We were looking for a case to replace an old, worn-out, hard plastic Arriflex light case that held a 650/300 kit, which consists of two 650-watt fresnels, two 300-watt fresnels, four light stands and small accessories. The goal was something lighter and slightly larger, since packing an Arri light kit is one of the most difficult things we do at the end of each shoot (it's an extremely tight fit).
A new Arri case was over $700, a used one from Adorama was over $500 and a used one from Ebay was over $400. CRAZY right! So this is the bag/case we selected. The reasons were because it was zippered (the latches always fail on the Arri cases), got good reviews, came with adjustable sections and has the handy, removable padded top piece. The lights and stands all fit comfortably in the case and there's even room for several extension cords and power strips, not to mention plenty of space for small white & black foam boards. BUT...the thing is still super heavy, mainly due to the old-style lights though...so not really an issue with the bag, which is quite a bit lighter than the original hard-shell Arri case.
Overall, it's a nice bag/case, and it's held up very well over the 6 months or so we've had it, showing almost no wear and tear. The problems I have with it are as follows:
-There is a handle ONLY on one end. A bag this size really needs matching handles on each end. This REALLY should be fixed on this unit and would be a great improvement.
-The wheels only roll smoothly at certain angles, mainly at about 45 degrees. If you have the unit too upright or too low to the ground, the case itself drags and the wheels are almost useless.
-The case has two straps that hold the top open at about 90 degrees when opened, however they continually fold outside the zippered area when you close the top. This is just bad design in my view. I don't have a better idea for a solution, but it's a huge pain to have to constantly tuck the straps back inside so we can close the zippered top. Another design would be welcome here.
-The case has two straps on the outside that close with an overlapping, velcro wrap, Again, this is a pretty useless feature on a case this large, which is too big and heavy to throw over your shoulder and is VERY awkward to pick up using these straps. Some sort of reinforced handle or smaller reinforced strap that doesn't require this awkward velcro wrapping would be a big improvement.
Overall, we're very pleased with the unit and it was BY FAR the best value to performance and size option available. This unit would be great for newer, smaller and lighter LED light kits.