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03-18-2018, 07:24 PM   #1
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Backpacks that are airplane carry-onable?

What backpacks do you guys recommend that are able to carry-on in airlines?

EDIT: Bonus question, can you even carry tripods on airplanes? If so, what are the size limit?


Last edited by LeDave; 03-18-2018 at 07:33 PM.
03-18-2018, 07:51 PM   #2
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Different airlines have different requirements. Also some vary by equipment. But the most common answer is 22x14x9 (details: How to Choose a Carry On Backpack )

Will this serve dual purpose or just camera gear? Tablet? Laptop?
03-18-2018, 08:03 PM   #3
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Ive gone with one of the Lowepro ones I can put a camera in down below, some small gear in up top (passport/headphones/boarding pass etc), and a small laptop in the front pocket.

Not a lot of room for a tripod there though, so Id look to store that in checked luggage.
03-18-2018, 08:05 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Different airlines have different requirements. Also some vary by equipment. But the most common answer is 22x14x9 (details: How to Choose a Carry On Backpack )

Will this serve dual purpose or just camera gear? Tablet? Laptop?

this is reputed to show carry on size chart by air line

Carry-On Size Chart: 170+ Airlines - Travel Made Simple

" Carry-On Size Chart: 170+ Airlines

There is no one standard carry on luggage size or international carry on size. Each airline comes up with their own restrictions on size, weight, and number of items allowed in the cabin. In order to help you figure out the right dimensions for your carry-on bag, we’ve compiled the carry-on restrictions and limitations for more than 170 airlines right here in the only carry-on size chart you’ll ever need. "

I cannot vouch for its accuracy however

one thing to be wary about, not all planes have the same size storage bins available.

I do not know how to check to see what type of plane I am scheduled to fly in or confirm how large/small the overhead bins are.

I also have been seated in seats where there has been no room to place anything under the seat ahead of me, a piece of the plane's equipment blocked the area completely

as far as tripods, unless they think it is a weapon, I think you can but there is the size problem so unless you are taking about a mini or travel one??

I put mine in checked luggage


Last edited by aslyfox; 03-18-2018 at 08:15 PM.
03-18-2018, 08:09 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
EDIT: Bonus question, can you even carry tripods on airplanes? If so, what are the size limit?
Checked luggage yes, cabin - very unlikely.
See Tripods ? TSA and the Airlines, updated - Travelers United
03-18-2018, 08:29 PM   #6
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Osprey Farpoint 40 or 55. They're excellent.
Unless you're speaking toward dedicated "camera" packs, of which I've never found any I Iiked whatsoever. (I use padded cube cases inside if need be and other organization - much more custimizable).

---------- Post added 03-18-18 at 08:34 PM ----------

Also the Osprey "Porter" models are excellent as well, with a bit more structure to them.
03-18-2018, 08:44 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Osprey Farpoint 40 is ideal for carry on. The 55 might exceed LxWxH for some/ most airlines

I will add the PacSafe Vibe 40 as a consideration. This is what I would use in combination with an insert padded camera case. The carry on bag becomes your walk about when travelling and has the added benefit of being secure against theft (as much as one can have such security). $5K + of camera gear in a bag is a thought worth dwelling on.
03-18-2018, 08:50 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Checked luggage yes, cabin - very unlikely.
The part that struck me as being particularly ironic is "I have not seen TSA refuse to permit a tripod which was packed totally inside a carry-on bag (sans spiked feet), but I have seen them refused, packed that way, in years past. In my opinion, it’s not possible to be absolutely certain what a TSA TSO will decide about permitting tripods in carry-on bags in the future."

Travelling in the U.S. is different than anywhere else, most places that have capricious security agents accept cash, in the U.S. the agents are just as unpredictable as the Ukraine or Nigeria, but offering to pay a TSA agent for a quick resolution will most certainly land you in prison. I used to travel to the U.S. a lot, my suggestion is take the feet off of the tripod, wrap the tripod in yellow tape, preferably with lettering on the tape to make it look official and declare it as a personal item, separate from the oversized and overweight carryon bag that you will insist on stuffing into the overhead compartment, like every other passenger. Or put it in a checked bag, unless you are arriving from Latin America or Asia, you can put whatever you want in your checked baggage.

American airlines are so desperate to get people to check in bags instead of overloading the overhead bins, anything that gets past the dogs is fine. Other countries, my experience is the opposite, your checked baggage will be cut open and your underwear examined for contraband, but in the U.S., if it doesn't smell like like cocaine or explosives, you have nothing to worry about. (This is checked baggage only, wearing the wrong colour of socks can get you a pat-down in the walk-through security lineup.)

03-18-2018, 10:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
benefit of being secure against theft (as much as one can have such security)
Depends more on the airport than the bag. I flew from Kingston, Jamaica to Panama City, the Kingston airport offers a service to wrap you luggage in layers of cellophane. Watching the ground crew load planes, there was a supervisor watching every two employees load baggage into the plane, so I'm not sure the cellophane was necessary, but on the other hand, who wants to have the only baggage that isn't wrapped in cellophane? There was a bit of a delay in Panama, presumably while customs agents struggled with ten layers of cellophane, but crime is such a problem outside the tourist zones in Jamaica, I figured the $40 it cost for Saran Wrap was worth it.

I've had issues with people trying to take my leather coat from the overhead bins in American airports and know people who have had more problems with carryon bags getting stolen than their checked baggage getting touched. It's mayhem once the fasten seat belt sign gets turned off. Some airports, Vegas, LAX, MSP and Denver seem to take forever to get your checked baggage, but as badly overloaded as O'Hare is, I have never lost my bags or had them miss a connection there. If the baggage handlers break something, you can file a claim. As long as I can live without it for a night, it goes in checked baggage. If I am travelling on business, I can't afford to not have my laptop overnight, so I pack a scuffed backpack that looks like it belongs to a student with my laptop and chargers, which becomes my carryon bag. My LowePro Slingshot doesn't fit in my garment bag very well, so my camera and lenses also end up in the backpack. YMMV.
03-18-2018, 11:00 PM   #10
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I use the ThinkTank StreetWalker Pro V2.0. I've never had an issue taking it as my carry-on personal item, onto an airplane; domestic and international to Europe. The tripod outside a bag is another issue. It's airline by airline, and can even be flight by flight, so you'd have to check (and hope you got the right information). I have a Sirui travel tripod that fits, disassembled, into my regular carry-on bag (my camera bag is my personal item).
03-18-2018, 11:44 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
What backpacks do you guys recommend that are able to carry-on in airlines?

EDIT: Bonus question, can you even carry tripods on airplanes? If so, what are the size limit?
I've done a lot of carrying on so I can say it depends. Where are you going and what are you planning to be shooting? How long will you be gone? I have been spending the better part of 4 years planning out a good carry on system.

It will depend a lot on what airlines and how long you will go. Many airlines have a strict weight and size limit. I've even had airlines go around with a small hand scale weighing people's carry ons before they could board.

I also have been on puddle jumper flights that went from various islands to various islands that had next to no overhead space. You could probably have fit a woman's purse up there but little else. Longer bigger overseas flights are something else entirely, little regional jets are another.

Your question should not be which back pack, but rather 'what gear am I really going to need?'

That latter piece of advice comes from quite a lot of flying, at least 2 or 3 round the world trips, and who knows how many countries, not to mention a lot of regional flights on smaller planes around the US too.

Wondering which bag is a totally different story and by far a secondary concern.

There is no magical solution as to what you should take-- take what you need--the rest of it leave it at home. Being a minimalist is definitely a good thing.
03-18-2018, 11:58 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
What backpacks do you guys recommend that are able to carry-on in airlines?

EDIT: Bonus question, can you even carry tripods on airplanes? If so, what are the size limit?
As for the tripod question it depends on the country, but generally you need to check it in. Some places don't care, other places will freak out about it. Again, no one answer.

For the bag question in all honesty it pays to have more than one size and type of bag. Definitely.

While I am terrified to check in expensive stuff, depending on when, where, and what I am planning to do I might not even go with a bag at all. In some cases I might be forced to pack some stuff in the heavy duty-strongest-most lockable pelican case I can find-- and then just risk checking it in.

That said it does scare me some because I have seen some horrible things done to luggage.

Depending on the dimensions of stuff you need to take, and the weight of it all, if you pack other things minimalist style when you get to the gate you can tell them 'I have this case with a lot of expensive electronics in it' and they will either let you carry it with you (so long as your total baggage weight is not over the allowable limit)--even though your carry on might be bigger or heavier than normally allowed. Several airlines make provisions for that kind of thing.

Other airlines--if you ask them before you book-- you can take the oversize piece of luggage to the gate and they will check it in--but they will do it like they do with baby strollers and such. That's not so bad there.

Being a minimalist pays off big time---especially if you have multiple leg journeys.
03-19-2018, 12:07 AM   #13
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Go straight to "Rant O'clock" at 3:25 if you're impatient. It seems it's not just airlines having different policies but staff exercising policies inconsistently.
One airline is singled out here but I imagine each time you get on a plane it'll be slightly different.
03-19-2018, 04:17 AM   #14
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A friend of mine flies for work all the time, so I asked him about carry on restrictions and he said that in his experience it depends on the agent not very helpful, but it seems like there won't be a perfect bag for all situations
03-19-2018, 04:38 AM   #15
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I have several back packs depending on how much stuff I will be hauling

reviews of various types can be found here

Bags and Cases - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

I have these

Ruggard Thunderhead 75 DSLR & Laptop Backpack

IMGP0780a1a.jpg - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

Lowepro Flipside 400 reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
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