A teaser - this little tool is intrinsic to a new development of a product I've already reviewed quite favorably. The development makes the product even better. Anyone recognize it? I covered the brand with a Post-it note.
Here's the rest of the story.
Some time ago I reviewed the then-new TrekPak camera case divider system (here). I was impressed by the perfect combination of padding and shock protection offered by the relatively thin (and thus space-efficient) proprietary TrekPak divider panels. Experiments with a Pelican 1550 proved I could fit noticeably more equipment in the same volume, with equal or superior protection compared to pluck-foam or hook-and-loop foam panels. And the system was very nearly completely custom-fit.
Very nearly. The kit comprised top and bottom open-cell foam pads, a pre-cut perimeter of the TrekPak closed-cell-foam/plastic-core material, plus a bundle of pre-cut sections of the same stuff to build the interior. I found I could accommodate just about every piece of camera gear I wanted—but there were a few gaps, a few places where I couldn’t quite make the existing piece stretch where I wanted. At the time I mused that it would be nice to have panels available a la carte, but TrekPak founder Georgia Hoyer is going one better and will be offering complete, do-it-yourself kits for several models of Pelican cases. These will comprise the same top, bottom, and perimeter pieces, along with a bundle of bulk-length separator panels.
She sent me one for the Pelican 1510 rolling carry-on case I’m testing as airline transport for our camera and video equipment. I sat down with some cardboard for templates, messed around for a few minutes with placement, and then started cutting with the cunning little double-bladed cutter included in the kit. Given the generous depth of the 1510, I fabricated a two-layer system, using sections of panel as padding between them.
When I finished, I was—to use the British term—gobsmacked at the amount of equipment I’d successfully, and neatly, packed into the relatively compact (universal carry-on compliant) 2,700 cubic inches of the 1510. There were enough interior panel sections to construct exactly the matrix I needed to exploit the available space. The total comprised:
Two Canon 5D MkII bodies
Two flash units
300mm F4 L lens
70-200 F4 L lens
24-105 F4 L lens
17-40 F4 L lens
100mm macro lens
15mm fisheye lens
Electronic viewfinder for video work
Two battery chargers
Two spare AA battery holders
Four spare camera batteries
Flash extension cord
Simply put, I cannot imagine a better system for carrying and protecting expensive optical equipment. TrekPak has successfully produced something that existed only in my imagination for the last 25 years. Highly recommended.