Pelican 1535 Air Carry-on Case vs. 1615 Air Case: Which is Right for You?

August 01, 2023 4 min read

By: Ryan Smoke, Creative Director

Meet the Pelican Air Series

Are you in the market for an lightweight case that offers world class protection for your valuable gear and equipment? The search for the perfect blend between protection and practicality is over. The Pelican Air series of cases was developed to provide a remarkably tough, yet stylish and modern case in the lightest and most practical form factors available. The two most popular models by far are the Pelican Air 1535 Carry-on Case and the Pelican Air 1615 Case, but which one is right for you? Buying a case online can be tricky, and there are some key differences you should be aware of before making a purchase. Let's take a deeper look into each model to find out which one will suit your needs best.


Size, Cost & Uses

The first, most obvious consideration when deciding on a case is size. How big is it, and how much stuff can I fit in it? However, when traveling one must also consider weight and efficiency. How much stuff do you NEED to fit in it?

The 1535 Air Carry-on Case is, just as the name implies, carry-on sized. It is FAA and TSA approved and fits in the overhead compartment of all major airlines. For those wondering, it is very similar in size to the classic Pelican 1510 Protector case which has been around for decades, and while internally it is just a hair longer and wider the usable depth is slightly less. Internal volume is nearly identical, but where this modernized update to the 1510 really shines is in the 3 lb weight savings over the long time industry standard for this size case. The Pelican 1535 Air Carry-on Case from ColorCase starts at $259.00 (case only).

Pelican 1535 Air Case Specs at a Glance

    • Inside Dimensions: 20.39" x 11.20" x 7.21"
    • Outside Dimensions: 21.96" x 13.97" x 8.98"
    • Weight (Empty): 8.69 lbs
    • Internal volume: 0.95 ft³

For example, the 1535 Air case is ideal for photographers who need to carry 1-2 camera bodies, 3-4 lenses, and other smaller camera accessories. We have found that it can also accommodate compact folding drones and controllers along with a camera body and 3-4 lenses.

The 1615 on the other hand, is a considerably larger case at just under 30" in length internally. It is ideal for those that need to pack larger items such as tripods, control boards or panels, rigging and lighting equipment, etc. At just 14 lbs however, this is a great option for hard sided checked baggage because, as we all know, every pound can make a difference when traveling by air and incurring extra fees. The Pelican 1615 Air case from ColorCase starts at $346.00 (case only).

 Pelican 1615 Air Case Specs at a Glance

    • Interior Dimensions: 29.59" x 15.50" x 9.38"
    • Exterior Dimensions: 32.58" x 18.40" x 11.02"
    • Weight (Empty): 14.06 lbs
    • Internal volume: 2.49 ft³

In summary, here is a detailed side-by-side comparison of the Pelican 1535 and 1615 case specs:

Pelican 1535 Air Case Pelican 1615 Air Case
Starting Price $259.00 $346.00
Interior Dimensions 20.39" x 11.20" x 7.21" 29.59" x 15.50" x 9.38"
Exterior Dimensions 21.96" x 13.97" x 8.98" 32.58" x 18.40" x 11.02"
Lid Depth 2.00" 2.00"
Base Depth 5.21" 7.38"
Total Depth 7.21" 9.38"
Internal Volume 0.95 ft³ 2.49 ft³
Weight (Empty) 8.69 lbs 14.06 lbs



Construction & Features

Both the 1535 and 1615 Air cases feature Pelican's proprietary HPX²™ polymer material, which when injection-molded creates a strong and durable, yet lightweight case construction. Both cases feature 2 wheels with stainless steel bearings and 16" retractable trolley for ease of use on urban terrain such as streets, sidewalks, and in airports and transportation facilities.

Both cases are also equipped with a pressure equalization valve which balances the air pressure inside the case with ambient air pressure, allowing for easy opening of the case at any altitude. Stainless steel hardware and 5/16" padlock protectors come standard on both cases, allowing you to lock the case with just about any small keyed, combination, or TSA lock.

Both cases are also compatible with integrated TSA locking latches with keys, a very streamlined solution for locking the case during travel.


Options & Accessories

When it comes to customizing and accessorizing your case, ColorCase offers the largest selection of colors and accessory combinations for the 1535 and 1615 Air cases that we have seen online, and both cases can be outfitted with the following lid and base accessories:

Lid Accessories

    • Convoluted Lid Foam
    • ColorCase Mesh Lid Organizer
    • Combo-Pouch Lid Organizer (Select Colors Only)

Base Accessories

    • Pick & Pluck Layered Foam
    • TrekPak Divider System
    • ColorCase Gray Padded Microfiber Dividers
    • Pelican Yellow Padded Microfiber Dividers
    • DIY Shadow Tool Foam Kit

Additionally, the 1535 Air case can be purchased with a Laptop Computer Lid Pouch option, and there is also a MOLLE lid organizer option as well.

Both cases are available in Black, Charcoal, Indigo, Orange, Oxblood, Silver, Trekking Green and Yellow. Additionally, the 1535 is available in Deep Pacific Blue, Lime Green, and soon will be available in Red.

Both cases can be paired with the following Push-Button style latches: Black, Orange, Silver, Yellow, and TSA Locking latches.

Additionaly, any case color may be paired with the following Double-Throw (classic style) latches: Blue, Desert Tan, Lime Green, OD Gree, or Red.



So when it comes to the Pelican 1535 vs. 1615, which Air case should you choose? Consider how much interior space you'll need along with features like exterior design, built-in latches/locks, cost effectiveness, and portability. Ultimately, it all comes down to what type of protection and convenience you need, whether traveling domestically or internationally. Remember that both models provide excellent protection and convenience when it comes to transporting valuable items around safely.

Good luck choosing your next Pelican case folks, and of course if you have any questions please call, email, or begin a chat with our customer service team, who would be happy to help you! And as always, no matter which Pelican case you choose, you can rest assured knowing that your belongings will remain safe and sound wherever your next adventure takes you!

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