OK! I really want to ask my last camera bag question ever.........

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
There are lots of "what bags should I get" threads here, some of which have been mine. But, because of an injury, I need to change the way I carry my gear and the problem is that I don't often get to places where I can actually look at bags to try myself. So, I try to narrow down my decisions based on reviews and opinions before ordering (and somethimes returning) things.

My dilemma: I will be carrying my 5Diii, 24-70 f/2.8ii, 100-400 mkii, a 430 EXii and a WA (along with cards, batteries, etc.) on a long trip to Ethiopia. I've relied on shoulder bags (love my City Walker) but due to an injury and what this will weigh, will now carry a backpack. I've not decided on whether to bring a tripod. There will be no overnight trekking or long hiking on this trip. I do have access to a Guru Kiboko 22+ which is a great bag but feels too bulky for this load. I am trying to carry "smaller" especially because of some internal flights with restrictions.

My present system is to place my loaded shoulder bag into a carry-on duffle along with paperwork, some layers, toiletires and one a change of clothes and tablet into the duffle which is carry on legal sized and take this along with a rolling carry-onfilled with the remaining clothes to make the 2 items I carry on. Should the gate decide this is too heavy or large (only happened once), I'll always have the ability to not let my camera gear go into the hold of the airplane. I can just take out the camera shoulder bag, pull some items from the roll-aboard, and add them to the now almost empty duffle, carry the duffle and the camera bag as my 2 items and let the roll-aboard get checked.

Depending on the size of any new backpack, I still might put it into the carry on duffle (suspect it will occupy more of the duffle than the shoulder bag) and still have my roll-aboard with clothing and other items and use the same system. So, I don't want a large backpack, just one that can carry my walkaround kit on two straps instead of one and still be easy to travel with. My system to keep camera gear out of the hold would still work.

Right now I am thinking about Flipside 300 (or 200 or 400?) versus TT Streetwalker but have looked at lots of others online.

So, for the (hopefully) last time, given this gear, what would fit and what do you think you'd do? I know about the security benefits of the Flipside but my TT bags are all wonderful.
 

mrzero

EOS RP
Jun 12, 2012
314
1
Chicago
I'm having a hard time picturing all of your proposed gear inside a shoulder bag (let alone a backpack), then inside a duffel bag, which gets carried on along with a larger duffel bag. I would certainly think that would be a problem for the internal flights in Ethiopia.

The Flipside 300 looks on the website like it would hold your proposed gear and not much more. I have the Flipside 400 and I think it would hold your proposed list with a little room to spare (back-up body?). I bought it with the intention of using it as my camera gear carryon bag in the overhead (possibly inside of a Pelican case). The 400 also has a decent-sized front flap pouch that could serve to accomodate some of the things you might put in your first duffel. I also carry a boarding bag (think man purse) with travel essentials, wallet, ID, snacks, etc. That was my set-up when I went to Madagascar (with several internal flights), although I used a regular backpack with a camera waistpack inside and much less/smaller camera gear than you are proposing.
 

brad-man

Semi-Reactive Member
Jun 6, 2012
1,676
587
S Florida
I have the regular Streetwalker and it is what I use when I want to go "minimal" and still have everything with me. It is like the Doctor's TARDIS, it is larger on the inside than on the outside. It has the advantage over the Kiboko in that it doesn't have a padded slot for a laptop. I hope you heal well.
 

pwp

EOS R6
Oct 25, 2010
2,530
23
brad-man said:
I have the regular Streetwalker and it is what I use when I want to go "minimal" and still have everything with me. It is like the Doctor's TARDIS, it is larger on the inside than on the outside. It has the advantage over the Kiboko in that it doesn't have a padded slot for a laptop. I hope you heal well.
My use of the ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro is almost identical. It's a remarkably light bag, and does have Tardis like functionality. If I pack thoughtfully, I fit two gripped bodies, 16-35 f/4is, 24-70 f/2.8II, 70-200 f/2.8isII, two 600 ex-rt speedlights and a dual port Quantum Turbo3 external battery. And if I need a monopod or small tripod, it attaches externally. It's an insanely good bag. I also like that it's narrower than my quite skinny body, and remains perfectly comfortable working with two bodies on sling straps, one each side. That's not the case with many backpacks where the shoulder straps seem to interfere with the camera straps. It's not terrible, just irritating. But the ThinkTank Streetwalker absolutely nails it. It's a very mature, simple design.

-pw
 
A couple years ago I downsized to the regular TT Streetwalker (from a slightly larger Kata backpack). It is really ideal - small enough and skinny enough to not feel bulky or make me stand out. Still designed to hold a body with 2_8 zoom. My equipment is similar to yours - a 5D3 body with 70-200 2_8 L (fits attached in the bag), but instead of the 24-70 2_8 I have the 24-70 f4L. However I also carry a third lens, either a 100 macro or an 85 f1.4 and a 1.4x extender (plus a couple filters). I do NOT carry a flash normally (never really use it), but if I did it would fit where the third lens goes, which sounds like your setup. However since your 24-70 is the larger 2_8 it might be a tight fit. My f4 fits perfectly, but the other one is bigger. It would be ideal if you could take your gear into a store and try it out.
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
Thx. Gonna have to wait until I am someplace with a store to try a few of these options.
 

Eldar

EOS R6
Jan 14, 2013
3,250
7
www.flickr.com
I have been through countless shoulder bags, sling bags, roller bags and backpacks. Currently I have settled for f-stop. This is a modular system, where you get a very good backpack and a selection of interior modules, called ICU, to fit your camera gear. I have three packs and a number of different ICUs.

In your case you should look at the bag called Loka UL: http://shop.fstopgear.com/us/product/loka-ul.html
and the interior module called Medium Slope ICU: http://shop.fstopgear.com/us/product/medium-slope-icu.html

F-stop also feature a very convenient strap system, called Gatekeepers, which allow lots of extra stuff to be carried, including tripods.

Be aware that the load you have described may be permitted on many US flights, where people carry way too much as carry-on. More and more airlines are more and more strict on what they allow. Several will now weigh your carry-on and only accept 8kg(!). The Loca fits the measurements for a carry-on and it is most likely the lightest you´ll find. It also give you enough space to carry your toiletries, a change of clothes, papers and tablet.
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
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Thanks, all. Let me clarify by giving a list of what I already do have:
F-Stop LOKA (too much for a non-trekking trip - has been to 4 continents)
Gura Kiboko 22L+ (too much and a bit too large for what I am bringing to Ethiopia)
TT Retrospective 7 (great for walking around with specific stuff but weight all on shoulder)
TT City Walker 20 ( " " " " " " " " " " " " )
TT Dig Holster (2 sizes and I love these but need more than this for what I am bringing)
Crumpler 5 million (perfect for DSLR with attached lens and some other items for walk around)
I have gotten rid of a lot of smaller bags. They worked well when I had a smaller kit that just don't work for my present needs.

To reiterate, the City Walker worked really well on my last trip but I need to get that weight off one shoulder. Lately, I've been thinking maybe the 5 million with the camera and some items supplemented by a second bag for a couple of additional lenses but that's probably too cumbersome.

Maybe an SL-1 with an 16-300 zoom in a holster is all I need ;) :eek: . But I'd miss pics like this......
 

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axtstern

EOS M(ediochre)
Jun 12, 2012
254
0
This might not be the solution fitting to you at this moment but it is my highlight of the GAS cycle each year:

Wukesong Camera Market (五棵松摄影器材城

You will find roughly 20-30 shops like the attached picture under one roof.
They range form originals, fakes which resemble originals, fakes which look like anything but originals, local brands and fakes of local brands.

Dengs speech that the color of the cat does not count if it only can catch mice is really true there.
I bought a KATA shoulderbag there which does not resemble anything KATa had in their line up, but it was well made, had plenty of lets say borrowings from Thinktank products and was deep enough the hold a 60D with the 70 200 2.8 attchached while being the slimmest shoulderbag I have.

Dealers in Wukesong do not understand much english but are clever eough that talking with hand and feet and pointing will be enough. They usually allow me to even walk with one bag from one stall nito others to do an indepth comparison.

I usually spend each year a lot on non hightech Camera equipment. Visiting Wukesong even counting the the plane ticket and two days accomodation in Bejing in usually is offset by the savings on bags, tripods, memory cards, Yongnuo gadgets etc... in.

Ah and if a few dozend of camera stores, filter specialists, bag and gear shops, used camera stores etc... is not enough than had up on floor and you have a wallmart sized area of equipment for wedding photographers and studio owners.
 

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JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
Here's an update........

Since I could not find a local shop to try these out, I ordered a Flipside 300 and a Flipside 200 online. The 200 is just a bit too small for my needs. The 300 seemed to fit the bill. I could load my kit and it fit plus the bag fits into my carry-on duffle (I fly with a carry on bag plus a duffle bag as my personal item. This alllows me to fit a few more things besides the photo equipment into the duffle and then if needed, I can take out the camera bag, move some items from the carry on to that now-almost empty duffle, and check the carry on bag).

Thinking I had the issue solved, I put the Flipside on my back and the bottom relatively stiff base dug into my low back even if I changed the shoulder strap lengths. It is a no-go so I returned both Flipsides.

Just ordered a TT Streetwalker (not the Pro or HD). We'll see. Good thing the 3 big guys we use for on-line ordering are good about returns!
 

scottkinfw

Wildlife photography is my passion
CR Pro
I'm obviously too late, but if you decide to return your purchases, I would recommend you consider ThinkTank Airport Takeoff and/or Airport Security V. 2.

Both have hideaway shoulder straps so they are backpacks, but also have wheels and a retractable handle which should really help you given your injury.

I have used both bags on international flights and domestic puddle jumpers in Africa with strict size and weight restrictions- fit in all overheads, never rejected.

Finally, be sure to get and use a safari vest to put all your big/heavy stuff in. It is not counted as a carry on and it is a good way to get everything in. As an example, a few years ago on Delta, my bag was >20 KG and I was not let through, and I wasn't about to send my gear to the belly of the plane, never to be seen again. I went back to a table, took my heavy lenses out a camera body out, some hard drives out, put them in my safari vest, and went right through. Once at the gate, I replaced everything back into the pack and was ready for the trip.

Safari vests are kind of nerdy at first, but once you get over the style statement and get used to it, they are really useful and functional for the entire trip.

Best to you in Ethiopia, be safe and post lots of pics.

sek
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
The TT Streetwalker arrived today. Loaded my camera (the 5dIII with the Kirk AS plate I keep on it is a little snug at the top of the bag but I can move around some dividers and fix this) and the three lenses still leaving empty compartments / room to spare. Tried walking around the house for an hour and I think it will be the winner.

Pros:
-More than enough room (and I have not even moved the dividers around)
-Seems pretty comfortable
-It is actually only a little bigger than the TT City Walker 20
-Fits in my carry on duffle
-It is ThinkTank so I know it is quality and will be durable :D

Cons:
-5Diii and plate a little tall for the top compartment but will be fine once I rearrange some dividers
-Not as secure as the Flipside
-If I need to lay it down to get to lenses, will be putting the part against my back into the dirt
-Outside pockets are pretty small
-I still would rather work out of a shoulder bag but that is not an option for me right now :'(

So my RRS-TCV34 is just too big for carry-on and my Redged TSC-424W "travel" tripod folds to a great size but is just a little too flimsy.......that is my next quandry. Guess this never ends!

Thanks for all the suggestions.
 

privatebydesign

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,810
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JPAZ said:
So my RRS-TCV34 is just too big for carry-on ...........

Who told you that?

The TCV34 is 21" long when collapsed, I have travelled all over the world with a Manfrotto 055CX3 that is 25.5" collapsed as carry-on and only once had it measured. That was in Japan and it passed regulations easily and I was allowed to keep it in the cabin.
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
privatebydesign said:
Who told you that?

Thanks for that comment. My most used domestic airline (because of where I live) has cracked down on carry on. They are most measuring most bags and checking many at the gate. They are strictly enforcing the 22 x 14 x 9 inch size and any second bag (personal item) must be smaller. But that's the outside dimensions with wheels and handles and all! The wonderful TVC-34 fits diagonally in my carry on suitcase but leaves little room for much else and hence would leave me checking a bag with my clothing or check a bag with the tripod. So I am trying to figure out all the options.................
 

privatebydesign

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,810
4,423
JPAZ said:
privatebydesign said:
Who told you that?

Thanks for that comment. My most used domestic airline (because of where I live) has cracked down on carry on. They are most measuring most bags and checking many at the gate. They are strictly enforcing the 22 x 14 x 9 inch size and any second bag (personal item) must be smaller. But that's the outside dimensions with wheels and handles and all! The wonderful TVC-34 fits diagonally in my carry on suitcase but leaves little room for much else and hence would leave me checking a bag with my clothing or check a bag with the tripod. So I am trying to figure out all the options.................

I have two travel plans depending on gear and location. I always take an old DaKine backpack, it isn't a camera bag but I find I can wrap my gear in my clothes, If I pull the center column from the 055 it will fit is diagonally and it easily fits the 22x14x9 because it has no camera bag padding. I don't take anything I don't need to. If it is a touch more than the DaKine will fit I'll take the 055 as my oersonal item, like I say I have never had an issue doing that.

My second travel plan is the DaKine with a ThinkTank Retrospective 10 as my personal item. In this case the tripod has to go in the DaKine but I can fit a surprising amount of gear in the Retrospective. My last trip to Central America I took a 1Ds MkIII, 11-24, 35 f2 IS, 100mm L Macro, an iPad and a Selphy CP910 printer along with cards and two batteries in the Retrospective 10. I have my chargers and cords in my DaKine along with clothes and the 055.

If I don't over pack the DaKine it fits in Saab 340 overhead (which is very narrow), even with the 055 in it. The Retrospective 10 fits under the seat of the same regional turboprop.

Both plans keep all my gear and clothes as carry-on even on small 30 seater regional planes, if I have to go on a Cessna 402 then the DaKine gets tarmac checked into the 'hold' anyway, but I have never had an issue with that as I see it on and see it off and it is only out of my hands and on the ground for a few minutes and always in my sight. If I need another T-Shirt it is cheaper to buy it locally!
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
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It is a system that depends on my destination.

In my roll-aboard is clothing, tripod, ballhead, shoes. In my duffle is my camera bag (had been Retrospective or City Walker but now looks lit TT Streetwalker), 3-ounce liquids bag, Kindle or iPad, chargers, travel paperwork, rain gear or layers and one change of clothing. I wear my hiking boots because they take up lots of room and I would not want to lose them if a bag gets gate checked. If we are going way off the grid, I bring peanut butter, protein bars and some tuna (has been very well needed in some areas). Only check a bag if I am bringing Hiking / Trekking poles.

So, my TCV-34 just might be too big. Just working this out.
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
Just some follow up....

The RRS TQC-14 without a ballhead fits perfectly in my roll-aboard. While certainly not as substantial as my "big legs" this tripod (with a Markins q3t and my gear in the TT Streetwalker) are all loaded and ready to go to New England for a short trip. I think this will work for my needs.

Appreciate the input of everyone.

Thanks.

JPAZ
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
In conclusion, the Streetwalker with a 5Diii, batteries, CF cards, filters, 24-70 f/2.8ii attached, 16-35 f/4, and 100-400 mk ii (each with reversed hood) worked well. And, the TQC-14 fit the tripod attachment on the backpack quite niciely.

Many thanks to all who gave advice / opinions.

JPAZ
 
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