fit that one last thing as well. No matter how much is inside, it will still feel very secure and safe.

There is a lot of foam inside the main part of the case that will accommodate cameras, lenses, drum gear, and lighting. The case also comes with two carrying handles.

Although it’s a bigger case, it will still fit inside the overhead storage compartment in an airplane, meaning it’s easily transportable.

The one downside is that the outer plastic doesn’t seem to be as durable as more expensive Pelican cases. However, that’s the price you pay for getting something a little bit cheaper. It’s still a highly durable case, though!

PROS

  • List Relatively large carry case
  • Allows you to fit a lot of equipment inside
  • Smooth wheel action

CONS

  • Not quite as durable as many other cases

If the previous Nanuk case sounded appealing, you may need to look into the Nanuk 935 which is bigger and can be wheeled around. This version also has the PowerClaw latching system along with padlock holes.

The difference is that the 935 has a 2-stage retractable handle and a set of wheels. The top handle automatically goes back down when you release it, a pleasant feature that adds to the quality of the case.

The hinge joints of the case are incredibly smooth and there are no catches when opening and closing the case.

The two stages of the retractable handle make it accessible for taller people to lug the case around. This is a great feature as tall people often get the short end of the stick when it comes to retractable handle lengths.

The inside of the case is fairly large and will be able to fit many different types of things in. Everything will be securely placed in the foam and won’t move when traveling.

Similar to the first Nanuk case, there are a variety of colors to choose from. However, the 935 only has 6 options, 2 less than the 910. Each color option looks smooth and aesthetically pleasing.

One downside is that the non-skinned open-cell foam that is inside the case tends to wear out quickly with repeated use.

PROS

  • 2-stage retractable handle
  • Large interior
  • 6 color options

CONS

  • Foam inside tends to wear out quickly

If you need a super cheap box that is still sturdy enough to protect most things, the Monoprice hard case is something you should definitely consider getting. It’s fairly small, yet very deep, allowing you to pack a few things inside.

The standout feature of this box is the sheer durability of it. It feels sturdy enough to drop from a roof without damaging anything inside. The internal foam is very soft, making it a bit easier to cut out sections to store equipment. However, the softer foam means a bit less protection from the inside.

The case is extremely weather-resistant. So, you can take it on camping trips without worrying about any water getting inside to your equipment. It also has room for a padlock. That extra bit of security will always add some peace-of-mind.

One downside is that there are no bottoms for the foam trays. This will stop you from storing many small things. If you’re planning on storing a few big things, this won’t be a problem.

Overall, it’s a fantastic case to get if you’re on a tight budget.

PROS

  • Highly affordable
  • Very durable
  • Very weather-resistant

CONS

  • No bottoms for the foam trays, stopping you from storing many small things

The AxiGear hard case is another affordable case on this list. It has most of what you need in a case and does the job of securing and keeping equipment safe relatively well. It comes in two finishes, black and yellow. The yellow version is a highly popular choice.

The exterior is shock and impact proof and the interior is sealed by rubber, stopping any water from getting inside. The case comes with customizable foam inserts that allow you to shape whatever you’re going to store. Two layers of foam are in the case and the other layer is on the lid of the case.

This case is best used as a storage solution for things that you don’t plan on traveling with frequently. Although it’s intended for safe traveling, the case isn’t as durable as the other cases on this list.

However, the easy storage features of the interior still make it a good option to go with. One downside is that it doesn’t have any holes to add padlocks to.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Customizable foam inserts
  • Waterproof and shockproof

CONS

  • No holes to add padlocks

The Condition 1 hard case is a little bit closer to the price of a Pelican case. However, it’s still more affordable while offering some high-value features. Firstly, it’s highly customizable inside.

The case comes with pluckable foam that caters to many different types of equipment. You can easily adjust the foam to fit whatever gear you have.

Secondly, the protection this case gives can rival most Pelican cases. It’s so sturdy and durable and the case will last you years of frequent use without any equipment getting damaged.

Lastly, the case has more security than any other case on this list. There are 4 holes to add padlocks to, creating a safe environment for your equipment to live in.

The case has a pressure equalization valve, a watertight seal, an easy snapping latching system, and a smooth rubber grip handle. You won’t find many cases better than this one at the price it comes at.

It is the most expensive case on this list. So, you’ll be spending a fair bit of money. It’s highly worth the investment to keep all your gear safe and secure.

PROS

  • Highly customizable
  • Very protective
  • 4 holes for padlocks

CONS

  • Expensive

Conclusion

If you’re someone who travels with your gear often, it’s important to keep it safe and protected. Having a good carry case is almost essential for musicians, photographers, and anyone else who does something with expensive gear.

Each case from the above list will work well in most situations. You just need to decide how big of a case you need and just how protective it needs to be. If you don’t travel that much, you may not need to buy such an expensive case.

If you do travel often, the higher quality the case is, the more your future self will thank you.

About Brett Clur

Brett has been drumming for almost two decades. He also helps his students get better at drumming. He can be found on Instagram (@brettclurdrums), where you can regularly catch glimpses of his drumming.

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