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bs kite
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Bag(s) for air travel


I need to decide my strategy for air travel.

I have 3 general item categories that will go with me:

1. Clothing/personals. I will check-in this bag to go into the plane's cargo.

2. Laptop in case. I will carry this one with me.

3. All camera gear. Largest lens going to destination will be my 80-400 and I may return with the addition of either a 200-500 or a 150-600. This could be a large, secure bag to be checked in and that carries everything. Or it can be a fairly large, secure bag that carries all but he 80-400, which is already in its own LowePro Toploader

I need advice please. What do you have and use?

thank you

Robert







Oct 28, 2016 at 01:34 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Bag(s) for air travel


Are you flying domestic US or international? If international, is it on US carriers or others?

For domestic US I use a Pelican 1510 (with dividers rather than foam) a lot of times, but it's primarily for point A to B travel and not great for shooting out of. It will fit most overheads and you can also check it if you want to. Many like the Think Tank roller cases, but I wouldn't check one of those. Lately I've been using a Tom Bihn Western Flyer (backpack) with Domke inserts and/or Tenba Tool Box cases (they're like packing cubes, but for gear).

I travel with an 11" MacBook Air that I just slip in between all the other stuff. Sometimes my second bag is a messenger that I repurpose at destination to be my shooting bag. I've not bought a 'standard' camera bag by a camera bag manufacturer for many years, so maybe not the best examples for your needs. But I'm not a fan of typically padded, rather rigid camera bags.

You should do a search of this board if you haven't already as this topic seems to come up fairly regularly. If others bother to post, you'll probably find everyone has their own preferred bag strategy.

IMO, almost more important is airline choice, what their carry on policy is, and where you plan to sit. The last point is relevant because it will probably dictate your position in the boarding queue. In this respect, since flights currently are often fully booked, you want to be on the plane sooner than later to secure overhead bin space for your larger carry-on.



Oct 28, 2016 at 02:17 AM
bs kite
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Bag(s) for air travel


Thank you for the reply.

Domestic.

I am sorry. I did do a search but I am sure I did not do it correctly.

It is going to be Southwest this Monday to Raleigh Durham. I was just trying to get a general idea of what most folks use to protect their gear for air travel.

I guess there is a great variation and each airline has different criteria for carry-ons. thanks again.

Robert




Oct 28, 2016 at 10:25 PM
arbitrage
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Bag(s) for air travel


First off, never check in your camera gear. I travel all over the world with up to a 600 f/4. I use backpacks of varying size to transport my gear. Mostly I use an F-Stop Guru when travelling with nothing larger than a Nikon 200-500 or Canon 100-400 or 300 2.8. I use a GuraGear 26L when traveling with a 200-400 and a bunch more gear. I use a GuraGear 30L (or 32L) when travelling with lots of gear or when bringing my 600. I usually bring a laptop bag in addition to my backpack and it is big enough to throw some lenses in if I need to. I use the GuraGear Chobe laptop bag.

Not sure about Southwest but I know United and American don't have carry-on weight limits which is nice. Although I don't think you will hit weight limits with 80-400 and 150-600 or 200-500. Also if you use a backpack I would say 99% of the time they never will give you a second glance. Only roller type bags get checked occasionally and are asked to be checked if you are late on the boarding queue. If sitting in the back of the plane isn't an issue then selecting a seat back there gives much better chance of having overhead room as you usually board first (after first class).



Oct 28, 2016 at 11:06 PM
jeffdjohnston
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Bag(s) for air travel


Arbitrage,

Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I was thinking of taking a 26L and Chobe to Costa Rica. My plan was to load the 26L and put my 500mm/f4 (w/out hood) in the Chobe as my "personal item". I haven't flown in several years and was wondering if you think I could get away with that setup with American Airlines.



Oct 28, 2016 at 11:45 PM
ariot
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Bag(s) for air travel


bs kite wrote:
I need to decide my strategy for air travel.

I need advice please. What do you have and use?

thank you

Robert




If you want to carry the camera gear onboard, as I do domestic, check out the Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator or the roller version.

The most I carried in mine (domestic) 2 x D810, 1 D500, 200-500, 28 1.8, 50 1.4, 85 1.8 and Surface Pro 3 plus all the accessories for everything, including a 1TB drive and two cell phones.

I used two cables designed to secure luggage to secure it in the hotel when I didn't carry the bag. Not ideal at all.

The only reason I carried all that crap was to shoot an event for work where the images had to be uploaded and released (ideally) within 15-30 minutes to beat a deadline for the east coast (and to give them to the local paper for the next day).

Normally, I carry a Domke F2 with two bodies and 3-4 lenses, plus a small "map case" style bag for my Surface. Those two bags stay on me the whole trip. Suitcase gets checked.

The trick is to carry minimal gear for your own subjective comfortt level. I always take two bodies. I also have a Hadley Large for more formal travel (two bodies, lenses and Surface fit in there.)

I have had no trouble counting a small laptop bag as the "personal item". XPS 13 or Surface Pro. They can go in really small cases. :-)

Family travel, no laptop. I uase a tablet slid in the pocket of an F2 or the Chronicle Domke J bag.



Overseas? Whole new ballgame due to carry on weight restrictions on commercial airlines. I know pretty much all of Asia is 22kg/10lbs supposedly. Last time I was there, I was shooting Oly so my bag looked small boarding the plane. I'm sure it was over 10lbs.

Always check the airline and be prepared to check a heavy bag. I've seen domestic flight crew take a bag due to weight, but only twice. In both cases the bags were not large, but they were clearly too heavy for the passenger to easily manage. WTF was in them? No idea.

The Lithium Battery excuse may work.

I doubt it. Who knows.

Domestic? Get the plane size. A 50 seater will gate check your stuff.

That's why people who fly domestic like the Pellican hard cases. You can wrap your stuff, pack it tight, lock it up and gate check it if need be.

I am no expert. And I tell ya, I've seen guys who can shoot rings around me with one old body and two lenses or kit glass carried in a cloth grocery sack. It's all good.







Oct 29, 2016 at 01:21 AM
dgdg
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Bag(s) for air travel




arbitrage wrote:
First off, never check in your camera gear. I travel all over the world with up to a 600 f/4. I use backpacks of varying size to transport my gear. Mostly I use an F-Stop Guru when travelling with nothing larger than a Nikon 200-500 or Canon 100-400 or 300 2.8. I use a GuraGear 26L when traveling with a 200-400 and a bunch more gear. I use a GuraGear 30L (or 32L) when travelling with lots of gear or when bringing my 600. I usually bring a laptop bag in addition to my backpack and it is big enough
...Show more

Do you have/knkw a laptop bag that is a little longer for the 600mm II or does that throw it out of the personal item requirements?



Oct 29, 2016 at 01:57 AM
bs kite
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Bag(s) for air travel


My response is below, but as an afterthought....what about security in the hotel room? Is anyone concerned that gear might be taken from your room while you are out without it? I am not going to be photographing most of the time and so the gear will be left in the room. I don't suppose this is a problem in the U.S. is it?
_________

Southwest's carryon limit = 10x16x24

I will go to Hunts tomorrow.

I will get a backpack type bag.

I will get the size that will carry 2 DSLR's w/grips, 80-400, medium zoom, UW and all the crap.

I will be there probably through spring, and at Pocosin and Alligator River NWR's.

I am buying a 200-500 (maybe 150-600) while there and will ship it back when I return to Maine.

Thanks for giving me the help I needed. Yes, I think the backpack is the smart solution.




Oct 29, 2016 at 02:30 AM
Eric Larsen
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Bag(s) for air travel


For securing bags when out or when sleeping (think train in Europe or Asia), I use a PacSafe like the one found here:

PacSafe

I put the valuables in that and leave the clothing, etc., out.



Oct 29, 2016 at 05:19 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



bs kite
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Bag(s) for air travel


Super item! Clever. Thank you very much for that.




Oct 29, 2016 at 12:08 PM
bs kite
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Bag(s) for air travel


Problem solved in short time by asking you folks. Thank you!


Oct 29, 2016 at 12:12 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Bag(s) for air travel


I never check anything that I need at my destination. It was bad before 9-11 when bags could be locked but now you have potential for theft by the TSA people and by the baggage handlers at every stage of your trip. And with luggage being opened you have no assurance that any padding or gear protection will not be changed.

I can take up to a 500mm f/4 lens on board even the smallest airplane in a Bataflae 26L bag and have room in addition for a 80-400mm, 24-70mm, two cameras, speedlight, filters and cables and batteries and other items.

The only thing I put in checked luggage is my tripod and usually without its ballhead attached.




Oct 30, 2016 at 11:53 PM
bs kite
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Bag(s) for air travel


Bought one of the Lowepro backpacks. Holds D500/80-400, D610, UW lens and wide-short telephoto zoom and laptop.

Talked to Southwest Air and then TSA. Will take two carryons:

1. Above backpack

2. 31" long x 4 inch diameter cylindrical soft case with my tripod in it.

Both SW and TSA gave the ok. I should be good to go.

Checkins are two midsize suitcases. Along with my clothes and personals.....this is where the photography accessories are going, including battery grips.

Thank you again.



Oct 31, 2016 at 12:56 AM
arbitrage
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Bag(s) for air travel


jeffdjohnston wrote:
Arbitrage,

Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I was thinking of taking a 26L and Chobe to Costa Rica. My plan was to load the 26L and put my 500mm/f4 (w/out hood) in the Chobe as my "personal item". I haven't flown in several years and was wondering if you think I could get away with that setup with American Airlines.


That will work fine if the 500 fits, I know my 200-400 fits in the Chobe but I've never travelled with it in there. My tour leader in Antarctica used the 32L and Chobe and he had the 200-400 in the Chobe without issue.

American doesn't have weight limits and the size limits of those two bags should be okay, although technically the Chobe when expanded may be more wide than the official numbers but they really never glance at shoulder bags. The only issue is finding enough room to put the bags away in the plane. If you are okay with one of the bags at your feet then either do fit under the seat.



Oct 31, 2016 at 08:01 PM
pjheller
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Bag(s) for air travel


My suggestions:
Think Tank Airport Security roll-on for domestic flight.
Think Tank Airport International (roller) for international travel (get the low divider set and you can put in your laptop, too).

I tried the backpack route but it was way to heavy and I felt like I was going to topple over.

Got stopped once on an international flight cause the roll-on was too heavy. I told them there was no way I would check my camera gear; ended up having to put one body with a long lens around my neck, another over my shoulder and then was allowed to get on the plane (go figure).



Oct 31, 2016 at 08:17 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Bag(s) for air travel


pjheller wrote:
My suggestions:
Think Tank Airport Security roll-on for domestic flight.
Think Tank Airport International (roller) for international travel (get the low divider set and you can put in your laptop, too).

I tried the backpack route but it was way to heavy and I felt like I was going to topple over.

Got stopped once on an international flight cause the roll-on was too heavy. I told them there was no way I would check my camera gear; ended up having to put one body with a long lens around my neck, another over my shoulder and then was allowed to
...Show more

The problem with the Think Tank Airport International (roller) is that it weighs nearly 5kgs (or slightly over) all by itself. I was on an international flight recently where 5kgs was the max. carry-on weight (officially - not enforced thank goodness) !
I use a backpack (various, inc. the Batafale 26L, and they typically weigh 1.25 - 2kgs) and add a cheap Chinese roller ($10) which does the job. If there are any complaints I can easily bin the roller, and it's detachable of course so fitting in the overheads is simple too.



Oct 31, 2016 at 10:03 PM
chez
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Bag(s) for air travel


Frogfish wrote:
The problem with the Think Tank Airport International (roller) is that it weighs nearly 5kgs (or slightly over) all by itself. I was on an international flight recently where 5kgs was the max. carry-on weight (officially - not enforced thank goodness) !
.


Yes, that can be a major problem with some carriers. I had a Vietnamese flight out of Hanoi where they measured and weighed all the carryon luggage. They have a maximum of 7kg...so these heavy photo cases just won't work. I was lucky and came in just under the limit...was using a Osprey trekking bag for my gear.

Best to read up on all the regulations and pack appropriately or be ready to check in gear which might not have the proper protection.

As far as theft of gear from hotel rooms or trains...just get insurance to cover your gear. And this is definately not only an overseas issue...North America has it's fair share of theft from rooms etc...



Oct 31, 2016 at 11:06 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Bag(s) for air travel


chez wrote:
Yes, that can be a major problem with some carriers. I had a Vietnamese flight out of Hanoi where they measured and weighed all the carryon luggage. They have a maximum of 7kg...so these heavy photo cases just won't work. I was lucky and came in just under the limit...was using a Osprey trekking bag for my gear.

Best to read up on all the regulations and pack appropriately or be ready to check in gear which might not have the proper protection.

As far as theft of gear from hotel rooms or trains...just get insurance to cover your gear. And this
...Show more
Yep. I've lived in Asia for the past 30 years and travelled all over, staying in everything from home stays to 5 star hotels and I've never had anything stolen. It happens of course but it's rare.
Now flying into JFK or Chicago is quite another thing ! Hopefully the FBI sting of a couple of years ago cut down on theft from hold luggage but if using hold luggage I try to go with a clamshell suitcase rather than zippered which it seems is very very easy for the baggage handlers to open/close.



Nov 01, 2016 at 03:11 AM







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