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henkelphoto

not so noticeable carrying case for air travel?

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Hi guys!

 

I'm looking for a suitable case to carry my housing, ports, lights and associated accessories when traveling by air. Right now, I use a Think Tank Airport International roller with all my stuff, but I'm a little worried about checking that case as it is so recognizable as a camera case.

 

One of the guys I know who does a lot (and I mean A LOT) of air travel with his gear said he uses a fiberglass ice chest with wheels. He just stuffs his clothing around the housing, ports, lights, etc. That sounds like a good idea, but I can't figure out how to make sure the case stays closed. And my buddy is out of touch for a while.

 

Anybody have any ideas?

Edited by henkelphoto

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Could you put the Think Tank inside a large, cheap-looking suitcase? Pad around it to avoid it rattling around if necessary?

 

On the cooler chest, you could probably drill some holes through it and fit a local hasp(s); then use one or two padlocks.

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Hi Tim,

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I thought about a hasp and padlock, but TSA wouldn't like the lock on it and without the lock, even if I used a zip tie, the case could easily fly open if TSA removed it. I also thought about using duct tape to wrap the case, but the same thing would happen if TSA removed it to look inside.

 

Putting the Think Tank case inside something else is a thought. I'll have to look into that.

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You can buy TSA padlocks though, right?

 

Have you had a problem taking your TT on as cabin baggage? I use a Pelican 1510 roller box and, touch wood, have not had a problem taking it as cabin baggage over the last 12 years and I have travelled a great deal with it. I didn't think the TT was that different in size (but I haven't checked).

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Hi Everyone,

 

I am using a cheap(50$) photo backpack with adjustable separations that you can find in aliexpress. It gets my camera, housing, 2 strobes, 1 7" dome, 1 macro port, 4 lenses, batteries and chargers and small accessories. I like the keep valuable stuff close to me. Only the arms travel in the luggage with the rest of the diving gear. With all the above, backpack weights around 10-11 kg. Check-in staff sometimes take a look at it but never asked for the weight. It is not a top quality stuff like lowepro but it gets the job done for me.

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How about getting a normal roller bag (i.e. Samsonite/American Tourister/Target special) and putting custom pick-n-pluck foam (http://www.thefoamfactory.com) or padded dividers in it?

 

Won't have the features of the Think Tank, but will look like every other bag at the airport from the outside.

Edited by mcgowman

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Thanks guys, so from what I glean off here, my two best options is just make it work and get the Think Tank on as carryon, or go with a regular roller suitcase and custom cut some foam to fit the housing and ports into it.

 

Thanks again for the ideas!

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Hi,

 

I travel with the TT Int'l Roller, and so far have had no problems taking it on the plane with me as carry-on. This includes both US and foreign airlines. It does require that the other bag is a fairly small backpack, though. But this works fine for me.

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Just use a cheap, common hard suitcase with a lockable snaps (not zippers!) as they will blend in the other cheap, common suitcases.

NEVER use dive bags, photo bags, pelicases or anything expensive looking or with photo, dive or any other stickers on it.

I use those and fill them with my clothes, dive gear, housings or the delicate rebreatherparts inside a Pelicase for added protection.
Domes, Ports, cameras, hard disks, chargers, etc goes in a Photo backpack as carry-on.

Chris

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I use a Cinebag CB27 Lens Smuggler for bodies, lenses, ports and batteries. This one is fantastic for travel and general storage of gear. Available at Amazon for $211. Expensive and worth every penny. Housing, dome, strobes and arms go in the Akona <7 LB bag, also available on Amazon for about $130. It has wheels and a handle. Both go on the plane with me. The Cinebag fits under the seat, the Akona goes in the overhead.

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I would not use zip ties to lock the luggage, just leave it open. I had zip ties on my stowed luggage and the tsa wanted to get inside, so instead of cutting the zip tie, they cut the zipper pull.

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It is possible to get TSA-approved locks. That's what I use on my checked baggage.

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I use a North Face cabin sized pull along with my gear packed into F Stop Gear ICU's. The bag is near bulletproof and doesn't hint of camera gear at all.

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Could you put the Think Tank inside a large, cheap-looking suitcase? Pad around it to avoid it rattling around if necessary?

 

On the cooler chest, you could probably drill some holes through it and fit a local hasp(s); then use one or two padlocks.

 

 

This is exactly what I do. I wrap the camera bag in my wetsuit, shorty and rash gaurds and put it inside those cheap hardshell rolling bags. I lock the camera bag with a TSA lock.

 

Knocking on wood, I have not lost anything yet. Hope I didn't just jinx myself!!

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I would not use zip ties to lock the luggage, just leave it open. I had zip ties on my stowed luggage and the tsa wanted to get inside, so instead of cutting the zip tie, they cut the zipper pull.

 

 

I use zip ties on all my checked bags. The difference is I NEVER pull them tight!! Leave a loop so that if they need to get in, they can easily cut it. Otherwise they may need to cut the zipper pull.

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