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05-06-2014, 12:37 AM   #1
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Need a bag for international travel

So I'll be flying to Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Croatia, & Romania from the USA) in June and am looking to bring my camera and three lenses. I'm looking for a bag that will carry that and also have room for storage of other items like light clothing, batteries, and chargers. More importantly it will need to be the size to fit under the seat of a plane; I am hoping to not have to check a bag. I've found a few that hover around $100 such as the Fastback 350 or the Flipside 300, but I'm not really sure what would be best. I currently have a ApeCase sling bag, but I do not find it comfortable.

05-06-2014, 01:34 AM   #2
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I have the DSLR Video Fastpack 350 (DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW Camera bags, backpacks and rolling cases) and find it very comfortable with the straps. It has plenty of room and when I bought it, it needed to have room for a 15.6" laptop which this one has. Here's an example list of what it can carry, have in mind I don't own everything on this list but it will easily fit (for example grip and several lenses mentioned below):

Camera compartment
DSLR with grip and 16-50 mm attached
70-200 mm
100 mm
Flash with diffuser
Cables for laptop
One of those rocket bellows

Top compartment
Two pairs of underwear, shirts and socks
Book or small bag for toothbrush etc
Special case for small cables included in backpack
Pens, batteries etc in inner compartment

Rear compartment
15.6" laptop
Magazine

Hidden rear compartment
Some extra cash
Passport

Outer holder
Medium sized tripod, for example Manfrotto 190XPROB or a water bottle

I've actually walked with this pack filled with nearly this much in it, apart from the tripod and even then it's pretty heavy but if you have to, you have to.
I don't do any weekend business trips but I could imagine that it might work if you want to mix some pleasure in the business trip
05-06-2014, 02:24 AM   #3
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I have been on the road internationally for the last 2 and a half weeks with a Think Tank Shape Shifter backpack.

It is really working well for me. I have a K3, Q+01 lens, 6 K mount lenses (DA*16-50, HD DA55-300 and 4 primes) spare batteries, filters, 13" Macbook Pro, chargers etc - and it all fits ok with careful packing. The K3 will fit in the top pocket of the Shape Shifter with the DA15 Limited attached, so it makes it very easy to get out of top of the bag.

Having had the bag on a small boat in the Pacific back in March I can also testify that the back of the bag is comfortable, well padded, and makes a very good pillow when lying on open air bunks.

It is not the cheapest bag, but is designed to fit on airlines well - even smaller bins on turboprops - and as such, because it is the right shape and compact, I haven't had any problems getting through check in with it - that includes Auckland International, LAX, Miami International, JFK, and Heathrow in the past 2 weeks.

The bag is very good quality, with high quality and lockable zips - ideal for protecting your gear during travel.

There are a couple of good review videos of the bag on Youtube if you want to see more about it.
05-06-2014, 02:43 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mojoe_24 Quote
So I'll be flying to Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Croatia, & Romania from the USA) in June and am looking to bring my camera and three lenses. I'm looking for a bag that will carry that and also have room for storage of other items like light clothing, batteries, and chargers. More importantly it will need to be the size to fit under the seat of a plane; I am hoping to not have to check a bag. I've found a few that hover around $100 such as the Fastback 350 or the Flipside 300, but I'm not really sure what would be best. I currently have a ApeCase sling bag, but I do not find it comfortable.
I have a Lowepro Slingshot 202AW that I use for general walk-around shooting, but I got sick of it for international travel, as I really need one cabin bag to hold both my camera gear (DSLR+4 or 5 lenses and assorted minor gear) and laptop, as well as a few items of clothing. Ended up buying the Lowepro Fastpack 250. It has convenient side entry, like my Slingshot, but with two shoulder straps (the slingshot has only one). It served me well on a trip to Japan; quite happy with it.

05-06-2014, 03:42 AM   #5
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I hope you'll have a great time. I'll be visiting Europe in September and I just purchased the Dumpke little bit smaller bag. It doesn't really look like a camera bag but it's perfect for a small kit and fits under the seat. I was able to pack my k5II with the 18-135, my 55-300 and sigma 10-20 and a 50 1.8. It also holds my flash and all the batteries, charger etc. Check it out, there are a few useful YouTube videos about it.
05-06-2014, 04:32 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mojoe_24 Quote
So I'll be flying to Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Croatia, & Romania from the USA) in June and am looking to bring my camera and three lenses. I'm looking for a bag that will carry that and also have room for storage of other items like light clothing, batteries, and chargers. More importantly it will need to be the size to fit under the seat of a plane; I am hoping to not have to check a bag...

I prefer a small kit (like you) and try to travel light. My bag is the original version of the KATA 467 camera bag/pack... love it. It's been to Europe with me several times and seems to fit your general convenience criteria. Unfortunately, the 467 is out-of-production, but it and it's later variations turn up on eBay from time to time. See...


Kata KT Dr 467i BB Digital Rucksack Black | eBay


Your trip sounds wonderful... good luck!


Cheers... M

Last edited by Michaelina2; 05-07-2014 at 07:01 PM.
05-06-2014, 06:01 AM   #7
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Get a good backpack that you will feel comfortable with, then get an insert for your photo gear. Camera bags are not always (not often) well fitted for most shooters. Having a well-fitted bag is paramount if you're going to wear it for long periods.

05-07-2014, 03:21 PM   #8
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Don't forget to tell us what (if you have) decided on!
05-09-2014, 09:41 PM   #9
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Still leaning towards one of hte lowepros but I'm looking into all the ones suggested.
05-29-2014, 10:26 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mojoe_24 Quote
Still leaning towards one of hte lowepros but I'm looking into all the ones suggested.
I am in complete agreement with the Lowepro 350 especially if you can get it at good pre-owned price since i also use it to travel.

Problem is that even with the most basic of packing items, not really enough room for going around europe/americas and the souvenirs from these places which is why i am making my own bag. This is of course if you only do carry on. If you are the check in luggage type of person, in theory any camera or bag insert can work since the clothes and etc will be in the check in luggage. Can even use a storm case if the weight is not an issue.
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