How do I best protect my camera and lens when I travel?

We have compiled a list of the TOP50 questions that we hear on our workshops. From gear, to settings, to composition, and shooting styles, we have decided to post three questions and answers a week till we get through them all.

We hope they answer some of the questions that you may have. Here is today's question.

Question: How do I best protect my camera and lens when I travel?

Answer: The simple answer is a good quality travel bag. That could be a knapsack style, a roller bag, or even a hard sided case. Before I travel I look at the destination. Will there be hiking, will I be driving with some minor walks, or is it a safari type of trip where I am always taking images from a vehicle? That determines what I am going to take to keep my gear safe.

But you also have to take into consideration airline restrictions. Now, more than ever, airlines are restricting the size of carry-on luggage… and I will never check my camera gear as I prefer to keep it with me in the cabin.

Here are the two choices from Manfrotto that I use to carry my gear with me. They both offer significant room to carry my gear with me.

Rollerbag - The Roller Bag 70 is a professional travel trolley bag, It complies with airline regulations and features what Manfrotto calls the CPS - Camera protection System - and the Exo-tough multi-layered construction to give the maximum protection. This bag comes with the option and proper connections to attach your tripod externally. Both modular and easy to use, the roller bag has dividers that allow you to custom fit the inside of your bag around your gear by creating the exact size compartment for you need. Also included is a fold-out protector which, when installed, creates a barrier between the wet outside and dry inside of your bag.

In this bag, this is what I can carry… Two full frame bodies, a Sigma 120-300mm f2.8, a 1.4 teleconverter, a sigma 24-105mm f4, a Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8, a Sigma 35mm f1.8, all my batteries and battery charger for both cameras, all my memory cards, two external hard drives for image storage, one flash, a 17” laptop, my ipad mini, and my tripod connected to the outside.

And yes, with the tripod detached, and the laptop taken out, it just fits inside the airline size requirements. This bag has traveled to Newfoundland, Mongolia, France, Yukon and British Columbia with me.

See this roller bag here… http://www.manfrotto.ca/product/0/MB%2BMP-RL-70BB/_/Professional_Roller_bag_70

Backpack - The Backpack 50 is a professional backpack.  It complies with airline regulations and features what Manfrotto calls the CPS - Camera protection System - and the Exo-tough multi-layered construction to give the maximum protection. This bag comes with the option and proper connections to attach your tripod externally. Both modular and easy to use, the roller bag has dividers that allow you to custom fit the inside of your bag around your gear by creating the exact size compartment for you need. Also included is a fold-out protector which, when installed, creates a barrier between the wet outside and dry inside of your bag.

In this bag, this is what I can carry… One full frame bodies, a Sigma 120-300mm f2.8, a 1.4 teleconverter, a sigma 24-105mm f4, a Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8, a Sigma 35mm f1.8, all my batteries and battery charger, all my memory cards, a 15” laptop, my ipad mini, and my tripod connected to the outside.

And yes, with the tripod detached, and the laptop taken out, it just fits inside the airline size requirements.

The last time I used it, here is what I took. A Nikkor 400mm f2.8, a Nikon D3 full frame body and a Sigma 24-105mm f4, all my accessories, my laptop and my tripod… I was quite impressed with the capacity to carry the gear I wanted to take. This bag has traveled to Mongolia, Saskatchewan, Yukon and British Columbia with me.

See this bar here… http://www.manfrotto.ca/product/24329.8615.17668.0.0/MB%2BMP-BP-50BB/_/Professional_Backpack_50

If you have any further comments, please add them to the comments section below. The more feedback and ideas the better.

Thanks for reading,

Northof49Photography

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Kevin A Pepper

Kevin is a photographer and educator based in Waterloo, Ontario. His first love is photographing nature, regardless of the season or weather condition; the Ontario landscape and its wildlife are his inspiration. But you will also see other styles of photography in his portfolio. From street photography to urban exploration of abandoned buildings and architecture, he loves to capture it all with his camera for his corporate clients and his growing personal portfolio. Kevin’s images have been featured in Canadian Nature Photographer, PHOTONews Canada, Photo Technique Magazine, The London Free Press, The Weather Network, and National Geographic Online. His diverse client list includes the City of Cambridge, Olympus, GORE Mutual, TVO, and African Lion Safari. Kevin also operates “Northof49 Photography”, a company launched in 2012 dedicated to teaching amateur photographers through International and Canadian-based workshops. In the coming year, Kevin will be leading workshops in Iceland, Mongolia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Provence, and numerous destinations across Canada. Website: www.kevinpepperphotography.com