Let’s face it, drum gear, accessories and music instruments are not exactly cheap.

And you’d definitely want the best protection for your gear when you need to transport them around, especially if you are travelling by plane.

Pelican cases are one of the top companies that provide hard covered cases suitable for drummers and musicians.

The only issue?

Their price tag.

So…if you want the maximum protection at your budget, here are the:

Best Pelican Case Alternatives

Pelican Case AlternativesInterior DimensionExterior DimensionWeightPre-cut foam available?WheelsPressure Release ValveWaterproof
*Best Pelican Case Alternative Below $300*:
Seahorse SE1220 Equipment Case
25.7" x 19.5" x 13.1" (65.3 x 49.5 x 33.3 cm)27.9" x 22.3" x 15.1" (70.9 x 56.6 x 38.4 cm)27.05 lbs. (12.27 kg) with foam

25.7 lbs. (11.66 kg) without foam
Seahorse SE1530 Long Case
44.5” x 14.3” x 6.22” (113 x 36.3 x 15.8cm)46.6” x 16.7” x 6.8”  (118.3 x 42.4 x 17.3cm)19.6 lbs. (8.89 kg)

17.2 lbs. (7.81 kg) without foam
Duratool Waterproof Case (MAX505S.079)
19.69″ × 13.78″ × 7.64″ (50 × 35 × 19,4 cm)21.85" × 16.85" × 8.31"(55.0 x 48.2 x 21.1 cm)8.5 lbs. (3.86 kg)
*Best Pelican Case Alternative Below $200*:
AmazonBasics Hard Case
20.5" x 10.8" x 7.5" (52.1 x 27.4 x 19.1 cm)21.9" x 13.7" x 9.8" (55.6 x 34.8 x 24.9 cm)14 lbs (6.35 kg) (Manual)
Black Tactical Equipment Case
25" x 13" x 6½" (63.5 x 33 x 15.2 cm)28" x 16 ½" x 7" (71.1 x 40.6 x 17.8 cm)12.21 lbs (5.54 kg)
IBEX Case
19.1 x 14.0 x 7.3" (48.5 x 35.5 x 18.5 cm)16 5/8″ / 14.2 cm20 x 16.3 x 7.8" (50.8 x  41.4 x 19.8 cm)
Bulletproof Cases - Large Extreme Weather
15" x 10.7" x 7" (38.1 x 27.2 x 17.8 cm)16.1" x 13.5" x 8"  (40.9 x 34.2 x 20.2 cm)8.76 lbs (3.97 kg)
Royal Case Condition 1 Case #839
21.9" x 17" x 8.4" (55.7 x 43.1 x 21.4 cm)24.5" x 19.5" x 8.4" (62.2 x 49.5 x 21.4 cm)13 lbs (5.9 kg)
*Best Pelican Case Alternative Below $100*:
Monoprice Hard Case
17.64" x 13.58" x 4.76" (44.8 x 34.5 x 12.1 cm)18.86" x 16.34" x 5.91" (47.9 x 41.5 x 15 cm)9.6 lbs (4.34 kg)
Bulletproof Extreme Weather - Long case
34.1" x 11.8" x 4.88" (86.5 x 30 x 12.4 cm)34.7" x 13.4" x 4.88" (88.0 x 34.1 x 12.4 cm)7.2 lbs (3.27 kg)

We’ve done a quick review of each of the pelican case alternatives listed in the table above.

You can click on the name of the Pelican Case alternative to skip to the review, or just scroll down to read about:

What is a Pelican Case?

Pelican is a company that makes high quality, durable hardware case.

In recent years, they have also expanded their offerings to include waterproof iphone shells, backpacks and more.

Reliable hardware cases remain their core product.

They are trusted by users across industries like the military, emergency medical services (EMS), aerospace and more.

On top of that, they have also gained a strong following among hobbyists in the drones, music and photography niches.

 

What makes a Pelican Case so sought after?

Their unique selling point is that their boxes are waterproof, shockproof and have high impact resistance all while being light weight.

Users can customize their own boxes to suit their needs with Pelican’s Pick and Plug foam insert system.

Basically, you choose how you want to shape your foam protection for maximum protection of your equipment.

And oh, all their cases comes with a lifetime warranty too.

Sounds tough to beat?

Yes, it is.

Pelican Case Alternatives [Our Top 10]

As drummers, we know the fear of packing our drum kits for travel.

It’s nerve wreaking traveling with your dismantled drum kits, packed into boxes.

Will my drum kit be thrown and manhandled during the transport?

Did I tug enough cloth to protect my drum heads? 

We researched and studied over 58+ hardware cases; from Seahorse cases to OEM hardware cases.

And we bring to you the top 10 pelican case alternatives in this review.

I’ve arranged these Pelican Case Alternatives into 3 main categories based on budget:

 

Best Pelican Case Alternative Below $300

What if you could save $100++ and still get trustworthy and reliable waterproof hard cases that will protect your gear?

This section explores pelican case alternatives that give you maximal protection for your budget:

 

Seahorse SE1220 Equipment Case *Our Pick*

Seahorse SE1220 Protective Equipment Case

Seahorse is a strong competitor of Pelican and their hard cover cases are equally sought after.

Their products are proudly made in America and also come with lifetime guarantee, hence they are the hottest favorite pelican case alternative among musicians and hobbyists.

The Seahorse SE1220 case has the following specifications:

  • Interior Dimensions: 25.7″ x 19.5″ x 13.1″ (65.3 x 49.5 x 33.3 cm)
  • Exterior Dimensions: 27.9″ x 22.3″ x 15.1″ (70.9 x 56.6 x 38.4 cm)
  • Weight with Foam : 27.05 lbs. (12.27 kg)
  • Empty Weight: 25.7 lbs. (11.66 kg)
  • Comes with wheels for easy portability
  • Waterproof
  • Airtight
  • Rustproof
  • Crash Resistant
  • Comes fitted with pre-cut, customizable foam
  • Has wheels

Take note that this case does not come with a pressure release valve which means the pressure might build up inside the sealed case during air travel.

A user mentioned that all you’d need to do is to undo the latches, give it a minute and you’d be able to open the case with ease.

For it’s price and size, I think that the Seahorse SE1220 is a steal.

You could fit a couple of cymbals in there, or pack your drum module, drum pad or synthesizer in along with trigger pad or microphone.

Learn more about the SE1220 that comes with pre-cut, customizable foam on Amazon if you are planning to store equipment that is sensitive to shock or extreme vibration.

Otherwise, you can save even more by getting the SE1220 without the foam and just buy some egg crate foam to hold your equipment.

 

If you are looking to transport cymbal stands, snare stands or the like, the following is more appropriate for you:

Seahorse SE1530 Long Equipment Case

Seahorse SE1530 Black Gun cas

The Seahorse SE1530 case has the following specifications:

  • Interior: 44.5” x 14.3” x 6.22” (113 x 36.3 x 15.8cm)
  • Exterior: 46.6” x 16.7” x 6.8”  (118.3 x 42.4 x 17.3cm)
  • Weight with Foam : 19.6 lbs. (8.89 kg)
  • Empty Weight: 17.2 lbs. (7.81 kg)
  • Waterproof
  • 2 x In-Built Metal Locks
  • Pressure Release Valve
  • Comes fitted with pre-cut, customizable foam
  • Comes with wheels for portability

This variation of the Seahorse SE1530 was created for storing arms, hence it comes with built-in metal locks. 

I find the locks very handy as a deterrence against curious inspectors or baggage handlers. Drum modules, instruments or stands usually don’t warrant a need for our cases to be opened.

Also, it comes with a pressure release valve as well.

This means that if you decide to pack your drum modules in as well you can be sure that they will not be subdued to increased pressure within the case.

With it’s durability and size, the Seahorse SE1530’s weight remains manageable as well.

Plus it is almost 70% cheaper than a Pelican long case.

Remember, Seahorse cases also come with a lifetime guarantee so you are protected if your case is damage due to overuse or mistreatment during transport.

You can read what other users of the Seahorse SE1530 say here and here.

 

Duratool Waterproof Case (MAX505S.079)

Duratool Water Resistant Case with Wheels and Foam Insert

A strong Pelican Case competitor coming in right behind Seahorse cases is Duratool.

They manufacture cheap, functional hard case as a Pelican case alternative.

Despite creating stellar, reliable products that are being recognized the world, the company remains rather elusive on the internet.

You can only find them through their distributor.

To me, this is a point of concern because it means I might have trouble looking for help in the event that my Duratool case is damaged.

You will want to find a reliable and responsive distributor of Duratool if you are purchasing the Duratool Case.

Oh, they do not provide lifetime guarantee either.

Here’s the specifications of the Duratool Waterproof Case (MAX505S.079), see datasheet here:

  • Interior: 19.69″ × 13.78″ × 7.64″ (50 × 35 × 19,4 cm)
  • Exterior: 21.85″ × 16.85″ × 8.31″(55.0 x 48.2 x 21.1 cm)
  • Water proof seal to keep your instruments dry
  • Automatic pressure release valve so that your instruments can fly safely with you
  • Comes fitted with foam, you might need to use a knife to cut though the foam
  • Weight: 8.5 lbs. (3.86 kg) – super lightweight

There have been feedback that Duratool may not be consistent in their quality, hence there are users with cases that did not perform up to par.

If your gear will not be exposed to extreme conditions, this Duratool case is a cost effective option for you.

 

Best Pelican Case Alternative Below $200

You just want a hard case with customizable foam inserts to carry your gear around without paying for all the extra features that you don’t need?

The following are suitable for you.

Warning: You get what you pay.

Although the following do come with features like pressure release valves, customizable foam insert and more, we did notice that the quality may not be consistent.

If you are planning to use the hard case just to transport your equipment within town, they will do just fine.

If you are planning to travel by plane, you might want to take extra precaution.

 

AmazonBasics Hard Case *Our Pick*

Amazonbasics hard case

 

  • Interior: 20.5″ x 10.8″ x 7.5″ (52.1 x 27.4 x 19.1 cm)
  • Exterior: 21.9″ x 13.7″ x 9.8″ (55.6 x 34.8 x 24.9 cm)
  • Weight: 14 lbs (6.35 kg)
  • Manual pressure release valve
  • Watertight at 1 meter for up to 30 minutes
  • Comes with wheels for easy portability
  • Comes fitted with pre-cut, customizable foam
  • IP67 rated (independently tested)

This case is produced and sold by Amazon.

Users have mentioned that the case is not as sturdy, so you’ll need to take note of how you pack your gear.

One of the best part of this case is that it meets carry on regulations for most U.S. airlines.

As long as it does’t get checked in where it might be placed under heavier baggage, it’ll be fine.

Explore the AmazonBasics’ hard case and their offerings here.

 

Black Tactical Equipment Case

MCM Electronics Black Tactica Equipment Case

The Black Tactical Equipment case series by MCM Electronics is another great Pelican case alternative.

  • Interior: 25″ x 13″ x 6½” (63.5 x 33 x 15.2 cm)
  • Exterior: 28″ x 16 ½” x 7″ (71.1 x 40.6 x 17.8 cm)
  • Weight: 12.21 lbs (5.54 kg)
  • Waterproof – O-ring seal
  • For light equipment like cymbals
  • Comes fitted with pre-cut, customizable foam
  • No pressure valve

A downside is that the quality control across different units may vary which means that you might end up with a unit containing minor defects.

Judging it by it’s price point, the Black Tactical case definitely delivers as a protective hard case.

However, if you were to compare it with a Pelican case, there would definitely be differences like having gaps along the side between the foam and the cover.

In short, the Black Tactical Equipment case is durable, sturdy and is used by musicians and photographers to carry and store their gear. And a fair value for it’s price tag.

Read what other users of the Black Tactical case say on Amazon now

 

IBEX Case

ibex rugged protective cases

IBEX cases is another reliable company that hobbyist musicians and photographers often turn to.

They produce cases in various dimensions to cater to a larger group of audience which means that you’d probably be able to find a case for your needs.

I think this case is one that musicians and drummers will find practical:

  • Interior: 19.1 x 14.0 x 7.3″ (48.5 x 35.5 x 18.5 cm)
  • Exterior: 20 x 16.3 x 7.8″ (50.8 x  41.4 x 19.8 cm)
  • Weight: 10.05 lbs (4.56 kg)
  • Watertight
  • Dustproof
  • Temperature resistant from -20°C to 80°C (-4°F to 176°F)
  • Comes with pressure release valve
  • Comes fitted with pre-cut, customizable foam

This IBEX protective case is another great option for musicians and drummers who want to protect their drum modules, synthesizers and even cymbals.

The case is sturdy and can hold its own even when it is stacked beneath larger bags.

Plus, it also meets the carry on requirement for airlines so that you can bring your equipment with you while you travel.

One downside to note however, is that this case does not come with wheels or pulley hence if you are planning to pack heavy equipment you might want to think again.

Check out the details on the IBEX hard case on Amazon here

 

Bulletproof Cases – Large Extreme Weather

Bulletproof-Cases-Extreme-Weather-camera

Bulletproof Cases is a company that specializes in case that allow regular folks like us to be able to protect our gear as well.

They offer hard cover cases in many sizes, but a key feature is that their cases are usually very lightweight.

Here’s the specification of the Bulletproof Cases’ Large case:

  • Interior: 15″ x 10.7″ x 7″ (38.1 x 27.2 x 17.8 cm)
  • Exterior: 16.1″ x 13.5″ x 8″  (40.9 x 34.2 x 20.2 cm)
  • Weight: 8.76 lbs (3.97 kg)
  • Waterproof – O-ring seal
  • Temperature Resistant  -40°C to 90°C (-40°F to 194°F)
  • Pressure Release Valve
  • Comes fitted with pre-cut, customizable foam

Designed for DSLRs  or GoPro Rigs, the Bulletproof Cases’s Large Model is rugged, has a pressure release valve, can keep out water, and can hold it’s own in a wide range of  temperature.

Other than the feedback that the accompanying foam does not spring back to its original shape, most users trust their Bulletproof cases.

Useful if you are looking to transport your drum module or electronic drum pads too!

Find out more about Bulletproof cases’ large hard case on Amazon here.

 

Best Pelican Case Alternative Below $100

 

For the extremely budget constrained musician, here are some reliable Pelican Case alternatives that provide safe level of protection for a fraction of the cost.

Royal Case Condition 1 Case #839

Condition 1 Case #839

If you are limited by the size of your budget but still want something that provides reliable protection for your gear, this is it.

Here’s a look at the specifications of the Condition 1 Case #829:

  • Interior:  21.9″ x 17″ x 8.4″ (55.7 x 43.1 x 21.4 cm)
  • External: 24.5″ x 19.5″ x 8.4″ (62.2 x 49.5 x 21.4 cm)
  • Weight: 13 lbs (5.9 kg)
  • Watertight, Airtight
  • Comes with pressure release valve
  • Comes fitted with pre-cut, customizable foam
  • Comes in various color options too

It remains lightweight while providing the protection your gear would need during transport.

The size is slightly larger than the standard carry on requirements though and it doesn’t come with wheels so you’ll need to manage the amount of gear you pack into the case.

Some users have mentioned that the pre-cut foam provided is not stiff enough, you might need to consider replacing those.

With that said, given it’s price point you’re getting a great deal for a functional hard case that will protect your gear during transportation.

Learn more about the Condition 1 case on Amazon now.

 

Monoprice Hard Case *Our Pick*

Monoprice Hard Case Weatherproof

The Monoprice hard cases do not come with a lifetime guarantee but they do provide reliable protection.

I don’t know how they managed to pack so much features for such a low price point, I mean just take a look at the specifications of the Monoprice hard case:

  • Internal: 17.64″ x 13.58″ x 4.76″ (44.8 x 34.5 x 12.1 cm)
  • External: 18.86″ x 16.34″ x 5.91″ (47.9 x 41.5 x 15 cm)
  • Weight: 9.6 lbs (4.34 kg)
  • Comes with pressure release valve
  • Waterproof up to 1 meter depth for 30 minutes
  • Seal design provides IP67 level protection
  • Comes fitted with pre-cut, customizable foam

You’d also notice that it is lightweight despite the protection it offers.

Although it’s made in China, you are getting pretty good quality, practical size and basically a bang for your buck.

It’s not just me raving about it, many photographers, audiophiles and musicians have also recommended the Monoprice hard case as a great low budget option for their gear.

You can read what other users of the Monoprice hard case say about their hard cases.

 

Bulletproof Extreme Weather – Long case

Bulletproof-Cases-Extreme-Weather

Here’s the specification of the Bulletproof cases (Long hard case):

  • Interior: 34.1″ x 11.8″ x 4.88″ (86.5 x 30 x 12.4 cm)
  • Exterior: 34.7″ x 13.4″ x 4.88″ (88.0 x 34.1 x 12.4 cm)
  • Weight: 7.2 lbs (3.27 kg)
  • Waterproof – O-ring seal
  • Comes fitted with pre-cut, customizable foam

The Bulletproof Cases’ extreme weather case was designed for fishermen or fishing hobbyists to store and protect their fishing rods and gear.

Hence, I’d think that the case will not be able to protect heavier items like cymbal stands.

However, it’s size does make it a great option for microphones, trigger pads and other smaller and lighter items.

Plus, it is super lightweight which means you should be able to carry it around with ease.

And of course I saved the best for last; it only cost a fraction of a Pelican case, what a bargain!

Find out more about the Bulletproof Extreme Weather Long Case on Amazon now.

 

Why drummers might need a Pelican Case?

For the touring drummer or the musician who travels to record music, the Pelican Case is a hardy case that will protect your sensitive and fragile equipment like your microphones, drum modules, mixers, recording devices, stands, cymbals, synthesizers, etc.

Pelican makes hard cases in various sizes that allows for you to plan what and how to pack.

What to look for in a Pelican Case Alternative?

These are the criteria we used to determine the best Pelican Case alternatives.

  • Customizable foam insert

This is a key feature that allows users to customize the spaces in their pelican case or hardware case to hug their equipment snugly for maximum protection.

You wouldn’t want your equipment to be moving around freely in the hardware case as it gets thrown around because that would defeat the purpose of getting the hardcase protective box in the first place.

  • Size

Having a hard case that is too small or too big will not be practical, hence size is an important factor to consider.

Most companies manufacture hard cases in a range of dimensions, we used the 2 most practical and useful Pelican cases (listed in the next section) for musicians and drummers as comparison.

  • Lightweight

You’ll want a lightweight case so that it is easier to transport even after you have packed your equipment in.

  • Waterproof

This is optional unless you are worried your case will come in contact with a huge amount of water.

  • Durability

The purpose of a pelican case or a hardware case is to protect your gear, hence durability is a key factor that the box must have.

  • Shockproof

Let’s face the truth.

Check in baggage or luggage will be thrown around and mishandled, no matter what the airline industry say.

If you have bulky gear that you have no choice but to check-in, you’ll want the baggage to be shockproof.

Because if the hardware case breaks from the shock, then it defeats the purpose of purchasing the hardware case too.

Durability and Shockproof ability are difficult to gauge from the product specifications, we refer to user reviews to crowd-source for the reliability of the Pelican Case alternatives.

 

2 original Pelican Case Models that Musicians Often Use

Pelican manufactures a wide range of hard cases, I based my comparison on the following models because I felt that they are the most appropriate and practical models for musicians and drummers alike.

The Original Pelican Drum Hardware Case (1740)

Pelican 1740 Long Case

Here are the specifications of the 1740 Pelican Case:

  • Interior: 40.98″ x 12.92″ x 12.13″ (104.1 x 32.8 x 30.8 cm)
  • Exterior: 44.16″ x 16.09″ x 14.00″ (112.2 x 40.9 x 35.6 cm)
  • Weight with foam: 27 lbs (12.2 kg)
  • Empty Weight: 22 lbs (10 kg)
  • Waterproof
  • 6 piece foam set

Holds up to 6 cymbal stands, a snare stand and a hi-hat stand, the Pelican 1740 Protector Long Case was originally marketed to drummers who tour or have to travel with their equipment.

The original case is lightweight at just 22 lbs and is completely waterproof. Pelican tests their products to ensure that all their cases meet the claims they make.

The best part about owning a pelican case is that you get to own a hardware case for life. Pelican is so confident about the quality of their products that they offer lifetime guarantee on their hardware cases.

However, unless you are touring overseas, you might not need a hand carry protector case with wheels to transport your gear. Instead, you might be using a full sized flight case.

Hence the 1174 Pelican Long Protector Case might not be the best option for you.

Instead, you might want to look at smaller Pelican cases like:

Pelican Protector Transport Case (1690)

Pelican 1690

If you are transporting your cymbals, this might be the hard covered case that you should consider purchasing.

The 1690 Pelican Protector Transport Case has an area of 30.13″ by 25.12″, you can probably fit your cymbals and hi-hat in. The 1690 has a depth of 15.36″, you might need to check if there will be enough space.

It comes with 3 levels of Pelican’s signature Pick N Pluck foam which gives you the freedom to pack your cymbals and hi-hats accordingly.

With such quality, comes a larger price tag which new touring drummers don’t usually want to stomach.

What is IP67?

The IP code is the ‘international protection marking‘ aka ‘Ingress Protection Marking’ code, as regulated by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

It is an international standard that tells us how well a product can protect against intruding bodies.

A product with IP67 rating is:

  • Dust tight: Provides complete protection against dust, in a vacuum. This is tested for at least 8 hours.
  • Can be immersed in water, up to 1m depth for at least 30 minutes. There should be no entry of water in harmful quantity.

However, not being ‘rated’ IP67 does not mean that the product does not meet the requirements. It just means that the company has not tested the product according to the standards set up the IEC.

 

Conclusion

I hope our review and break down of the Pelican case alternatives above have given you better options to consider according to your needs and budget.

Feel free to leave a comment below if there’s anything we’d miss or if you don’t agree with our review 🙂

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