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Best backpaak or hard case suggestions


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#1 rmeinicke1

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 04:43 AM

Hi, just trying to decide what options are best , on one hand I need a tough case for boat trips , but a backpack might be better for travel . I was looking at the pelican 1555 air , but no idea for backpack
Cheers Ross

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#2 Stoo

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 06:00 AM

I went through this myself years ago, and ultimately decided on the Pelican 1510 vs a backpack (Lowe-Pro and others have many options. I was quite taken with fstopgear.com although they're pricey).

 

Several years later, I am happy with my decision... Here are my reasons why:

 

I use an Aquatica/D7000 system and dual Ike strobes etc. Add it all up and it's surprisingly heavy. (Upwards of 35 pounds). This would get damn heavy totting it around all day.

 

Due to the weight, it's entirely possible that some airline will insist I check it. With the Pelican, I know my stuff will be safe.

 

The Pelican meets carry-on requirements and I have never been challenged.

 

My only other comment would be that if you do opt for a Pelican, I seriously urge you to consider a roller case. With the case, my kit weighs 42 pounds.

 

The other thing to consider with a case vs backpack is that a small pack will qualify as a "personal" item. In addition to my 1510, I carry a small Lowepro pack with a sleeve that protects my 15" Macbook Pro, and has enough space and pockets for another camera body, dive computers, travel documents etc. It's quite small, but easily fits in under the plane seat.

 

I hope this helps!



#3 TimG

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 07:18 AM

I'm with Stoo. I've had a Pelican 1510 since about 1999 and it has never gone wrong. And, touch wood, has never been refused entry into an aircraft cabin - and, yes, its been in lots: Emirates, KLM, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Silk Air, Singapore, Garuda, Malaysia Airlines, Monarch, Lion Air, Air This-that-and- the-Other.

 

And, again, like Stoo, mine is horribly heavy when loaded. The one time I did use a backpack I was truly regretting it after a couple of days and moves. 

 

As Stoo says, if you are flying and you aren't allowed to bring the roller into the cabin, you can at least check it with a degree (small maybe) of confidence that the case, at least, will survive.

 

If you go the Pelican route, I'd suggest getting the divider set rather than using foam. The dividers are more expensive but they are seriously adaptable - which the foam isn't. In addition, I have found the lid organiser well worth having for all the little bits and bobs.


Tim
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#4 Stoo

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 05:24 AM

Agree about the dividers rather than foam...



#5 casts_by_fly

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 02:10 PM

I am the other way to Tim and stoo and I suspect it is the camera choice. I carry a backpack and have never had any issues. I shoot olympus m4/3 and carry everything in a lowepro flipside 500aw. I'm able to fit the housing (camera and largest lens inside) with dome in place inside the top "T" portion of the pack with dual strobes down the center. The other four pockets hold chargers, batteries, broken down tray, arms, and clamps, other lens, above water flash, etc. I also throw in Apple chargers and cables, my wife's kindle, and other miscellaneous stuff we want to have while traveling. Everything I need for underwater photography on the trip is with me in the backpack except for the cable tether I clip in with and the small bag of tools/grease I carry in my checked bags. In the big front pocket I have my passport, iPad, and other travel incidentals. The bag itself isn't heavy (unlike a pelican) and looks just like a normal backpack when checking in. It isn't light to have on your back if you have to walk a long way, but it is a comfortable bag to carry.

Rick

#6 Djuna

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 01:49 PM

I'm a recent fan of the Pelican Air series with TrekPak dividers. The Air saves heaps of weight over the traditional Pelican case, and the TrekPak dividers -- thin and cut to custom size -- take up minimal space. It all adds up more room for me to bring everything but the kitchen sink :)

 

Expensive, but a long term investment. 



#7 thetrickster

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 11:55 PM

I went for a ThinkTankPhoto Airport Security v2 (I think there is now a v3) roller - takes everything and still fits in the luggage guides they sometime make you use. 

 

The bag is big, but the main thing for me, is the depth, it can take domes standing up, so you can get a lot more in.

 

However due to the recently security 'improvements' around the world at airports, I would recommend you stick with a Peli type case, so if it does end up in the hold, you know its gonna be safe. I know if I was buying today, I would get a hard case.


Regards, Richard

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#8 Pajjpen

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 10:24 AM

I get weighed every single time I travel from my local airport, I use a think tank backpack, to be within the ridiculously strict 7kg limit I have my camera and biggest lens around my neck, all batteries (lots of them for video lights) and my video lights I. My pockets when checking in. It's a hassle but has worked since. I'd get a hard case but they are so heavy I couldn't get anything into it before I hit 7kg anyways. And even with a pelican case I wouldn't feel comfortable checking my precious gear in..

#9 deanie08

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 03:10 AM

I have both but the backpack seems really easy to handle and convenient for me. 


Newborn Photography is my focus and wants to explore more.


#10 stephenmorris

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 07:44 AM

Could any tell me if they make a semi hard case that can be both carried as well as rolling? I'm currently on my first big underwater photography trip and with all my gear it looks like trying to carry everything between my wife and myself is going to be to much. If anyone knows if a place in Bali I can purchase a case from even better otherwise I might try to use lazada. Thanks again for the help.

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#11 bossygirl

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 04:11 PM

I use Lowepro when working as an assistant with a local Miami Wedding Photographer and it works great. Very roomy, and fits everything we need. 



#12 Aotus

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 10:38 AM

I just went through this process. I was looking for a backpack, and here are my notes:

 

Backpack with these criteria

  1. carry-on friendly and carries 15" laptop
  2. carries compact camera + housing + wide angle lens + arms, 2 strobes and video light
  3. carries additional expedition gear on site, e.g., GPS, jacket, lunch, small toolset, fins (maybe booties), shoes/socks
  4. ok to lay down in the mud
  5. ok to be in a truck bed with a dozen tanks and big heavy gear bags

 

My candidates

  1. F-stop ajna - ruled out: too expensive with camera module, no rainfly, reviews state not super comfy, insufficient division of compartments, laptop sleeve too small (would require laptop case), bad customer service stories.
  2. Mindshift backlight 36L - ruled out: skimpy laptop sleeve not sufficient to not require laptop case, top compartment too tiny, material not very tough/water resistant - generally like a jansport backpack for high school but with a camera compartment. 
  3. LowePro whistler 450 - purchased: pros - tough (mud friendly) material, expandable wet pocket, large top compartment, super protection in camera box. cons - heavy, no water bottle pockets, no laptop pocket (will require I use laptop case - more weight).

I'll post again once I have a better idea of how well I like the Whistler.


Edited by Aotus, 14 March 2018 - 10:45 AM.


#13 newboy

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 06:46 AM

I get weighed every single time I travel from my local airport, I use a think tank backpack, to be within the ridiculously strict 7kg limit I have my camera and biggest lens around my neck, all batteries (lots of them for video lights) and my video lights I. My pockets when checking in. It's a hassle but has worked since. I'd get a hard case but they are so heavy I couldn't get anything into it before I hit 7kg anyways. And even with a pelican case I wouldn't feel comfortable checking my precious gear in..

 

I am interested to hear you "carry" your camera on - and then I assume pop it in the carry on?



#14 Pajjpen

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 09:12 AM

What would u like to know? I didn't get the question.


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#15 errbrr

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 05:16 PM

I posted awhile back about using a backpack as carry-on to carry the camera fully assembled. In Australia they are in the nasty habit of weighing carry-on at the gate and roller bags get targeted. Temporarily sore shoulders and a smile like it only weighs 7kgs have saved me on multiple occasions.

 

I replaced the red bag in the thread pictures with one exactly the same dimensions in a different material from the same manufacturer. It's been crap - multiple holes after just a few months. Then I worked out that the housing fits in my new carry-on bag I bought for work. It's the Osprey Porter 46, which is carry-on dimensions if you don't overstuff it. It has padded sides and incredible build quality. I'm much happier with it as I feel the housing would have a fighting chance if I am every forced to check it. It weighed 16kg last week with Nauticam 5D4 housing & camera, 8" dome and 14mm lens, 2 x retras and arms, macro port and 100mm lens on the side, eneloops, a couple of dive computers and other odds and sods. Slid easily into the overhead on an ATR-72, and under the seat in front on a Dash 8.

 

I also carry on a "purse" with laptop, ipad, headphones, chargers, spare batteries that often weighs 5 to 10kg. I prefer it when they put the plane close to the gate (although it's good practise for staggering to the boat in full technical dive kit).



#16 trimix125

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 10:47 AM

Hi,
since my girlfriend is taking pics under water too,
it was getting more and heavier every trip....
First she used my Lowe Photo trekker, and i a Think tank Airport Antidot.
For my Nauticam / OMD Setup, Laptop, all lenses, one strobe and one arm, so i could do a minimum if the checked in luggage would not come... So main target is possible.
Think of a liveaboard trip and the luggage is coming one day later... Dive gear you can rent nearly anywhere. But your camera gear?

After switching back to Dslr, she got my Think Tank, and i bought a no name extreme light weight photo back pack. Less then 1 kg.
Last year it was weighted in Cebu and had 17 kg! I told them that i cannot check in camera and equipment, because they would only pay 10 USD for a kg, and worth is more than 500 USD / kg. Got a checked ribbon, overweighted, camera and laptop. 
This year i took only the macro Setup, one strobe, one arm, chargers and cables plus laptop in the backpack, and had the camera and the standard lens in a small hip pocket from Lowe. Fisheye lens and port where checked in.
So cabin luggage had only 10kg. That was ok for them.
Now i think of buying a second Think Tank, because the cheap backpack zippers fall apart...
And it was not "isolated" like the Think Tank.

Regards,
Wolfgang

 



#17 Aotus

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 02:33 PM

I just received my new Lowepro whistler 450. My initial impression is that it is heavy, but capable, comfy, and well-built! I really like it! That's a relief too because I had to stop myself from reading more reviews after ordering because I was having new doubts. 

 

I will tinker with the arrangements but here is a first take for scale. It feels heavy to lift, but very comfortable and less heavy on my back. I’m 6’ tall, and it looks medium to med/small for a day pack, certainly OK for carry on but don't think it's going to fit under the seat (I have to look that up). I would hesitate to use the back side pocket for anything not easily compressed for flying. 

2 x sea and sea ys-d1 strobes
Nauticam housing with pro kit (handles) for a panasonic (compact) Lumix LX10
Nauticam wise lens IN CASE
Nauticam floatation ring for lens

e4dd79384fae60834bdfd574729eb1c7.jpg


Edited by Aotus, 20 March 2018 - 03:13 PM.


#18 oneyellowtang

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:46 PM

I used to carry a Lowepro on every trip, but recently switched to a Peak Design backpack. These are seriously great bags,,,

 

The number of features they've built into their bags is stunning...

https://www.peakdesi...eryday-backpack(watch the video to see some great engineering & design points)

 

I also stopped carrying the strobes and housing(s) in hand carry luggage. My housing goes in a checked suitcase (inside an old regulator bag, wrapped in clothing). Since I occasionally travel with both a D500 and D850, I carry the housings in bags, the strobes in "fat" padded lens cases, and then a dome or two in small, hard-sided  containers that get put in suitcases.

 

Been doing this for several years with no issues. TSA always goes through my bags in the US, but everything (so far) has made it through to its eventual destination. 

 

Matt



#19 thetrickster

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 03:44 AM

I used to carry a Lowepro on every trip, but recently switched to a Peak Design backpack. These are seriously great bags,
 
Matt


Which one you get Matt? 20l or 30l ?


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I just received my new Lowepro whistler 450.

e4dd79384fae60834bdfd574729eb1c7.jpg


How wide is the LX10 housing with handles?

Looks a good bag!


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Regards, Richard

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#20 Aotus

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 02:39 PM

How wide is the LX10 housing with handles?

Looks a good bag!


About 11 inches wide, and it’s a snug fit. I added a third strobe and my gorilla pod tripod, but I still haven’t played with rearranging it much. I’m thinking I will designate a safe nook for the lens and lose the big boxy padded case for it - save 1lb and a lot of space.

9dd06289d315697b8b1e37e9ca9b94be.jpg