Carry-on backpack for 4x5 monorail : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Can anyone recommend a backpack for a 4x5 monorail that can be taken as a carry-on bag on the airlines?

I have a Toyo/Omega 45E and I can remove the standards from the rail so they collapse into a fairly compact package. I also carry the groundglass, 2-3 lenses in boards, Fuji and Kodak quickloads, Polaroids, 545i holder, darkcloth, meter, loupe, release etc.

I have searched the archives and haven't found anything that meets these specs.

Thanks, Peter

-- Peter Shier (, April 21, 2001


I use a Tenba PBA (A stand for "Airlines"). It is made to the carry on luggage sizes and has inner velcro compartimenting that can be fashioned to desire. Check also this older thread:

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 22, 2001.

As well as looking at the Tenba PBA also investigate the BP1420 Back pack from Lightware. Not cheap, but like the Tenba it'll do a great job of protecting your equipment both on the airplane and in the field, and both the Lightware and the Tenba can hold more than you'll probably want to carry.

-- Ellis Vener (, April 22, 2001.

Thanks Ellis. I looked at the BP1420 as I have a Lightware case for my Dynalite strobes and it is superb. The only problem is that the external dimensions of the BP1420 are 16"L x 8"W x 26"H and United Airlines (the next flight I need to take with my LF gear) says their limits are 14" x 9" x 22". The 22 is not really an issue as the template in the X-ray machines doesn't limit the length but the 16 could be a problem. Has anyone put the BP1420 through an X-ray machine with a size-limiting template?

-- Peter Shier (, April 22, 2001.

Peter, Try looking at the Lowepro line of backpacks. They make a size for just about everything. You can pick one up on ebay at a fairly reasonalbe price if you are patient. I have the Photo Treker AW and it is big enough for everything yet doesn't weight a ton. Good Luck, Doug

-- Doug Theall (, April 22, 2001.

Peter, As mentioned above, do check out the Lowepro line, I also own a couple of Photo Trekkers AW and they will have enough room for your set up. They are very comfortable to carry.

-- Dave Anton (, April 22, 2001.

the tenba 264 has better dividers for lf than the 265 pba. i use this when travelling by plane and take as much as i can fit. i was warned off the 265 by a photog who didn't get on a plane with one. tenba advertises it as the maximum legal size (maybe if it's not too full?).

i use the lightware bp1420 for all other purposes. it's great but i wouldn't risk a gate check. the harness is just ok, not enough for a long hike. i can go for a mile or two with it fully loaded.

i checked out the lowe protrekker and liked the harness but hated the dividers. ok for 35, terrible for lf. others love them, though.

-- adam friedberg (, April 22, 2001.

I have a LowePro Nature Trekker that I use for 35mm and I thought of rearranging it for LF but it really does not look like it could accomodate the camera, 3 lenses in boards, GG, 545i, box of quickloads etc. I know the Photo Trekker is slightly larger (2 1/4" higher and 1/2" wider) but that still doesn't seem like it could handle all that. I will give it a try seeing as so many of you say it works well.

-- Peter Shier (, April 23, 2001.

I checked with Lightware today and they confirmed that the BP1420 will not conform to carry-on size regulations. They did say that with their inserts it would be fine to check it but I personally never send lenses and cameras as checked baggage.

-- Peter Shier (, April 23, 2001.

I use an old soft Zone VI bag for my Omega 45D. It's not a backpack, more like a shoulder bag. But it fits in the overhead compartment and I have never had to check it.

-- Richard M. Coda (, April 25, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ