The Ultimate Pelican S130 Sport Elite Camera Pack Review

I decided to take advantage of the sunlit winter skies for a photography trip to Strasbourg, France in order to field test the Pelican S130 Sport Elite Camera Pack.

The Ultimate Pelican S130 Sport Elite Camera Pack Review

I decided to take advantage of the sunlit winter skies for a photography trip to Strasbourg, France in order to field test the Pelican S130 Sport Elite Camera Pack.

Strasbourg is the home of the European Parliament and the largest city in the Alsace region. Its known for its medieval cityscape and gothic architecture. To begin my day, I took an urban hike along the river, stopping along the way to get some drone footage of the city from above. I packed the Pelican S130 with my DJI drone, two cameras, my laptop and an extra clothing layer in the 25L space.

[Insert Video Embed Here]

Pelican Performance

Pelican is a professional-grade protective case supplier. Pelican designs and manufacturers high performance, yet rugged gear that can perform in the outdoors. Headquartered in Torrance, California, the company made a meteoric rise to become the largest manufacturer of equipment protection cases in the world. It focuses on gear that lasts a lifetime. Pelican’s products are tested out and trusted in the military, aerospace, police and rescue industries.

Field Test

I wandered through the streets of the Petit France area, stopping to capture the traditional black and white timber-framed buildings.

© The Outdoor Journal

To break up the day, I stopped at a sidewalk cafe for some chocolate chaud and a bit of photo editing. Despite the chill, the summer sun and the architecture made for a charming temporary office.

© The Outdoor Journal

Laptop Slot

In addition to the front plate, there’s a designated laptop case that’s durable, dustproof and crushproof, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your hard drive and losing those precious shots.

Form-fitting Case

If you’re like me, your significant other has chastised you for worrying too much about your gear. But the Pelican’s design was created with the gearhead in mind. Like a stegosaurus, a rigid front plate guards the camera housing. The interior case includes form-fitting foam that can be adjusted for different configurations.

I housed my DJI Mavic Pro along with the remote and extra battery and two cameras inside the case. It would also work well with a DSLR and multiple lenses. The removable divider is a self-contained, zip-up case with a carry strap. That’s a lot of gear in one bag.

© The Outdoor Journal

I ventured on along winding, cobblestone streets toward the city center. At the top of my photo checklist was the Cathédrale Notre-Dame, an intricate gothic masterpiece. The 142 meter spire was the tallest structure in the world from 1647-1874. I turned a corner and took in the massive structure for several minutes while a street performer played classical tunes on the violin, creating a sense of timelessness despite the hoard of technology I brought along with me for the day.

After capturing the church in the round, I ventured inside to listen to the hauntingly beautiful sounds of the Sunday service as I watched the rays of sun pierce through the centuries-old stained glass.

Comfort and Ventilation

Like the mythical Chimera, the S130 is a hybrid of design because it juxtaposes a hardened, durable laptop case with supple back padding for your comfort. Far from your typical backpack straps, the Pelican’s pads support both your shoulder blades and your lumbar area. In the past, I’ve often generated noticeable back sweat from carrying my pack all day. But the S130 back padding was designed for ventilation so that air flows between your back and the bag. Like backpacker bags, there are adjustable, fitted clasps around the chest to prevent sliding and bouncing.

© The Outdoor Journal


Crushproof: Includes a built-in watertight crush-proof case for laptop (up to 15 inches). Combine that with tear-resistant nylon and a tough top handle that won't rip off or break, and you'll appreciate the peace of mind this pack gives you.

Travel Ready: Built with the traveler in mind, it's Carry-on size and Overhead-friendly for flying. The 25L storage can store your essential gear in addition to your laptop and a spare set of clothing.

Customisable: The padded divider set is perfect for photography cameras and lenses. The removable case can fit a DSLR camera plus additional lenses.

Pain-free: The ergonomic ventilated back strap design with padded cushions and lumbar support pad will prevent strain on your back over long days of shooting.


Solid Shell: Although there are compression straps to reduce bulkiness, the hard shell laptop case makes the bag non-collapsible. It's no guarantee that it would fit under the seat of your next flight.

Pro Look: The overall aesthetic is more on the military end of the spectrum than the traveler look. A bohemian backpacker on the Banana Pancake trail could not pull this off.

Weighty: At 7.14 pounds, it’s heavy. If I had to scramble up a mountain, I’d seriously consider streamlining my camera gear to the essentials and packing my 10L dry-bag instead.

Bottoms Out: I got excited to carry my tripod or yoga mat in the bottom expanding sling storage straps, but they’re shorter than they should be. A rolled up jacket would fit.

Final Say:

For photographers and filmmakers, the Pelican is a well designed tool to get the shot and edit on the go. If you're a photography professional, you’ll rest assured knowing you're gear case is crushproof, watertight and dustproof.


  • Volume: 25L
  • IP Rating: 67
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 10 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 7.14 pounds
  • CASE INTERIOR 15.15" x 10.40" x 1.00" (38.5 x 26.4 x 2.5 cm) DIVIDER INTERIOR 10.30" x 9.00" x 4.80" (26.2 x 22.9 x 12.2 cm) [/su_list]

Pelican S130 Sport Elite Camera Pack Price: $179.96 Learn more here

Feature Image © The Outdoor Journal