We Review the Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Tough-55 Camera Hard Case

For creative professionals, bags and cases that protect your gear are just as important as the gear inside. The Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Tough 55 provides that and more.

Highly demanding projects usually require you to bring all the equipment you may need and more. In terms of making sure your gear will be able to tip you over on a demanding project, overfilling is never an issue. Whether it’s a long trip around the world or shooting several days in the city, packing your gear means not only bringing everything you need with you but also making sure your highly specialized photography gear is protected beyond measure.

Manfrotto Pro Lite Reloaded Tough-55

Italian tripod, lighting support and bag branding launched the renewed expanded Pro Light range in late 2021. The collection includes five backpacks, each with unique ergonomics, rolling hard bags and unique accessories for extended ranges of use. According to Manfrotto, these carrying solutions were designed with professional photographers and filmmakers in mind to provide them not only gear protection and comfort but also options to suit their preferences and style.

build and design

Among the carrying solutions listed above is the renewed version of the Pro Light Tough-55, a protective rolling hard case designed to fit most airlines’ carry-on restrictions. The TH-55 weighs 4.6 kg with internal dimensions of 26 x 17 x 50 cm, which is enough to carry several camera bodies, professional lenses, accessories and even compact tripods and light stands. It also comes in a slightly thinner “low hood” version with a width of 3 inches less; The TL-55 is designed to fit even small overhead bins.

Matte black hard plastic exterior with steel detailing. It features two heavy-duty gray push-and-release locks that prevent accidental opening, especially when on the go. Besides the locks, there are two TSA-approved steel-reinforced lock rings for added security, especially on long-haul flights. On the same side is a handle for horizontal carrying, something typical and expected in the most difficult cases. On the top panel is a customizable and replaceable label with room for owner details along with the logo. The top is free from the second handle, leaving room for backpacks or shoulder bags with slots intended for the extended handle.

The main luggage handle uses a secure locking mechanism that prevents accidental pulling of the handle instead of the usual release button on most rolling luggage. This allows the handle to generally be used to hold the entire hard bag whether it is pulled or extended. However, this mechanism came with the cost of an additional step of having to pull the lock behind the case to completely pull the handle.

protection

Pro Light Tough-55 provides a range of physical protection. As the exterior suggests, the case offers great shockproof protection for the contents as a result of the hard and soft-padded exterior. This protects the shockproof camera equipment from accidental drops and bumps that would occur under normal circumstances. The TH-55 is also IP67 rated for water resistance. This doesn’t mean you can dive with this tough bag, but instead, it can withstand 30 minutes in less than a meter of water to temporarily protect your gear in case it accidentally falls into a body of water.

eligibility

The TH55 comes in either a protective interior with fully customizable inserts for a better gear installation that you can adjust countless times or a cube-foam version that can be wrung out exactly to the shape of the gear that will fit into the case. The padded interior offers unlimited ways to arrange your gear to make the most of the space as well as to avoid any unnecessary space that might cause cameras and lenses to bounce during transit.

In general, the Pro Light Tough-55 can hold approximately two or three professional-size DSLR cameras or mirrorless camera bodies, along with four to six standard-size lenses. Alternatively, the bag is long enough to hold a professional telephoto lens even with the camera body attached while leaving room for additional lenses and accessories. It also comes with a tripod mount mechanism that can hold a professional sized tripod externally.

Extra features

It seems that what sets this tough bag apart from the camera are the features provided by the additional accessories available for the TH-55 in addition to the TL-55. These are modular accessories compatible with the four metal attachment points on each corner of the case. These accessories provide solutions to some of the challenges commonly encountered in using a rolling hard case such as alternative carrying options and space for other equipment.

Expanding Tripod Bag

Among the accessories available for the TH-55 is a Pro Light Reloader Tough tripod case with a variable range of 31 to 36 inches. This set of sizes can accommodate compact travel size tripods as well as a larger professional size tripod. The volume is adjusted by various fasteners that divide the entire space. The tripod bag comes with different straps and attachment points to attach to the TH-55 and keep everything as one package.

Removable laptop sleeve

Another optional accessory is the Pro Light Tough Reloader laptop sleeve. This 15″ laptop sleeve comes with four accessory straps that match the metal points of the TH-55 Hard Bag. This allows additional space for a standard-sized laptop as well as additional chargers and accessories through the two front pockets on the sleeve. Alternatively, there are carabiners on either side of the laptop sleeve that allow it to be carried separately by a shoulder strap as a stand-alone laptop bag.

Removable Backpack

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of this set of carrying equipment is the removable belt system. The Pro Light Tough Reloader Tough Harness System allows the TH-55 or TL-55 to be carried as a backpack. It comes with four attachment straps to match the points on the hard case, as well as a fifth strap that goes over the main retractable handle. The belt comes with a breathable back panel, adjustable shoulder straps, a chest strap, and a waistband for added carrying comfort. While carrying a hard bag on one’s back means carrying a heavy load, the “just in case” option comes in handy for having to climb stairs or travel over rough terrain.

What I like

  • reliable protection
  • The size of the hand-held plane
  • Tripod attachment included
  • Standard Accessories

What can be improved

  • Additional steps to open the handle
  • More accurate/durable bonding mechanism
  • Only one attachment at a time

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