Tag Archives: Air Travel

Q&A: Travel Bag Recommendation

(This post is from an email conversation with a coworker. I thought the content might be useful for others.)

Q:  I just got a bunch of new gear, and I would like to buy a good camera backpack for hiking (and also airline carry on compliant).

A:  LOL.  I just counted and I have eight different photo backpacks, plus two waist systems.  Three of them are on their way out the door, so if you decide on a LowePro I might have a good deal for you.

If the world were a perfect place, I would use a waist system, as that’s my preference for carrying / camera access.  But DSLRs have grown a lot and that makes it harder to find a workable waist system.  (I like the LowePro.)  You don’t indicate if you’ll need to be carrying other non-photo stuff with you or not, so here’s my list of current favorites, from smallest to largest:  (All carry-on compliant internationally, in my experience.)
  • Think Tank Streetwalker Pro – excellent smallish pack, but still has room for modest amounts of travel items along with the kit you list.
  • Think Tank Streetwalker Hard Drive – fairly large pack, room for big glass, slot for laptop.
  • Think Tank Airport Security V2.0 – Full-size rollaboard, pouch for laptop, great quality wheels/handle, room for lots of glass and stuff.  (OK, it’s not a backpack, but it’s still worth a mention.)
  • F-Stop Satori EXP – Maximum capacity, extremely lightweight, aluminum frame, modular camera inserts (guessing the small pro might hold your kit, medium pro definitely would), but leaves lots of room for clothes, sleeping bag, food, etc., water bladder, etc., laptop pouch, etc., (or with the XL insert accommodates a very large amount of gear).  Carried this thing for many days in the Himalayas and it was fantastic.
All of these bags have provision to neatly strap on tripods (not sure what size tripod you have, but my Gitzo 2541 works well).  And all have traveled into the far reaches (carry-on) w/o complaint from any airline.
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Q&A: Travel Tripod Recommendation

(This post is from an email conversation with a coworker. I thought the content might be useful for others.)

Q:  [I am] looking for travel tripod recommendations.  something i can toss in my suitcase or easily carry in an airplane.  i assume a 4-section leg is a must and would prefer CF, but that’s not a deal-breaker.

i plan on traveling relatively light.  probably just my d7k, 17-55, and 10-24.  my current tripod is a manfrotto and my head is a 322RC2.

that being said, would love to hear any recommendations (and traveling tips) you have.

A:  I have a Manfrotto 3001N aluminum that I used to carry.  (I think they renamed it since and may have discontinued it later.)  It fit into my 22″ roll-aboard diagonally w/o head and worked fine.  It was around $100 a few years ago.  I think it’s a three segment, and definitely wasn’t as tall as I wanted.

So a couple of years ago I added a CF Gitzo 2541 that is nearly exactly the same length folded up, but is more than tall enough for my needs when extended, even w/o center column.  (I’m 5’11”.)  Pricey but very light and rigid.  I have the large Markins ball head for it and it all works well and is pretty easy to travel with – always in my carry-on bag (domestic US).

It is definitely sturdy enough for a pro body and lens, but probably not for a 300/2.8 or above.

I have carried one or the other into six or eight countries and had just one instance where the tripod was a point of discussion with security.  When passing through Tokyo Narita’s transit security an agent removed the tripod from my carry-on and measured it, saying that it was nearly too long to be allowed to be carried onto a plane.  I’ve never heard of that before or since, even though I have gone through there a number of times since then without difficulty.

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