One of the most important things that any photographer has to know is the manner in which to choose bags for their tours. Choosing the wrong type of bag can in turn jeopardize the safety of your equipment. It is even made worse with the strict regulations that are being adopted by airlines all over the world.
Here are some tips on what to look for in bags that you want to use for your tour the next time you are travelling.
Allowed bag size
The size of your bag is an important consideration especially with the limitation that major carriers have put in place. Most airlines usually classify one piece of baggage as a carry-on and the other as a personal item. It goes on to say that the baggage should measure approximately 21” x 13” x9” generally (the sizes might differ for domestic flights, but it is advisable to be well informed before taking the flight). Also for almost all domestic and international airlines, the combined height, length and width should not exceed 114cm (45”), including the wheels and handles.
Therefore, overstuffing your bag with additional items in the exterior pockets may distort the size of your bag and lead to problems in classifying your bag as a carry-on.
At times, carrying your luggage as a carry-on may be a problem and you only have checking as an option (or shipping). Bags for checked purposes are usually well padded and possibly hard-sided. Checked luggage usually faces a lot of pounding from the handlers and in the conveyor belt (with other bags smashing on top of your bag containing who-knows-what). Therefore a hard sided casing that is well padded on the inside and has different compartments can be quite handy for this situation.
Again a common factor when choosing the type of bag to carry is the weight restrictions. Some bags are well detailed in terms of the capacity size that it can handle. It is therefore not advised to get a bag whose capacity outweighs the minimum weight for carry-on allowed by airlines (no need for extra baggage on your back). However, if you happen to be travelling domestically, the weight restrictions are more lenient than with international flights. Also, if you consider that some bags already weigh a substantial amount of lbs., you might end up having more weight on your carry-on than you thought.
Generally, when choosing a carry-on bag, it is advisable to take a bag that you can easily carry around and that can also fit your personal items as well. You should also consider a bag compartmentalized into interior pockets where you can easily put your camera lenses and camera. Flexibility should be a priority considering that you will be going around on your trip with this bag on your back during some parts of your tour.
Therefore the next time you decide to buy a bag to carry your photography equipment with, you can use these tips to help you make a clear choice.