Pixel Review: Novo Dura 400 ABS Hard Rolling CaseEditor - 8th September 2017
Continuing along with our monthly reviews, Pixel got hands on with the Novo Dura 400 Hard Rolling Case. Here, we feed back on our findings
The Novo Dura 400 is newly-designed hard case and with external dimensions of 556 x 358 x 230mm, it is one of the larger cases offered by Novo. Founded in 2016, the Novo brand is a newcomer to the market and this case boasts features such as a retractable handle, rolling wheels and impact resistance with a very high standard of waterproofing (IP-67) and pre-cut foam diced inserts. With an optional soft padded insert and a 5 year warranty, this case looks very promising.
On first impression the case was very lightweight – 5.7kg unladen, which would make it very easy to carry in situations where the retractable handle and wheels are not feasible. However, I found the case is very easy to wheel across fairly rough terrain. I used the case for several photo shoots that involved walking through fields, dirt paths and a forests, and only needed to pick the case up when walking through thick undergrowth. I even took the case into several condemned buildings without any problems.
This is a very sturdy case and is clearly of high-quality construction, which is backed up by a five year warranty. Clearly Novo are very confident in their product and they have reason to be! I have used it extensively over the last two weeks and it is not showing any signs of wear or damage whatsoever, so I am confident that it will last much longer than the warranty period, even with heavy use.
The size of this case means it is perfect for many applications – with internal dimensions of 518 x 295 x 188mm, users can fit inside several DSLR cameras plus lenses and accessories. A very interesting feature of this case surrounds the two options for storage. The pre-diced foam insert is ideal if you have one use in mind; it would easily fit a full-frame camera setup, a large video camera or even a drone, however for photographers we would recommend the optional soft padded insert. This transforms the Novo Dura 400 into a more traditional camera bag setup. I like to pick and choose equipment to suit the photos I want to take and the foam insert would be too limiting for when I want to swap my gear around. I chose to carry a crop DSLR and a few lenses but there was easily room for an extra camera setup, a travel sized tripod and a large amount of extras and accessories.
The really impressive part of this case is its security… The “Easy Latch” press-pull safety latches provide a locking mechanism so it will not open accidentally or when dropped, and it can easily be taken over rough terrain with no risk to your gear. I dropped the case several times without any damage and the latches stayed secure. Subsequently, my gear was fully protected at all times. The advanced silicone foam rubber seal makes this case air-tight and waterproof with the IP-67 rating, meaning this case is waterproof up to 5 metres! I’m not sure why you would need to put your camera gear in water but you could throw this case into a lake and retrieve it unharmed. In addition to these already impressive security features the Novo Dura 400 has two stainless steel padlock protectors, which make the case ideal for traveling (especially flying) and gives that extra security required when transporting your gear. It’s also ideal for anti theft. Not only would padlocks make it much harder to open, but the simple fact that it is locked will deter most thieves from taking it.
In summary, this is a great piece of equipment and one that I have very much enjoyed using. It is almost over-engineered in its design and function – I shoot outdoors and travel through all sorts of terrain but it can be used in temperatures ranging from -25 to 90 degrees Celsius, meaning wherever you are in the world and whatever conditions you face, the Novo 400 will not let you down. Although I have only been using it a short time, the Novo 400 has stood up to any abuse I’ve thrown at it. This is not a product that you need to be careful with – you can throw it in the back of your car, take it anywhere and be totally confident that your gear will stay protected.