Many airlines allow to bring several items on top of allowed carry-on luggage. For example:

"In addition to your hand baggage allowance, you can also carry personal items such as one ladies handbag or one small briefcase, one coat, cape or blanket, one umbrella, one pair of crutches or walking stick, one small camera or binoculars, limited reading material, an infant’s carrying basket, and duty-free items purchased on the day of your flight."

How "small camera" is defined? Does single DSLR with short lens fit this definition?

  • 2
    I expect the "will easily fit under your seat is a good test" Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 13:32

5 Answers 5


The definition of "small camera bag" is kept vague on purpose, to leave the airline some wiggle room when applying the rule. I would say a safe assumption would be considering a "small camera bag" any bag small enough not to be considered an extra piece of carry-on luggage.

I have successfully travelled with the camera bag pictured below:

Think Tank Speed Demon v2

whose technical specifications are:

Interior Dimensions: 9.3” x 6.8” x 5” (23.5 x 17.15 x 12.7 cm)

Exterior Dimensions: 12” x 8.5” x 8” (30.5 x 21.6 x 20.3 cm)

Weight: 1.6–2.1 lbs (0.7–1.0 kg)

I have never had any problems.

  • You can go a lot wilder. Budget carriers will complain, but I've successfully flown BA, Air Canada, and Delta with a backpack-style camera bag and separate tripod bag, plus carry-on and laptop bag. Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 15:43

From my experience, after traveling with a lot of different sizes of Camera gear:

The airlines do not want you to check in your camera gear. If something gets damaged, it always gets messy and expensive. Not only do they face arguments about the gear itself, but also often about the whole value of the trip since the photographer basically goes to a location for nothing if the camera gear does not arrive in one piece too.

So as long as the additional luggage contains in the majority camera-related items, they are fine. What they do not like is if you come with a huge bag which is filled with all kinds of stuff and then a compact point-and-shoot to justify the term "camera-bag". Similar things happen with Golf and Diving gear in many airlines (depending on the destination though). They travel with reduced costs or even free beyond the normal travel allowance.

So as long as you can argue that this whole bag is used for camera equipment, you should be fine until a certain dimension, but, as mentioned above, it highly depends on the mood of the check-in personnel since there is no clear rule on how much you can actually carry. Good Luck!


I don't think that there are precise rules. I always have my DSLR in a small camera bag with me and never had a problem.

A Nikon D7100 with a 18-200mm objective in a bag similar to the one in the picture (18.5 x 16 x 22.5 cm):

enter image description here


I think you have to be specific on the airlines and routes. I travel with this:

enter image description here

and on all the airlines I have flown, with the exception of Kuwait Airways, this was counted as a "camera bag" and not counted with my carry-on.


I always travel with my Think Tank Suburban Disguise 30 (Canon 60D attached to 18-135mm, 40mm pancake, Fuji X-A1 attached to 16-55mm, chargers, spare batteries, cables, portable hard disc etc as a carry on apart from another 18" soft rollar bag with general stuff. As the othe poster mentioned, if it can go under seat, KLM has no issues.

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