Pelican cases have long been loved by sportsmen, first responders and the military. They’re know for protecting weapons and delicate electronic equipment in the most extreme conditions.
It’s not a surprise that they’d eventually get around to making cases for tablets and smartphones. We checked out the new Pelican ProGear Vault Tablet Case for the iPad Air(also available for iPad Mini) and the Pelican ProGear Voyager Case for iPhone 5 (also available for the Samsung Galaxy 5). Both cases feature prominent Pelican logos, so you'll get credit from other fans of the brand.
The iPad case is named Vault for a reason: it comes with its own screwdriver and you have to remove and reattach 15 screws to put your iPad in the case. It weighs just about as much as an iPad Air, so it's not a case you use on the job site and then remove for kicking around the house.
It's got a heavy-duty, aircraft grade aluminum hinge and, once it's snapped shut, your iPad is well-protected from dust and mud. Pelican cites that the Vault meets Military Specifications Test Standards 810G to survive a 4 ft/1.2m drop and that it's rated IP54 for water resistance and momentary immersion. The covers for the side switch and audio and charging ports are well-made and there's an optical glass window so you can use the camera without giving up any protection. This is a case that will appeal to folks who once used those heavy metal clipboards with a back compartment for papers.
The Vault retails for $99.95 for the iPad Air and it's also available in black with gray accents. The iPad Mini retails for $79.95. These are absolutely cases for the work site: the protection they bring adds so much weight that you won't want to buy one as a fashion statement.
The Pelican Voyager cases retail for $50 and are available exclusively through AT&T. The iPhone version is available in black, white or pink and the Samsung version is available in black, white and blue instead of pink. This case offers a lifetime guarantee: you break it, they replace it, no questions asked.
There's a screen protector that fits securely between the phone and the front part of the case, no sticky stuff required. After testing a lot of screen protectors with adhesive and cases with plastic screens attached to the case that don't allow for a snug fit, this system is a welcome alternative. It fits together really well. The port covers are more solid than most and you have that lifetime warranty in case they fail before you stop using the phone.
The holster's belt clip comes with a metal support to hold it open for use as a viewing stand. It' a really nice viewing stand that's not going to wear out. It's easy to get the phone out of the case: there's a notch on the edge that lets you use a coin to pop it open. $50 is a bit pricey for a case, but you get a great belt clip viewing stand if you need one of those. The Trident Kraken case is a similar quality case that also retails for $50 but, because it's not an exclusive with one retailer, you can find it discounted if you look hard enough. If you like the Pelican brand, though, this is an excellent case.