There are days that I bring a lot of gear, hardware and equipment with me. There are also days that I want to travel light. I went to Zamboanga for a short two-day trip last week to visit GoPhoto-Zamboanga and to give a workshop on post processing, color management and inkjet printing.
I didn’t have to bring a lot of clothes with me for the trip. What took up most of my luggage space was the hardware that I had to bring for the trip. I had to bring my Dell Precision 5520 mobile workstation, a Datacolor Spyder5 Elite, Datacolor SpyderPrint and all of the related computer accessories.
I wanted to simplify what I had to bring with me by having everything that I needed for the trip one bag. It didn’t make sense to have separate bags for my clothes and computer hardware. I knew that I wanted a roller bag that was small and that could securely transport everything that I needed for the trip.
The luggage that I use when I go on vacation wouldn’t do. I decided that I would have to convert a camera roller bag to use as my luggage.
The Lowepro PhotoStream™ 150 (SRP Php 9,490.00) is a roller bag that was designed to transport two DSLR bodies, several lenses and a 15” laptop.
The front cover of the Lowerpro PhotoStream™ 150 is a hinged FormShell™ composite door. This gives me easy access to my Dell mobile workstation without having to fully open the front cover. The CradleFIT™ sleeve suspends my Dell mobile workstation within the bag to secure it and prevent it from being jarred during transport. I had to bring a few documents with me during my trip which I also stored in the CradleFIT™ sleeve.
There are two zippered stretch-mesh pockets inside the front cover. I used it to store my mouse, AC charger, mobile device charging cables, USB cables, card reader, wireless presenter, USB hub and a few more other computer accessories.
I took out customizable dividers in the main compartment and used it store my clothes, toiletries, a Datacolor Spyder5 Elite and Datacolor SpyderPrint. I decided to keep my Datacolor hardware in their respective boxes to keep everything from being jostled during the trip.
There are straps on the side of the bag meant to hold a tripod. I was wondering what I could use the strap for during my trip but nothing came to mind.
The Lowepro PhotoStream™ has a weight of 3.6 kilos (with the dividers) and a depth of 7.5”. It was small and light enough (once I packed it) for me to be able to use it as a carry-on and put it in the overhead bin of the plane once I boarded.
There are a few things that I would like to change about the Lowepro Photostream™ 150. Its urethane wheels are smooth and absorb vibration. I wish that I didn’t have to tilt the bag to roll it. There are a few times during my trip that I wished it could roll vertically just like the carry-on rollers used by other airline passengers. The bag becomes front heavy once I have my Dell mobile workstation stored inside it. This caused it to tip over to its front a couple of times. The FormShell™ front cover and the CradleFIT™ sleeve did their job and nothing happened to my mobile workstation. I know that having camera gear instead of clothes in the main compartment should balance it out. But there are times that I will only bring a single camera body and a couple of lenses with me. Another thing that I would like to add to my wish list is a front support strut that can be extended out when needed to better balance the bag when I have to let go of it.
(I am aware that the Lowepro PhotoStream™ 150 was not designed to be used the way that I used it for my trip. But it doesn’t hurt to make a wish list for it.)
What I like the most about the Lowepro PhotoStream™ 150 is that it looks like a lightweight roller bag. It weighed a total of 10 kilos once I had packed everything that I needed. That’s three kilos over the allowable weight limit of 7 kilos of carry-on luggage. There were other passengers ahead of me who were stopped before they reached the departure lounge because of the size and weight of their respective carry-on luggage. The small size of the Lowepro PhotoStream™ 150 didn’t call attention to itself and I never got questioned about the total weight of what I was bring with me onto the plane.
There were a couple of funny incidents during my trip. I got the ETA of my departure from Manila wrong. What I thought was the time of departure was actually my time of arrival. Someone else had booked my ticket for me and I only discovered my error once I had put on my reading glasses to properly read the details of my airline ticket (my age has caught up with me).
My flight to Zamboanga was rescheduled to leave 20 minutes earlier than the original time. I fell asleep at the departure lounge and woke up because I heard my name being called out over the PA system. I quickly identified myself to the ground crew. A bus was called to bring me to the plane waiting at the tarmac. It felt weird being the lone passenger on the bus. I was just grateful that I didn’t get any burning stares from my fellow passengers as I boarded the plane and made it to my seat.
I will bring the Lowepro PhotoStream™ 150 with me the next time I have to travel light and I will make it a point to properly read my airline ticket and not fall asleep at the departure gate when I travel alone.