We have looked at different types and styles of camera bags but the Vanguard 53F isnâ€™t your normal camera bag. The Supreme 53F is a hard-sided case more at home in the cargo compartment of an airplane than it is being used as a daily equipment hauler. While other companies selling hard cases have been around for many years, Vanguard has a lot to live up to. Letâ€™s take a look at at the Supreme 53F and see if Vanguard has succeeded in building a better mouse trap.
Vanguardâ€™s Supreme line of cases are watertight and airtight up to a depth of 15 feet, dustproof, virtually indestructible, resistant to corrosion, and can withstand extreme climate variations.Â All of the Supreme cases are design to withstand temperature variations from -40Â° to 203Â°. The Supreme cases have quick release latches that are easy to use, and the comfort grip handle is ideal for carrying heavy equipment. With pad lock receptacles on each case, they are ideal for airline travel.
The Supreme 53F is as rugged of a case as you are going to find anywhere. The case itself in extremely strong and durable with very well designed latches that lock easily and securely. The retractable handle locks into place in both the extended and retracted positions. The main handles have nice padding to make it more comfortable to carry. Internally, an O-ring helps keep the case water and dust resistant while the octagonal pluck-foam allows for almost any shape of object.
- Water, air and dust tight
- Resistant to 264.5 pounds weight pressure
- Automatic pressure equalization valve
- Padded handles
- Metal lined padlock holes
- Waterproof name tag
- Locking travel handle
- Two layers of thick pluck-foam
- Inside dimensions: 22â€ x 17 3/4â€ x 7 7/8â€
- Outside dimensions: 24 3/4â€ x 20 1/2â€ x 9 1/2â€
- Weight: 22.93lbs
The 53F is nice and big, too big for carry-on luggage on an airplane but not too big to be considered oversize for regular check-in luggage. The wheels roll smooth on flat surfaces but are too small to work well off-road or and in grass.Â With two layers of foam included, you could have two levels of regular camera gear or remove one for larger items like studio strobes. The travel handle locks securely when retracted so you donâ€™t have to worry about it coming out when it is being shipped.
Having used other hard cases that are similar, the others just donâ€™t stack up to the Supreme 53F. The latches are the best I have seen on cases of this type and the padded handles make it more comfortable to pick up when loaded. Knowing that when the case is closed my gear is safe from water and dust because of the integrated O-Ring gives you piece of mind. The only thing I would change if I could is the thickness of the pluck-foam. The 53F comes with 2 very thick sheets of foam but I would prefer 3 or 4 thinner sheets for more versatility but that is just being picky. Itâ€™s not everyday that you need a super rugged hard case, but when you do, the Vanguard Supreme series of cases is as good as it gets and with a street price of around $230, you get quite a case for the money.
Product Review Scorecard
Author: Kerry Garrison