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Old 13-10-2014, 05:00 PM
jayeson (Jayeson)
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Craftright vs Pelican Case Comparisons

I recently purchased both an inexpensive large Craftright Safecase and a not so inexpensive Pelican 1550 case. I got the for different uses after reading these threads on cases for mounts and eyepieces. It wasn't until the Pelican arrived that I discovered they were the same size. I thought I would share my thoughts on how they compare.
  • The cost of my yellow Pelican shipped from Amazon was about 3x the Craftright. A silver one was about $5 more and black another $20.
  • The shell of the Craftright is thicker and tougher looking than I was expecting. The Pelican however looks like it could go through anything. All parts look to be thicker and of better plastic, and some parts such as the carry handle are in another league.
  • The ribs on the back of the Craftright are not level and the case does not sit upright well, especially with the weight of a mount in it. I am careful to set it down against a wall. The Pelican is rock solid.
  • My Craftright example is actually airtight. It has a manual pressure release which was tightened at the factory, resulting in the case being distorted by the time I got hold of it. I shall just assume the Pelican seals, and it has a fancy watertight, auto, pressure release valve. It is worth noting that the Pelican only has two clasps to mess with. The Craftright has 4 and does not seal unless all are latched.
  • The foam in the Craftright smells terrible and has an oily residue. I would never let optics in direct contact with it and wasn't too keen on even getting it on the mount either. The pictures on the net of folks with expensive camera lenses in there - yikes. Just setting up the foam to take these pics had my hands covered in it. The arrangement is no good either - 3 equal thickness pieces, only one of which is pick and pluck. This particular detail bothers me a lot . I ended up not using the included foam and instead adapted the closed cell packing foam my mount came in. The Pelican foam has the layers you want. It has a mild new car smell. Actually, it reminded me of renting cars in the US. The pick and pluck is slow to work with and it is challenging to avoid loosening pieces you didn't want to. I don't see what the alternative would be though for someone without special cutting tools. Against the yellow case, it is clear that quite a bit of foam dust is present. I spent some 2 hours on each of these cases fitting what I have in there.

My first thought in unboxing the Craftright was that it was a lot of case for $69. Now, err, I suppose it is OK for the relatively inexpensive mount that is in it. Well, at least for local storage and car trips. I think it is perhaps better suited to equipment that will get dirty/greasy anyway. If Pelican foam were purchased for it, then the cost would end up much closer to that of the Pelican 1550. As someone else has said, if I were to do it again, I would go straight for the Pelican.

The Pelican is excellent. At the typical Australian retail price, very hard to swallow, but shipped from Amazon, not too bad. For folks in the US where shipping is free/near free, I can't imagine wasting time even considering the cheap stuff.

I have attached some pics of the two. The Pelican picture is poor - in person it looks far more impressive than the Craftright. My early eyepiece purchases look silly in this big case. John Bambury's eyepiece collection from the thread linked above made his 1600 case look small, so I ordered the smaller 1550. And it seemed like we had a lot of boxes of stuff on the shelf. Even with my more spread out spacing, my eyepiece purchase plans are going to fill only half the case.
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Last edited by jayeson; 13-10-2014 at 06:23 PM.
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  #2  
Old 13-10-2014, 05:46 PM
Kunama
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Just to add to your great report Jayeson, I went with the Kinchrome cases, these seem to be the ideal in-betweener. A bit dearer than the Craftright but in build quality and strength much more like the Pelican.
The Kinchrome has a full width hinge, stands up perfectly, very secure locks and a good pressure equaliser valve. They are available from Bunnings although I saved a fair bit by buying off the 'Bay.

The foam is in 4 layers (depends on size of case), has no oily feel or smell, 2 layers of pick and pluck with convoluted on top and bottom.
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Old 13-10-2014, 05:54 PM
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mithrandir (Andrew)
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FYI, I bought a Pelican case for my G11 from an Aus distributor and regularly get reminders that the seals do degrade over time and should be checked and replaced if damaged.
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Old 13-10-2014, 07:56 PM
jayeson (Jayeson)
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Matt, I did look at Kinchrome, but they didn't seem to have anything large enough. I was also confused from the pics about what foam it came with - now I know!

Actually, this size isn't really big enough for the mount, there are a few bits still loose.
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Old 13-10-2014, 08:09 PM
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RD400C (Garth)
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Good Evening All,
Thanks for the write up, good points made. My thoughts are tempered with the fact that I have a couple of pelican cases that are nearly 30 years old and so no sign of failing. New foam and seals, and they take all the rough and tumble of travel with valuable contents undamaged.

If divide the cost of the case by sum of the value of the contents, this ratio should guide your selection. For example a Pelican Case for a TAK OTA gives a ratio of 0.1, good value for the case. Start squeezing in a few eye pieces and other goodies in a case and you will see that 1/10th for transport and storage is great insurance.

Just a note, that the local Pelican supplier said that if my 30 y.o. cases failed he would simply replace them as they still carried the sticker to show where i had purchased them in Australia

Hope this helps, Cheers Garth

PS if there is a pungent odour with the foam or case I would be cautious about out gassing from the manufacturing process or materials. A few days opened outdoors would be a good plan.
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Old 13-10-2014, 09:38 PM
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DavidTrap (David)
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I have a couple of cases from Bunnings. They do the trick to carry stuff, but they're not in use same league as pelican cases (my CCD came in one)

I used one for a trip to the solar eclipse in Cairns carrying my Fs-60 and DSLR. It obviously leaked air as we went to altitude and then the lid caved in after descending back to sea level. I had to unscrew the air release to open the top. Nothing damaged, but I would hazard a guess a pelican case would have a stronger lid.

DT
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Old 13-10-2014, 10:12 PM
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I've got two Craftright cases from Bunnings, none of them had oily residue or an out-of-the-ordinary smell on the foam.

Cheers
Steffen.
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Old 13-10-2014, 10:25 PM
brian nordstrom (As avatar)
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I am with you on this Steffen , I have 3 , a large one for my HEQ5 and 2 smaller ones for all my eyepieces , no smell what so ever and these do get tossed around a bit on the back of my ute for 3-4 years and so far they have performed very well .
Great value .
Brian.
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Old 13-10-2014, 10:48 PM
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I got the Supercheap Auto rebranded Craftrights. No issues, no smell, no oily residue, 3 layers of foam (solid bottom, pick out middle, convoluted top). Lock well, tough, and cost peanuts.

I krrp my CCD in one, reducers, flatteners etc in another, guidecam in a small one
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Old 13-10-2014, 11:38 PM
jayeson (Jayeson)
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I have been airing this foam for a couple of weeks now, neither the smell or residue have improved. Whether it is the current standard for the foam or an inconsistency in manufacturing, who knows. Certainly the foam has greatly tainted my opinion of the Craftright case. If the shell is half the value, then there is no doubt it is very good value.
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Old 14-10-2014, 11:16 AM
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You could return the cases for a refund or swap for a different one. This is clearly a manufacturing defect.

Cheers
Steffen.
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Old 14-10-2014, 03:16 PM
jayeson (Jayeson)
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Thanks for the suggestion Steffen. I'm not sure the returns desk would consider it a defect, but in any case, it is good enough for now.

My main concern now is something for my 8" SCT OTA. There seems to be no well sized hardcase for this OTA with visual back attached. Pelican 1650 is suggested a lot, but it is huge. The source of the Craftright cases apparently make one that will take the OTA, but looks to be just a little too short to accommodate a visual back fitted: http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/22-24160
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Old 14-10-2014, 04:10 PM
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killswitch (Edison)
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I've got the Craftright cases in different sizes and they are great. No issues with the foam.

For the 8" SCT, its hard to find an appropriate sized hard case for it with proper padding. So i just use an officeworks storage box with the OTA styro packaging. Its not a heavy duty case but its good enough for transporting.
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Old 14-10-2014, 06:16 PM
jayeson (Jayeson)
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Edison, where did you get that large Craftright one come from? I have not seen anything larger than the 1550 size anywhere in Australia?

Yes, I think my OTA will be travelling in the shipping carton for the time being.
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Old 14-10-2014, 09:21 PM
brunono2 (Brian)
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Craftright

I have used their large case from Bunnings for a number of years with no issues whatsoever for my heavy short focal length APO- I am very satisfied

No issues with the foam hinges whatsoever. Well worth the money
No doubt the Pelican would be better quality but given the price difference - based on my actual experience with my Craftright Case I would not buy it.

Cheers

Bruno
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Old 14-10-2014, 09:51 PM
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Edison. The Pelican 78 x 39 x 39 cm storage box from Bunnings suits my 8 inch Newt very well. I use the original Styrofoam packing pieces inside to hold the OTA. The lid is filled with cut-down foam rubber camping squares. Your tube is shorter but I guess that would leave more room for storing auxiliary stuff.

David
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Old 15-10-2014, 10:24 AM
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killswitch (Edison)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayeson View Post
Edison, where did you get that large Craftright one come from? I have not seen anything larger than the 1550 size anywhere in Australia?

Yes, I think my OTA will be travelling in the shipping carton for the time being.
Bunnings. It was on a different section from the usual hard cases, probably because this case has wheels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidLJ View Post
Edison. The Pelican 78 x 39 x 39 cm storage box from Bunnings suits my 8 inch Newt very well. I use the original Styrofoam packing pieces inside to hold the OTA. The lid is filled with cut-down foam rubber camping squares. Your tube is shorter but I guess that would leave more room for storing auxiliary stuff.

David
Looks good, i will check this case out next time im at Bunnings. Thanks
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Old 15-10-2014, 11:51 AM
jayeson (Jayeson)
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Hmm, I can't find it on Bunning's website with the Craftright brand. I shall have to head to Bunnings to see if I can find the treasure trove of storage cases.

Bunnings also have this smaller Pelican Trimcast case, which according to the Trimcast website, has an opening with exactly the same dimensions as I measure my EdgeHD 800 OTA w/ stock visual back fitted. So probably too small. :-( http://www.bunnings.com.au/pelican-6...-tray_p5810620

https://2ecffd01e1ab3e9383f0-07db7b9...bb6735386d.jpg
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Old 15-10-2014, 10:08 PM
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h0ughy (David)
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see this thread for a case that will fit the scope - but i don't think that they are still stocked - may have been a one off. I bought 3, plus i have two other large pelican cases and had a very large storm case for my C11 when i owned it
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Old 22-10-2014, 09:00 PM
jayeson (Jayeson)
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A follow up on the foam issues with the Craftright:

My local Bunnings store finally had the Craftright cases back in stock so I went to do an exchange, but the new case's foam was even worse with respect to residue than the one I had. The two bottom layers were very bad. The smell upon opening this case I found overwhelming*. I ended up just hanging onto the one I had, since I am only using the shell - but if a used Pelican 1550 comes along at the right price, I'm going to switch the shell to that.

I also went to Super Cheap Auto since they have their branded versions of these cases on sale. There were two sizes on the shelf out of packaging that I could look at. One was this 1550 equivalent size and it looks exactly like the Craftright. The foam still had that same vile smell, but much less strong, and the residue was only bad along the back edges of the foam (on all layers). On the plus side, the SCA case has 3 full layers of pick and pluck foam. With less residue, more pick and pluck and on sale at the moment, the SCA case seems like a better choice. They are also not boxed on the shelf so you can better see what you are buying.

The smaller SCA case was the same as the larger with respect to residue - only along the back side. It also had pick and pluck layers to the bottom. I don't know why there isn't a thin layer of solid foam like the Pelican, but definitely better IMO than the Bunnings arrangement. The quality of the shell on this case was not as good as the larger case - rough, uneven and with poorly trimmed flash - and the clasp hinges had chewed up plastic coming out of them and were very stiff.

Obviously lots of folks are happy with their cases, but for me, Pelican seem like better value, especially if time spent messing around is important. I would definitely recommend checking the foam on the cheap cases before leaving the store.

- Jayeson

* I should put into context that I am quite sensitive to rubber and plastic smells. A trip to Clark Rubber usually results in nausea, as did today's SCA/Bunnings outing.
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