After some deliberation, I settled on the Pro Trekker 300 AW for the trip to Germany to work the photokina event. My itinerary from San Francisco to Cologne involved a few stops, putting the portability of the Pro Trekker 300 to the test. I kept records of each stop to help you make the best decision possible when traveling with this “bag that inspires confidence.”
Before I get to the play by play, I should share how I prepared this bag for air travel. I left the removable belly band at home because I wouldn’t be hiking on this trip. The backpack fits in tighter quarters without it. The final weight for the fully packed Pro Trekker was 27.2 pounds. I can carry on a maximum of 40 pounds on US Airways flights. But other airlines very, so be sure to check weight as well as size. OK, let’s see how this plan worked out…
Car to Airport: Segment 1 — In terms of storage, this is the easiest leg of the journey. I tossed the Pro Trekker in the trunk of the car. Since it has handles on three sides, it’s easy to grab while unloading.
SF to Philadelphia: Segment 2 — I boarded an Airbus A321 (183 seats). I lucked out on this flight and was comped a first class upgrade. (I’m a Silver Preferred flyer with US Airways, and they upgrade us for free sometimes.) Needless to say, the Pro Trekker fit easily in the overhead compartment. At this point, I’m just cruising.
Philadelphia to Munich: Segment 3 — For the trip across the Atlantic, we board a bigger plane, an Airbus 332 (258 seats). I didn’t get a free upgrade for this flight, so I’m parked in the economy section. Quarters are much tighter here. Fortunately, once again, the Pro Trekker 300 fit without issue in the overhead compartment.
Airport to Hotel, Munich: Segment 4 — My friend Oliver who lives in Munich was able to pick me up at the airport and drive me to the hotel. Another easy leg of the journey for both me and the Pro Trekker. I spent the night in Munich and went to Oktoberfest. That’s another story I’ll report later…
DB BAHN from Munich to Cologne: Segment 5 — The last thing I wanted to do was get on another plane the next day, especially a small one. So I booked a seat on the high-speed train. It’s a 3.5 hour ride, and much less restricted than airplanes in terms of luggage. I just carried everything onboard. No problem at all.
The good news now is that I have my complete camera rig with me as I work the photokina event. And because the Pro Trekker is so rugged, I was not concerned at all during my journey to Cologne.
Derrick Story is the Photography Evangelist for Lowepro.