travel Tag

That's the best kind of carnival trick - selling an empty bag and then running away before you discover there's nothing in it. Except in our case we need not run - the whole idea is the emptyness. I address myself to the Camera Electronic customers who travel - who take their cameras to holiday destinations on a regular basis - who pack more than they should while vowing to pack less than they need. And who then do it again next month. The inside of a suitcase can be a chaotic thing. It may start out well-organised on your bed at home but halfway round the world and halfway through the trip it looks like a bear's nest. Short of throwing everything out of the hotel window and emptying the mini-bar into the case, travellers need a solution to too much that is too dirty. The Peak Design Packing Cube is just such a solution. It's a deliberate pouch/bag system that will carry an amazing amount of material - either out on holiday or home to be washed. It's not padded -...

Once upon a time it mattered to the pilots of the civil airliners how much weight they had on board their planes. Those were the days of the early Handley Page, Ford, and Junkers planes. The days of wicker airline seats and walking out to the plane along the tarmac-carrying your own luggage. The reason the pilots needed to know was the engines of the time were woefully underpowered and if they tried to lift too much weight in passengers and luggage, they risked not getting over the trees at the end of the runway. Then the jet engine arrived and people could take more and more with them with the prospect of getting it airborne. We all started to pack more and take bigger photographic outfits for our holidays. And ended up on the other end of the trip carrying far more than we needed. Fortunately, eventually the airline industry experienced higher fuel costs and decided to defray them by charging us more for our baggage. Cheap us, we now carry far less, or suffer for it. We buy our duty free...

Nothing like a tortured pun to start the morning, eh? Well, read on - it gets worse. The Peak Design people have always had innovative ideas about slinging cameras. We saw them first in the era of the quick-draw holster camera rig - this was about five years ago - when the flavour of the month was finding some way to suspend a heavy camera from your belt or backpack strap instead of hanging it round your neck. Their offering was a two-part metal plate that sandwiched the belt and then accepted a dedicated plate attached to the camera. It actually worked, but like many such rigs, it was fiddly to set up and required a good degree of faith to hang expensive gear on while you clambered over rocks and bodies. And it didn't quite have the kewl factor of some of the other contenders. ( My favourite was the Mississippi Traffic Cop rig that one English firm put out. You got a Sam Browne Belt made with enough bulk to suspend a hawg laig pistol...

And who doesn't like large prospects? Well, if you've decided to be a bit more ambitious with your camera choice - and hoist medium-sized lenses - you'll want to advance from yesterday - so today you get the Manfrotto Compact Advanced tripod. Bigger, longer legs - a heftier ball head - and the classic Manfrotto quick release mechanism for your camera. Still the same plastic leg clips and yoke, but bigger. One extra leg segment. A separate panning lock and action. And the Manfrotto quick mount plate - possibly the most common feature of many of their tripods. It has a positive locking mechanism to prevent inadvertent opening And enogh of a foot to cope with anything up to a medium DSLR. The tripod is still light enough to haul out on a hike or around a city centre. It is small enough to leave in the boot of your car in its bag all the time when you're motoring. If nothing else, you can enliven a long country trip by setting it up at a layby and pretending to be a Multinova. Just...