Camera Backpacks - Where to Buy? What Brands?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by keith204, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A coworker and I are looking for camera backpacks. Where are some good places to look, and most importantly, what are some good brands. Preferrably something with a waterproof cover.

    I'll need something big. Something to hold my list of equipment that's in my signature...including room to expand 2 or 3 more lenses possibly.

    She will need something to hold an XT, a 18-55, a 28-135 IS, and a smaller 80-200 Canon.

    I suppose a better question would be: If you have used a camera backpack, which model was it, what did you like about it, and where can I find it?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Lowepro (www.Lowepro.com) is a great brand, I have several and I highly recommend them. Many of their bags come in an 'AW' version...which is all weather. That includes a water repellent fabric and a built in rain cover that hides away when not needed.

    There are several types and sizes of backpacks. If you can, it really helps to see them first hand, so that you can judge the size and capacity.

    Other good brands include Tamrac, Crumpler and some others.
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Definitely Lowepro or tamrac backpacks are good quality. I personally don't like backpacks as they are difficult to access quickly.
     
  4. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    http://www.tamrac.com/5256.htm

    It doesn't seem to have a rain cover...but it would probably be OK in a light rain.

    Do you want one with a laptop sleeve? I have the Lowepro Computrekker AW, which is about the same size as that Tamrak, but with a rain cover.

    Also, Lowepro makes a line called 'Dryzone'...which are about as water proof as you will find in a camera bag.
     
  6. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, the Computrekker AW is the one that I have...not the plus.
    I don't even have a laptop (yet) but this model was less expensive than the same size bag without the laptop area. It's good for magazines.

    It is fairly comfortable, the straps are well padded and so is the back. The straps are adjustable with a chest clip and a waist belt. Although, this model doesn't have a padded waist belt, like some other models do. I have travelled extensively with this bag and done some hiking. It's pretty good and it does have some room for non-camera stuff like food or a small jacket.

    There are a few things that I don't like...but I think they are common to most camera backpacks. Because of the shape of it, and the padding...it sticks out quite a bit. A good backpack will keep the weight closer to your body. Check out the Lowepro Naturetrekker. it's a little thinner but taller.

    Also, as mentioned, backpacks are a pain in the @ss to access quickly. You have to have your camera ready because when that rare wildlife walks out onto the trail, you won't have time to take off the bag, find a place to lay it out, open it, get the gear out, close it up etc. Along with that, the way they open is not great. You zip off the front and lay it open to get at the gear. But when in this position...the straps are on the bottom...so if it's muddy, you may end up with your straps in the mud. It's rather hard to open it all the way on your lap. A shoulder/duffel style bag is good because the bottom is always the bottom and you can put it anywhere...but of course, you don't want to hike with a shoulder bag.
     
  8. Cero21

    Cero21 TPF Noob!

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    Look at the Lowepro slingshot line. They make it easy to access your stuff cuz it swings around your body. I have the 100 and I love it!
     
  9. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How long can you carry it, and how comfy is it? The single strap looks handy, but would it be a pain in the butt when hiking for a day?
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A friend of mine has the Slingshot 300. It actually looks like it would be comfortable for a long hike because it has a waist strap...so a lot of the weight is carried by the hips rather than the shoulders.

    The 300, or maybe the 200 should hold your gear, but wouldn't leave much or any room for other things that you may want to have while on a full day's hike.
     
  11. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That Slingshot 300 looks real nice, and I like the price.
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Maybe a good choice for you. Since seeing my friend's bag...I've wanted one for myself...but for an all day hike, I'd probably still prefer the backpack.
     

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