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Pelican AIR 1535 Review - Lightweight rugged carry-on rolling luggage

Transporting fragile equipment can be stressful because of unknown variables. Let's see how the new Pelican AIR 1535 carry-on roller luggage tries to solve this.
Pelican AIR 1535 Review - Rugged Carry-on Rolling Luggage
Pelican AIR 1535 with handlebar extended

The Pelican AIR 1635 is engineered to withstand elements with its high-impact and high water resistance while being 40 percent lighter than the previous generation Pelican carry-on roller luggage.

It is made by a proprietary Polypropylene blend with an ABS Purge body that uses Hi-Flow Gore-Tex Purge Vent that allows it to withstand strong impacts as well as extreme temperatures up to -51 degrees and up to 71 degrees. This is all while being able to fit snuggly into the standard carry-on size limit.

Here's our review of the Pelican AIR 1535!

Build Quality/Design

Pelican AIR 1535
Pelican AIR 1535

There is something about a Pelican case that just screams professional. Whenever we had work trips out of town or whenever we had shoots where we need a lot of our equipment, we would carry as much as we could inside the Pelican AIR 1535. Everywhere we went, people would always notice the Pelican and compliment us on how great it looks and how professional and how "serious about work" it made us look.

Professional grade materials and look!

We received the black Pelican for review. The front (top cover) contains Pelican branding along with raised polycarbonate lines so that the flat surface to prevent friction from both surfaces. On the right side are two reinforced metal slots for padlocks and the two main latches that serve to lock the top and the bottom. In between the latches is the foldable handle for suitcase mode and the first ID card slot and protector. 
We left the Pelican AIR 1535 under the rain for 30 minutes!
We left the Pelican AIR 1535 under the rain for 30 minutes!

On the side above the Pelican AIR branding are the second ID card slot and protector, the secondary foldable handle and the main extending stroller handlebar.

While on the posterior side of the bottom are a pair of roller wheels while on the anterior side is the protruding edge of the top hatch that doubles as feet. While at the far side are the reinforced sealed hinges of the top cover.

Every part and every inch of the Pelican AIR looks and feels solid which gives you confidence that your equipment will be safe. 

If you look closely, around the foam is the gasket the forms the seal that helps prevent water or air from coming into the Pelican if you close it and lock it properly.

One other detail that we like is that the two latches that lock the top cover has a distinct and satisfying sound when you lock it. This also serves as an audio indicator that your case is sealed.


Pelican AIR comes with a customizable pull-and-pluck foam
Pelican AIR comes with a customizable pull-and-pluck foam

We pulled and plucked out the pre-cut foam so that we can fit several of our lenses, cameras, and filters into the Pelican. This is one of the best parts of the Pelican cases as you can customize the foam throughout. The caveat is that you can only do it once. If you want to totally reconfigure the foam, you would need to buy replacement foam from Pelican.

The egg crate shaped foam on top cushions the exposed part of your equipment when the front cover is closed.
Raindrops on the water-resistant Pelican AIR
Raindrops on the water-resistant Pelican AIR

We brought the Pelican AIR with us whenever we had a trip that required us to carry a lot of equipment. We also left the Pelican AIR under the rain for more than 30 minutes with our equipment inside.

As a carry-on, one of the most important things is the size and weight. With exterior measurements of  55.8 x 35.5 x 22.8 cm and weighing in at 4.5 KG with foam.

It is at the maximum size a carry-on is allowed in the plane when all the handles and the handlebar are folded in. Our concern is that some airlines have a limit of 7KG to 10KG for carry-on so you have to measure the weight of your carry-on before every flight.

The wheels are well dampened enough that it softens the blow of rugged terrain. Even when we rolled the Pelican AIR through 1535 dusty and sandy terrain, the insides remained clean and the wheels continued to roll smoothly. None of the sand or dust could jam the wheels.

We also tested the Pelican AIR's water resistance by leaving it in the rain for 30 minutes. Even though the floor was full of water puddles and even though the Pelican was covered in raindrops, our equipment remained dry.

We were not able to test the Buoyancy of the Pelican AIR 1535 but it is spec'd to be buoyant even with a weight of up to 29.4kg. So if your equipment inside the Pelican AIR 1535 weights in under that, then it should float.

Pelican AIR 1535 Specs

Body Material: Proprietary Polypropylene Blend
Latch Material: ABS
O-Ring Material: EPDM
Purge Body Material: ABS
Purge Vent Material: Hi-Flow Gore-Tex 3 Micron Hydrophobic Non-Woven
Foam Layers: 2.03-inch Convolute, 3.75-inch Pick N Plug, 1.44-inch Pad
Minimum Temperature: -51 degrees Celsius
Maximum Temperature: 71 degrees Celsius
Exterior Measurements: 55.8 x 35.5 x 22.8 cm
Interior Measurements: 51.8 x 28.4 x 18.3 cm
Total Depth: 7.21-inch
Int Volume: 0.95 cubic feet
Padlock Hole diameter: 8mm
Weight: 3.9kg (without foam), 4.5kg (with foam)
Wheels: 2
Buoyancy: 29.4 kg
Price: PHP 15,500


The Pelican AIR 1535 lives up to the brand's image by offering a solid, durable and water-resistant rolling luggage but in a lightweight form factor. This makes it ideal for a carry-on with industry-leading protection. This was most apparent when it carried and protected our equipment from dust, sand, and water. 

We highly recommend it for people who travel consistently that need a carry-on that require the best protection for their equipment. 

Build/Design - 4.5
Performance - 4.5
Average - 4.5/5

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