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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Toolbox: Bags & Cases For Travel

Choosing the right combination for safe transport and quick access

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Incase bags offer affordable transport and protection. Two models for DSLRs, the Carrying Case and Sling Pack, both are made of durable weather-resistant nylon. The Sling Pack offers an adjustable padded camera and lens compartment, an interior zippered pocket for cord storage, a side stash pocket and a reinforced nylon top-loading handle. The Carrying Case also incorporates top and side access to the interior and a quick-release buckle on the shoulder strap. The Sling Pack adds side carrying handles and an exterior compartment with mesh and slip pockets. List Price: $60 (Carrying Case); $80 (Sling Pack).

The holster-style Lowepro Toploader Zoom AW series includes a lid design that gives photographers easy access, thanks to the dual zipper pulls. The 50 AW and 55 AW also include SlipLock attachment loops for adding on compatible bags and cases in the Lowepro line. An optional Topload Chest Harness fits the 50 AW and 55 AW to the chest, making them a good choice for photographers who ski, snowboard or hike. The 45 AW holds a DSLR with attached 15-55mm lens, and the 50 AW and 55 AW hold up to a 17-55mm and 80-400mm lens, respectively. List Price: $39 (45 AW); $44 (50 AW); $49 (55 AW).

Carry your photo gear inconspicuously and stylishly with Think Tank Photo’s Retrospective series. The bags are available in black or pinestone, and each case’s minimalist exterior is designed to hide the nature of the bags and the expensive items they contain. There are three shoulder bags in the line, with capacity of up to a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens, as well as two Lens Changer bags that allow lenses to be carried in separate compartments for rapid access when you need to swap quickly. Hook-and-loop Sound Silencers are included for silencing noise when accessing the contents. List Price: Begins at $149 (Retrospective 10); begins at $99 (Retrospective Lens Changer 2).

The UP-Rise series from Vanguard includes three messenger-style bags (the UP-Rise 28, 33 and 38) that will fit your camera equipment and a laptop. The Rapid Access System includes top and front retrieval points, and there’s a zipper that runs along the bottom of the bag for expanding the capacity when extra room is needed for larger lenses. The orange interior makes finding accessories a lot easier, and the inner compartment can be removed as well so you can use the bag as a normal messenger bag when needed. Estimated Street Price: Begins at $109.

For pro photographers, preparing for long trips means a lot of gear. When you have to bring the studio along, hard cases are built to cradle your delicate gear during bumpy rides on extended travels.

The Flashpoint WSA-84 watertight hard case is built to be unbreakable and weather-proof. The exterior is made of Ultra High Impact structural polymer to protect from the outside, and on the inside, high-density foam is included to pad equipment from both vibration and shock. A purge valve equalizes atmospheric pressure changes, and there are two padlock holes for added security. Inline wheels make transport easier. The Flashpoint WSA-84 interior dimensions are 21.2x12.6x7.56 inches, and the case weighs about 15 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $159.

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