I’m currently on a journey to find the right setup for my travels. I’m reaching analysis paralysis, so I thought I’d leverage my network and see if others have any opinions that might help sway me one way or another. So, without further ado, here is my dilemma.

Current Setup

At the moment, I do my one bag travel with essentially two different bags. My camera gear goes into an Ona Prince Street which then packs inside my Tortuga Setout. The Setout is a maximal carry-on size bag that packs a ton of gear into it. But it’s huge. What I’d like is to get to a more streamlined system. My thought being that if my carry on bag was also my daily carry camera bag, I’d save a lot of excess bulk. Bring in the current contenders.

The Contenders

The three bags below are my current top 3 contenders. My requirement was for a fairly modular bag that could be my one bag travel pack, my daily carry at the destination, and that would have a camera insert that could be a minimal shoulder carry when needed. This eliminated cool, but unwieldy daily carry bags like the Wandrd Hexad Access Duffel, as well as much smaller bags that would not fit my gear.

Peak Design Travel Line

URL: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/peak-design/the-travel-line-versatile-travel-backpack-packing

Why this bag? It’s the biggest of the three, so can carry a more normal load of clothes with my camera gear.

Why not? As a daily carry bag (when I get to where we are going) it remains the biggest and is perhaps awkwardly large as a daily carry. Also, as a carry on, this would be the maximal carry on size, so could not fit under the seat if the overhead was tight.

Notes: As a Kickstarter ends and the prices likely start to go up if I don’t order it soon, and I cannot look at or try this out before buying. I also would not get this until December, most likely.

Boundary Supply Prima System

URL: https://www.boundarysupply.com/products/prima-system

Why this bag? It’s a much better daily carry bag, and the camera insert looks and works better as a fanny pack or shoulder bag for a minimal daily carry. Plus the camera insert can clip to the outside of the pack, allowing you to have it separate for more room inside, without having two things hanging off you. And it’s small enough that if the overhead were starting to fill up, this could fit under the seat.

Why not? It’s small. It’s a really tight fit for everything, requiring either keeping the camera insert outside on travel days, making it not really a one bag system or bringing an extremely minimal set of clothes.

Notes: I’ve gotten my hands on the Boundary Supply Prima and found it to be a very tight fit for my gear. I love the bag, but I can really only afford to buy one, so I either need to stick with this as my one bag travel, or return it.

Wandrd Prvke 31

URL: https://www.wandrd.com/products/prvke

Why this bag? It possibly runs the gambit between the two bags above, expanding to 36 liters.

Why not? Not sure if it will still be carry on regulation when expanded, and does look kinda weird with all the excess coming out the top of the bag. Not crazy about the look of this bag. Kinda pricey (I’d wait ‘til Thanksgiving week to try and get this on sale). The camera insert on the 31 Liter version is too big, more designed for DSLR than mirrorless. The camera insert looks kinda awkward and ugly when carried separately as a fanny pack or shoulder bag.

Notes: I’ve only been able to play with this in the store so far, which is not as good as having your hands on one for a bit. Since it’s not my favorite as far as style goes, I’m holding off for now, but at some point I’ll likely need to get my hands on one for a more extended timeframe.

2 thoughts on “One Bag Travel Photographer: The Search

  1. Jon – I own the Boundary, which I kickstarted. It’s indeed a bit smaller than I would like but the modular nature (with the camera bag and sleeve) are pretty awesome and unless you need a full hiking rig, I think it works quite well. I have also heard great things about Peak Design’s bags though.

    1. Hi Aaron, long time! Yeah, I definitely don’t need a full hiking rig, I have that. I was hoping for a rig for traveling by plane as well as my daily carry. I have decided to go with the Boundary Supply Prima. I’m taking it as a challenge to get really small. My goal is to fit it all within that bag, but it’s nice to know if I need to, I can use the verge case separately as it’s own personal item, when room is really tight. I really dig the Prima System, and I feel it has more character than the Peak Design Travel Line.

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