I take a somewhat different tact from above. I check two bags at 23 kg each, one with mostly dive gear and clothes, the other is a carry-on size bag inside a large rolling duffle. The second bag has my housing, strobes, and all accessories except cameras and lenses. I pack wetsuits around the carry-on for added protection. Since it's not an obvious high value bag, I.e. Pelican, I've never had a problem with it. Even TSA doesn't go into it anymore.
I carry on all my cameras, lenses, chips and other similar stuff. I also have a high value reg that I carry on as well. Put all your heavy carry on stuff in your reg bag. It looks like a computer bag and never gets questioned. Mine weighs about 35#. Plus my backpack weighs about 30#, but I don't overload it, so it never gets attention as well.
I have all risk insurance on all of my photo gear, so losing it isn't a financial worry. But that would make for a lousy dive trip. Maybe I've been fortunate, but have never lost a bag and have only had bags delayed on the way home.
I used to carry on a Pelican with all the essentials, but age (now 68) and back injury now makes that less of a option.
- DivingMeCrazy likes this