I am fighting some physical constraints with my shoulder so cannot carry a backpack etc while shooting. Some of the places I go have either paved paths or good enough dirt paths that I could tug along a cart with my good arm if it had all terrain type wheels. I am looking for a bag that has some access from the top, hopefully for 1 camera with a lens and an additional lens so I would not have to lay the whole thing down every time I want to shoot. The ideal bag would also have a place on the side for my tripod. I have looked at Amazon and B and H and have not found a suitable bag as they all seem to be designed for airport travel. I remember going to a trade show a few years ago and seeing a marvelous bag for shooting that would fit all my current needs. At that time however I was perfectly capable of carrying my equipment with a backpack so I did not purchase that rolling bag. Any suggestions?
Our happiness with the build and function of our Think Tank Airport Roller Derby bags made me peruse the Think Tank site on your behalf. Though I haven’t seen one, their Airport Navigator looks to meet your needs if the wheels are large enough for your terrain. You can’t beat the build and Features of Think Tank products, but they don’t come cheap, however.
I really appreciate you looking at these. As far as the price goes, I can’t do many of my activities right now (kayaking, biking, serious gardening) so if it takes some expense to be able to do photography more then it will have to be .
I am going to look more at these Think Tanks. This one doesn’t have a tripod holder but I am going to call them after the weekend about one that might have that feature. I really need that for the flower photography. I can get by without it for birding and realistically the terrain I walk on for most bird situations would not be conducive to a rolling bag. On that score I have just started doing some bird photography but I am limited to about 45 minutes of carrying the camera. Quick trips but at least its something. Had a great time with the avocets last Monday.
The lack-o-holder for tripods concerned me about our bags, but being a leather worker I just fashioned a leather strap with snaps at each end to form loops. Snap each end around the tripod legs and the expanse of strap between the two loops doubles as a carry handle for hand carry, as well as a loop that drops over the raised bag handle when it’s extended. It functions much like the one illustration in that link where they passed the handle up through the bag handle to keep it open.
My wife is the family member acquainted with sewing machines, and if she’d attacked the project before I did, I’m sure she’d have fashioned the same from nylon strapping and velcro.
I tell you about that because it would be a good work around for any other bag, Think Tank or not, that otherwise suited your needs but lacked a feature for tripod attachment.
Hi Kathy. I’m not sure, but I seem to recall that there are golf bag rollers that you can get separate from the bag. You could attach your current bag with a bit of improvisation. I’ve also seen collapsible carts at the office supply stores that have good wheels (we picked up one to haul 5 gallon water jugs when camping and it works fine on fairly uneven terrain).
That’s going to be key if you get off good prepared trails, the smoother the better. In our 40-year experience living in the Alaska bush and schlepping heavy loads over rough ground, it translates into LARGER wheels having good bearings and bullet-proof mounting. Frankly I’ve never seen a rolling camera bag so equipped.
But there are a lot of cargo and baggage carts as suggested by Dennis that qualify. The up side of that approach is you get to put the right wheels on the camera bag that suits your needs best.
I’d add that you should look for rubber wheels if you’re using it on paved trails. The noise from hard plastic ones will drive you and others crazy.
Kathy, it so happens that I read this yesterday, and as a senior not as spry as I once was, wouldn’t you know I was thinking that a golf bag dolly might be an answer. The average golf bag with clubs is pretty weighty. So I got a very inexpensive two-wheeler from Academy Sports. I see that @Dennis_Plank had the same thoughts. And yes Dennis, the one I got is the basic frame with carrying yokes. @Hank_Pennington has some very good advice about wheel size and questionable terrain. As a retired marine designer and a tinker at heart, I like to get ordinary simple things and configure for different uses. This dolly from Academy has large wheels, requires no tools at all for assembly, folds down to 35" high for storage, and has snap-in wheels should you choose to remove. But with wheels in place when folded, the unit is free standing. The frame is square tubular steel, but only weighs 10 pounds. Unfolding and folding up is a no-brainer. And for me the best part is that it’s just $50, so if I decide to modify it and screw it up, not a heart breaker. I’ll let you know the details (or disasters) of my tinkering.
I checked in with a photographer friend who’s found his mobility limited in recent years. It’s more money but he reports complete happiness with his Eckla Multi-Rolly Cart. He does a lot of wildlife telephoto work and finds it especially handy for sitting behind long lenses on tripods. His only mod has been an inflatable pillow for the seat.
@Bill_Leggett @Hank_Pennington @Dennis_Plank These are all such good ideas. I used to play golf and have a rolling cart in the basement somewhere . These suggestions got me thinking. I have a beach “wagon” with very large wheels that is light weight. Rather than buy something , I’m going to try it on my next garden adventure. Meanwhile, I’m going to keep all these suggestions. Thank you all so much for spending the time to make them!
We’re all looking at similar issues, Kathy. Even without specific problems, those bags just keep getting heavier!
Come to think of it, I saw several of those in use this winter at the Venice FL rookery. Slick!
Kathy, I think you have some really good suggestions from everyone. I also like @Hank_Pennington’s option, having the seat is an added bonus. If your golf bag carrier isn’t storable, here is the one from Academy I mentioned.
Kathy, I’ve seen some sand-rolling-things specifically for photographers that I was actually thinking about too. I often walk long distances on the beach carrying WAY too much camera stuff than is wise. The wheels were big fat things that could handle sand and certainly gravel, grass, or other surfaces, and it had a 4-sided cart thing that could easily handle camera gear. Let me see if I can find one - for both of us.
How about something like THIS:
@Sandy_Richards-Brown. I actually have a sand wagon but until a cart was mentioned in this thread I had not thought about using it. Originally I was looking for a rolling camera bag with big wheels and a place for a tripod. I saw a great one at a trade show years ago. It wasn’t a name brand and was repped by a company from Vail, Colorado. I did innumerable internet searches but failed to find it. So I started looking at the bags mentioned here but then rolling carts were mentioned and I had an “aha” moment. I’m going to take it out in the next week to see how it works and will report back! Will take a picture too!
Atsa winner for sure!
I was actually thinking of you and your cart yesterday. We were following a pod of California gray whales very close to shore, lugging long lenses and tripods and everything else over small cobble that made for difficult walking as your feet tended to shift and settle even without tripping. The whales didn’t hold still for long, and this old guy was pretty beat up by the time we hiked a mile back to our truck. I’d surely put a nice folding chair in there too!
Hank. What a good idea. I have the perfect little folding plastic stool!