I’m writing this from a hotel room in the Canadian Rockies, having just pulled in after a 1000km drive from my home in British Columbia. I did the drive in a day, with a few stops along the way to photograph a couple of cool landscapes and a turkey vulture that I found in a tree along the way.
It’s alway hard to know what to bring with me on these trips. Which lens will I need? Should I bring a small flash or my big one? What about video gear? Will I have time to make a video or two?
Thanks to my friends at Think Tank Photo, this year I’m solving that problem by introducing a new bag to my road trip kit – the Logistics Manager 30. I know it’s a less than glamorous “studio” to shoot photos in, but this hotel room will have to do for now because I really want to show this to you guys!
This giant beast of a bag is part of their Manager series which features 30″, 40″ and 50″ rolling bags to carry everything but the kitchen sink. I opted to go for the 30″ roller because I happen to like the organization section on the front of this one, and it also fits horizontally in the trunk of my car so that I can work out of it when I pull over to different locations.
This thing is cavernous, and I can even stand my 400mm f/4 up in it vertically, so it’s got some serious depth to it as well as length! Currently it’s packed with a variety of lenses, my Elinchrom ELB400 flash system, a monopod, a lightstand, filters, microphones, chargers, my RRS gimbal head and a variety of cables and other odds and ends.
13.75” W x 27.5” H x 8.25”–10” D (35 x 70 x 21-25 cm)
15.75” W x 30” H x 11.5” D (40 x 76 x 29 cm)
16–20 lbs (7.3–9.1 kg) Depending on accessories used
It’s built like a tank so you can stack plenty of things up on top of it if you need to, although I think for flying with my gear I would still prefer the fully hard-sided Pelican cases. If you’re travelling on the road though, I can’t think of a better solution than this for bringing more equipment with you in a safe and organized manner.
For a short trip like this I normally wouldn’t bring my monopod with me, favouring a tripod in most situations. However, because I had space in the Logistics Manager I threw it in this time and it paid off almost immediately when I saw a turkey vulture perched in a tree. I grabbed my 400mm and the monopod from the case because I was unsure if I would have time to set up the tripod which was stored in the roof box on my car. The 400mm had the 1.4x extender on it, and I paired it with a 7D Mark II so my focal length equivalent was 780mm. There’s no way I could hand-hold that in the low light of a grey day, but the monopod allowed me to squeeze off a couple of tack sharp photos before the bird flew off its perch. I’m almost certain that I wouldn’t have gotten a shot at all had I either tried to get my tripod out, or tried to hand-hold the lens.
Good review, thanks.
I own that bag too, and I use it on nearly every assignment. The problem with almost all rolling cases, in my opinion, is the size and style of the wheels. Why not have larger wheels that makes it easier to transport heavy stuff over gravel, bumpy sidewalks and grass?
If you ever feel the need to add big wheels, here is how I did it:
Hopefully Think Tank and other manufacturers will make more modular bags in the future so you can add things, larger wheels for example, but until then, my simple DIY project has helped me a lot.
I like that idea! Have you ever shown this to Think Tank? I can certainly pass it on to them.
I can not recommend a solution like this enough. Quite cheap and a very simple way of making heavy stuff roll much easier in all sorts of terrain.
You are very welcome to pass it on. I have been in contact with them a bit on Twitter, but the more photographers that asks for something like this, the better.