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Thread: Traveling by Air with a Tripod

  1. #1

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    Traveling by Air with a Tripod

    When I fly, I pack my Reis wooden tripod into a Lightware rolling stand bag. This is what it looks like https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...Stand_Bag.html. My film holders, a few tools (screwdrivers, a Leatherman, a spanner wrench) and my film tent also ride in the bag.

    TSA always opens the bag before putting it into the hold, probably because they see the legs' spikes on the Xray. (I know that they open it because they insert a leaflet that informs me that they've opened it). They invariably mess up my neatly arranged stuff, and they rarely zip the bag up properly. Also, at least twice, one of the tripod legs has emerged with a crack in the wood, because the bag gets mishandled.

    So, I'm wondering if I should just send the tripod into the hold by itself, without being in a bag. What do you think?

    How do you travel with a tripod when you fly?

    Thanks. Robert

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Traveling by Air with a Tripod

    Just an idea - how about replacing a section of the bag with a heavy duty transparent plastic so that TSA can see what's inside without having to open it? And keep everything else in their own individual bags so that at least they're not scattered around.

    Kumar

  3. #3

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    Re: Traveling by Air with a Tripod

    They will open it regardless just live with it

  4. #4
    Christopher Barrett's Avatar
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    Re: Traveling by Air with a Tripod

    I expect that a bare tripod will incur damage much faster than one in a bag. My Gitzos have been flying in this bag for a couple decades. It's very simple, so easy for the TSA idiots to close it back up. I've never had anything in it damaged, poking out or really even out of place for that matter.

    Good Luck,
    CB

  5. #5

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    Re: Traveling by Air with a Tripod

    Another option -- depending on your travel plans -- would be to ship it ahead of time, through other means, ex. FEDEX, UPS, USPS, DHL, etc. Depending on the weight, etc, I've found it often cheaper to ship separately -- and with less hassle.

  6. #6

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    Re: Traveling by Air with a Tripod

    I have a rigid black colored shipping tube that I think was used to ship blue prints(?) The cap on one end buckles on. It holds my Ries with the head creatively configured. No zippers.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  7. #7
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Traveling by Air with a Tripod

    Ship it ahead if possible like xkaes suggests.

  8. #8

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    Re: Traveling by Air with a Tripod

    I just carry on my tripod strapped to my backpack and no one from the TSA checkers to the flight attendants have ever said anything. It's not as big as a Ries though.
    Last edited by faberryman; 14-May-2017 at 09:28.

  9. #9

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    Columbus, OH
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    Re: Traveling by Air with a Tripod

    The rolling stand bag looks to TSA like a travelling golf club bag, but the contents aren't golf clubs. So they open it to see what's up.

    According to the B&H sale page, "The RC1038 Stand Bag has a rigid, interior back plate for stability." You might be able to permanently attach a couple of nylon web straps to the rigid back plate to firmly secure the tripod to the inside of the bag.

  10. #10

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    Re: Traveling by Air with a Tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bates View Post
    The rolling stand bag looks to TSA like a travelling golf club bag, but the contents aren't golf clubs. So they open it to see what's up.

    According to the B&H sale page, "The RC1038 Stand Bag has a rigid, interior back plate for stability." You might be able to permanently attach a couple of nylon web straps to the rigid back plate to firmly secure the tripod to the inside of the bag.
    Actually, the bag has a set of interior straps. They hold the tripod in place, but that hasn't prevented some damage. But thanks for thinking of it!

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