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Advice on a companion bag!

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    Advice on a companion bag!

    I just finished my first trip with my Aeronaut 45, and it was great!

    I'll be leaving next month for a slightly longer trip, so I would like to get another bag to go along with it. (Also, something to carry my laptop: rMBP 13, wireless headphones: Bose QC15, travel pillow, etc.)

    Slightly complicating things, I also have a Think Tank Retrospective 5 camera bag (Retrospective 5 (Pinestone)—Think Tank Photo) for my Sony mirrorless which I really like to tote around on my trips. For this shorter trip, I packed it inside my Aeronaut 45 on the way there, and then carried it by hand on the way back.

    I sort of have it narrowed down to the Pilot or the Daylight Briefcase.

    I prefer a shoulder/messenger bag, as I like having the Aeronaut 45 in backpack mode while I'm moseying around.

    In theory, I could ditch the camera bag and just use the secondary bag, or come up with some other solution instead.

    I'm curious if anyone has any advice!

    My thoughts: go for the Pilot becaus that bottle Pocket is very very helpfull. And even if bottles are nothing you cary you can fit in there lenses (if you have individual round cases for them) or an umbrella, Sunglases, pencilcase... And I prefear the more strucktured way of the Pilot. The Daylight Briefcase to me is a minimalistic briefcase that I am happy to take (inside my mane luggage) as a briefcase to be pulled out at the destination. But the Pilot is better in standing on its own and therefor a better luggage as in Personal Item to my liking.

    I hope you get more input from thouse who love there DLBC so that you get that side of the story too.

    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth


      I also prefer messenger/one shoulder style camera bags and had to make a similar decision before a recent international trip. I have both a dyneema Pilot and a cordura Daylight Briefcase and needed to pick one to supplement my main carryon, a dyneema Western Flyer. I ended up taking the Daylight Briefcase and it worked very well.

      So you have something to compare size-wise to your Sony camera kit, I took the following micro four thirds mirrorless gear: two small camera bodies (a Panasonic GM5 and an Olympus E-PM2 as backup), 3 lenses (an Olympus 12-40/2.8, an Olympus 17/1.8, and an Olympus 45/1.8), chargers, lens cleaner, cloth and brush. For the flight over and for in-country long travel, I packed all of these in a Medium Crumpler Haven and placed that inside the large front compartment of the WF (with the vertical divider zipped shut the Haven fit perfectly).

      For using during the day, I carried only the Daylight Briefcase, the GM5 with 12-40/2.8 attached, one of the additional lenses and cleaning kit, plus sunglasses, water bottle, and a few other small items I might need. Before the trip I thought I would need extra padding to protect the camera gear; so I brought along a small Ape Case that fits nicely inside the DLBC. I never used this case, opting instead to carry the extra lens in an Optec soft camera wrap.

      I love dyneema, but chose a cordura DLBC so the bag would have bit more structure for use with a camera. One great thing about the DLBC is that it works bigger than it looks because there is a lot of give in the main compartment. While the Panasonic GM5 body is quite compact, the Olympus 12-40 is much larger than your typical kit lens. As long as I didn’t try to carry too many extras (say a light jacket), it was very easy to slip the camera in and out of the DLBC.

      If you are carrying larger gear, such as a full frame mirrorless camera plus 2 or 3 lenses, then I think the Pilot might be a better choice. While I have not used my Pilot as a camera bag, I do think it would work well. I know the Ape Case will fit into it and believe you can find other third party padded inserts. The following video review might help you get a feel for how much you can pack inside a Pilot (he also uses an Ape case to pack an Olympus E-M1 (larger than my camera) and the Olympus 12-40).


      I think your choice depends upon how much camera gear you like to carry around every day. If you want to carry several different lenses, extra batteries, a flash, a tabletop tripod, and a sweater, then I think the Pilot would be the better choice.

      If you go lighter as I do, then the DLBC is a terrific choice because of its smaller size and just the right number of pockets for small items. It is less conspicuous and easy to tuck under your arm or hold on your lap when dealing with crowds.


        While I only use a compact camera, I have noted some neat videos and forum posts on the subject:

        DayLight Briefcase or Packing Cube Shoulder Bag as Camera Bag

        Parental Unit as Camera Bag

        I think the Pilot would be good too but it would depend on how narrow your camera could be packed so you could fit your laptop in too and if you like your camera packed assembled and ready for action!

        Another option might be to piggy back a PCSB (with your camera and an insert in it) onto a DLBC or Pilot similar to this:

        I do not know if this might get too clunky but YMMV. Others will probably have better experience than me as this is not my area of use expertise!

        Hope this helps

        TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!