Lifestyle

Things to Consider When Buying Roller Bags for camera

We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to carrying camera equipment, but most methods demand you literally shoulder the burden. So if you travel frequently, long distances, or simply need to carry some serious gear, try putting it on wheels with a roller bag – you won’t look back.

A roller camera bag is basically a rolling suitcase that contains customisable dividers tailored to support cameras and lenses. Not only are they more comfortable than a backpack, roller bags also tend to be tougher. You can expect a rigid back, base and sides, and most designs include exterior scuff protection in vulnerable areas.

With wheels taking the strain, it’d be tempting to buy the biggest bag you can afford. However, for maximum travel versatility, a bag that fits airline carry-on limits is a smarter buy. The exterior thickness of a bag tends to be the toughest dimension to satisfy when choosing a flight-friendly bag, with most carriers rejecting cabin bags over 23cm thick. To ensure you can keep your gear by your side on even a budget airline, a 20cm-thick bag is a better bet Best WiFi 6 Routers .

Spoiler alert

Providing unmatched gear support and protection, with plenty of easy access pouches and even a backpack-conversion option, the Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Switch-55  is the pick of the bunch. However all the roller bags here are very good and still deserve your consideration.

Five things to look for…

  1. Flight friendly? A bag measuring 55 x 35 x 23cm will see you through most airline check-ins – but many airlines won’t allow more than 10kg in weight.
  2. Divide and conquer: Interior width is critical when packing larger lenses. Well-designed dividers can adapt to super-telephotos.
  3. Built to last? Roller bags can take a lot of abuse. Wheels should be replaceable, while reinforced outer corners and undersides add longevity.
  4. The complete package: Look for bags that boast a laptop slot and a tripod attachment system. Easy-access outer pockets are a bonus.
  5. Little extras: A roller bag with a pair of backpack straps helps with stairs or rough ground. Expandable compartments are also useful to have.

At first glance this looks like a typical roller bag. Its external 55 x 35.5 x 23cm dimensions meet most airline cabin baggage requirements, and this translates to an equally practical 47 x 32 x 18cm interior – enough for a decent selection of full-frame cameras and lenses in a variety of configurations. A large, top-loading slot on the front panel can accommodate a 17” laptop, and there’s a tripod attachment on one side.

The Reloader Switch-55 is also beautifully made and feels reassuringly rugged. Its internal skeleton resists hard knocks and abuse, while generously thick internal padding cossets your gear.

But the standout feature of this bag is that it can also be worn as a backpack. Discreetly stowed in a concealed front pocket are two wide shoulder straps that pack impressively flat. The conversion isn’t the quickest, but the end result is surprisingly comfortable. Despite the straps and quality build, the bag still weighs a reasonable 4kg.

At first glance this looks like a typical roller bag. Its external 55 x 35.5 x 23cm dimensions meet most airline cabin baggage requirements, and this translates to an equally practical 47 x 32 x 18cm interior – enough for a decent selection of full-frame cameras and lenses in a variety of configurations. A large, top-loading slot on the front panel can accommodate a 17” laptop, and there’s a tripod attachment on one side.

The Reloader Switch-55 is also beautifully made and feels reassuringly rugged. Its internal skeleton resists hard knocks and abuse, while generously thick internal padding cossets your gear.

But the standout feature of this bag is that it can also be worn as a backpack. Discreetly stowed in a concealed front pocket are two wide shoulder straps that pack impressively flat. The conversion isn’t the quickest, but the end result is surprisingly comfortable. Despite the straps and quality build, the bag still weighs a reasonable 4kg.

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