The Consumer Electronics Show is rapidly approaching which means I'll be leaving on a plane with tens of thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment in just a few days. While I love traveling to Vegas and getting to see all the cool new technology while at the show, the idea of traveling with all this fragile, expensive gear on an airplane can be a real stressful experience.
Luckily, I am cautious and have invested in a suitable gear bag to make sure the equipment gets there in one piece without any damage. In the following article, I'll cover what camera bag I'm using for my trip as well as a variety of other TSA-friendly options in order to help you safely bring your own camera gear on future trips.
As you read through the options, click through on the product photo or price links to see up-to-date product information and pricing. It is also important to keep in mind that TSA regulations are subject to change, and some airlines have stricter carry-on dimensions than others. Always double-check your bag fits the requirements before making your way to the airport as the last thing you want to do is miss your flight because the TSA says your bag is too big!
The Minimalist (Small)
This category is for photographers or videographers who prefer to travel with the bare minimum amount of equipment to get the job done without the necessity of carrying any extra weight. You'll find the most variety of options since traditionally these bags are small, compact, and lightweight thus making them a piece of cake when traveling on an airplane. The following recommendations are meant for someone who is looking to bring a single, smaller DSLR with one entry-level lens (no room for over-sized professional lenses). If you think you'll invest or require the need to carry additional gear in the near future, you may want to skip to the next category thus saving the hassle of buying a larger bag in the future.
CaseLogic SLRC-202 – $34.99
Lowepro Adventura TLZ 25 – $23.95
Evecase DSLR Camera Case – $19.99
The Conservative (Medium)
Those found within this category like to bring a small to medium assortment of gear on their travels that may include a DSLR body (or two), one to three lenses and a few other small accessories. The cases listed below will offer ample room for this as well as a pocket dedicated to a small laptop or tablet. These bags will be noticeably higher priced than those found within the minimalist section, but this is warranted due to an increase in size and protection.
Ape Case ACPRO 1800 – $89.99
Lowepro Fastpack 350 – $74.99
Case Logic SLRC-206 – $81.99
The Kitchen Sink (Large)
This category is for the professional or serious amateur photography or videographer who likes to take a whole slew of gear on their adventures and isn't scared to spend a little extra cash in exchange for added storage space and protection. I fall into this category and for the last two years, I've utilized two of the three options below for my airline travel needs (ACPRO2000 last year and Lowepro Pro Roller x200 this year). It is important to keep in mind that some airlines will not allow you to take these options on a plane as they have smaller carry-on bag requirements, be sure to check with your airline to make sure the bag you choose will be let on the aircraft without issue BEFORE you get to the airport.
Pelican 1510 – $249.99
Lowepro Pro Roller x200 – $369.99
Ape Case ACPRO 2000 – $125.99
Those are recommendations for TSA-friendly camera bags for airline travel. I hope you find one of the products listed above to be adequate, but I do encourage you to search around for any potential competing products that may be of a better fit for your particular needs. Always remember, it is better to get a bag with more capacity than you currently need as it gives you room to grow as your gear collection without the need to buy a larger bag in the future. Best of luck with your search and safe travels!
Featured Image Credit: Derrick Story