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Hakuba Pro-Series Tripod & 
Light Stand Bag 

by Jim McGee

I'll be the first to admit it's a little tough to get excited about a tripod bag. What I can get excited about however is carrying less stuff through the airport and having more room in my bags. That's what a tripod bag can do for you.

Being basically thrifty, (OK cheap), I had gotten into the habit of either packing my tripod into my suitcase or throwing it into an old canvas bag I'd picked up on the discount table of a camping store (for $5) when checking it. With my old tripod I didn't much care. It had seen way too many road miles and I figured there wasn't much the baggage handlers could do to it that hadn't already been done to it. When the old canvas bag started looking as though it might not make another flight I even took the tripod as a carry-on once or twice strapped to my rolling bag. But post 9-11 a couple of things had happened. Tripods won't be carry-on items again any time in the near future and my old beat up monster had been replaced with a shiny new Bogen. Now I actually cared whether it got banged up.

So when the folks at Hakuba showed me their new tripod bags at PMA, I asked if I could try one out. I was more than a little pleased with the results.

The Hakuba bag is made from tough tear resistant 600 denier polyester and is padded with moisture resistant close cell foam to protect the contents from the ogres the airlines employ as baggage handlers. There's a small inside pouch that I used to hold the handles from the pan tilt head as well as an outside pocket. The inside of the bag is large enough that it swallowed my tripod, hiking boots, and a small rolled-up camera bag. The handle is well padded and a shoulder strap is included. Zippers are heavy duty and the seams are double stitched. My only complaint was that the shoulder strap could have used some padding.

It was nice to just drop the tripod at the curbside baggage check and it was nice to have a place other than my suitcase to throw my muddy hiking boots. With street prices running around $45 to $50 it's such a convenience that it even makes sense for a tightwad like me!

The Pro-Series tripod and light stand bags come in four sizes. The large size (PSTC 200) is reviewed here but the only difference other than size between the bags is a set of rubber feet on the two largest bags.

Medium Bag (PSTC 100) 27 x 7.5 x 6.5", 1.9 lbs
Large Bag (PSTC 200)  33 x 9 x 7.5", 2.2 lbs
Extra Large Bag (PSTC 300) 37 x 8 x 7", 2.8 lbs. Includes rubber feet
Light Stand Case (PSTC 400) 46 x 10.5 x 8.5", 3.1 lbs. Includes rubber feet


The Zip Tie Trick 

Forget about locks for you baggage. A determined thief can get into any bag in a few seconds if they really want to. But the reality is that most thieves want to take a quick look into your bag and grab anything small and valuable they see. The best prevention for light-fingered baggage handlers is actually the lowly zip tie. They're available for close to nothing, take up no room, and there's no key or combination to remember. Just slip the zip tie through your zippers. It will discourage someone from taking a quick look inside since they have to cut the zip tie off (leaving evidence that someone was in there) and it will be obvious to you if someone snooped in your bag. Then you can take appropriate action in reporting the crime while you're still at the airport.

Special thanks to reader Glenn Tapley for 
this suggestion. It's become part of 
my travel habits.


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