Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Lowepro Pro Roller 3 suitcase review


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 echeng

echeng

    The Blue

  • Admin
  • 5842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco, CA
  • Interests:photography, ice cream, cello, chamber music, quadcopters

Posted 12 August 2009 - 05:07 PM

Posted Image

The quest for the ultimate underwater photography travel case is one that will probably never end. I have used Pelican cases, Storm cases, Lightware cases, Samsonite luggage with Pelican dividers, coolers, and more. I'm always in the market for photography bags.

I was over at Backscatter the other day and ended up coming home with a brand-new Lowepro Pro Roller 3 rolling suitcase. Aside from the name of the brand (which thieves probably associate with camera gear), this suitcase, from the outside, is like any other semi-rigid suitcase. But inside, it's a serious photography case...

FULL REVIEW: http://wetpixel.com/...uitcase-review/
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#2 Deep6

Deep6

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 882 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Broomfield, CO

Posted 13 August 2009 - 09:09 AM

The quest for the ultimate underwater photography travel case is one that will probably never end. I have used Pelican cases, Storm cases, Lightware cases, Samsonite luggage with Pelican dividers, coolers, and more. I'm always in the market for photography bags.


The quest is such a head/heart ache! I have gone through several iterations of photo/dive gear configurations. Rules change. The Lowepro bag looks very good, but as noted in the comments, it weights ~ 9 kg. /20 lbs. AND the outside dimensions total 59-1/2". This makes it a checked bag. So far, I have all my must u/w photo/dive gear (sans redundancies) in [s]checked[s] (oops) carry-on luggage. I would have to rent a wet suit, fins, and regulator if my checked bags were delayed. I maximize the bag sizes (within reg. limits) and minimize the bag weights.

I realize Eric goes to some exotic destinations. He may need to have his u/w photo gear in checked luggage.

Bob

Edited by Deep6, 13 August 2009 - 11:15 AM.

Carpe carp - Seize the carp


#3 echeng

echeng

    The Blue

  • Admin
  • 5842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco, CA
  • Interests:photography, ice cream, cello, chamber music, quadcopters

Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:51 AM

I just carry way too much stuff to have it all on my back. Although, I can carry a full setup with me onboard if I need to, with spares in the checked luggage.

Sometimes, my schedule means that I have to stop by somewhere else on the way home. In this case, I will always ship my gear back, so it is nice to have a bag that can, in theory, hold everything.
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#4 echeng

echeng

    The Blue

  • Admin
  • 5842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco, CA
  • Interests:photography, ice cream, cello, chamber music, quadcopters

Posted 13 August 2009 - 11:23 AM

Updated the report with a photo of the Samsonite F'Lite 31, packed for travel...

Posted Image

FULL REPORT: http://wetpixel.com/...uitcase-review/
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#5 echeng

echeng

    The Blue

  • Admin
  • 5842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco, CA
  • Interests:photography, ice cream, cello, chamber music, quadcopters

Posted 13 August 2009 - 01:11 PM

UPDATE:

Empty, the Samsonite F'Lite 31 case with the Pelican padded dividers weighs 18.0 lbs. The Lowepro Pro Roller 3 weighs 18.4 lbs (with my tag attached, but without the included tripod adapter attached). They are effectively the same weight.

Posted Image

I updated the front page article with more photos.
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#6 Deep6

Deep6

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 882 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Broomfield, CO

Posted 13 August 2009 - 01:35 PM

I just carry way too much stuff to have it all on my back. Although, I can carry a full setup with me onboard if I need to, with spares in the checked luggage.


Hey, you are a young dude! My old bones tote about 65 lbs. in carry on (one + personal). Some day it will get weighed. Until then, I am still able (barely) to swing the larger bag into the overhead like it is 20 lbs.
Old & grey Bob

Carpe carp - Seize the carp


#7 echeng

echeng

    The Blue

  • Admin
  • 5842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco, CA
  • Interests:photography, ice cream, cello, chamber music, quadcopters

Posted 13 August 2009 - 01:49 PM

Bob - When I say "too much stuff," I'm talking about volume, not weight. I plan on hauling heavy stuff on my back until I am no longer able to. :)
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#8 philsokol

philsokol

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 452 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 13 August 2009 - 07:27 PM

I notice the Samsonite is packed with those Seacam strobes you've been lusting after! :)

Phil Sokol
Canon 5D3 and 7D, Nauticam and Subal, an assortment of strobes and too many damn lenses!
"Hey Dean! How do you work this crazy thing?!" Jerry Lewis


#9 Deep6

Deep6

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 882 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Broomfield, CO

Posted 13 August 2009 - 07:36 PM

Bob - When I say "too much stuff," I'm talking about volume, not weight. I plan on hauling heavy stuff on my back until I am no longer able to. :)


Some do it to live

Photography aims differ

Some live to do it



Yes, I get it Eric. I was just being a little mischievous. Since my images are mostly for my family and friends, I have the luxury using lighter and smaller gear.
Bob


Carpe carp - Seize the carp


#10 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10642 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:33 PM

I dunno dude. The F'Lite is like under $100 ( I bought mine for $97 in NYC) and my dividers were like $120. I usually use this when I carry multiple rigs.It's non-descript and tough. Whereas the Pro Roller is a soft top and holds less overall. Sure it's more compartmentalized but then you can easily organize the bits and pieces in little bags as well and use a wetsuit to minimize movement.
Then there's the zipper vs latch argument. :)
Better yet, the PP5 is recyclable :)
Compare that with a $360 bag that's smaller, questionable in a torrential downpour or any other liquid spill (mine was left in a puddle 2" deep at the bottom of the luggage cart). Unquestionably sexier and better laid out, but I have to give the hack job the thumbs up for toughness, space and value.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#11 echeng

echeng

    The Blue

  • Admin
  • 5842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco, CA
  • Interests:photography, ice cream, cello, chamber music, quadcopters

Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:58 PM

I notice the Samsonite is packed with those Seacam strobes you've been lusting after! :)

Unfortunately, not mine!!
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#12 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10642 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 14 August 2009 - 12:52 AM

Yeah but we know you are going to get them :)

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#13 WanderingBob

WanderingBob

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 234 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

Posted 14 August 2009 - 09:06 AM

but I have to give the hack job the thumbs up for toughness, space and value.


Sorry, but am following this thread, but lost a bit here. Drew, you calling the "hack Job", the F'Lite? If so, seems the right way to go.

I have most of my toys, now have to get them there!
Nurse Bob on
Alaska's Kenai Peninsula
http://www.facebook....8...64&ref=name



#14 eyu

eyu

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 734 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wilmington, DE

Posted 14 August 2009 - 01:55 PM

Nurse Bob,

You should carry for camera gear as a carry-on and not check it in as baggage. It is not uncommon for baggage to get lost or delayed and also sometimes things are removed from you bag in transit. My 2 cents.

Elmer

Nikon D800E, D800, Subal ND800, Inon Z240, ULCS with StiX floats


#15 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10642 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 14 August 2009 - 02:33 PM

Sorry, but am following this thread, but lost a bit here. Drew, you calling the "hack Job", the F'Lite? If so, seems the right way to go.


Yup, the F'lite is the hack job, at least mine is. I usually just wrap the lights etc with several layers of clothes or wetsuits and strap them down.
Like Eyu says, always try to carry a shooting rig to the destination in hand luggage. Dive gear you can rent, a good camera gear you can't most times.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#16 muckdiver

muckdiver

    Sea Nettle

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 14 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Monterey, CA
  • Interests:Diving, Videography, Editing, Engineering

Posted 14 August 2009 - 03:44 PM

My wife and I use three of these puppies. They are awesome for protecting gear but they do weigh in at 16 pounds or so. I do like the compartments and how easy they are to configure. Highly recommended.
muckdiver

#17 Mike L

Mike L

    Tiger Shark

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 601 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Newport Beach, California

Posted 14 August 2009 - 08:24 PM

It looks great, but I really want to know how you get that by on an airline as carry on. I have been using the Think Tank bags for my carry ons, and they are definitely smaller and lighter than that Lowe Pro...yet Ive had trouble with the Airport International V2 which only weights 13 lbs and is smaller in size as well. I had mine packed to 40-45lbs and been told by two airlines I could not carry it on. My Airport Acceleration V2 backpack weights 3.5 lbs, holds more than the carry on, and easily fits in any overhead. I can pack a full SLR system dual strobes, 2 camera bodies, and accessories in it, come in under 40LBS, and never get weighed because its on my back. I usually travel with both of those bags as my carry ons (SLR and video rigs)...but too many airlines are cracking down now and to risk having to have something checked in when its not packed for that sort of treatment, scares me!!

On a recent trip to the Azores in June, we saw cargo crew throwing our Pelican cases and other luggage around when loading the plane. We got to the Azores and $5k Fathom port was in pieces!! So sending anything through that is not well packed for that sort of treatment is definitely not an option.
Mike Luzansky
H2O Photo Pros Underwater Photo & Video THE Underwater Imaging Headquarters
Gates Underwater Video Housings The Ultimate Gates Underwater Housing Resource
Nauticam Underwater Housings The Nauticam Underwater Housing Headquarters!
Marine Visions The Choice for Underwater Professionals

#18 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10642 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 15 August 2009 - 12:57 AM

Mike
I think Eric has said he sends this bag to the cargo hold.
I do think people expect too much from hard cases like Pelicans. They can take a beating but if you don't pack the stuff inside properly, it will still break. Many people I know sending their cameras and lenses through the cargo pack something like the LowePro or ThinkTank and put those bags in a padded hard case. I do that if I'm going to any LDC where bags fly.
The unfortunate truth of traveling nowadays is that you have to budget for overweight luggage as well. Those from the US also have to deal with TSA opening well packed cases and not repacking them properly.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#19 Walt Stearns

Walt Stearns

    Eagle Ray

  • Industry
  • PipPipPip
  • 305 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Interests:Diving and underwater photography of course with a little rebreathers, cave diving, marine science and natural history thrown in.

Posted 15 August 2009 - 05:40 AM

I like the concept of the Pro Roller 3 for packing some, but not all photo equipment that will be traveling in the belly of a plane. But, the Lowepro logo would have to go. As a rule, I do not like using a baggage that draws undo attention to itself - saying Sea & Sea, Scubapro, etc on the side of it. If it can look like a the million other rolling luggage cases (no brand identifying logo's or names) people are dragging to and from the airport each day on the outside, thereby more likely to go under the radar of the average luggage ape with sticky fingers, while having decent protective insulation on in the inside, that is the bag for me.

#20 Mike L

Mike L

    Tiger Shark

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 601 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Newport Beach, California

Posted 15 August 2009 - 07:13 AM

Thanks Drew, I was going to say wooowww!!! Very true with regards to overweight. I budget at least a few hundred for overage fees on any given trip. It still amazes me that we can not even get ONE free checked bag for domestic travel on most airlines, absolutely ridiculous!!
Mike Luzansky
H2O Photo Pros Underwater Photo & Video THE Underwater Imaging Headquarters
Gates Underwater Video Housings The Ultimate Gates Underwater Housing Resource
Nauticam Underwater Housings The Nauticam Underwater Housing Headquarters!
Marine Visions The Choice for Underwater Professionals