Gadling Gear Review: Pelican 1065 HardBack iPad Case

The iPad is a perfect travel companion, providing hours of entertainment and keeping us in communication while on the go. But Apple’s device can be fragile and it’s not always easy to safely carry it with us when we hit the road. Fortunately, there are a variety of good cases to help protect the tablet, although few provide the same level of security as the new 1065 HardBack Case from Pelican.

For years military personnel, explorers and travelers have depended on Pelican cases to keep their gear safe and secure under the most demanding of conditions. The company has built a reputation for providing products that are tough, dependable and impenetrable and their line of cases, designed for everything from laptops to firearms, are amongst the best in the business. They’re so good in fact that the company stands by all of their products with a lifetime guarantee, something that has become increasingly rare these days.

The 1065 HardBack Case puts all of Pelican’s years of experience into a compact shell specifically designed to protect an iPad or other 10-inch tablet device. Built from ruggedized, impact resistant plastic, this case is unlike any other. Not only is it crush proof, but it is also waterproof up to a depth of three feet and protects against a drop onto a hard surface from the same distance. The case’s airtight seal also prevents dust from getting into the electronics, while a built-in purge valve maintains internal air pressure making it easy to open at any altitude. To further protect our tablets, Pelican has lined the interior of the case with a foam liner that is designed to absorb impact without scratching the delicate screen.While testing this case I was continually impressed not only with its overall build quality but also its ability to stay tightly sealed even while absorbing a major impact. Pelican uses a durable latch that is easy to open when you want to gain access to the interior but still stays firmly shut while protecting its contents. This helps to prevent unintentional openings that can further lead to accidental damage to the iPad.

As you can no doubt tell, I am impressed with Pelican’s fantastic tablet case, but the HardBack does come with a few compromises. For starters, its rugged construction makes this case heavier than most as it tips the scales at 1.25 pounds. That’s more than the iPad itself and adds considerable bulk to a device that is specifically designed to help us travel lighter. Additionally, the 1065 is relatively small and thin with just enough room for a tablet inside. That means there is no space to conveniently carry an AC adapter, although most power supplies don’t require the same level of protection as the actual devices they power. Still, it would be nice to be able to carry both the iPad and its power supply in a single case.

Those few nit picks aside, the HardBack Case is one of the best options for travelers looking to safely carry their tablet to even the most remote and rugged places on Earth. Whether trekking through the Alps, sailing the Caribbean or simply trying to survive the perils of the modern airport, this is the case to have along on your next adventure. True, it does add a bit of weight to your pack, but if your travels frequently take you to demanding environments, the protection this case provides is worth the extra ounces. With a list price of $49.99 the HardBack won’t break the bank either, and considering the level of protection it provides, that seems like a real bargain compared to lesser cases that are on the market.