Pelican Products Inc. is known for making extra-sturdy cases for such items as military rifles and grenade launchers.

And now it makes cases for your business trip.

The Torrance company this month released a line of luggage. The suitcases, which come in three sizes, will be stocked at select retailers and range from $475 to $645.

It’s the latest push into consumer products for Pelican, which for most of its history sold almost exclusively to military, law enforcement and industrial customers. The company also makes consumer products such as backpacks as well as phone and computer cases.

Pelican has made suitcase-size cases for years, but suitcases for consumers had to be lighter than those. Lyndon Faulkner, Pelican’s chief executive, said it took about 18 months to come up with the materials and design to make a case light enough for airport travel but still sturdy.

The new cases use different types of plastic and have thinner walls and corners. The largest suitcase weighs 15 pounds, compared with 24 pounds for the company’s other cases of comparable size.

“A professional Pelican case provides amazing protection but it has a bit of weight,” Faulkner said. “These don’t have the super protection of a Pelican case but they have got a lot of protection.”

He knows because he said that Pelican has been sending the new luggage through airports for the past few months to see how they perform – and they were put to the test, indeed.

“There must be some kind of pact by baggage handlers to try to damage cases as much as they can,” he quipped.

– James Rufus Koren

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