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Questar Custom Air Case: FirstLook

The Pelican 1507 with custom-cut foam insert for the Questar 3.5 Portable Telescope

A sturdy case is a must-have for portable telescopes (like the ETX90 or the  Meade 2045) because anything can happen “out there.” Most OEMs supply a hard case for their portable scopes, but if they don’t, users will often get a case from Pelican and create their own.

Our Questar 3.5 scope came with a custom vertical hard case designed for storage and transport. The exterior covering of the case is made of high quality synthetic material. The interior of the case is lined with a velvety material that prevents scratches and provides a little bit of protection against bumps. The case is functional without being only utilitarian, wonderfully “vintage” in appearance, and absolutely distinctive. Questar owners will recognize it immediately.

Yes, I am in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

There’s a secret pocket for my flask of whiskey; I just can’t find it, though.

While we love the look of the OEM Questar case, we have always been a bit skeptical of its protective abilities. Though extremely well constructed, one clearly would not want to expose it to the elements (moisture, abrasion, etc), if only to preserve its appearance. So whenever we have to take the Questar 3.5 out in the wild, we pack it in the Kata soft bag. The Kata bag worked well enough, but when we heard about a custom-fitted foam insert for being designed for the Questar for a weather-proof hard case, we knew THAT was what we had been waiting for!

Pelican AIR 1570

One happy yellow months-too-early Christmas present – for somebody!

The Pelican™ Air has been designed to reduce the weight of a case without compromising durability:

  • Molded from Pelican’s lightweight HPX™ resin, a proprietary formula that rebounds without breaking;
  • Honeycomb structural elements are actually stronger than solid polymer material;
  • Super-stiff “full-box” sections engineered to create hollow parts.

As with all Pelican cases, the AIR has watertight o-ring gaskets, stainless steel hasp protectors, auto-purge air pressure valve, and double-throw latches. So the only difference is less weight for more protection. Win-win!!!

Oh, the places the Questar can now safely go!

There are a wide range of sizes in the new Pelican AIR line. The dimensions of the 1570, while bigger than the OEM case, is perfect for holding everything that came with the Questar.

Custom Laser-cut Foam Insert for Questar 3.5

If someone ever decided to pair the Pelican AIR with a custom-designed foam insert for the Questar 3.5 scope, the combo would be an instant winner and a must-have for many Questar owners.

Well, Ben Langlotz did, and he did an amazingly well-done job (those interested in the history should check out the Cloudy Nights thread). Seriously, it is astounding that this offering did not come from the manufacturer years ago.

A place for everything…

We got the case—with the custom Quester 3.5 insert already installed—directly from Ben.

The layout is thoughtful, the spacing between the items is excellent, and he provided special supports for all of the scope’s parts!

Put the solar filter in a slot that looks like a satellite…

The slot in the upper right (above) is for the solar filter. The half-circles in the foam to make it easier to grab/remove the filter from the slot…a nice detail that is what a custom case is all about 🙂

This is a closeup of some of the notches and supports specifically cut for the Questar 3.5 scope.

The cuts are clean and sharp; very impressive. Nothing will be shifting around once placed inside its respective receptacle.

The camera adapter goes into the circular well at the corner on the front left (Micky Mouse, upside down). The three table-top legs fit into the slots nearer to the front of the case.

Even though the standard scope comes with two eyepieces, the foam insert has room for five.

We will load up the case and take it for an outing soon and report back on how we like the setup. Look for the FirstUse writeup later in the Fall. For those interested in getting on the next order list, feel free to reach out to Ben Langlotz.

Sigh…that’s a nice fit!

Amazon links to items mentioned:

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