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packing and transporting my rig

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At this very moment I'm in the process of packing for a dive trip and trying to figure out how on earth to get the cabin bag within the specified 7kgs. A first attempt with a Cinebags Grouper was a cool 12kgs. I've already discounted the Pelican! The Grouper has only got a housing with camera/lens inside, attached 180mm dome port, 2x Retra strobes and the Superchargers. And, errr, that's about it. :rolleyes:
Usually my gear is packed in a Pelican 1512 with the arms and other hardware removed -  including the 45-viewfinder. The Grouper packed better armless. 
So I'm hoping I get the loaded Grouper in the cabin.... If anyone is inclined to light a candle/say a prayer/sacrifice a goat, then be my guest.
Yeah, I reckon the strobes, camera and housing are not things I'd want to holdload. Ports I'll take the risk if well-wrapped. Arms etc, no problem.

Let’s pray for each others, i am boarding Singapore Airlines in a few days time and will be served with the same challenge :)

With the idea to carry assembled housing as a ‘camera’, I wish that was an option, but SQ corners their customers pretty well: the camera bag has to be 40x30x… only 10cm thick :(

With tbe vests… same thing, there is a limit to how much I am willing to compromise on style :D
I have spent way too long looking for regular clothing that have big pockets. If i could put one or 2 lenses, perhaps the 2 viewfinders, that would already be a win.


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11 minutes ago, Nicool said:

With the idea to carry assembled housing as a ‘camera’, I wish that was an option, but SQ corners their customers pretty well: the camera bag has to be 40x30x… only 10cm thick :(

Wow, crafty devils!

11 minutes ago, Nicool said:

With tbe vests… same thing, there is a limit to how much I am willing to compromise on style :D

Well me too, Nicool. But you might be starting from a higher level than me. 

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On 5/16/2022 at 9:00 AM, Nicool said:

hi Chris, I've got my fair share of travel in previous job (probably 300-400 boarded aircrafts in 10 years) but I have never seen one of the fancy hard-shelled Samsonites cracked (i mean these). Not advertising them in particular, I don't even own one (yet?) but they have a reputation for being one of the very lightest and yet very sturdy.

Have you ever seen one of these cracked/burst open? 

 

-you fill both shells to their respective thickness, but then what happens when you lift-up the left shell to close?

Maybe I am over-thinking it... or not :) 

If I end-up embarrassing myself by taking 20kg of UWP gear in a travel shop and actually try... I'll report my findings here :D

I don't recall if was a samsonite, but I've seen a few of that style with cracks and also with substantial amount of gaffer tape applied to them.

I agree the 50/50 split of the hard cases is going to be an issue packing as I undersatnd it they have straps or covers to allow you pack each side - I think it woul be difficult to use with UW camera gear.  There is a hard shell case that is not 50/50 split more like 1/3 - 2/3 which might be a bit easier to pack that way. 

https://www.briggs-riley.com/collections/checked-luggage/products/torq-large-spinner-qu230sp

It's pricey but they are incredibly well made - their guarantee is they will repair anything even airline damage.  And the handle is outside - doesn't interfere with packing at all.

But realistically the base is still pretty flexy and will still need a shock absorbing layer before you add any camera gear - you might just as well use a quality ballistic nylon case, that will be easier to pack IMO. 

When are you flying? 

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On 5/17/2022 at 7:43 AM, TimG said:

Wow, crafty devils!

Well me too, Nicool. But you might be starting from a higher level than me. 

:shout:

For the next trip, i’ll go as far as wearing a - otherwise good looking Patagonia shorts, just realized it has 2 jumbo rear pockets, I can squeeze a lens in each while walking through the boarding gate :)

 

On 5/17/2022 at 1:23 PM, ChrisRoss said:

I don't recall if was a samsonite, but I've seen a few of that style with cracks and also with substantial amount of gaffer tape applied to them.

I agree the 50/50 split of the hard cases is going to be an issue packing as I undersatnd it they have straps or covers to allow you pack each side - I think it woul be difficult to use with UW camera gear.  There is a hard shell case that is not 50/50 split more like 1/3 - 2/3 which might be a bit easier to pack that way. 

https://www.briggs-riley.com/collections/checked-luggage/products/torq-large-spinner-qu230sp

It's pricey but they are incredibly well made - their guarantee is they will repair anything even airline damage.  And the handle is outside - doesn't interfere with packing at all.

But realistically the base is still pretty flexy and will still need a shock absorbing layer before you add any camera gear - you might just as well use a quality ballistic nylon case, that will be easier to pack IMO. 

When are you flying? 

Next Tuesday, so have ordersd a Pelican 1637… I’ll check the design you linked, perhaps for a subsequent trip.

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Hello,

To anyone with a CB80 Square Grouper XL, are you able to measure and let me know the internal dimensions of the bag? Thanks!

The website lists 18" x 13" x 12" but unsure if these are external dimensions.

https://www.cinebags.com/cb80squaregrouperxl

Thanks,

P

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In practice, the external/internal difference is minimal. The soft sides are maybe 1cm thick but all the sides - and top - are highly flexible and there is a good bit of "give" in them. I wouldn't worry about the potential difference.

Just as aside: I was able to carry my Grouper into an Embrarer on 4x flights between Sint Maarten and Providenciales via Santo Domingo. It contained a pair of Retras, a Subal ND500/45-degree finder with camera and DP-FE domeport, a bunch of accessories - and weighted about 8kgs. I was just about able to get it beneath the seat in front. Phew.

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Thanks [mention]TimG [/mention]! I take that if not filled to the brim it’ll fit in carry-on requirements?

When using it as a boat bag, is your camera able to stay upright in the bag? Or do you need to contort it to fit?


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No, it wasn’t filled to the brim by any means. And, yes, deliberately so for airline space reasons. 
 

As a boat bag, no problem at all. You can flood the bag to use as a rinse tank or use it as a protective store for the system. I used it a fair bit as a store for my second port and lens so as to keep them in ambient temperature with the housing. It stays upright without a problem. 
 

The bags certainly aren’t inexpensive and I spent a long time umming and ahhing as to whether to buy one or not. It now dives with me once or twice a week on a smallish dive boat where it is very much in protection mode. It has stood up to those rigours extremely well and, pretty much, looks as good as new. I’d gone through several cheap and cheerful cooler bags all of which leaked/tore/zips corroded. I didn’t take my own advice: buy cheap, buy twice. 

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21 minutes ago, TimG said:

No, it wasn’t filled to the brim by any means. And, yes, deliberately so for airline space reasons. 
 

As a boat bag, no problem at all. You can flood the bag to use as a rinse tank or use it as a protective store for the system. I used it a fair bit as a store for my second port and lens so as to keep them in ambient temperature with the housing. It stays upright without a problem. 
 

The bags certainly aren’t inexpensive and I spent a long time umming and ahhing as to whether to buy one or not. It now dives with me once or twice a week on a smallish dive boat where it is very much in protection mode. It has stood up to those rigours extremely well and, pretty much, looks as good as new. I’d gone through several cheap and cheerful cooler bags all of which leaked/tore/zips corroded. I didn’t take my own advice: buy cheap, buy twice. 

Good to hear, I am deciding on getting the CB80 Square Grouper XL. So far it is ticking my boxes: carry-on compatible, portable rinse tank, boat protection, and very durable. Now it just needs to fit my existing camera cube which is 18" x 13" x 7". I will visit my local store to check the fit. Hoping it does. The water bottle pockets are a plus for the Grouper bag. I really can't live without such a bag on the trips I take.

Sadly, my AO Cooler bag inner lining tore after about 2 years use and I now can't use it as a rinse tank. Sad because it still looks new expect for the torn lining. So I am looking for a replacement.

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Thanks [mention]TimG [/mention] I went out and bought the Cinebag CB80. I am using the Peak Design Camera Cube large which is exactly 18 x 13 x 7 inches. The fit was perfection, so exact.

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I also had space on top and the side for my other hardware.
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Does anyone know the lightest gear bag? I think 1/3 my 50 lb weight limit is from the bag itself. 

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6 hours ago, Jcbartell said:

Does anyone know the lightest gear bag? I think 1/3 my 50 lb weight limit is from the bag itself. 

That’s a really tough question! I agree though, the weight of some bags is significant. 

On a recent dive trip, because I was flying on small aircraft I didn’t take my usual (heavy) Pelican 1510 roller box. I used the Cinebags Grouper which took a huge amount of gear, offered reasonable protection - for cabin carrying- but wasn’t crazy heavy or bulky. Maybe worth a look?

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Posted (edited)

QQ for Singapore Air, do they weigh the carry-ons. I do carry a Pelican Air 1535, but it's a bit over the 7kg published limits. Heading to Wakatobi from the states via Singapore Air through Singapore->Bali in 2 months. 

Edited by RVbldr

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On 6/23/2022 at 4:30 PM, Pomacentridae said:

Thanks [mention]TimG [/mention] I went out and bought the Cinebag CB80. I am using the Peak Design Camera Cube large which is exactly 18 x 13 x 7 inches. The fit was perfection, so exact.


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I got this setup  as outlined here but it seems almost the size of a CarryOn luggage.  Is that how the airlines are counting this?  Seems just way too big for a personal item.  How does TimG fit that under seats?

Its approaching size of the AirTank carryon luggages.

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On 8/14/2022 at 7:47 PM, Jcbartell said:

Does anyone know the lightest gear bag? I think 1/3 my 50 lb weight limit is from the bag itself. 

I believe the lightest bags suitable to be checked are the Pelican Air cases and Nanuk brand cases.  Since you mention 50 lbs, I assume you are talking about a checked bag.  Note that you need to specifically look at the "Air" series from Pelican to get their lighter weight stuff.

You are still looking at 15-18 lbs for the case alone, largely due to the wheels and handles.  Some people use a lightweight ABS suitcase and wrap the gear in bubble wrap or clothes.  If that is acceptable, some of those suitcases are lighter.  There are threads where that has been discussed.

Figuring out how to pack stuff for different airline requirements has become something like a sport or competition, although not usually an enjoyable one. 

Edited by Draq

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13 hours ago, tsuyoshi said:

How does TimG fit that under seats?

Through persistence I guess! I had no choice. The aircraft was a small Embraer and there was no way the bag would fit in the tiny overhead locker. I slid the bag in first into the area under the seat in front and just manoeuvred it around until it could fit. I then got my legs in somehow. 

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9 hours ago, TimG said:

Through persistence I guess! I had no choice. The aircraft was a small Embraer and there was no way the bag would fit in the tiny overhead locker. I slid the bag in first into the area under the seat in front and just manoeuvred it around until it could fit. I then got my legs in somehow. 

Do you have another carry on bag or just a smaller personal item/bag?

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37 minutes ago, tsuyoshi said:

Do you have another carry on bag or just a smaller personal item/bag?

I went the fishing jacket route. This held an iPad mini and a Nikon Z6 and lens for topside plus the usual doodads, wallet, passport…..  all the ULCS clamps.

I knew that, for this trip, space was going to be a real issue so I had to pack minimalist and essentials only. 

Normally I’d have a Pelican 1510 and some kind of camera bag but that just wasn’t feasible on this trip which was a mix of small Embraer aircraft and potentially Twin Otters. Effectively no overhead lockers. 

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On 11/19/2022 at 11:21 PM, TimG said:

I went the fishing jacket route. This held an iPad mini and a Nikon Z6 and lens for topside plus the usual doodads, wallet, passport…..  all the ULCS clamps.

I knew that, for this trip, space was going to be a real issue so I had to pack minimalist and essentials only. 

Normally I’d have a Pelican 1510 and some kind of camera bag but that just wasn’t feasible on this trip which was a mix of small Embraer aircraft and potentially Twin Otters. Effectively no overhead lockers. 

Thanks for the replies & photos.  Very helpful.  I guess your carry on were mainly camera gear and all the essentials that fit in the fishing jacket?  Other critical items like the regulators  or dive gears were checked?

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Yes, all my camera gear, except strobe arms , plus dive computer and iPad were either in the Cinebag or the fishing jacket. I looked like Michelinman. Going through security was a joy.

Dive gear, (pretty minimalist; reg, 3mm suit and vest, BCD, fins, mask), and strobe arms were in my checked bag with a razor, toothbrush, two t-shirts and two pairs of swimmies. I pretty much wore everything else. Luckily we were traveling from one hot climate to another. 

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