Double Duty
August 29, 2006 5:34 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find one bag to hold both a digital SLR camera with lens, and a 17" laptop?

I am going on a round the world trip next month. In order to save on carry-on items and to keep better track of things, I would like to find a single bag to hold both my camera and computer. Weight and size aren't a consideration but padding and addtional storage space are. Any suggestions?
posted by Xurando to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
LowePro CompuTrekker. Only problem is that it looks like a bag that holds Very Expensive Things, but, it does the job well - I tended to use it for my "personal bag" on business flights when I flew a lot, but not so much as a commuting or day bag.
posted by kcm at 5:38 PM on August 29, 2006

What you need is a messenger bag. Freitag messenger bags are extra durable and expandable (they basically double in size via a fold-out flap). They do not scream "steal me" and are very waterproof, as they are made from recycled truck tarps. They company also makes laptop sleeves, which only fit macs, but any laptop sleeve would do. Some models have a laptop compartment inside -- I might recommend the f13 top cat model for you. If you don't like them, check out Timbuk2 messenger bags.
posted by Eringatang at 5:59 PM on August 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

You might want to have a look at a new bag that just came out: Naneu Pro u120 Bag

It's designed to carry about expensive electronics and protect them well.
posted by bigmusic at 6:07 PM on August 29, 2006

Check out Crumpler bags. They have a great range of bags for cameras and laptops and combined lappy camera bags too! Their backpacks are very comfortable and look pretty discreet for a lappy bag.

However.. their website is AWFUL. It's impossible to navigate...
I found it much easier to go to the catalogue section as they have a pdf download of the catalogue.

here's the address.

You also might be able to find them on or
posted by snarkle at 6:55 PM on August 29, 2006

Almost every camera bag manufacturer makes the sort of backpack you want. Here is a good selection at B&H, who I recommend as a source if you want to order online (or if you can go to their store in NYC). I have a Lowepro backpack and like it a lot, but there are other reputable manufacturers as well.
posted by TedW at 6:58 PM on August 29, 2006

I use a crumpler crippy duck which works great with my 13" macbook and my digital rebel. Dunno if you could wedge a 17" in there. Check out your local camera store that carries their stuff -- they have loads of models to choose from.
posted by mathowie at 7:48 PM on August 29, 2006

I love Lowe Pro bags, I've had a dozen over the years in assorted sizes, never a problem and always performed as advertised.

The CompuRover is carry-on legal and AllWeather (which means it comes with a rain cover, a feature I really Like). Lowe Pro has half a dozen backpack camera bags to choose from.

One thing to cut down the "steal me" look is to run it thru the washer a few times, helps take the shiny new look away. I also sewed a Canada flag patch over the Lowe Pro logo on my airline roller, makes it look more like a flight bag and less like something containing $5000 of photo equipment.
posted by Mitheral at 8:28 PM on August 29, 2006

PS: the CompuTrekker has a notebook compartment that is 12W x 1.5D x 15H; the CompuRover and CompuTrekker Plus are 11.6W x 1.9D x 18.7H.
posted by Mitheral at 8:41 PM on August 29, 2006

Get one made for you.

Custom-made luggage only seems like an expensive luxury. My last bag was made in 1998 by some guy in southern california. At the time it was not significantly more expensive than a commerical bag, and I got to have all the little features and tweaks that I wanted. I'm still using it, and it shows almost no sign of wear.

Granted, it does take some time to track down someone with the correct skills (sewing thick nylon isn't easy), and then there is lead time in production, but I think it's worth it.
posted by printdevil at 9:03 PM on August 29, 2006

Snarkle's Crumpler suggestion is a good one. Just to clarify though: there is also a USA site (I think they are based in the US)
posted by misterbrandt at 9:47 PM on August 29, 2006

I don't know how how thick your laptop is, or what kind of camera you'll be carrying... but I use the following bag:

Victorinox Menash Ultra Tri-Compartment Laptop Pack

I keep a 17" Sony Vaio (and the massive charging brick) in it with a Nikon D50, 18-55 lens, portrait lens (105), extras for the camera (extra battery, odds 'n ends) plus misc stuff like maps, pens, book to read, etc.

I retrofitted the main compartment with some foam padding to cradle the camera better, but other than that I used it right off the shelf.
posted by JFitzpatrick at 10:54 PM on August 29, 2006

Love love LOVE my Crumpler bag that I bought in May to take to Europe. It was expensive, but I bought the Keystone bag which held (holds) my 12" Powerbook; Nikon D50 plus another lens; miniDV video camera; iPod; a shitload of cables, chargers; camera cleaning stuff; some blank cd's...i can't remember what else. I hesitated at the price, but it felt so solid and sturdy and I finally realized that I needed a quality bag to haul 7Grand worth of stuff around Europe on my back.
You get what you pay for.
I had the Keystone, but there's a similar bag for 17" laptops.
Best thing is that it just looks like a knapsack and you have to take it off your back to open it...not so great if you want to take a spontaneous picture, but awesome for riding the #64 bus through Florence, also known as The Wallet Eater.
posted by chococat at 11:54 PM on August 29, 2006

Another for Crumpler. The other advantage is that they don't look like camera bags.
I used mine with a canon 350xt, full suite of lenses and a 14" laptop for a trip to ecuador and the galapagos. It was great.
posted by Lord_Pall at 6:35 AM on August 30, 2006

Just a general plug for, they are great.
posted by markmillard at 7:02 AM on August 30, 2006

Look at Kata bags with a sharp eye - they have some great SLR backpacks.

This is the one that I have.

It *just* fits under most domestic US flight seats, and definitely fits in the overhead bins.

I've only had to check it once, and that was on a small regional jet, and had I tried it first, I could have fit it under the seats sideways.
posted by tomierna at 5:43 PM on August 30, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all your input.

I ended up buying a Crumpler "Karachi Outpost" bag from B&H. The bag looks great, can fit everything, and has the advantage of not being accessible until you take it off your shoulders. Great for high crime areas. I'm not sure if it will have compartments for reading material but we'll see.
posted by Xurando at 9:50 AM on August 31, 2006

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