Any frequent flyers here?

Started May 12, 2013 | Discussions
Rudi Vavra Regular Member • Posts: 110
Any frequent flyers here?

Hi everyone,
A recent airline trip made me realise all over again just how well the backpack works for transporting a lot of photography gear, both on location and while travelling by road and air. It's not the best for working out of, but for getting a lot of gear from one place to another, the backpack rules.

Which brings me to my question: What is the current state-of-the-art in carry-on sized photography backpacks? I am looking for a backpack that excels at transporting my gear through airports and around the world, not a backpack for trekking (which is what Lowepro seem to be designing these days). The last backpack I have purchased is the Lowepro Mini Trekker AW. It has since been discontinued, and as much as I like using it when the occasion presents itself, it is not as good for airline travel as it could be. The straps cannot be stowed away, they're always dangling around and getting caught and snagging on things. The backpack itself is not square-shaped, and therefore not as commodious as it could be, to take as much advantage of the carry-on space allocation as possible.

The one model that caught my eye is the Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator: This seems to satisfy the strictest space restrictions for carry-on luggage (as specified by some of the most infamous airlines that I know of). It looks like just what the doctor ordered, but I am wondering if there might be anything else out there, that I am not aware of, that would meet my needs even better.

To all you frequent flyers: What photography backpack do you use and why? If you had to do it all over again, would you buy the same bag or would you buy something else? What features are important to you, and what could you do without? If you do not use a backpack, why not (maybe there is a better solution that I am not aware of)?

Looking for any and all opinions!

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BackroadsTraveler Contributing Member • Posts: 670
Re: Any frequent flyers here?


My wife and I fly a bit domestically in the US, so I'm not sure our experiences are a direct parallel to yours. But I agree with you that a backpack is a great solution for traveling with photo gear.

My wife has the Lowepro 300 AW vertex. It is maximum size for carry on when bulging with camera gear, but it does work. It will not fit in the overhead of some of the small commuter aircraft, but in those cases the airline simply stows it for you, so there is no baggage charge (again, US domestic policy).

I travel and use this Promaster:

I like it, and it always qualifies for carry on, and stows in overhead bins, no matter how full. I can get a 15 inch laptop in a dedicated compartment as well.  For me, this is a good compromise, because I use it daily as a camera bag, even when a backpack isn't needed.

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OP Rudi Vavra Regular Member • Posts: 110
Re: Any frequent flyers here?

Thanks for the recommendations, BRT. I will check these out.

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Clueless Wanderer
Clueless Wanderer Senior Member • Posts: 1,243
Re: Any frequent flyers here?

I fly with the Lowepro flipside 300AW
FYI the waist strap just needs slackening off and wrapping around the back of the bag and clicking together, then pull the shoulder strap adjuster's tight and wrap the slack around the shoulder straps. This is how Ive also done it with a 60 litre Backpack, travelling 11 country's over 10 years and have never had strap snag issues with carry on or Checked baggage..

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