Photographers usually shy away from watery conditions like a vampire hiding from garlic. Even though top-end cameras and lenses have reasonable waterproofing, it still fills us with dread to get anything more than a few drops of rain on our precious camera gear.
This means if you have to lug all your pricey gear into wet and humid environments, you will need one of the many ingenious waterproof camera cases we’ve found to protect all your wares. In these scenarios, a robust solution will be needed, which is why we are taking a closer look at the top waterproof camera cases today.
The added benefit to these camera case solutions is that they are built for long-distance travel and for literally being thrown down a flight of stairs. Which means these cases can withstand not just a good dunking in water, but can also take abuse from the most heavy-handed of luggage carriers.
1. Vanguard Supreme 53F Waterproof and Airtight Hard Case
The Vanguard Supreme 53F Waterproof and Airtight Hard Case may seem initially expensive for what looks on the surface like a big, plastic box. But this case will protect all your camera gear against anything you can throw at it. The initial peace of mind comes from the promo picture of a truck wheel driving over the top of the case, which gives you a small idea of the levels of protection.
The case itself is made from hardened polypropylene, which is completely waterproofed and airtight, with an automatic pressure valve for long airline flights. Six strong latches surround the case, with reinforced steel holders for additional padlocks when needed. The Vanguard Supreme 53F case is also fitted with a pair of very sturdy wheels that have no trouble traversing rocky terrain.
The internal foam is easily configurable, with hexagon shapes that can be pulled out to meticulously fit any type of camera gear. In essence, if you want the ultimate in security and protection for all your camera kit, then look no further.
2. Pelican 1200 Protector Case
I’m dying to write the ‘Pelican brief’ case, but any lame callbacks to 90s movies are not allowed. (Editor’s Note: Says who?? I love 90s movies!) Plus, this isn’t a briefcase, but a rock-solid waterproof camera case (though it can still be used to store legal documents on its days off, if needed).
The Pelican 1200 is quite a small case, just about big enough for a camera body and a small lens, but there are larger options such as the 1510 Protector Carry-On Case if you need extra space.
Like many waterproof camera cases, the Pelican 1200 is dust and crushproof, featuring an automatic pressure valve, very sturdy latches, and very easy-to-configure foam inserts. There are also holes on either side of the case to add your own padlocks for extra security.
The water rating of this case is IP67, which means it can be dunked underwater to the depth of 1m for up to 30 minutes and can take a temperature range of -40 to 210°F. If you only have a small amount of gear to carry around, then the nominal price makes it a very good solution.
3. Condition 1 25″ XL Hard Case Trunk #839
This particular case has all the attributes needed to protect your camera equipment. There’s enough room inside for a sizeable amount of gear, with the outer shell having a rating of IP67 for full water- and dust-proofing, along with a pressure valve for cargo hold storage.
Inside is a hefty amount of pluckable foam that can be easily configured to your own needs. The lid also has a substantial block of foam for extra protection. The case has been covered to be drop and crushproof, with substantial latches and a very strong handle. This particular model doesn’t have any wheels, but there are other models in the lineup which have this facility.
This Condition 1 25” XL Hard Case Trunk is a very strong carry solution, providing enough protection for a reasonable amount of gear.
4. SKB iSeries 2011-7 Case
The SKB iSeries 2011-7 takes a different approach to arranging camera gear inside the case. Some models have a solid block of foam for cutting up and configuring to the size of each piece of gear.
The internals on this model are more like a standard camera bag, with individual sectioned off areas. Just like a regular camera bag or backpack, all the individual sections have Velcro tabs which can be rearranged to fit your own particular setup. The lid also has its own built-in pockets and areas for storing accessories.
The case itself is as waterproof and hardy as the rest, with a solid outer shell, very robust latches, and reinforced stainless steel holes for adding padlocks. The SKB iSeries 2011-7 Case also has a set of wheels for dragging the thing around.
Because this case has Velcro, sectioned off areas, it can in theory fit in more equipment. This is fine if you’re carrying the case around yourself. But the added protection of solid foam inserts may be a better option if you want extra peace of mind for long-term travel. Then again, you could use the case as it is for short-term travel and replace the internal section with a solid amount of pluggable foam for airline flights.
If the internal arrangement of SKB iSeries 2011-7 is to your fancy, it will provide plenty of protection with the instant configurability of a regular camera bag.
5. MIEJIA Portable All Weather Waterproof Camera Case (Budget Winner)
Usually when it comes to budget gear, it’s not always the most well-made or long-lasting. However, the MIEJIA case is a sturdy piece of kit at a very cost-effective price. The outer shell is made from polypropylene, with respectably solid latches and hinges.
The pre-requisite pressure valve has been included, with enough internal foam to protect two full-frame camera bodies and a few lenses. The foam insert is also easily configurable with lots of little squares that can be pulled apart to your heart’s content. The only real downside in this area is that the foam in the lid is not as high-quality as the rest of the insert material.
The lid also has reinforced stainless steel holes for padlocks, which don’t feel as high-quality as the other options on this list, but that is to be expected for the price. Overall, the MIEJIA Portable waterproof case is a very cost-effective camera accessory for those on a budget.
Get Complete Protection with Waterproof Camera Cases
When it comes to protecting camera gear against the rigors of the elements, it’s always best to buy into the highest quality case for the most peace of mind. It’s a simple equation to spend a few hundred dollars on bullet-proof protection rather than lose thousands of dollars worth of gear on a very cheap case solution.
In this regard, you can’t go wrong with either the Vanguard or the Pelican for monsoon or throw-off-a-cliff protection. And if these particular sizes don’t fit your needs, then they will have something in their inventory for your own particular size of setup.