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What type of luggage do you use for your camera/gear for overseas travel?

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#41 phxazcraig


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Posted 04 April 2019 - 08:03 AM

I'll second the thought that rollers get weighed more than backpacks.  I've experienced that myself as far back as 2009 in New Zealand.   I had a 31 pound backpack on my back, while my wife had her roller bag.   They weighed hers and forced us back to check it.   Looked in my direction and I just acted like it was OK, didn't need weighing.  


I use a Thinktank Speed Racer waist bag AND either a Thinktank backpack (above water cameras) or a Thinktank roller (D850 inside Nauticam housing with 230mm dome port taking up the bulk of the space.   Any of this luggage will fit under a seat in a pinch.  


I put the housing in vertically, and I do have to remove the two ball mounts that stick up highest.  (The ones I use with a rope handle for carrying).   The real problem is the dome port.  Once that goes in, everything else has to fit around it.


I can get the housing, camera, focus light, dual strobes, 230mm dome port (no extension), vacuum pump, two 5 inch arm segments, and all the batteries in the roller bag.  I put three lenses in my waist bag, plus sometimes a RX100 II inside a nauticam housing as backup camera.   That still leaves me the macro port, the 90mm dome port extension and all the arm clamps to go into a suitcase.   I put 7 arm clamps into the 90mm extension to save space.


If not for the dome port, all would fit into the roller bag.   If not for the rollers, all 'might' fit in - the wheels and handle take up a lot of space that is present on the backpack.   But I've never tried to put all the dive camera gear into the backpack because I don't want to lift that on my back anymore.


That said, it would be an excellent idea to have a roller than had a backpack option so you could carry it in a pinch, if only to leave hands free to pull two other suitcases.

#42 Undertow


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Posted 05 April 2019 - 07:07 AM

Haven't read through this whole thread, but would suggest the Lowepro Whistler backpack (the bigger size). The shape of the bag is unique, quite 'deep' (how far it sticks off your back) especially using the outer pocket expansion. This means it can fit straight into most overhead bins, using the full vertical space in the bin instead of the horizontal space. I've fit it when people with smaller sized rollers have to take them back off the plane to be gate checked.


Also agree backpacks get weighed less. Just traveled to Indonesia and back, never got weighed once (it was about 40-50lbs). Even used the outer pocket (kind of a clothing pocket) for my 9.5" dome + clothes, always a challenge to pack. One extra bonus is that the camera compartment can be removed (had to do so once with a small plane). That box is also a size that fits nicely in most normal carry on roller bags, seen that done too.


Amazed to see pics of people packing their housings with the handles still attached - to me an utter waste of valuable space. Unless you can't detach the handles from some housings???

#43 apetersen71


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Posted 27 June 2019 - 09:57 AM

I've got something similar an EM-1 MkII setup.  Here's how I pack mine into a think Tank streetwalker hard drive backpack:



Bottom row Nauitcam housing and tray  and spare batteries in plastic clip cases

middle row: macro port 2x INON Z-240, Zen dome 170mm type II

Top row Zen 100mm fisheye dome, Pany 8mm, Oly 60mm, Oly 12-40, Pany 7-14,


13" laptop in laptop compartment below.  This backpack meets carry on requirements and will fit under the seat in front even on commuter jets. 


Cables in pouches on lid of pack, Strobe arms, clamps, torches and tools are packed in with my dive gear or general luggage.  I have a personal item as well usually a small bag which has some toiletries and a zipped pouch with o-rings, spares, o-ring grease, vacuum pumps etc.


The Think tank bag is bulletproof, really well built, much more sturdy than Lowepro packs I've had.

How far up past the rim of the bag does your Nauticam tray stick out? I am contemplating this bag, and have the same set up:)

#44 phxazcraig


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Posted 27 June 2019 - 01:33 PM

I made up a short web page showing how I have to disassemble and pack my rig.  Might be useful: http://cjcphoto.net/uwcamera/all.html


Here is a shot of the bag before adding padding:


#45 okuma


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Posted 27 June 2019 - 06:24 PM

After going the full route from small plastic cases to duffel bags and large shipping crate I have found the solution to my needs. An older, well used Rimowa large suit case. The Rimowa is a thin shell case, but with an aluminum track around all mating edges, top and bottom. This is critical as most large shell types have only a plastic zipper closing the two halfs. In addition, this case has only two recessed rollers as opposed to most cases having 4 corner spinner wheels easily knocked off. Additionally, I removed the internal telescoping handle mechanism for a full, flat bottom. Lastly, I riveted a heavy canvas strap around the case so as not to depend on the OEM clamps failing. All interior contents are packed in original cardboard boxes or small plastic containers, including the two housings.  All told, it holds two complete W/D angle and macro systems, ports, lights, chargers, 5 strobes and all the rest of the junk you drag along. Packed weight is 63 lbs with some foam spacers and every thing is firm! Normally fly business and when on small commuter flights, I just eat the extra charge!

Edited by okuma, 27 June 2019 - 06:28 PM.

Underwater Photography:
If it is so easy every one would be doing it!

Nikon D 500, Subal Housing, Inon Z 240 strobes.

#46 Davis Huber

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 09:18 PM

You should get a ThinkTank roller bag, they're awesome! I use the ThinkTank Airport Accelerator v3.0. Small enough to carry on but large enough to fit a full size housing, ports and accessories



Sorry, found my own answer: No.


Interior depth of the bag is 5" and the D5 is just over 6"......