I'm pinning (pining?) for the days when I could carry the (older, larger) Lightware case and a Domke bag as airline carry-ons. I could travel with a complete 3-lens large, medium, and 35mm format set, plus film, and even a change of underwear and a good book. Of course my cell phone was almost as large as my 4x5...
When I look at the latest carry on regulations, and compare to the bag manufacturers, if I go by absolutes, the largest backpack I can use is a Lowe-Pro Mini-Trekker. Now, I know a lot of you are going to chime in a say "Last week I got my Super-Trekker on with no problems..." but I don't want to base my plans on the mercy of their subjective decision, especially 5 minutes from take-off.
I've tried everyway I can - stripping the camera down to parts, etc. - to get a 4x5 Arca, a couple of lenses and Gnass film holder pack (the bare minium) into a Mini-Trekker and it just ain't going to happen. I have a large Lightware trunk that gets checked for real jobs, but for casual travel (i.e. with my spouse) I sure would like to go lighter. And even for jobs, I never liked the idea of the trunk case getting pandered by the TSA.
Is it Toho time? Or should I just get a beater Crown Graphic, with a Ektar, and throw it into the checked bags, as it is the proverbal cockroach of cameras?
Finally, I've always check my tripods since 9-11. Anybody ever get a tripod in as carry-on?