Watershed or Pelican Case for DSLR? - Mountain Buzz

Go Back   Mountain Buzz > Whitewater Boating > Whitewater Kayaking > Kayaking | Gear Talk

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-27-2013   #1
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,817
Watershed or Pelican Case for DSLR?

Just ordered myself a nice little Canon package with a SL1 and various lenses and what not. I will be packing it on whitewater day trips as well as multi-day self-support missions. I assume the Watershed bag will be easier to pack in a tight space, but I know the Pelican cases are bombproof..... so, what have you guys found works best for you?


lmyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 11-27-2013   #2
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,344
I love my pelican case. I rigged up a threaded bar through the "fins" on the back of the case so that I can strap it down to the raft side rails. I run a short cam strap through the bar on the back and the handle on the front. This way it's secure & I can get it open quickly without having to undo straps. I've used this set-up for years with no problems. I found a threaded metal dowel at Home Depot that was the right length, drilled a hole through the fins, threaded the dowel through, and added some nuts to cover the ends of the dowel (started with just tape on the ends, acorn nut is much neater). Watershed bags are great, but not hardshell protection, and not quick to get into.
cataraftgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2013   #3
bobbuilds's Avatar
x, x
Paddling Since: x
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,706
that is a good question. I remember a few years back watching a video of Fred Gnarquist where he swam in the crystal gorge. His 7D was in a watershed bag, probably with the foam liner accessory getting worked in the hole.

I figure that he had only 1 lens in the bag and that it was attached to the camera.

If the lens was not attached or if there was more than 1 lens in the bag, i figure they would bang around and break.

One thought i had was go with a watershed and cut mini cell foam to protect the camera while in the bag, but it would add bulk.

Jen found a small pelican case to house her camera body and lens in separate cut outs in the same case.

For her to take the camera with the lens attached the box grew in size for us, but we use it for traveling with the 18-55 and the 55-300.

we use a 1200 for the body and small lens. though they have to be separated to pack in the pelican box so i worry about lint and hair.

sweet for you though, on the new camera! looking forward to seeing some of your pictures.
bobbuilds is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 11-27-2013   #4
laterwagged's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 248
Originally Posted by lmyers View Post
Just ordered myself a nice little Canon package with a SL1 and various lenses and what not. I will be packing it on whitewater day trips as well as multi-day self-support missions. I assume the Watershed bag will be easier to pack in a tight space, but I know the Pelican cases are bombproof..... so, what have you guys found works best for you?

As a former video professional, I would NEVER ever use a non-rigid solution to store visual equipment. I have dropped a pelican case off Smith rock (in Oregon) and had a working camera after a 100+ foot fall.

I have also lost a camera off the stern of a motorboat in choppy seas on Hood Canal and found the camera 45 minutes later floating calmly in the surf - working perfectly fine.

I don't have a river running horror story for you...probably because I have a pelican case.

Don't get me wrong, I love my watershed bags (I have 3), but even with foam liners, they don't afford the same impact resistance.
but can you see its opposition | comes a-rising up sometimes | that it's dreadful and position | comes blacking in my mind | ....and then I see a darkness
laterwagged is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2013   #5
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,817
Thanks for the input so far everyone, but just to be clear, this is to be packed inside a hardshell kayak.... so I'm not sure if impact resistance is quite as important as in other situations. Although I guess it could bang around inside the boat pretty good.

Pelican cases are certainly cheaper, but these photo kit bags from Watershed with the inner bag and spacers looks pretty cool: http://drybags.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?...y_Code=Duffels
lmyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2013   #6
Durango South, 4CRS
Paddling Since: 07
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 201
I know that there are quite a few threads on this topic, and you can get some good info/opinions from those.

I have a canon t3i and went with the ocoee watershed, mostly for the fact that the pelican case needed was bigger than I wanted sitting between my legs. If I was rafting I would say pelican hands down, but they are pretty bulky in a hard shell.

Some pros and cons with the ocoee are you can put lunch, headlamp, extra lens, etc in there and have everything accessible. If you plan on getting the camera out very often it is a real pain to get the bag sealed back up though compared to the pelican, especially when your fingers are numb.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. - Helen Keller
yakr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2013   #7
tango's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 731
A few years ago I bought a little hd video camera, and got a watershed ocoee (with liner) and a pelican box to carry it in, not sure which I would prefer. For going creek boating I like the watershed. It fits better either behind the seat of my kayak or between my legs. Ultimately I ditched the liner and just made a foam case to hold the camera in the bag. I would also keep emergency supplies in with the camera; CPR mask, bitchutane, pin kit, 1st aid, food, etc. so the bag was multi-purpose. I prefer scrambling around on slippery rocks holding a bag, not a box. Though my friends can attest that I never really take pictures or shoot video anyway.

There's a story I've heard about a creek boat pinned underwater in a cave on the little white salmon for a month, with the owner's camera inside it in a watershed. Somebody retrieved the boat and found the camera dry inside. Just remember to secure it in the boat.

Check out these links from Darin McQuoid.

Darin McQuoid Photography

Darin McQuoid Photography
tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2013   #8
GJ, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 744
IMO, neither.

Find an Ortlieb Aquazoom and spend a few shekels making a minicell (or closed cell) foam liner to fit your SL1 and lenses snugly. Small, light, easy to carry, and (most important to me) easier to get into and out of *quick*.

I use mine in my boat, on my chest when backpacking, and even on the front of my bike when touring.

One example of how I use it:

Multipurpose is nice, but I started with this unit because it's waterproof and easy to open and close. Everything else was just gravy.

I can easily fit my 5d3 with a 24-70 as well as a 14mm UWA inside. Your SL1 is so much smaller you might be able to fit two spare lenses, or a lens cloth, spare batt, intervalometer, etc…

Anyhoo--my $.03.

Good luck,

mikesee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2013   #9
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,113
A fine question with no right answer. I have both and use the Pelican case for day trips and the Watershed for multidays, traveling by air, or if I'm trying to be particularly weight conscious or if it's what I threw into the back of my car that morning. My camera has a lower profile and I'm able to put it in a 1150 Pelican case. I'm guessing your Canon will require the 1200, which is a bummer because it's quite a bit more cumbersome to stash behind the seat of a kayak, although it will depend somewhat on your boat.

There's no doubt that the Pelican case is more bomber and if you like throwing your gear across the river and onto rocks, dropping your kayak down scree slopes, or running drops with big hits - it will keep your gear safer. Another big plus is that it's a lot faster to access its contents on the river.

However, as tango notes the Watershed is a lot more flexible wrt to what you can store in it, is lighter, and offers more storage options in your boat due its more amorphous properties. It's also more multipurpose when traveling and you can carry it around town without looking like you're in 1st grade and walking to the cafeteria. I wouldn't doubt the waterproof properties of the Watershed for a second, but it is definitely less shockproof. If you go that route, I've heard bad things about the Watershed accessory padding. I did the REI blue foam pad thing described in Darin's website that tango linked and that's worked great and I've not had any damage to my camera equipment using that setup, despite frequently being less than friendly with it. I will add one more thing - I did open up my Watershed once and found my lens detached from the camera body. Fortunately no damage was done, and I can only surmise that bouncing around with other stuff in the bag the release button was inadvertently depressed, but I'm not sure. I chalk that one up to a freak incident and don't worry too much about it.

I'm a very anti-insurance kind of guy, but I put an extra rider on my homeowner's policy for my camera equipment as I figure I'm a lot more likely than the average Joe to destroy my shit, which is added piece of mind when I stuff my gear into the back of my boat on a flooded creek and hope that me and my boat don't part ways, or when I pull my camera out in the worlds most moist environment trying to protect it from spray at the bottom of a drop.

Whatever you get, happy shooting.
KSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2013   #10
peterholcombe's Avatar
Where ever the water is...., Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 460
Send a message via AIM to peterholcombe
Great perspectives above. I use the watershed Occoe and the chatttooga to carry my camera and lighting gear. I made a custom liner but now use the watershed liners as they fit the bags well and my homemade liner was a pain to pull a camera in and out of. If rides in my lap ready to shoot in eddies it on the bank.

peterholcombe is offline   Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
anybody ever put Drings on Pelican case? twoatlow8 Whitewater Rafting 23 04-23-2018 09:24 AM
Watershed vs Pelican for camera yakr Kayaking | Gear Talk 12 04-28-2012 08:15 PM
lost camera in orange pelican case at cisco take-out lfinch Lost & Found 1 07-25-2010 07:56 AM
Lost Pelican case on Gore 9/12 KSC Lost & Found 0 09-12-2008 07:38 PM
Found Pelican Case in Browns Canyon 6/2/07 [email protected] Lost & Found 0 06-12-2007 09:40 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:58 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.