Backpack advice for International travel at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > Home, Away From Home

Home, Away From Home
Studio Space (Home) and Traveling Tips (Away From Home).


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 4th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 24
Backpack advice for International travel

I've been struggling with this decision for probably 6 months, scouring the internet for relevant information/advice (including this forum), but I'm just too bogged down with the amount of choices.

Basically, I'm going to Japan in April to do some shooting and I want to get a new bag for all my gear. Currently I have a Portabrace DV4, but it wastes space and is way too cumbersome, two things that make it not great for traveling. I actually did take it as carry-on before, but it's too big for what I can actually fit into it. I've decided that a backpack-style bag is way more appropriate for my needs, but can't decide.

For reference's sake, here's the main gear I'm aiming to bring:
- Sony EX-1r
- Canon HV30
- maybe a Nikon D80... don't know if I really need it
- short shot gun mic
- several wired/wireless lavs
- batteries/charger
- misc cables
- portable hard drive
- 17" Macbook Pro (only need this for offloading footage, unfortunately it's so big)

I heard great things about ThinkTank bags/rolling cases, but checked out a few at a local shop and was not happy with how shallow they are; puts the camera in a non-ideal storage position. After looking around for awhile I like Kata more than most other companies and their Bumblebee 220-PL (Bumblebee-220 PL For 2-Pro DSLR + Up To 8 Lenses (500mm) - Pro-Light | Kata Bags) seemed like the best solution (camera stored "right side up" as well as room for my large laptop).

However, I just saw the Kata Pro-V 410 PL (Pro-V-410 PL; HDV Backpack - Pro-Light | Kata Bags) which they tout as being specifically for video cameras. It's really confusing as to what exactly is better about either bag too, because the dimensions are practically identical as well as the functionality. I can't find any reviews on this newer bag either, so it makes it even harder to make a choice between the two.

Can anyone discern which of these bags might be the better choice?
Rob Perry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 4th, 2012, 06:40 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bay City, TX
Posts: 225
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

Rob,

I use a Cinebags CB-25. (The current version is CB-25B). I have used it without a problem on several American Airlines flights. Like most, it won't fit on a small regional jet, but on MD80's or 737's it's fit just fine. I carry an EX1r with both wide angle and telephoto adapters, several batteries, misc. cables, a sennheiser wireless set (cometimes two), headphones, an NTG-3 mic, etc. I'm not sure if my HV40 would fit with tapes, but it is small enough to stuff in a jacket pocket. I have gone to a Canon HFM31 for a small camera anyway -- no more tapes.

It is very comfortable to carry around. It does get a little heavy with my 15" laptop included, but at least I have everything with me when necessary. The raincover tucked away on the bottom gives some additional peace-of-mind when outdoors plus provides even more cushioning where you set it down.

I am definitely glad I bought it and, though I have several other bags of different types, this is the one I carry almost every time.

Phil
Phil Murray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 5th, 2012, 01:22 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Kern County, Calif
Posts: 53
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

I more than happy with my Cinebag CB-25. I've hiked with a Z5 in it more than few times. The padded hip belt is great at taking the weight off my shoulders.
Mark Wheelan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 5th, 2012, 03:34 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Southport, England
Posts: 621
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

I've got one of these, which holds my Canon XH-G1, nanoFlash, monitor, chargers batteries and bits. Room for a laptop as well. Certainly meets the European carry on bag limits which presumably similar world-wide. They even had an airport "carry on bag" sizing frame. like you see at airports, in the shop where I bought it.
Will be cheaper no doubt in the USA than in the UK. "Living on an island" is one of the excuses we hear.
Veloce VII Backpack Black - Stile | Manfrotto


Ron
Ronald Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 5th, 2012, 02:13 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bay City, TX
Posts: 225
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

I forgot that one of the things that could have been improved on with m version is that the pack does not adjust up or down so the hip belt for me is a tiny bit too high above my waist. It's still usable if I keep the shoulder straps a bit loose, but not as good as some hiking backpacks that I've used.

If the newer version is adjustable, then the CB-25 is unmatched. I'd buy a new one for this feature.
Phil Murray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 5th, 2012, 04:58 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

On the one hand, perhaps you are just going to Japan and back so no big deal. Get the gear there, shoot and come back. But on the other hand, if you are on and off a bunch of planes, trains, boats and autos in different hotels etc then how you haul the stuff becomes more important.

I traveled on a dozen jets and a couple props in a half dozen countries and toured cities during a long layover. I took this approach:

Checked bag for clothes and tripod. I had the ability to pack and some more gear in an extra hard shell wheeled carry on because I was in a group that didn't use the full allotment of baggage. But to the equivalent to your list of gear I used the following:

Thinktank Streetwalker Pro for EX1r, 5DM2, shotgun, 2 lenses, Dedo Ledzilla, two Swittronix batteries, wireless G2 and some other doodads. This backpack is small enough to fit in the airline guidelines for personal item yet hold the EX1R handle up.

I then used a BumBakPak for the carry-on piece that held laptop, hard drives and other stuff you might want on the plane. The BumPakPak really works and saves your neck and shoulders like advertised. You can papoose the Thinktank on the front with the BumBakpak on the back and have hands free to get through the airports. On the plane, I put the Thinktank in the overhead and the BumBakPak under the seat until cruising altitude. Then it went behind my calves/under my knees so I had foot space.

Your load seems similar except you have the 17" MPB whereas I had the 15" but they make a BumBakPak for that size. Also, the BumBakPak is one of the only courier bags that has a padded laptop compartment. YMMV.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7th, 2012, 03:12 PM   #7
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 24
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

Thanks for the replies, but does everyone just not like the Kata bags or something? Given my personal taste and their capabilities, I'm still leaning towards getting one of them.
Rob Perry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7th, 2012, 08:03 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bay City, TX
Posts: 225
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

Personally, I like Kata's bags a lot. I have several of them (including CC-193 and CC-192), but they are not backpacks. They are well-built and have survived quite a few years of travel. I don't use them as much because the ones that I have don't really fit my current equipment.
Phil Murray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7th, 2012, 09:29 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,385
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Perry View Post
does everyone just not like the Kata bags or something? Given my personal taste and their capabilities, I'm still leaning towards getting one of them.
Kata is a fine company and more often than not they make good bags. My choice personally would be Thinktank, but if you prefer Kata, go with that. There's no right or wrong here.
__________________
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
Sareesh Sudhakaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2012, 04:16 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Posts: 1,832
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Perry View Post
Thanks for the replies, but does everyone just not like the Kata bags or something? Given my personal taste and their capabilities, I'm still leaning towards getting one of them.
I use the Kata BP-502 and like it very much, but it exceeds maximum dimensions for airlines. Since I do not fly very often and avoid it as much as possible, I do not mind getting authorization from the airline for the specific dimensions when I fly.

The BP-502 easily holds my XF300 with all accessories, shotgun, wireless, on-camera lights, batteries, charger, shoulder mount, rail system, filters, external hard disk, 16.4" laptop and other paraphernalia with room to spare. The major advantage of the Kata is the Insert Trolley system IMO.
Harm Millaard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2012, 07:33 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 34
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

I agree, Kata is a good choice. I also have used Petrol's bag which is bigger than Kata's BP-502 and more roomier.
Serge Petchenyi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16th, 2012, 06:13 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 2,963
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

Another Cinebag and EX1R owner here, I can tell you that the HV30 will fit in the top compartment of the Cinebags CB series.

Word of caution about putting 3.5'' drives in the bigger side pockets: They barely fit... (My WD 3TB that I carried one time to offload footage was pretty crammed inside the side pockets)

You can certainly fit a wireless receiver and a transmitter in the lower "smaller" pockets of the bag. On a recent shoot, I placed shotgun mics with my batteries in the compartment with the camera.

There's also a reason there's another cover over the camera compartment. The large raincover enclosed in the bottom protects all zipper seams EXCEPT for the main compartment. As a precautionary measure, I always close that cover, and on the first field test in the rain, the inside of that inner cover actually got wet because it was the only exposed seam in the bag.
__________________
I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
Jack Zhang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17th, 2012, 04:59 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
...Word of caution about putting 3.5'' drives in the bigger side pockets: They barely fit... (My WD 3TB that I carried one time to offload footage was pretty crammed inside the side pockets)...You can certainly fit a wireless receiver and a transmitter in the lower "smaller" pockets of the bag.
@Rob, I would never depend on putting wireless or other electronics in external pockets for international travel. They just don't provide protection for the bangs, bumps and other things that happen when schlepping carry on bags through scanners, taxis, overhead compartments etc. YMMV
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17th, 2012, 11:16 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Kern County, Calif
Posts: 53
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

Hi Les, I can agree with your statement about protecting gear from physical harm. In the CB packs, the outside pockets and the top compartment are lined with a mylar shielding and help to protect your digital media from incidental electrical fields.

Mind you that I don't fly internationally but I do travel by train a few times a year. I carry my enclosed 2.5 USB SSD's & card media packs in my upper outside pocket. I guess the difference being that the only monkey handling my gear is me.
Mark Wheelan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2012, 01:58 PM   #15
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 24
Re: Backpack advice for International travel

So I went with the Kata PL-220 bag since it seemed like the best bet factoring in everything. Overall it's a great bag, but I kinda wish that I had gone with the Pro-V 410 instead. When comparing the two online I couldn't really tell a difference, but I should've paid more attention to the dimensions. The total size of both is pretty much exactly the same, the only difference being that the PL-220 is wider inside and I thought that was more important. Upon putting my EX1-r inside though I immediately realized that I should've opted for the greater depth of the Pro-V 410, as the microphone holder begs for more clearance and doesn't really allow me to use the included lateral reinforcement bar. The PL-220 does close just fine anyway since the whole thing is made of nylon to begin with, but the added stress on the camera bothers me. Also, with a laptop in the back compartment it decreases the depth clearance even more.

The good news is that the back is extremely light even when fully loaded and it doesn't draw any attention to being a camera bag which is nice. I guess the real test will be going through airport security and seeing if the TSA or airlines give me a hard time with it.
Attached Thumbnails
Backpack advice for International travel-dsc_0361.jpg  
Rob Perry is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > Home, Away From Home

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:05 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network