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by michaeldespines on Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:05 pm
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Ever struggle to carry all your photo gear through an airport?  At 5' 8", 155 pounds, and generally not very strong, I certainly do.  I have started stacking my bags on a "Samsonite Luggage Compact Folding Cart" and I find it incredibly useful for navigating those long airport walks from one terminal to the next.

On my last trip to Brazil to photograph jaguars I had two bags with a combined weight of about 45 pounds.  

Bag 1 (Gura Gear Bataflae 32L), for overhead bin; 24 pounds
- Nikon 600mm f/4 lens
- Nikon 200-400mm f/4  lens
- odds and ends

Bag 2 (Kata PL Reporter Bag KT PL-RPT-30)  Fits under the airplane seat; 21 pounds
- Nikon D4S body
- Nikon D500 body
- Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens
- Nikon 24-120 mm f/4 lens
- 1.4x teleconverter
- Lenovo X1 Carbon laptop
- External hard drive
- Ipad
- other odds and ends

I have found that I can tuck the Samsonite dolley in the Gura Gear bag when not needed which is a huge plus and helps keep my hands free.

I have learned to set the dolly up quite quickly and it makes long walks through airports much more feasible now.  The handle of the dolly is a bit short, even for me, so taller folks may have to bend over a bit to pull the cart.  The dolly is pretty stable considering its small size though you have to be careful to keep your bags centered.

Image


Thanks...michael
 

by Neilyb on Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:52 am
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In Europe they would take one look and ask to weigh it. :o
 

by flygirl on Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:50 am
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Sorry, but Think Tank has a much better system.  Think Tank International with the Think Tank Urban Disguise.

Image
 

by EGrav on Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:07 am
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Years ago, I used that exact Samsonite folding cart. Once. I got hassled by the airlines who wanted to either check it in or count it as one of my carry-ons. Collecting dust in the closet.


Last edited by EGrav on Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
 

by Wildflower-nut on Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:59 am
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This cart is quite popular for this sort of thing. I use the thinktank international and the guragear equivalent (no longer made) of the urban disguise. Thinktank also makes a special strap (used it with urban and guragear) which hangs the bag from the handle rather than have it on top of the international. I find it much easier to use. Bags will not tip over and it takes weight off the handle when your are dragging it.
 

by WDCarrier on Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:48 pm
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Your gear is nearly identical to mine (except min is Canon) and at 78 it's a pain getting through airports. The problems I've encountered are the variation of "regulations" imposed by TSA and foreign officers and airline officials. I have been told my tripod (26" and 3.5 lbs, strapped on to my carry-on) had to be checked in while on other flights it just goes though. I have had my screwdrivers (even jeweler's sizes) taken because they were "screwdrivers" leaving me with sharpened pencils in my pocket bein okay. I have had my bags weighed in Mexico City and, being 1/4 kilo overweight, charged an enormous penalty. I have found it easier to just carry my 500mm openly as my "personal" item; my cameras and other lenses in a case for overhead or under the seat; and the tripod, head, etc. in the check-in and hope for the best.

My other gripe is that the Central and South American airports provide nice luggage carriers un gratis while in the US there is no free lunch...pay with your credit card if you want to use one. Capitalism sometimes is a pain.
[font=Helvetica, sans-serif]“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK[/font]
 

by Phil Shaw on Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:54 pm
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WDCarrier wrote:
My other gripe is that the Central and South American airports provide nice luggage carriers un gratis while in the US there is no free lunch...pay with your credit card if you want to use one.  Capitalism sometimes is a pain.



I think its everywhere else in the world except the US (Canada?) that the luggage carts are free.  In Japan they are enormous and designed to be taken onto the escalators - fantastic.
 

by Charlie Woodrich on Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:10 pm
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Phil Shaw wrote:
WDCarrier wrote:
My other gripe is that the Central and South American airports provide nice luggage carriers un gratis while in the US there is no free lunch...pay with your credit card if you want to use one.  Capitalism sometimes is a pain.



I think its everywhere else in the world except the US (Canada?) that the luggage carts are free.  In Japan they are enormous and designed to be taken onto the escalators - fantastic.


In Canada they are large and free. 
 

by photoman4343 on Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:30 pm
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Like Wildflower, I use the GuraGear Chobe bag as it holds a lot and fits under the seat. While it is no longer made I think the NSN Store still has some for sale. It has a sleeve on the outside so it fits over the retractable handle like in Nancy's picture. I need to get one of those straps mentioned above as that might be an easier way to carry it.

I have seen other smaller carts used to carry the GuraGear (now Tamrac) 32L backpack than the ones shown in the pictures above.
Joe Smith
 

by michaeldespines on Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:47 pm
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flygirl wrote:
Sorry, but Think Tank has a much better system.  Think Tank International with the Think Tank Urban Disguise.

Image


It's a great system if you can manage to only fly on the larger planes.  But my experience is that on small regional flights once they see those wheels on the bag they will often require you to gate check it.  With the Samsonite I can be more stealthy as by the time I get to the gate the dolly is tucked away.  
 

by Wildflower-nut on Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:24 am
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The international will fit in overhead on crj700. On an EMB jet you cannot get much of anything in the overhead. My international I put thin lexan sheets (sold at home depot to replace storm door windows) backed by 3/8" closed cell foam in the top pocket and between the case and the interior liner on the sides (there is a zipper to open that space). Each piece of equipment is in its own lens coat neoprene bag/pouch. A piece of lexan backed by mole foam is put between camera LCD and lens coat pouch. All is packed tightly and clothing added if necessary to prevent shifting. On the small jets, I always valet check at plane side. Never had a problem.

I have been forced to choose between getting off a big jet or checking a bag as regular cargo. I waited 24hrs for another flight. I have priority boarding with Delta and United. Eventually you will be faced with a situation where there is no overhead space. Since then, I've started packing so at least I'm not concerned about valet checking if I have to on a crj, emb or turboprop. Flying through Denver, I also allow more time between connections when you are coming in on a small jet as they tend to have poor on time performance. I do this to make sure I'm there when boarding process starts on the connecting flight.

I've added lexan armor top and back to a gura gear 32L but only for bush type flights in africa etc. I would not trust it on a regional jet.
 

by EGrav on Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:58 am
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michaeldespines wrote:
flygirl wrote:
Sorry, but Think Tank has a much better system.  Think Tank International with the Think Tank Urban Disguise.

Image
:D


It's a great system if you can manage to only fly on the larger planes.  But my experience is that on small regional flights once they see those wheels on the bag they will often require you to gate check it.  With the Samsonite I can be more stealthy as by the time I get to the gate the dolly is tucked away.  


It was on one of the small regional jets that I was told it (the Samsonite folding cart) had to be gate checked and I already had 1 gate checked bag (camera equip) and my laptop bag counted as my personal bag. It took some fast, sweet talking to get them to gate check the "2 items." Then on the next leg (a large jet), I was told it had to be checked (like a baby stroller.) Of course no gate checking on large jets so it would have to go through regular baggage. More sweet talking and I made it. But it's just not worth the hassle. YMMV but it really depends on the flight attendant and whether they are in a good mood. Good  luck.
 

by Primus on Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:27 pm
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I too had the Samsonite trolley with the bungee straps. If not properly positioned, the big and heavy Bataflae twists and it made my rotator injury worse on a trip to Svalbard in 2013. After that I gave it up.

Now use a Victorinox roller (with four wheels) into which go all my lenses which are individually packed in lenscoat pouches. I also line the bag and separate the lenses with dividers from my numerous Think Tank and Gura gear bags. It makes a very sturdy and safe bag even if I have to check it in, locks easily. On top of this I put my Chobe, slides on to the handle. Very easy to roll the combo through the long international airport terminals.

I actually even take the roller into the game drive vehicle, it works well. Difficult to do this if I have to walk over uneven terrain in the field. In that case I carry both cameras on Black Rapid straps, put the extra lenses in my Billingham vest.

Sometimes, depending upon my checked bag, I put in the smaller Kiboko bag in the checked duffel after stuffing it with clothes. It then becomes a good option for field work at destination.

of course the fact that I have eliminated the big 1DX bodies and everything is Sony now makes it that much easier especially since my biggest lens now is the 100-400. I don't have the big superteles any more, so weight is much less of a problem.

Trudging through JFK and Johannesburg, lugging the Bataflae on my back,  loaded with gear and the Chobe over the other shoulder nearly gave me a heart attack a couple of years ago. Never again.

Pradeep
 

by Wildflower-nut on Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:33 pm
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Last trip I used a pelican BA22 and a TrekPak insert $$$. I think it is more secure and does not have the expensive equipment inside look that a traditional pelican case has. Not sure I'd want to check it as regular baggage unless I was forced to but I think it will provide better protection than my international set up I discussed above. I too put the kiboko bag filled with other things in my duffel and make the switch after arrival.
 

by SLONINA PHOTOGRAPHY on Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:09 pm
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I wrote an article last month on navigating airports

http://www.sphotography.com/photoblog/

Hope this helps
Slonina Nature Photography
Website: http://www.sphotography.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sloninaphotography
Email: jtslonina@aol.com
Phone: (508)736-1167

Join us on a photo workshop. Explore Wild America
 

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