Those of you who have read this blog before will know that I'm a big fan of the carry-on sized Pelican 1510. HPRC are an Italian competitor of Pelican who over the last few years have been making inroads into other markets. I'd noticed that their carry-on sized case, very similar to the Pelican 1510, seemed inexplicably to be larger on the inside and smaller on the outside than the Peli, albeit by a small margin.
You can see the difference above with both cases lined up along their back edges (off photo). It's not much, but every little counts when you're hauling something across airports, into and out of overhead storage on airliners. But here's where it gets really interesting....
So it turns out that HPRC have done the seemingly impossible; making a case smaller on the outside and bigger inside, than the equivalent Pelican 1510. They've done it simply by designing specifically for purpose. The Pelican 1510 is a minor adaptation of a carry-case with a handle-and-wheel component bolted onto the back of the case. So you lose around an inch of the depth of the case to the handle-and-wheel parts. The HPRC case is full depth and the handle tunnel intrudes slightly into the case interior, as you can see above. In practice, although the difference in interior dimensions is minor, it makes a big and immediately noticeable difference:
Putting the same equipment I usually carry in the Pelican 1510 into the HPRC 2550 and you can see above how much spare space there is, denoted by the grey squares. I'm sure a more thoughtful repack would have released the spare spaces into one area had I wanted to, but I didn't have time. Easily more than enough room for chargers and other paraphenalia that you may want to include on longer trips.
The HPRC's handle is a different design to the Pelican's too:
It normally lies flat but pressing the red button releases it into a vertical position:
where it can be extended:
And here's the cool part... it is taller by about an inch than the Pelican handle. If you're six foot ++ like me, that's an important difference. Another notch in the HPRC bedpost, so to speak.
The HPRC case that I had a chance to check out also had an interesting removable insert, seen here open without any dividers in place:
and seen below out of the case and closed. Quite cool if you need the removable functionality, but not much use to me as I like to maximise my carrying space inside. Although I haven't seen it, I'm fairly sure you can also get a standard padded divider kit for the HPRC that doesn't convert to a bag, which would give you a bit more space inside and still a good amount of protection.
So to summarise ? If I was doing it again, I'd buy the HPRC, as they come in at a very similar price to the Pelican case. On the other hand, the HPRC's advantages aren't enough to make me sell my Pelican 1510. Even though it is tempting, with the flashy Italian red highlights on the HPRC....
Here's a closing photo, which thanks to the wonders of distortion of the 28mm lens I used makes the HPRC look enormous. Side by side they look and feel very similar in size and weight, but as I've explained, the HPRC definitely has the edge thanks to its better design.