Whenever possible i'd rather be cruising around an event with a Roller Bag, but when navigating through crowded areas nothing is more convenient than a backpack. I've got a few more conventions to cover this year, and i'm specifically looking into a Hybrid Backpack / Roller bag.
There are of course a few small requirements.
1: Solid build as a roller, and fairly comfortable as a backpack.
2: Must hold a 15" MacBook Pro Retina Laptop Also.
3: Padded dividers for small Camera Gear.
4. Must be Airline Carry-On Compliant
So far i've narrowed it down to a few, and here's my list of Hybrid Rolling Backpacks i'm currently looking into.
Lowepro Pro Runner x450 Rolling AW Backpack - Two wheel roller with room for a Laptop. Straps to cart around a Tripod if needed. It appears to be on the smaller side, maybe not enough for my gear. For travelers this does not have many external pockets for quick access to small accessories (cell charging cables, car keys, etc).
Lowepro Pro Runner x450 Rolling AW Backpack
Tenba Shootout Rolling Backpack (Large) - This looks more like an actual backpack than a rolling case - probably more comfortable as well. Easy to get your laptop out when going through airport security without opening up the entire case. Bungee straps on the exterior to quickly hold gear as you move around, and small external pouches for access for small accessories. Not many individual pockets for sorting small items, but I can always buy small pouches.
Tenba Shootout Rolling Backpack (Large)
Think Tank Photo Airport TakeOff Rolling Camera Bag - I've seen this bag many times. Easy to get your laptop out when going through airport security without opening up the entire case. Room for a big laptop, but not super comfortable as a backpack. Not too many external pouches for small accessories. One great thing about Think Tank besides being a solid roller bag, many of the parts can be replaced if you can ever find a way to damage it.
Think Tank Photo Airport TakeOff Rolling Camera Bag
Tamrac 5797 Evolution Speed Roller Backpack - I'm really gravitating towards this one. I've seen this at a few conventions and it looks comfortable as a backpack, yet still very solid as a roller bag. Lots of room for a big laptop and camera gear. Designed with many external pockets and easy access openings for common gear. Many small pockets for keeping small items organized and sorted.
Tamrac 5797 Evolution Speed Roller Backpack
Vanguard The Heralder 51T Rolling Backpack - The only Roller Backpack on four casters (that I could find). Oh how I love to travel with roller bags that have four casters. Room for a large laptop inside or a smaller laptop on the outer pocket. Although you can mount a tripod on the side of the bag, that is not really the ideal spot when navigating through a crowd. I like how the dividers can be removed quickly turning it into a basic roller when you're not using it for camera gear.
Vanguard The Heralder 51T Rolling Backpack
If you have experience with any of these Roller/Backpacks, or suggestions with other models you'd like to share, let me know in the comment section (here).
Any 2017 updates to the newer versions of backpack roller bags? The Lowepro Pro Runner RL 450 AW 2 and Think Tank Takeoff Version 2.0 looks amazing! I'm torn!
Not got any of these - just investigating them myself - but noticed one thing that may be an issue to others:
Both Think Tanks and the Lowe Pro (only looking at those two) are within international carry-on sizes BUT the LowePro x450 is just a little bit over US domestic size allowance.
I'm not US based but is a consideration.
@Ian Chapman - Thanks for the link, that bag looks very interesting for flights with low cost airlines. Any idea whether it would be big enough to hold a Canon 300mm 2.8, Canon 70-200 f2.8 and 2x Canon 5D bodies?
Ian David Chapman
For those on a budget you might be interested In this German made roller backpack.
I just did 6 weeks in India with this one and I was very impressed. Only 99 Euros. I would advise to add gaffer tape to a few places where the backpack touches the ground it can get worn just by general use.
Easy to get your laptop out at security. I did 8 flight in total and fits in overhead lockers even on smaller planes. ( i had to empty the front pockets though)
Anyone use one of these with a bulky 17" laptop? how has it worked?
I have the LowePro and absolutely love it.
I have a Tenba Shootout which I love so much I'd never buy a bag from any other company. Tenba are like the Apple of baggage.
@mangababe - Thanks, i've worked with this bag before. Solid solid solid, and it's great knowing that parts can be replaced. I may end up with more than one bag, so let's see which ones I settle with.
My vote goes to the Think Tank Photo Airport Takeoff. I spent 8 months on the road (much of it flying commuter jets with a full panorama kit)with my original v1 Airport Int'l and it's still going strong 6 years later. I also own a TTP ShapeShifter backpack for when I don't need the wheels. If I were going to get a hybrid, this one would be it.
I was looking closely at the Tenba Roadie 2 as well. It gets a good rating over at B&H, and it is less expensive than some of the bags you have in this list.
Owned a TT Airport Takeoff - By far the best bag I have ever owned. Absolutely loved it. Needed something I could drop my assembled C100 into though and opted for a Tenba Roadie - I've never owned one but love the Tamrac designs, they've got pockets and storage littered throughout their bags. Really tempting.
@Phil Hover - The Lowe Pro X200 is pretty far from my needs. That's basically a backpack 'inside' of a roller. You still can't wear the roller on your back.
@TikTak - I'm specifically looking for a Roller that can be worn as a backpack.
hey, what about the padded inserts to convert a regular roller bag into a camera roller?
Low pro roller x200