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Storm Case solution to a growing problem


Active Member
I though this thread may help others facing concerns about taking camer equipment on air-flights and who have not bought large and hard camera cases.

While planning my next dedicated shooting trip with a friend (in Australia's Blue Mountains), I became concerned about flying with my cherished Hasselblad kit. each item must be well spaced for maximum impact protection.

Being a frequent business flyer I relaised that taking the kit in a couple of LowePro Stealth Reporter bags was a no go - they'd be relegated to the belly of the plane. My son, a pilot, told me about the shock treatment that luggage is subjected to at airports.

So I looked into suitable "hard cases" with the obvious brands coming to mind. The first thing to decide was size; then type; then brand; then see if i could afford one and adjust accordingly.

Firstly, I think I was wisely advised to buy new -why would someone sell their's if it had not developed a flaw, was the logic I decided to follow.

I also rationalised that this case is a transport item, not an "in-the-filed" item. So I'd still rollup the Stealth Reporters among my clothes case for use at the location. I should not expect the hard case to have the convenience or comfort of a soft shoulder bag.

Size: well I wanted to take the whole kit - why own it and leave some at home. This is made up of: 501CM, 503CW, CF 180, 250, CFE80, 120 and CFFLE 50 lenses; 4 backs; grip; tripod connectors; Cokin filters; 3 tubes. Of course film goes separately with me.

Laying out the gear made me realise a large case was essential and there was no point trying to ignore that fact. I also remembered that like buying soft bags, best to buy a bit bigger than underestimate the size - false economy one lives to regret quickly.

Style: pick and pluck foam or padded divider type? Well we all know the disadvantages of pick and pluck, but will a divider system be as effective in more extreme shock? Opinions will vary but I decided best to go with foam - it simply means (when well set up) no movement of equipment and that is hard to achieve with the divider style.

Then I did a "layout plan" and really realised this case would be LARGE and deep. But better one than two - cheaper and easier!

So it would have to be a roller type and I just hoped that someone made a SERIOUS roller setup.

Brand: I went to a dealer and "fondled" Pelican and Storm items - to get my own view of: plastic rigidity; quality of foam; friendliness of the catches; options available; quality of wheels and handles (extended and carrying); comparative sizes against my "map".

In each category I preferred the Storm version, so got prices and went home to get technical info on the web as well as any consumer feedback on both brands that may be available. Everything pointed to my prefreed brand and size.

So I ordered the Storm Case IM2950 and picked it up a couple of days ago; got my son's engineering brain to cut the foam (all fitted beautifully) and went for a walk with it, lifted it all sorts of ways to test the features I thought made it better than the other.

Well the outcome so far is that I'm delighetd. The case is the size of a medium sized suitcase; a reasonable weight with all gear on board; the wheels roll very smoothly and quite quietly; the handles are very comfortable. All in all a damn good buy (was AU$100 lees than expected as the importer finds it harder to move the bigger units).

Of course I'll post an update after I try it on my trip. But overall I am very happy with my purchase at this early stage. I now see why some reviews I read made a switch to this make - they prefer the handles; better standard of roller wheels; higher quality foam and the latches are way better.

So if you are starting to think about a serious hard case, I hope this helps. And don't be worried about the size being large - just get what size is required. God knows that this Hasselblad gear deserves and need some real protection.
Simon, A very good review and rationalization. I am familiar with Storm cases and they certainly are a superior product. I understand the need to take all your equipment, however, I can't even begin contemplating "checking" my cameras as baggage for the hold.I don't fly weekly or even monthly, but even if the luggage survives the rough handling, will it arrive with you?. I've had it go astray more often than I like. Whilst the airlines have never actually "lost" my luggage, I have been parted from it for up to a week.
I have become increasingly amazed by how complex a decision buying any sort of camera bag/case can be - one really needs to use a solid evaluation process to help get it right and avoid big disappointment and wasted money.

Marc, Storm cases are made by Hardigg Industries in the US. The Web site is, but you can learn more about this interesting company's wider protection products at their home site

Thanks Colin. I agree all round but think this will be the first time I will sit in the plane with no niggling worries about what goes on at each end when machinery bang the luggage very hard.

I too get concerned that gear will go to another continent, but I carry very good insurance, keep my Leica gear with me (so not all my plans will go up in smoke) and keep my fingers crossed.

No one should doubt the shock luggage is subjected to. My son (pilot) had special federal clearance to tour the underground luggage handling at Sydney airport. He was "blown away" by the volume of luggage traffic; automation; scanning and bag separation for more scanning if items seemed odd; and the MASSIVE G-force shock applied to bags when automated arms pushed/punched and shoved luggage from one belt to another.

He came home saying he would never, never put anything in a bag other than soft clothing!

Finally, I read Storm's comparative feature list that comments on "the other brand" similar features and why they feel Storm is better and a number of them were why I preferred Storm. By the way when setting up the foam I worked to a 2" separation of items.