5 of the best roller bags

For the ul­ti­mate in pro­tec­tion and porta­bil­ity, a roller case just can’t be beaten. Here’s the best on the mar­ket...


Want the ul­ti­mate in porta­bil­ity and pro­tec­tion? You need a ‘pull along’!

Roller bags are of­ten the last item of pho­to­graphic equip­ment that most snap­pers buy. And it isn’t be­cause these bags aren’t ex­tremely use­ful – they are – so it’s more likely to be down to a com­bi­na­tion of price and that they are mainly used by ad­vanced en­thu­si­asts and pro pho­tog­ra­phers.

Of­ten called ‘pull alongs’, these bags typ­i­cally have wheels on the bot­tom and a pull-up-push-down han­dle at the top – a lit­tle like the suit­case you take on your sum­mer hol­i­days.

What to look for

When pick­ing a roller bag, there are sev­eral im­por­tant el­e­ments to con­sider. For a start, look at the amount of kit you’ll be able to fit in it, and con­sider how much pro­tec­tion it will pro­vide in guard­ing against bumps, knocks and the el­e­ments. Is it wa­ter­proof, dust­proof, padded in all the right places, easy to pull along and get at your gear?

Lastly, if price is an is­sue, search about for a bag that does all what you want and is the best value for money. Our top five choice of bags all of­fer some­thing spe­cial, so let’s find out more about them...

Na­tional Ge­o­graphic On Board Roller £160

Made by Man­frotto, but part of the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic range, this large Africa roller suit­case is built to carry both cam­era gear and per­sonal items such as clothes and pos­ses­sions. A re­mov­able padded insert holds and pro­tects a DSLR cam­era with me­dia ac­ces­sories, while the large main com­part­ment holds clothes and travel gear. There is a handy over­sized cen­tral han­dle and the bag ex­te­rior is made from high-qual­ity, durable ma­te­ri­als.

An ex­tended war­ranty of up to five years is avail­able, which helps of­fer peace of mind for this pur­chase. This roller is suited to those pho­tog­ra­phers who want an even split of stor­age be­tween their cam­era equip­ment and their per­sonal be­long­ings.


Weight 3880g Carry-on com­pat­i­ble? Yes Carry han­dle Sin­gle, cen­tral War­ranty Five years Ex­ter­nal di­men­sions (WXHXD) 39x57x27cm www.man­frotto.co.uk

Van­guard Xce­nior 41T Trol­ley £179

The Van­guard Xce­nior is a ver­sa­tile roller case that com­bines great build qual­ity with com­pact di­men­sions. Meet­ing in­ter­na­tional carry-on reg­u­la­tions, this is the per­fect roller for whisk­ing through the de­par­ture lounge and load­ing into the over­head com­part­ment with ease as you head off on a jet-set­ting photography trip.

Ca­pa­ble of hold­ing at least two DSLR or CSC bod­ies, up to five ex­tra lenses, two tripods and a 12in lap­top, the Van­guard boasts a zipped mesh fly to stop kit rolling for­ward and tum­bling out when the bag is opened. Over­sized wheels help with move­ment and a dual-stem han­dle pro­vides great sup­port to pull the bag along with. A zipped front pouch holds ex­tra gear and the bag comes with a com­bi­na­tion lock in­cluded.


Weight 3950g Carry-on com­pat­i­ble? Yes Carry han­dle Dual, cen­tral War­ranty Five years Ex­ter­nal di­men­sions (WXHXD) 49x43x29cm www.van­guard­world.co.uk

Pel­i­can 1510 Pro­tec­tor Carry-on Case £169

Pel­i­can cases are some of the strong­est and most ro­bust cases on the mar­ket. Along with pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phers, they are also used by sci­en­tists and doc­tors out in the field be­cause they can eas­ily take the bangs and knocks of hard-core out­door use. Wa­ter­tight, crush­proof and dust­proof, the build qual­ity is backed up with a life­time war­ranty.

The Pel­i­can 1510 meets in­ter­na­tional car­ryon reg­u­la­tions and has holes for a pad­lock to be at­tached to fur­ther pro­tect the roller when you are trav­el­ling far from home. Pho­tog­ra­phers have the op­tion of buy­ing a fit­ted di­vider set, but this does cost more money. For ul­ti­mate pro­tec­tion, the Pel­i­can 1510 can sim­ply not be beaten by any ri­vals.


Weight 5400g (with­out foam) Carry-on com­pat­i­ble? Yes Carry han­dle Sin­gle, cen­tral War­ranty Lim­ited life­time Ex­ter­nal di­men­sions (WXHXD) 35x56x23cm www.pel­i­can.com

Man­frotto Reloader-55 Roller £300

If you need a roller bag that helps you trans­port a large amount of equip­ment, this Man­frotto pull along could be the per­fect so­lu­tion. It can hold three DSLRS, plus a raft of ex­tra lenses and ac­ces­sories. What’s more, the foam di­viders can be re­ar­ranged to hold a pro-spec DSLR fit­ted with a long 400mm prime tele­photo lens or the Canon C100 light stands.

Meet­ing in­ter­na­tional carry-on reg­u­la­tions, this roller boasts bags of style, a com­bi­na­tion lock and a four-stage han­dle so it can be set to dif­fer­ent heights as re­quired. Wheels can eas­ily be re­placed if they get dam­aged, and the two ex­te­rior stor­age pan­els on the front of the Pro Light Reloader-55 can hold a 17in lap­top and 10-in tablet re­spec­tively.


Weight 4900g Carry-on com­pat­i­ble? Yes Carry han­dle Dual, cen­tral War­ranty Five years Ex­ter­nal di­men­sions (WXHXD) 35x55x23cm www.man­frotto.co.uk

Think­tankphoto Air­port Take­off £289

Can’t de­cide be­tween a roller bag or a stan­dard photo ruck­sack? Well, with the Think­tankphoto Air­port Take­off, you can have the best of both worlds be­cause it in­cludes in­te­grated shoul­der straps that can be zipped away when you want to use the bag as a pure roller. This fea­ture is in­cred­i­bly use­ful, es­pe­cially if you are trav­el­ling far with your bag and have to climb up steps and so on. The Take­off holds two pro-spec DSLRS or three smaller mir­ror­less bod­ies, plus up to six ex­tra lenses or other ac­ces­sories.

Foam di­viders can be re­ar­ranged to hold a 400mm tele­photo lens and there’s a handy large front pocket that can swal­low a 17in lap­top. A seam-sealed rain cover pro­vides ex­tra pro­tec­tion from the el­e­ments.


Weight 3900-47000g Carry-on com­pat­i­ble? Yes Carry han­dle Sin­gle, cen­tral War­ranty Five years Ex­ter­nal di­men­sions (WXHXD) 36x53x22cm www.think­tankphoto.com

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