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packing and transporting my rig

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Hello

I used to pack my things Explorer case 7630.B. It is filled with foam. Foam is pre cubed and its make easy to cut different size holes for all kind of equipment. This pre cubed is good but maybe bad in longer use terms, because this pre cubed foam, holes what You make, quite easily like to enlarge bigger when you several times remove layers. But time will show how this is working. Of course Explorer have also soft padded dividers, but first I liked to test this foam. This case arrived with 3 thick and 2 thin layers foam.

When I started to think what case and how big case I will need, I was very sure that over wight is certain when I like to take all photo equipments and diving gears also, then I choose bigger case and hoped to fit all to one case.

First of all I think to put in this case only photo equipments, but when I received case I understand that I must try to fit all things, because its not easy to take two bag what I give away and one what I take in plain. So I decided to fit all photo equipments and dive gears to this Explorer case and only few clothes and camera and lenses I take with me in plain.

This case is so deep, that I decided to hide smaller things inside several layers. First layer (thin layer foam) I hided housing handles. Second layer started to fit bigger and more sensitive parts. I hided all parts inside second, third and fourth layer (thick layer foam). On top I used second thin layer foam to cover most photo equipments and started to fit dive gears. And I was able to fit all things. Only what isn't in picture is my BCD. It just don't fit because I have ScubaPro T-Black. But soon I will receive my travel BCD ScubaPro Geo and then all things will be one case. And end of packing I use two Explorer case three number lock to be sure that no one can so easily open and see what is inside the case.

I don't know yet is this packing will work, but end of this year October I will go travel and test it.

This case weight now max 35 kg. +/- 2 kg when I receive new BCD. Most of my traveling its not a problem, because diver can take 20 + 12 kg free of charge and 8 kg carri in baggage. If using soft badded dividers weight might be even smaller. But this in future testing.

 

 

Only problem what I have no is insurance. Because here in Estonia no insurance company don't make such value case insurance. They have maximum amount only 2000 EUR-os and all things cost much more. One company made insurance offer and two weeks cost 291 EUR. I think its to much and I will try to find cheaper solution.

 

 

Here is few pictures to show what I did:

http://aixlands.planet.ee/Kast_koos/

 

Best Regards

Aigar

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This case weight now max 35 kg. +/- 2 kg when I receive new BCD.

You might want to check with your airline and airport(s). I recall that there would be a 32 kg limit on any single luggage item irrespective of the overall allowances and extra charges...

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Thanks this tip. If I change mu regulator and BCD, then I think in my case there is no problem. Total weigt then is something like 32 kg.

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I know the think tank bags are pretty popular in genral for hauling set ups, but what is the concensous on mopuntainsmith boarding pass for transporting UW rig?

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Something that I've been looking for in the "packing" category is how to keep dirt, dust & junk out of the inside surface of my dome port while it is broken down into pieces for transit, since it is a bit of a nuisance to clean the interior surface & Murphy prioritizes things that are hassles.

 

Ideally, there would be a low profile screw-in plug that would fill the hole. But barring that, does anyone have any suggestions specific for an 8" Ikelite dome?

 

 

-Hugh

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Something that I've been looking for in the "packing" category is how to keep dirt, dust & junk out of the inside surface of my dome port while it is broken down into pieces for transit, since it is a bit of a nuisance to clean the interior surface & Murphy prioritizes things that are hassles.

 

Ideally, there would be a low profile screw-in plug that would fill the hole. But barring that, does anyone have any suggestions specific for an 8" Ikelite dome?

 

 

-Hugh

 

I am cheap, I just keep mine inside a ziplock bag... :)

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tape the port hole with lint free cloth on the inside.

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Looking for an optimal soft-cover rigid case for check-in. To me the mid-sized Lightware cases are too shallow for housings & dome ports etc. (other models are way too big). Has anyone used the Versa-flex case? They have cases that are 8.5" deep, with much more size options than lightware...

Edited by Tim S

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Knowing this topic has been discussed already I still want to show how I do with my rig since I got recently a storm roller bag, in which I store the housing (Subal for S2 pro), the Subal Dome port for the 12-24 lens, a Nikonos SB-105 Flash and a Sealux Flash housing for Nikon SB-80DX and some accessories. The storm case is supposed as a carry-on. All my camera gear goes into a small Tamrac photobag. The Tamrac photobag can be attached onto the handle of the storm rollerbag and is also for carry-on. The Subal port for the 70-180 microzoom goes in a small pellicase, which goes into my divebag (to be checked) together with the arms for the flashguns and the other dive gear.

I have not yet travelled like this but will go to the red sea soon. In earlier trips I used another big Tamrac photobag in which I stuffed everything into as carry-on, but with a heavy weigtht of around 30 kg I almost broke my shoulders! So this way with the wheels on I should be better of assuming that the airline does not require me to check it.

Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

BTW, I got so many useful and interesting hints from this forum that without it I would have been lost in setting up the gear. Thank you all!

 

Juerg

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Knowing this topic has been discussed already I still want to show how I do with my rig since I got recently a storm roller bag, in which I store the housing (Subal for S2 pro), the Subal Dome port for the 12-24 lens, a Nikonos SB-105 Flash and a Sealux Flash housing for Nikon SB-80DX and some accessories. The storm case is supposed as a carry-on. All my camera gear goes into a small Tamrac photobag. The Tamrac photobag can be attached onto the handle of the storm rollerbag and is also for carry-on. The Subal port for the 70-180 microzoom goes in a small pellicase, which goes into my divebag (to be checked) together with the arms for the flashguns and the other dive gear.

I have not yet travelled like this but will go to the red sea soon. In earlier trips I used another big Tamrac photobag in which I stuffed everything into as carry-on, but with a heavy weigtht of around 30 kg I almost broke my shoulders! So this way with the wheels on I should be better of assuming that the airline does not require me to check it.

Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

BTW, I got so many useful and interesting hints from this forum that without it I would have been lost in setting up the gear. Thank you all!

 

Juerg

 

I have tried many different methods of traveling with underwater dSLR gear and have found the best to be using the largest carry on suitcase the airlines allow with separators from another camera bag (packed tight). The obvious disadvantage is lack of protection with the soft bag but since I carry it with me there is no worry of baggage handlers. The other advantage is it has wheels.

 

greg

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I've heard that you are not supposed to travel with your camera inside the housing... Do you subscribe to that theory? I'm carrying on (or at least I hope so)

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Knowing this topic has been discussed already I still want to show how I do with my rig since I got recently a storm roller bag, in which I store the housing (Subal for S2 pro), the Subal Dome port for the 12-24 lens, a Nikonos SB-105 Flash and a Sealux Flash housing for Nikon SB-80DX and some accessories. The storm case is supposed as a carry-on. All my camera gear goes into a small Tamrac photobag. The Tamrac photobag can be attached onto the handle of the storm rollerbag and is also for carry-on. The Subal port for the 70-180 microzoom goes in a small pellicase, which goes into my divebag (to be checked) together with the arms for the flashguns and the other dive gear.

I have not yet travelled like this but will go to the red sea soon. In earlier trips I used another big Tamrac photobag in which I stuffed everything into as carry-on, but with a heavy weigtht of around 30 kg I almost broke my shoulders! So this way with the wheels on I should be better of assuming that the airline does not require me to check it.

Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

BTW, I got so many useful and interesting hints from this forum that without it I would have been lost in setting up the gear. Thank you all!

 

Juerg

 

For the past 10 yrs. I have used the lowepro roller x200. It is soft sided with rigid foam dividers which allows me to arrange the dividers to fit my gear. I carry S&S MDX housing w camera, 2 sets of arms, 2 S&S 90Auto strobes, Dome and flat ports, and extra arm pieces, charger, etc. I have always carried it on and fits nicely in overhead. I have never been questioned as to weight or size. I would NEVER check my photo gear as I have had too many instances of luggage being lost, delayed, or misplaced. As for tools and hex wrenches, be sure to check them in your luggage as they will be confiscated by security in carry-on. This set up has worked wonderfully for me. The lowepro bag is not cheap (about $300) but is well made and stands up to heavy use and protects gear very well.

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I've heard that you are not supposed to travel with your camera inside the housing... Do you subscribe to that theory? I'm carrying on (or at least I hope so)

 

I always travel with my camera inside the housing. Always make sure you remove the 'O' ring from the groove before closing it up. Otherwise, opening the housing when you land again can be very hard due to the housing equalising to the lower cabin pressurre at altitude and then being held shut by he higher external pressure when you land.

 

Pelican cases have a pressure equalising valve to counter this.

 

I always put bits of coloured paper beween the housing halves to remind me that the 'O' ring is not in its groove!

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I have been using a Pelican 1510 roller case (Max carry-on size). I can squeeze my Aquatica housing (with body inside), 4 lenses (10-17, 60, 105, 12-24), flat port, housing handles, 2 Ike 161s, housing handles, 2 sync chords, a strobe charger, a Nikon charger, and a few misc. bits in it. It is PACKED, and weighs 42 pounds. I am guite adept at making it look light and so far so good. I opted for the Pelican case, rather than a soft case simply because I know that eventually I will be forced to check it and the Pelican case will protect the stuff.

 

My dome gets wrapped in bubble wrap and a wetsuit and stuffed into my gear. I wear a spare D7000 and lens around my neck, or in a backpack. Arms and a spare sync chord, and spare chargers also get stuffed in with dive gear or clothes.

 

In my next life, I am taking up ping-pong as a hobby. I crave travel with a 20# clothing bag. Only.

Edited by Stoo

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I have tried many different methods of traveling with underwater dSLR gear and have found the best to be using the largest carry on suitcase the airlines allow with separators from another camera bag (packed tight). The obvious disadvantage is lack of protection with the soft bag but since I carry it with me there is no worry of baggage handlers. The other advantage is it has wheels.

 

greg

 

Good luck with that in this day and age. I spent many years carrying a rolling hardcase with my gear into the cabin. That was BEFORE they started weighing the carry on. My sister got hit going to PNG. Her carry on was overweight by quite a bit. It cost her $300.00 on just one leg of the trip to get it on the plane. I will simply not risk that.

 

I now have a padded photo suitcase that fits inside an ultra-light shelled suitcase. Is it as safe from hard hits? nope. My last trip I had a broken port latch from something that hit hard enough. Luckily, I carry extras. On all the trips I have taken, that is the only impact damage I have had.

 

I never carry a camera inside the housing. The shelf my camera attaches to is not meant for the impacts and drops that the housing will experience.

 

Because I carry my own dive gear and am gone for at least a month each trip, I expect to be overweight on every leg. $$$$$$$$$

Edited by AllisonFinch

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when i travel by air, (which i do at least several times a year) and take my camera gear with me I opt to use a EastPack bag, it's just an easy soft backpack i used in my high school period.
the whole Ikelitehousing goes in it including the 6'' dome port (i take the o-rings out and leaf the whole thing intact in my backpack. never had any troubles with the airlines i fly with (KLM, Transavia, Martinair, Emirates and Malaysian airlines.)

Edited by maxman2402

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With all the changes with baggage allowances and having carry on bags weighed I hav eopted for a change in my packing and transportation of my dive and camera gear. I recently flew with low cost Air Asia from Gold Coast, Australia to Bangkok via KL. The carry on restriction is only 7kg and was inforced only some of the time.

 

But the check in allowances have changed for the better. For example with Air Asia you can pre book up to 40kg of normal checkin baggage and there is also an option to checking in sports equipment up to 40kg. This is at a cost of course but not bad when your flying for a discounted fare anyway.

 

I basically pack my housing, camera body, and ports in bubble wrap and place them in a cooler type bag. This weighs in at 7kg if they decided to weight it and everything else goes into my check in baggage with more fragile gear wrapped in bubble wrap and then wrapped around with clothes or wetsuits.

 

I think no days you have to see what extra baggage allowances the airline your travelling with offers and plan your packing around that.

 

Regards Mark

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I'm another Pelican 1510 user:

 

Pelican 1510 Carry-On:

- Remove all the foam and dividers!!!!

- 3/2 Wetsuit on the bottom

- Ikelite enclosure for Canon 5D towards the handle end, enclosure filled will gears, orings, etc

- Regulator coiled up on other end (hog-style long hose, short hose)

- Wrist dive computer and compass wrapped in cloth and stuffed inside the 8" dome

- 8" dome with longest port extension tube placed on top of reg (port tube fits inside coiled up reg)

- Strobe cable and arm

- Batteries, chargers, small flash lights, etc stuff around edges

- Dive boots above the dome port (boots are heavy!)

- Small cable lock used to lock this same case to a pipe or bedframe in the room (if needed)

- Swim trunks a very light tee-shirt on very top.

- The case is quite heavy.

- I always have a large padlock on it. Everytime it goes through security they have me unlock it (never cut)

 

Think Tank (Medium Sized Forgot Name) as the camera / computer bag.

- Camera Body

- Canon 100macro, 17-40, 40 Pancake and the Rokinon 14mm.

- Ike DS51 strobe

- USB powered 500gb portable drive

- Card reader and USB hub

- Surface RT (web, movies, email, transfer files from cards to drive, preview 5d2 video)

- Filters (polarizer, ND)

- Camera strap

- Ballhead (tripod goes in checked baggage - only for land shots and video)

 

Large Roller Suitcase (checked)

- Large Dive Bag (w/tags) And everything else inside (in case suitcase breaks)

- BCD,

- Fins,

- Housing handle

- Floats

- Dive

- Clothes

- etc.

 

This has worked for all the common Caribbean destinations and rarely have I paid any luggage fees since I'm only checking one item. Since we usually fly Delta (Minneapolis) the first bag has no fee for all Caribbean and places like Bonaire and Belize are two checked bags without fees. For the small hops (Aruba to Bonaire, Belize City to Ambergris Caye) the Pelican goes underneath but the camera backpack is okay to carry on.

 

I can't wait to go to the Pacific - yet I know this travel setup would easily exceed the carry on weight limits as the Pelican 1510 loaded probably weights over 45lbs with all the gear.

 

I really appreciate this thread as it has a great deal of useful information for traveling lighter and awareness of the various carry-on weight limits which haven't been a problem - yet - for US based carriers.

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Hi,

 

Just found this camera backpack on Amazon. Seems like a great deal for only $30! Right now, I'm looking into getting a new Olympus OM-D E-M5 rig and was thinking about putting it in this bag. Anyone have experience packing an OM-D with 2x strobes, 4" dome, Nauticam housing, NA 65 port, lenses, etc?

http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Backpack-SLR-Cameras-Accessories-Black/dp/B002VPE1WK/ref=sr_1_6?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1365267368&sr=1-6

For me, the most important aspects of the backpack is that it's durable, light, and doesn't advertise itself as a camera bag for thieves.

 

jason

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I am going to Anilao here in May. I allowed two checked bags weighing 70lbs. Should I consider bringing the big Pelican and my dive bag or find something else to carry my dive bag so I have more room for clothes? Granted the majority of the time will be at the resort. I hand carry camera and lenses. Have not thought about hand carry the strobes as of yet. I would love to hear others opinions/suggestions.

 

Thanks,

Sean

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If you are flying Philippine Air, beware that they weight all carry/roll ons at the gate.

I off load into a photo vest and then repack when past the scale!

 

Where are you leaving from?

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If you are flying Philippine Air, beware that they weight all carry/roll ons at the gate.

I off load into a photo vest and then repack when past the scale!

 

Where are you leaving from?

 

I am flying out of LAX but on United. All my flights have to follow UAL rules. I used miles and flying in luxury so I get the extra weight as well.

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Hi,

 

I have a new rig d800, with a 9" Dome. So, I need a new way of packing it!

Living in Europe with harder regulations on check-in. We are generally having 66lbs check-in, incl dive gear ( at extra cost)..

So, heavy Pelicases are out of the question.

 

I have decided to carry the Housing by hand, in the Lanyard. There was a post about in this Thread, but it got lost in the site changes. I have done a hand-made Neoprene bag for the Housing.

I will carry a standard unpadded NorthFace backpack as carry-on. The reason for an unpadded bag. Is that it takes up less space and fits more! I will pack the Domeport and lenses in it.

The Lenses are put into padded Lense pouches. They can easily be moved into the jacket if needed and the bag looks smaller then.. The Domeport is in 2 Layers of Neoprene and still in the original Box.

I am searching for fitting Plastic box for the Domeport. If you see a man wandering around the kitchen utensils dep, that's me :laugh:

 

The strobes and extension rings will go into the check-in. The Extension rings wrapped in bubble and shoved inside the BCD. The Strobes in one of those kistchen plastic boxes.

 

I have a trip coming up in less than 2 weeks. So, you might have noticed that it is on my mind!

 

/Erik

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There are lots of good ideas here. I learned a lot from reading all of them. I could not find the Samsonite F'Lite bag on their website. They have lots of other 30" rolling luggage hard cases that would work well. They're not cheap but lots of them are on sale for over 50% off. http://shop.samsonite.com

I'm travelling to Little Cayman soon with a bunch of friends. We're flying on United to GC and Cayman Air to LC. The United baggage limits and fees are $25 for the first bag and $40 for the second bag. Two checked bags = $65. We get one carry-on bag and a personal bag, laptop bag or backpack. From Grand Cayman to Little Cayman the Cayman Air island hopper allows 55 pounds per person combined total in up to two bags and only one carry-on of 15 pound max. plus a personal bag. Anything over the weight limit is $0.55 per pound.

No one with dive gear and UW camera gear is going to meet the limits on the island hopper. On many of these small island hoppers they weigh you and your carry-on bags as well as your luggage. They have to know how much total weight they have on the plane.

The only reason I can meet these weight limits is because my wife doesn't take an UW camera.
Just your dive gear in a rolling dive bag weighs about 35 lbs. Add clothes, toiletries, a hat, a basic camera and a good book and it weighs 50#.

I will be carrying all of my cameras and lenses and small expensive accessories in my carry-on. I use a pelican 1510 rolling carry-on-sized bag because it's easy to pull through airports. I'll carry a medium sized daypack too. The housing, batteries and UW accessories go in the checked luggage. I've done this for many years on one and two leg trips and never had a problem.

I use a rolling Underwater Kinetics hard box. It weighs much less than a Pelican box and probably about the same as those Samsonite hard luggage bags (12 lbs and up). The Ikelite UW housing, dual Ikelite DS-125/160 strobes and spare batteries, arms, clamps, chargers, misc batteries, Fantasea focus light, flashlights
and accessories go inside the checked UK hard box. I wrap everything seperately in the lightest padding I can find - bubble wrap. Big rubber bands, rather than tape, wrap both ways to keep it rolled up and make it easy to reuse on the return trip. If you opened the box you'd see bunch of various sized packages in bubble wrap. The gear all fits in the box with some room to spare before I hit the 50# limit. I fill the rest of the case with more bubble wrap or open-cell foam. Open-cell foam does not expand in flight.

Leave the air vents open on your hard boxes when you fly. Otherwise they may pop open on ascent and if they vent slowly they can be crushed on descent. Same goes for toiletries and liquids in plastic bottles. Squeeze the excess air out before you pack them.

My friends tell me to get TSA locks. I've never done this before but I will this time. I usually put black plastic wire ties through the lock holes. They can't be seen on a black bag or box and will stop anyone from opening it quickly. I've only had them cut once and nothing was missing.

Edited by whaleshark
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I just got back from Indonesia. I upgraded to a D800 incl the really big domeport. So, I had to find a new solution.

This time I carried my Housing in the hand, using the Lanyard. I wrapped the Housing in some big velcro Neoprenes.

It worked great. It made my backpack looking considerably smaller! The standard backpack was filled with the Zen 9" dome and a bunch of Lenses.

 

/Erik

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