Tenba DNA 15 Backpack
Photo Gear,  Travel

Tenba DNA 15 Backpack for Air Travel and Photography

I was looking for the perfect backpack for air travel and for photography once I arrived at the destination.  I had two winter photography trips planned – Yellowstone and Fairbanks and needed that perfect backpack to meet the airline carry on policies and carry my gear once I arrived at my destination.

The Tenba DNA 15 Backpack interested me because it has this large roll down compartment at the top of the bag.  The idea was to roll it down tight for air travel and use it to carry my Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 100-400mm Mark II with a 1.4x Tele-extender while at the photography destination.

Tenba DNA 15 Backpack
Tenba DNA 15 Backpack

During the flight, I carried my photo gear in a Pelican Air 1535 case during my air travel just in case I needed to gate check the bag. However, this wouldn’t work once I arrived at the destination as the lenses needed to be separated from the bodies in the Pelican case. See my blog for more information about traveling with the Pelican Air 1535 case.

The plan worked out well on my first trip.  I flew on Boeing 737-700 and Airbus A-320. Although the bag is a bit deep at the bottom (around 9 Inches) it wasn’t flagged for a gate check. The bag easily fit in the overhead compartment and should be able to fit under the seat if necessary.

At Yellowstone, I was able to fit the Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 100-400mm Mark II with a 1.4x Tele-extender in the top portion of the bag laying down horizontally.  It would also have fit vertically but made the bag unstable when standing up.Tenba DNA 15 Backpack
I was also able to fit my Canon 7d Mark II with the Canon 24-105mm, and the Canon 6d with the Canon 17-40mm f/4 lens in the lower photography compartments.

The back also had numerous small pockets and pouches that were useful for air travel and photography. I was able to carry all the batteries for my gear, passport, snacks, a fleece, hat, ear muffs, and an assortment of other gear.  My 12.9” iPad Pro also easily fit in the really deep laptop compartment that was made to house a 15” laptop.

On the return trip, I flew on an Embraer CRJ-700.  The bag fit horizontally into the overhead compartment.  If I needed to put the bag under the seat, it looked to be tight fit. But you should be able to squeeze it in, if necessary.

Written by Martin Belan

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