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Otterbox vs. Pelican Case Micro #611478 01/02/12 04:43 AM
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This is a quick review of two brands of waterproof cases for your gear. The Pelican Case Micro 1060 versus the Otterbox 3000.

These cases aren't the same size but are close enough to compete. I have the two different cases because they fit the two outer pockets of my Condor II backpack like they were made for them.

[Linked Image from i1008.photobucket.com]

I won't go over the differences that are obvious in the pictures.

The biggest difference in my opinion is the hinge. The Otterbox has one long hinge/pin. This seems a little more durable to me.

[Linked Image from i1008.photobucket.com]

But, both have been thrown around pretty hard, and neither show signs of failure.

The Otterbox is also thicker plastic. I assume this makes it stronger as they seem to be made of similar plastic.

The Pelican case has an inner, rubber liner to help with shock, but it is only on one side. It also acts as the gasket for sealing the closure. The Otterbox has an inset gasket that I would guess is better at sealing the box.

Otterbox is on left

[Linked Image from i1008.photobucket.com]

This seems like a moot point to me since I use them for rain and possible submersion of less than 10 feet. Otterbox guarantees their cases to 100 feet. I can't find any guarantee for depth on the Pelican Case site, but they do say "Unconditionally guaranteed forever." That's a pretty strong guarantee.

Another difference is the latch. The Pelican has one long latch and the otter has two latches. Seems like they went opposite of their hinge differences.

[Linked Image from i1008.photobucket.com]

Also, the Pelican case has an automatic valve made of Gortex to allow for barometric pressure differences. They say it helps with things like closing it in low pressure and then opening it in a higher pressure. So, if you close it on top of Everest, it will stabilize the pressure inside, without letting water in, and allow you to open with ease at sea level. I think this is more useful in bigger cases with more surface area pressing it closed. I have had issues opening large sealed case before, but have closed the Otterbox at 10K + feet and opened it at 1K with no issues.

Otterbox gives you a set of "rings" to put a lock on your box.

[Linked Image from i1008.photobucket.com]

At this size, i think it is useless. It is small enough for a thief to just take the entire thing with ease and just smash it later.

Who's the winner?

Despite Pelican's rep. and forever guarantee (I am not going to mail a less than 20 dollar box in for replacement anyway), I have to go with Otterbox for it's gasket design and thicker plastic. Larger cases is a different story.

However, Otterbox doesn't command a strong enough lead to sway my decision in purchases. I will buy whichever is cheaper and fits the space/gear I have for it.

Re: Otterbox vs. Pelican Case Micro [Re: ] #611479 01/02/12 04:29 PM
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I have several Pelican cases and 2 Otterboxes. Like you I got them to keep some things dry and from being crushed.

The gortex valves on the Pelican cases really shine if you fly. It isn't too hard to pry the Otterbox open using a coin as a pry bar but they will vacuum seal so tight you can't open them by hand.

I need a new seal for my Otterbox and found their customer service to be so so. I still don't have my seal so if anyone knows where to chase one down let me know.

Pelican has a Scrap Yard like warranty. If you dropped in and it cracked...send it back for a new one.


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Re: Otterbox vs. Pelican Case Micro [Re: imaginefj] #611480 01/02/12 04:30 PM
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Now that I think about it you can see one of the Otterbox cases under my right kneee in the avatar. There is a tan SOD in the middle. Great design I am just not into SR77 or whatever steel it had.

Last edited by imaginefj; 01/02/12 04:35 PM.

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Re: Otterbox vs. Pelican Case Micro [Re: imaginefj] #611481 01/02/12 06:45 PM
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My experience with the Pelican case is not good at all. Back in 2004 we went thru Neon Canyon (Technical). My friend put his camera in the case and clipped it to his harness. As the case was on the outside now and being dragged thru the water, before the case was in my pack. He was going to take some pics, when he opened the case, it was filled with water, lucky enough he wrapped it in a plastic bag first. It did good in the pack, but not in direct water and being dragged. I've had great success with WX Tex Dry bags.


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Re: Otterbox vs. Pelican Case Micro [Re: imaginefj] #611482 01/02/12 07:06 PM
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The gortex valves on the Pelican cases really shine if you fly. It isn't too hard to pry the Otterbox open using a coin as a pry bar but they will vacuum seal so tight you can't open them by hand.

I didn't really think about that. I fly often, but never needed to open the box while inflight. I guess if I ever do, I will be happy about the valve.

Re: Otterbox vs. Pelican Case Micro [Re: ] #611483 01/04/12 04:19 PM
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Is your Otter Box a 3000 series ?


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Re: Otterbox vs. Pelican Case Micro [Re: sportsnut] #611484 01/05/12 01:39 AM
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Ye it is.

Re: Otterbox vs. Pelican Case Micro [Re: ] #611485 01/05/12 07:01 AM
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I have both an Otterbox and a pelican case. They are both good cases, but I can't speak for the real "Tough and tumble" crowd on these. To me the Ottorbox plastic seems just a bit softer therefore in my mind will take more abuse without cracking. Plus I like the latches on the Otterbox better than the one on the Pelican case. My Otterbox is the 3500 and the Pelican is the 1020. I like the Pelican for it's thinner profile but the 3500 of course is larger therefore will hold more.

As I said I like the Otterbox more because at least to me it seems like it will take more abuse. BUT the Pelican case with it's clear lid will allow you to see what is inside.

Take your pick for what you need it to do and you can't go wrong with either one.


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