For its robustness and versatility, the Vanguard Supreme 53F is our pick for the best camera case. The everyday photographer may find a stylish camera bag sufficient for carrying their gear, but for those needing something bigger, stronger, and more durable, a hard-shell camera case is going to be more appropriate and the Vanguard Supreme will get the job done. You may have immensely expensive gear, work in challenging environments, or just prefer something tougher when going from one location to another.
After years of going through many products in order to find the best for keeping our cameras and lenses safe, we have total confidence in the below camera cases to offer the best protection for your camera gear.
VANGUARD SUPREME 53F
The Vanguard Supreme 53F has been dropped down stairs, dragged through rubble, and had water poured over it. Even with all this abuse it managed to keep the contents inside completely safe. It remains waterproof up 16.5 feet, is airtight, and can be used in both extreme cold and hot conditions (from -40 to 95 degrees). If you’re a globetrotting photographer, then you will be impressed by the Vanguard Supreme’s automatic pressure equalization valve, allowing it to adapt to an airplane’s inside cabin pressure or changes in elevation.
With an internal size of 22 x 17.8 x 7.9 inches, you’re able to carry multiple camera bodies, lenses, and other accessories such as flashes, chargers, and batteries.
PELICAN 1525 AIR CASE
With over 40 years’ experience in the equipment protection industry, Pelican is certainly no stranger to keeping your camera safe. The Pelican 1525 Air Case is another example of its consistency when it comes to making quality products. An innovative air series has allowed Pelican to create a sturdy product that remains lightweight. With TrekPak padded inserts, the Pelican 1525 weighs in at just over 7 pounds but offers 20.5 x 11.31 x 6.75 inches of internal space. The watertight case can even float in salt water while carrying up to 57.9 pounds of gear inside it.
Compared to the Vanguard Supreme 53F, the Pelican case can withstand temperatures as low as 0 degrees and as high as 140 — less extreme on the low end, but much more so on the high end. Its modern design means it’s one of the more stylish camera cases on this list — it even has space for your business card, meaning you’ll never need to miss a networking opportunity, no matter how rugged the terrain gets.
MANFROTTO PRO LIGHT RELOADER TOUGH H-55
Manfrotto may be more recognizable for its tripods, but the Pro Light Reloader is a standout rolling case worthy of your attention. It allows you to pack in two DSLR camera bodies and three to four lenses. You also have the option of attaching your tripod to it. If you’re a travel photographer that likes to save on check-in fees, this camera case is perfect as it has been designed purposely to fit in an overhead bin on an airplane. Importantly, the case is water repellent and comes with a specially applied coating to the fabric, ensuring it remains resistant to moisture.
For a more colorful rolling case, allow us to introduce you to the Nanuk 935, which is available in six different colors, from a stealthy gray to a bright yellow. And if you’d rather carry than roll, you’ll be happy to hear that you needn’t worry about blisters on your hands, as the 935 comes with three soft-grip handles. Its patented PowerClaw latching system has been designed to keep your equipment locked and safe even in the most testing of conditions, but is also very easy to open and close compared to some other latching mechanisms found on the other cases on this list. For build quality, the case is made from lightweight NK-7 polypropylene and is fully waterproof.
The 935 comes in two versions, either with padded dividers as we’ve selected here, or with a customizable foam insert. We prefer the padded dividers, but going with the foam will save you a few bucks.
PGYTECH CARRYING CASE FOR RONIN-S
The PGYTech Ronin-S case was created with the fully equipped photographer or videographer in mind. As the name suggests, it can hold a DJI Ronin-S gimbal, but also has the ability to store your camera body, an attached lens, a monopod, and various accessories. Its reinforced edges and latches make it a tough and lasting product, and although it allows you to carry a range of gear, it remains compact. It comes with a water resistance rating of IP67, which means it can withstand damage when coming in contact with high pressured water. However, should the case become fully immersed in water, we advise you to recover it as quickly as possible. Granted, it may be less feature-packed compared to the other cases, but it remains a reliable product and one that will serve you well.
WHAT IS AN IP RATING?
An IP rating was created to be the industry standard for determining how resistant a product is to water and other materials such as dirt, dust, and sand. If you’re purchasing a camera case, the most common ratings you will find are IP67 and IP68. The number after IP reflects a product’s resistance to solids and moisture. In this case, we look at number 6. This tells us your camera case is protected against contact with harmful dust and powerful water pressure. The following number (7 or 8) refers only to the cases’ ability to protect your gear when immersed in water. A 7 tells us that your camera case can be in water of up to 3.3 feet in depth and remain protected for up to 30 minutes. An 8 means your camera case is fully waterproof in water over 3.3 feet in depth (manufacturer must specify the exact amount) for extended periods of time.