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Shasta_man

Photo backpacks are great

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Just passing on good experience...

 

After trying to figure out how to carry the compact digital camera, camera housing, video camera, video housing, to avoid the dreaded Pelican theft, AND the reg, I found that my photo backpack swallowed it all up.

 

I was able to put all the camera gear, camera housing as well as the octo into the photo backpack, while the video housing fit compactly in it's own little pack. That made two carry-ons out of 4, and I keep the video housing with me. Necessitating lugging the thing, but eh, we're divers.

 

This Pelican theft thing is tough to trust. It would be much easier to let them schlep it, but I can't see losing the thing I've worked so hard to bring.

 

YMMV

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Hi all,

 

Lowpro do a superb range of bags and backpacks for stills and video..

 

I am going to try the Rover AW 11 for my A1 and accessories. The housings another matter.

 

For the Z1 and housing I'd try the Army surplus store. One of those monster packs the Royal Marines carry should do it...As well as room for your wife and kids ;)

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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Do you have any pics of this setup? I can't image carrying a heavy metal housing for my A1U in a backpack with my delicate camcorder, lights etc etc-

Steve

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This works for my gear but won't for everyone due to it's size as pointed out. My point was just that it holds more than you might think.

 

In the main storage area of the photo backpack, I have an Olympus 5060 camera, the Olympus housing for it, a Sony HC1 video camera, the battery chargers for both, C & AA batteries for my dive lights, miscellaneous other little stuff, plus camera manuals, dive log, ten video tapes, etc. Cameras are in their own individual bag. In the outer storage area of the backpack, the octo with computer, two regs and first stage fits no problem. Octo is wrapped in thick plastic bag on the way home.

 

In a separate backpack, I rubber banded a couple foam blocks to the OI video housing and set it by itself into the backpack, lense straight up. In the outer pocket, I put ten more Mini DV tapes. The idea here is to make it small as possible to carry on US flights.

 

That's it. One backpack with small second backpack.

 

I don't have strobes or video lights or monster Z1. :-) I also don't carry a laptop. Vacations are to get AWAY from that thing.

 

You could "Pelican" the lights. But I think getting the housing there successfully is the main part with lights being gravy. You can still shoot without lights but not without housing.

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I believe it is the LowePro Mini Trekker AW.

 

I don't need the all weather capability, but I don't know whether there any differences to the "Classic".

 

The only thing important is the roomy storage area on the main storage area "door". The storage area is where the octopus is stored.

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I was tired of having so many bags, laptop bag here, camera bag there, I got the LowePro CompuTrekker Plus AW.

 

I can pack my laptop in the side pouch, Canon 1dM2, canon digital rebel, 17-40L, 14mm Fisheye, 100-400L, 70-200L, 580ex flash, two ds-125, Aquatica A300, Dome port. and that's all on the backpack. Dive computer as well. It weights 28kg! The rest goes into another duffle bag, with tshirts and socks as padding.

 

Checkin is the rest of the dive gear. Extra batteries, charger, extra cables, tools goes there.

 

Well I highly recommend the LowePro CompuTrekker Plus AW. Just have a strong back!

 

 

Curtis

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Shasta

 

the specs show that the exterior is about 12x12.5x16 and the internal is 11x5x14.5

is this due to the front pocket?

thanks

Jim

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Guys,

Eagle Creek has a line of very sturdy back packs (1/2 the cost of lowepro) that work excellently for hauling around housings and not drawing any attention at the gate. I have had good success with my pack carrying a full FX1 housing, with camcorder inside, lights, batterpacks, monitor, arms, cords and chargers. Weighs over 20 kilos but if you try really hard, you can control the veins from bursting on your neck as you smile for the gate agent. All i have done is line it with foam padding and wala...camcorder bag.

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Yes, that middle "depth" number apparently reflects the expansion of the front pocket. I only added about 3-4 inches max when I put the octo in there. You almost could not tell it was in there.

 

If you click on the zoom picture of the backpack on their website, you can see the second set of zippers just above the logo on the upper part of the backpack. That opens the front pocket which runs the entire "height" of the backpack from top to bottom.

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When I travel, I like to use a waistpack. On land, to/from the boat I carry a lot of things in this pack. It's padded and holds more than it looks it can.

 

post-2547-1143066852_thumb.jpg

 

On the plane, I put the waistback inside a backpack. My camcorder, lenses, and anything fragile goes in the waistpack. The backpack still has plenty of room for my dive computer, regulator, jacket, magazines, etc..

 

It functions kind of like the Lowepro Rover series.

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ShawnH and others,

 

What particular backpack will fit the Phenom and FX1 camera with lights, AND will be of an approved size for carryon?

 

I am working on buying an HDR FX1 and Phenom w/lights for a May trip to Puerto Galera P.I.

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Dave,

I have devised a system for carrying my entire fx1 set up (camcorder, housing, lights, light arms, battery packs and lens). So far it hasn't gained any notice but who knows when it will. I have fitted an Eagle Creek Voyage 65L Backpack with foam (http://www.eaglecreek.com/adventure_travel_packs.html ). It just fits all just barely. If you want a little more room, you could go with the Maiden Voyage 70L...but this increases your risk of getting noticed. Good thing about the set up is it is much cheaper than most "camera" bags, it is durable and it doesn't turn too many heads..."just a back pack". Also, it comes with a zip off external pack for the little stuff. Finally, it fits great in the overhead storage. I does qualify as approved size but is far over the weight limits (20+ kilos). I have tried a lot of solutions and this one has really stood up to tests (5 countries, 2nd TSA screening, etc). Fingers crossed that it keeps working given the weight excess.

Shawn

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Ah shawn...but have you gone to Hong Kong or Australia, who are very keen on sizewise boxes. I think you tried my method and got a little worried about your acrylic coated lens. But I say let them see it's an expensive piece of machinery and they won't bug you as much. You can carry the other stuff in the backpack. A de-o-ringed housing with protected lens works well since you then are elevated to professional status and they allow you to carry that carry on plus laptop on the side.

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Great point Drew. And for sure my method will fail in Austrailia...i have never seen a country so regimented about carry on weight. I have not experienced the hong kong situation yet. The pack is a free adaption of your method for making the burden lighter. I suppose you could just take it out of the pack when you went to the gate. The rest of the haul, you could carry in the pack.

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Hi,

 

I use a lowepro dryzone 200, im pretty sure the Gates an LMI Fx1 housings would fit in it, anybe the lights too.... It doesnt look that special, and i always took it on my internal flights in French Polynesia with 20kgs of still gear inside, they have them in most camera shops, samys in LA will let you try them out in the shop...

If not, i may be i the Puerta Gallera in May, try mine then...

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shawnh,

How big is your housing? Do you think a Sea & Sea VX-2100 Pro housing will fit the Voyage 65L? The dimensions are 13.5 x 9.5 x 16.

Mike

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I've noticed that more airlines are weighing carry-on baggage at the check-in. I think Emirates did this to me at Manchester last year and were super-strict about 5kg (or was it 7kg?). At that point you're buggered unless you can convince them that you'll give it all to your mate before you fly.

 

Also BA can sometimes be total b'stards about carry-on weight.

 

But from a theft and handling point of view I think it's probably still better to at least attempt to carry the housing and camera on. If they rumble you at the gate then all they normally do is tell you that it will have to go in the hold, at which point you remove the camera, laptop etc themselves from the bag and carry just those on. When I failed in trying to carry my Pelican case on I avoided an excess baggage charge for it (it was 20kg) and I got to carry it to the aircraft myself, thereby avoiding having the thing tumbling down conveyor belts etc..

 

Nick

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I had the weight problem on EVA last January out of LAX. Anybody whose carryon looked heavy got weighed. Bags with wheels apparantly looked heavier to them. They were hassling people at the check-in counter AND at the gate. They were happy to have me carry the stuff in my pockets and around my neck, but they just didn't want it in the bag. So like Bubblevision said, make sure you have a way to carry the stuff by itself onto the plane if necessary. I.e., neck strap on your camera, etc.

 

Flying TACA for the first time next week from LAX to Costa Rica (going to Cocos, yay!), 10kg carryon limit, worried about similar issues. I'm borrowing a photo vest to wear, so I can offload extra weight into it if necessary, but I'm gonna try my darndest for the carron to weigh exactly 22 lbs. My "purse", however, is gonna be a doozy! I hope I don't need the photo vest, but I figure it's good insurance. I'll report back.

 

Any other ideas? TACA flyers?

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If someone sees you off at the airport, give them your carry-on and make them wait around the corner while you check in. "No no luv, no carry-on, just this newspaper and bottle of mineral water".

 

Duty free bags are a good one too. They tend to turn a blind eye to those, so make it look like you just bought the stuff in the departure lounge. Do you reckon the pond life manning your average boarding gate could be convinced that you just bought your Phenom at the duty free? :)

 

Helium balloons inside your carry-on bag are another option. Am I right in remembering from my tek days that Neon is even less dense than Helium. Do BOC do that?

 

Anyway I'm off to buy a pair of those gay combats with like 20 pockets on each leg. Can't wait to see the x-ray operator's face at Bangkok airport as I unload them onto the conveyor.

 

Oh by the way I got a hell of a grilling in transit at Dubai over a L&M Sunray battery that I was carrying. Had to go through the queue twice, then to a special interviewer. Thought they were going to confiscate it and I nearly missed my connection over it.

 

Nick

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:)

Well, SOMEBODY has quite the sense of humor tonight!

 

Not sure Dubai would be someplace I'd be keen on being subjected to extra scrutiny.

 

The Gay Cargo Pants are now totally 'out' here . . . nowhere to be found . . . maybe I should try some thrift stores?

 

Had another idea . . . people are always flying back from Mexico to the UW with huge pinatas . . . how much camera gear do you think would fit in one of those?

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I have the LowePro CompuTrekker Plus AW. Great backpack. With camera, lens, laptop, etc., it gets really heavy.

 

Each time I get on the plane, I try to "act" like the bag is light.

 

 

I am definitely running out of space.

All of my gear including luggage: housing, strobes, camera, laptop, scuba gear weigh 125pounds, with about 5 pounds of clothes and personal items. Has anybody tried to ship stuff to the destination before going?

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A couple of pointers..... people haven't yet considered.......

 

Of course, every situation is different now and with rising fuel costs airlines are being stricter with the amount of weight they will allow. Added weight - of course - means more fuel.......

 

As a professional, a phonecall or letter from you to the airline in advance SHOULD allow you more allowance.

 

Supposedly women are allowed 2, items of hand luggage. Someone, somewhere, said that because they carry handbags, then they must also be allowed to carry another piece of hand luggage as well......

 

Playing the "How dare you discriminate against me because of my biological makeup" card would most likely get your gear on.... especially if there is a big queue behind you and the airline doesn't want a sex-discrimination case to build up before their very eyes.....

 

Another point, blag it / wing it! In more international-friendly terms, just keep talking and remain confident in your situation.

 

My other half and I went off to Indo last year with SIX pieces of hand luggage..... No-one said a thing! Flying with Silk Air, as a Singaporean company, one would expect them to be very strict with allowances but, hey, there you go - we were obviously VERY lucky....

 

Upon our return, though, it was a SLIGHTLY different matter.

 

The gear weighed in at 140 KG!!!! Understandably, they tried to get us to check it all in.

 

I stood my ground, demanding matter-of-factly........

 

"GUARANTEE me that this equipment WILL arrive in FULL working order and I will check it in. Fetch the supervisor, we will go through every part that I have, testing it and showing it all working. Then any damage received WILL be the airline's responsibilty and they WILL pay for it in full...... This will also delay your flight by more than one hour, but if you are happy to absorb the massive costs which the airport fines will cause you to have to pay, then so be it. Lets check the gear, right here, right now. Don't tell me that damage to equipment is not your respnsibility. Of course it is, even if you state in writing at the check in desk that it isn't your responsibility, ANY court in the land would back me up over you if you broke my equipment. FACT!"

 

Tell them that they've damaged your equipment previously and numerous compaints to the CS department have still been left unrectified...... For me, they had, so I wasn't lying, but it is still ammunition.......

 

Tell them to put it into the animal crate as these are treated with a little more respect than your average inanimate bag.

 

At the end of the day, we jumbled around a lot of the gear in front of the check in counter and managed to get it down to only 4 items...... two each..... and wasted one hour in the process..... making the ground staff sweat profusely as they fast approached the "delay means fines" point of no return....

 

Our baggage allowance was 40kg for the both of us, leaving us about 60 kilos over, still. Most airlines expect - at the least - 600 USD for this amount (10 - 20 USD per kilo?). We ended up paying for only 20 kilos..... Again, by blagging it...... Golfers are allowed extra baggage because - presumably - they "sit up front" and therefore are more valued as customers. Again, this is discrimination and it sucks..... They know it, but they expect you not to...... Stand your ground.

 

Stay calm throughout, and keep smiling and claim that you "understand the position that the airline is in, but they must also understand your position......". But always stand your ground.

 

Then, continue to hold your ground.

 

It is simple, you WILL NOT allow 10,000 dollars of delicate equipment to be manhandled by a bunch of muppets behind the scenes.

 

As Nick mentioned above, worst case scenario, they will allow you to carry it to the plane yourself and unload it yourself. Not ideal but quite a fair compromise.

 

Bottom line - don't take "No" for an answer. Hold up the queue. Ask any other customers behind in the queue if they have a similar situation and wish to join forces.

 

Turn the problem around that the airline is giving you and give it back to airline in the form of delaying them and making their job harder. I know that it is mean on the poor sod at check-in or the gate, who can't change the rules, but he will most likely have a supervisor behind the sceens who can bend them for you....

 

Whilst here, though. What seems to be the problem with Pelican cases? Have the baggage handlers learnt that they are for expensive delicate equipment and steal every one that they lay eyes hands upon?

 

I think that one is best to stick with pelican, or a similar brand. After all, they will take the most harsh of beatings and still deliver your equipment in working form, at the other end...... A fabric backpack, for that matter...... mmmmmmmmmm..................

 

One more point for the less experienced housing owner.

 

DON'T SEAL THE HOUSING BEFORE FLYING. For obvious reasons.........

 

Chris

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