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Flying with photography gear

I’m wondering if anyone has suggestions about flying with photography gear.

Specifially I’m curious about how I can negotiate the whole carry-on luggage situation. I’d never consider packing my DSLR into my checked luggage, but I’m not sure how to squeeze my camera bag into my carry-on knapsack along with my bathroom caddy, documents and change of clothes.

I’m not taking a whole pro set-up with me. The camera bag itself is relatively compact, holding only the camera body with kit lens attached, battery charger and some lens filters. But I’ve only travelled with point-and-shoot and prosumer cameras before, both of which tucked easily into my carry-on knapsack.

I’d also like to take my tripod, which is relatively compact and has its own carrying case, but I guess that’d count as another peice of luggage…

Suggestions welcome. And if I’m missing something obvious that someone can point out to me, even better.

As others have mentioned before, I’ve found a photographers vest very handy for travel.
Because you wear it, I don’t think it’s considered carry-on, yet it can be stuffed under the seat if the combo of you and it are bigger than the seat. Two DSLR bodies, 4 lenses and accessories … no sweat. Speaking of which, get one with a mesh back if you haven’t already. Worth it in the humidity and heat. Because of the bulk, I’ve cut back to basic but sharp Sony and Fuji models and bring a twisty little tripod that clamps on too.
Good shooting.

Say it’s your man purse ! :wink: Who are you flying with?


Most of the time a camera is considered a free carry on… I have taken my DSLR and 2 lenses plus the charger plus a portable hard drive to store photos in all in a camera case/backpack and also had my normal carryon… check the website of whomever you are flying with…

Never took a tripod but did take a monopod, but packed it in my luggage.

A photographer’s vest? Huh. I’ve never seen one of those. I’ll have to check that out. But I wonder how much something like that would cost… I’m not eager about spending money if I don’t have to.

Man-purse… that’s funny. I’m travelling with my wife, but she’ll already have a purse. But that brings up a good point… If my wife can carry a purse plus her carry-on, why can’t I? :wink:

Thanks for the tip Rumrunner, I’ll check the website for sure. That’d be perfect if the camera case was considered a free carry-on. Regarding the tripod, it’d fit in my duffle bag (checked luggage) but I have a feeling it’d disappear.

My DH took a man bag last time, and I’m pretty sure that the (smallish) camera bag was in addition to that, not inside it. I think they allow women to carry a purse and a small camera bag.

BTW, they never seem to weigh purses and man bags, so you can fill them with the heaviest possible items - bars of soap, for example

Equal rights!

Hey Barbudos,
Here is a great vest. Domke is one of the best. Maybe $80. Lots of others on the market.
This one has the mesh back. I use a vest designed by birders John and Janet Foster. Lots of room but warm. Built-in backpack space behind.
This is the one I’d use in Cuba:

My hubby has this Tilley vest and, not only is it great for plane travel but for off resort trips. He would stuff the pockets with camera parts, wear it onto the plane and then take it off and put in in the overhead bin. The multi pockets are great!