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Shooting Reviews » Accessories, SHOT 2013 » Pelican: Defining Tough

Pelican: Defining Tough

Pelican makes tough stuff for emergency responders, soldiers, and people who just need hardworking tools.  Their cases are the industry standard for protecting equipment in harsh environments, and they have made terrific waterproof lights for years. One of my first really high quality lights was a Pelican Stealthlight, some 19 years ago, and I have since given friends Pelican lights as gifts.  Even their tiny L1 LED I have used and gifted to first responder friends, as a disproportionately effective little tool for people who are forced to carry a lot of gear.

I was happy to see Pelican at the 2013 SHOT Show, as I hoped to thank one of their people who had helped me during my recent deployment when I had a problem ordering a case for my tablet.  That particular individual wasn’t there, but I had the pleasure to spend a few minutes talking to Nora Wainwright about new products.

Pelican still makes lights, and I was impressed with the handy little 1910 LED.  This light is only a single AAA light, but puts out a very bright beam that is reasonably “floody”, yet still has more “throw” than probably any other 1AAA I’ve seen.

Pelican 1910- compact, powerful, and just 1 AAA.

Pelican 1910- compact, powerful, and just 1 AAA.

Introduced in summer 2012 were a series of Urban Backpacks.  These are very businesslike, professional looking black backpacks in either slim, unobtrusive tablet and laptop packs, or in much larger version of the tablet and laptop packs.  These packs look very focused on the business professional.  The backpack line was expanded in October to lines more useful to troops in the field, hunters, and others who need an outdoor pack with protection for tablets or computers.  Again, these come in the little tablet, big tablet and small laptop, big laptop formats, and in black, a very visible orange, or a subdued green.

Pelican hard case built into backpack.

Pelican hard case built into backpack.


Pelican laptop case, demonstrating quick access for TSA inspection.

Packs and hard cases have obvious attraction to military personnel, first responders, and hunters and sportsmen, but Pelican brought out a line of coolers in August.  After I thought a minute about the necessity of preserving food in remote environments, and I learned that these are expected to retain ice for 7-10 days (!), I could see a genuine need for hard-use coolers.  They’re not inexpensive, with the 35qt selling for $260, but if they deliver the quality I’ve come to expect from Pelican, they’re worth it.

Pelican tough and incredibly efficient.

Pelican tough and incredibly efficient.

Written by

Former infantryman, martial artist, Army Reserve officer, History BA and MAT.

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