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Travelers: do you have large bag for travel and a smaller for day use?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by DHart, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    When you travel, you need to bring a fair bit of gear (chargers, extra batteries, cords, adapters, laptop/iPad, power supplies, and all the lenses, hoods, bodies and accessories you might need anytime on the trip) that you wouldn't want to carry around on day excursions.

    So... what's your carry solution to this? A large bag and a smaller day bag?

    Please show your solution; pictures of gear and bags is especially helpful to visualize how this works.

    Thanks, in advance, for your comments/pics.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 9, 2010
    I carry both. I'll take pics later, but I have a camera backpack that I use for transit only, then use smaller bags during the day.
  3. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    When I go on extended trips, I take my pelican 1510 with a smaller shoulder bag. I also take along a padlock and cable. In transit, my shoulder bag carries an extra pair of cloths and my netbook. Once at the hotel of my destination, I pick and choose what to carry for the day and hide/lock the pelican to something. Usually the pipes under a bathroom sink.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    The bad thing about carrying two bags is that the larger cannot be secured properly against theft.

    Another general tip, never park then pack. Always pack then park. Its a common thieves tactic to scout parking lots for people who put packages or stuff in their trunk after their car has been parked. You are advertising that there are valuables to be stolen and they have at least 1 hour to work. Always have things secured in the trunk prior to parking the vehicle. I usually advise friends/family during xmas shopping if you must go to your vehicle to drop off stuff, you should place the stuff in your trunk then move the car to another spot.
    • Like Like x 3
  4. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Yes, rolling bag Think Tank Airport International, all camera gear (that will be traveling with me for that trip less a camera in another bag that slides onto the handle) cables, backup drives cables, chargers etc. I try to pack the smaller bags as packing material in the case and remove most dividers. The day bags consist of the Lowe Pro Passport Sling, Domke FX5B and Think Tank Urban Disguise 35V2.

    Airport International or any of the Think Tank Rollers are really great, it has zipper locks and a built in cable to lock it to something. So I feel pretty safe leaving this at a hotel with gear in it.

    My big Italy trip is coming up in late April but I am also traveling a week from today and that will be a trial run for my current gear packing plan though I am not bringing all the same gear.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    The great thing about m43 is the size. I carry it all with me all the time in a Tenba mini-messenger. I would be pissed as hell to be somewhere and realize the lens you wanted for a special shot (or spare battery, card, whatever) was in the car or hotel.

    That said, I do indeed try to run "lean" on equipment, and could see carrying a spare body, etc and leaving it in the car/hotel.

    You can see in my Tenba bag review thread what all I carry.

    With the weight restrictions or extra charges for baggage these days, IMHO, it all needs to fit as a carry on...
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Depends on the travel. For real light travel, I take the LX-5 and no bag. For more extended but not photo-centric travel, I take a Domke F 5XB with one body and 2-3 lenses with spare batteries and filters. For photo-centric travel, I take a Domke F-6 with two bodies and 4-5 lenses, with all pertinent accessories as well. Sometimes, photography is one of the main activities of the trip and I want all options easily and quickly available, at the expense of a little bit of weight/bulk (but not very much with m43 gear). Sometimes is not a main activity, but I know I'll be able to carve out some time for shooting and I want a decent set of options. And other times, photography is NOT really a goal of the trip, but I know I'll want to have a camera on-hand and the LX-5 is fine for those trips. I even took it alone on a fairly photo-centric long weekend in NYC once where I was otherwise traveling really light and was amazed at how much that little camera was good for and how few limitations it really imposed...

    • Like Like x 1
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer


    Number one reason is that the Pelican is a hardcase.

    Number two reason for the Pelican 1510 is that it is acceptable sized for a carry on for airline travel.

    Once at the destination, you can travel as heavy or as light as you want. Sometimes with no bag at all.

    I'm hoping to "make" something for my EPL1 using a spare M43 adapter that allows a second lens to by mounted to the bottom of the camera (I have something similar for another camera system). But.. I'm thinking of simply buying a super-zoom of some sort... like the 14-150 or 14-140... Haven't made up my mind.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    I've got this :
    Camcorder Digibag Tramp 155

    It's an old video bag, out of production, but it's big enough to house a body, a pancake and a zoom + various SD cards in the top compartment, and all chargers and cables + fl-14 in the bottom.

    When traveling, I can carry it all in one on my shoulder, and while visiting, I leave the bottom half at the hotel - who would rob just a bunch of cables ?

    It works because I have a low number of items, but I think it's in the spirit of :43: to keep the count of parts in check.

    • Like Like x 1
  9. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    First, travel light. I bring all my gear on day excursions because I do not load up on gear. I never bring what I "might" use because I will never use it. My usual setup is two bodies with one normal lens and one wide angle. m4/3 makes this really, really small, but I did the same with medium format.

    My carry-on bag would be able to contain my day bag and other things. Cables and chargers go in the luggage. I never take a laptop as it is easier to simply take more cards.
  10. jopasm

    jopasm New to Mu-43

    Mar 7, 2011
    For organizing cables/chargers/etc I use a packing cube I picked up at Target. It's approximately 8 inches long, 6 inches wide and a couple of inches thick. It handily holds my camera charger, variety of cables, DVD drive for my netbook, hard drive I use for photo backup, and a small surge protector. It gets packed in the middle of my bag with my clothes. Generally I travel light with camera gear - the whole reason I invested in a m4/3 camera was to have something small and light to travel with.
  11. Light is right. Compromise time.

    Have not traveled by air with checked luggage for the past 4 years. One reason for making the switch from 35mm SLR to mu43 format. Saves time & hassles when making connecting international, domestic flights and gives you a few more minutes if delays occur with your flights, customs/immigration control.

    For the upcoming trip it will be the GF1, 14-45mm, 45-200mm, 3 batteries, charger, cards plus other accessories packed into the Domke F-5XB which fits into the personal carry on item (small Timbuk2 messenger bag) that slides under the seat. Pictured in the "Bags" thread. Room for airport survival gear (backpacking sleeping pad, top quilt, personal hygiene items). I seem to end up sleeping in airports on a regular basis.

    The compromise. At a bulky +3kg the tripod stays at home. Need to invest in a decent travel tripod. Leave all other electronic stuff (laptop, iPod...) at home. Carry on duffel is pretty much full with the travel uke, clothing, book or two, specialty gear.
  12. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Dublin, IE
    When traveling, I carry my laptop, photo gear and some personal belongings in Kata DR466i backpack. I use a small Zenit-branded bag for daily use. It is moderately padded and fits my Panasonic G2 with 20mm pancake. If I need other lenses, I carry them in my pockets.

    This Zenit-branded bag has a very important advantage of being thievery-proof: who in their right mind would want to steal a Zenit?
  13. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    I'm trying to minimise gear so as a result I'm buying and using smaller and smaller bags.

    If I've travelling for more than a couple of days I'll take a pack (25-50ltrs) and a day pack (15-20ltrs).

    If its just a day trip it'll usually just be the day pack.

    The day pack will then either have a couple of LowePro Cirrus TLZ 5's in it for my EP1 and a film camera (OM's fit nicely; anything bigger is a tight fit).

    If I don't take the Cirrus 'cells' I'll fit my Nat Geo NG2435 into the bottom of the day pack with the EP1 and another film camera. I can then squeeze in a pen, small pad, mobile, light rain-coat or merino pullover, a snack and if I'm lucky a kindle or ipad.
  14. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 9, 2010
    The backpack is a LowePro Flipside 300. I have a blue one.

    It says it'll carry: "1 Pro DSLR with 300mm f/2.8 lens attached plus 1–3 additional lenses."


    I carry:

    Bottom row, left to right:
    Leica M8 with 35mm Summicron f/2
    Voigtlander 28mm Ultron f/1.9
    Panasonic GF1 w/20mm f/1.7
    Panaleica 45mm Elmarit f/2.8

    Middle Row:
    Zeiss Super Ikonta III medium format folder (sideways in case)
    135mm Hektor f/4.5

    Top Row:
    Voigtlander 15mm Heliar f/4.5
    Leica CL body
    50mm Summitar f/2
    90mm Elmar-C f/4

    So: four bodies (two film, two digital), eight lenses.

    View attachment 159385

    Daily bag (Domke F-5XA), in this case with the Leica M8 in one side, the Panaleica 45mm in the other, and the GF1 with 20mm goes across the top (with the lens pointing down toward the 45mm).

    View attachment 159386
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Alan_N

    Alan_N Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 22, 2011
    Yorkshire UK
    When I have been using my :43: camera I have just the one bag a lowepro Nova 160 which is big enough for my GF1 and lens flash I can carry it around all day just fine.

    When I have used my SLR system there has been times when I have used a backpack lowepro mini teker and a smaller bag which was in my suitcase that I put chagers and and leads and so forth which I could carry camera with lens on and another lens and flash. Like a lot of others it depends what the trip is about and how much photography takes a part of it
  16. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    I could open a camera bag store. I often spend more time deciding on which bag to take than what to wear. And I'm a guy.

    I think I need to save up and buy myself a life, sometimes. :) 

    Seriously though. I have at least a dozen bags. If I travel by plane I carry less because I won't check gear. If I'm traveling by car I may take several bags of gear.

  17. sherlock

    sherlock Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 31, 2011
    I used to have two bags — a satchel for my daily needs and a National Geographic Earth Explorer Medium for my SLR (5D2, primes, flash, cables, rocket blower, etc).

    One of the big reasons I sold the SLR and went for a GF1 was so I could have the one bag, and have the camera with me all the time. I travel a lot for work and carting multiple bags with me on planes just isn't my thing. So now I have a Moop bag, which fits my GF1 + 20mm f1.7, a notepad & a novel, my 11" MacBook Air, pens, earphones, cufflinks and all other assorted pieces, with room to spare for a couple of Voigtlander primes.

  18. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    Yes, depending on the amount of gear I am traveling with, it determines which bag I bring. I have 6 bags currently depending on equipment load.
  19. everythingsablur

    everythingsablur Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    I do have two main bags that I can use when I travel, but like many others, which one(s) come really depends on what I'm going to be doing.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/everythingsablur/5611047665/" title="P1040596.jpg by everythingsablur, on Flickr">
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    The big bag is a Kata 3N1-20 convertible backpack which is actually a holdover from my DSLR days. It used to hold a Canon Rebel XS, kit zoom, EF 17-40 f/4 L lens (yummy "hand me down"), EF 50mm f/1.4, Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro, and a SpeedLite 430EX. I also have the tripod holder on the back, but I really mostly used that to strap in a big water bottle. :p  I've since divested myself of that kit (returning the L to my uncle), and now the bag is rightfully cavernous for my m43 gear (later). I can fit all of my m43 gear, including chargers and cleaning accessories, and still have room for a second m43 body (one day...). I've actually put all my m43 gear in the top compartment, removed all of the dividers, and used the now wide-open camera section for clothes once...

    My newer, smaller bag is a LowePro Passport Sling. Nice, modern looking satchel bag that definitely does not scream "I have expensive gear here". In transit, I can expand the main compartment and fit everything into it, as well as passports, iPod, BlackBerry, PSP, and a water bottle on the outside. For daily shooting, I generally take what I think I'll need and lock the rest up in the hotel safe. Thankfully, m43 gear is small enough that I can actually take all of the lenses and flash unit in the padded case if I need to. Someone on DPR actually could mostly fit a Manfrotto Modo tripod (the regular size one, not the short version) into the bag as well, with just the ball head popping out.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/everythingsablur/5611630676/" title="P1040601.jpg by everythingsablur, on Flickr">
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    The nicest part of the Passport Sling is that the padded compartment is just velcroed in (big strips on either side, very securely in there). On some days out, like when my wife and I were at DisneyWorld, I prefered to carry a backpack for comfort, so I just pulled the compartment out and tossed it into my plain old everyday day pack along with a shitty $10 tripod I got at Target in desperation on vacation one night. I generally arrange the pouch with the 14-140 at the bottom of the middle pocket with the GF1 and 20mm attached on top of it (or vice versa if I'm using the 14-140 more), the second pocket has the 50, the FL-50, and LVF1.

    The LowePro can easily swallow:
    • Panasonic GF1 (not pictured as it is taking these pictures)
    • 20mm f/1.7
    • 14-140 f/4-5.8 HD
    • Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 SSC with adapter (will likely leave and carry the Panny 7-14 f/4 when it arrives)
    • LVF1 in it's case
    • Rocket Blower Mini
    • Olympus FL-50 flash unit (yeah, it's as big/bigger than the GF1, but I got it for $100 and she works great)
    • 3 batteries (2 knock-offs) in the black flapped organization pockets on the inside
    • 3 16 GB SDHC cards (one goes in a small pocket on the padded compartment)
    • battery charger
    • other assorted crap in the main compartment
    • 750ml metal reusable water bottle in external pocket under the strap
    • gum, maps, etc. in the other two outside side pockets (pockets are not securable, so nothing of value goes on the outside)

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/everythingsablur/5611050025/" title="P1040647.jpg by everythingsablur, on Flickr">
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    "640" height="480" alt="P1040647.jpg"></a>

    So... I mostly leave the Kata at home these days, but it is a nice bag that I can shove everything into for storage. I will probably use this bag more if/when I get a second body (GH2, GH3, or maybe Olympus' "pro" model...) if I don't sell it first. I do love the comfort and balance of a backpack, and the Kata is really flexible (can be a backpack, a sling pack, or worn as an X, and for lefties you can sling it the correct way for you). The LowePro can get a little tiring on the shoulders though, so I'm still searching for a "perfect" bag or a cushier shoulder strap pad.
  20. Trigeek

    Trigeek Mu-43 Regular

    I travel place to place with a 33L backpack. In my case an Osprey Talon 33L
    Talon Series - Active Light Pursuits, Multi-Use : Talon 33 : : Osprey Packs, Inc.
    I can pack my camera bag, monopod, laptop or iPad or Kindle, jacket, a small bag w/ cables, adapters, chargers, plus other assorted items in it. It has a really nice internal frame that distributes the load very nicely.

    Once at the destination, then it stays in the room and I will carry just the camera or camera bag. I am making a trip soon and am going to bring a small camera bag (Domke F-803) as my day to day bag.

    I have given up on camera backpacks, as I have not found one yet, that for me, is comfortable to wear for extended periods. Packs like the Osprey I find are much more comfortable. When I go out hiking with my cameras, I have a smaller Osprey pack that I place my camera gear in. I either put the lenses & camera in a small bag or just pack the lenses in their pouches (plus jacket, lunch and a small propane stove). The Osprey also has a bladder in it for water, which is a plus. I live in the Hudson River Valley in New York state and do a lot of hiking in the hills. Since I can be out all day w/o coming across any civilization, I need to carry more than just the camera gear.

    I know that this is off topic, but one part of my backpacking kit is a GPS. When hiking I typically go off trail following interesting photographic opportunities, and after becoming lost a couple of times that required navigating by the position of the sun, I invested in a Garmin Oregon GPS. I mark the location of the car when I start and then it no longer matters where I go. One cool feature, that I have found very useful for photography is that the GPS displays your position on a topographic map. So when I go out hiking I can look at the GPS and find that over the next hill is a small pond, creek, or other interesting feature. It also warns me when I am approaching a sharp drop-off :eek: ) I could carry a map and compass, but the GPS is great that it shows you exactly where you are and you can hit a button and mark a location that you may want to come back to later.
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