Recommend me a Camera Backpack?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by fokker, May 21, 2010.

  1. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi all, I'm looking for a camera backpack to use when I go on day trips and mountain bike rides. First and foremost it needs to be a useful backpack with room for food and spare clothing etc, and it only needs to fit a body and lens with possible room for a spare lens. I'd rather stick to good brands as my experience with the cheaper stuff hasn't been good. Being weatherproof would be a distinct advantage.

    Most of what I've seen so far has been camera bags with either room for all your equipment and maybe enough extra room to store a muesli bar if you're lucky, or they are really small bags designed to just hold one body but still with insufficient space for non-camera gear.

    Any recommendations/link are appreciated.

    Cheers
     
  2. ababysean

    ababysean TPF Noob!

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  3. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have been dealing with a similar debate for my upcoming trip to Hawaii. I want to be able to carry my gear but also some items as it will be my carry on (Jacket, snacks, etc). Basically exactly the same needs as yours, but size is also a factor for me. Most backpacks that have any spare room are massive.

    I am beginning to think the most ideal backpack for me is one that I already own. I have the LowePro Fastpack 250 that I normally don't use. It's not too small but not too big either. It's got enough room for a body w/ a lens mounted on it, with some room for another spare lens or two as well as a flash or similar items. It's got a slot in the back for a laptop up to 15.4" and then it has a cubby in the top half with internal pockets for smaller items and a large enough cubby to fit a jacket.

    Lowepro - Fastpack 250

    It also comes in a 200 and 350 if you want to go smaller or larger:

    Lowepro - Fastpack 200

    Lowepro - Fastpack 350
     
  4. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    You are not going to have a bunch of extra room in those Lowepro bags. I have a lowepro slingshot which is decent for just a camera, 1 lens and a flash and some spare room for batteries and filters. I only use this on short trips where I kinda have my shooting planned and know which lenses I want to bring. I also have this..

    Tamrac | 5375 Adventure 75 Backpack (Gray/Black) | 537503 | B&H

    I would recommend it. You can carry lots of gear, or remove some of the dividers and carry a small setup like you said, and use the spare room for some clothes if you fold everything tightly. It also has comfortable shoulder straps and also straps across your waste and chest for more stability and support. I also have one of Tamrac's big shoulder bags and I must say that I would definately recommend their products.
     
  5. emh

    emh TPF Noob!

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    I just got a Lowepro Versapack 200 AW and like it very much so far.

    The lower compartment is padded and has space for body with attached lens and a couple more lenses. One of the best features is that you can slip off only one shoulder strap and access the camera from a side opening like the SlingShots. You do give up a bit of flexibility with the dividers to be able to do that, but worth it IMO. It does have plenty of space up top for a light jacket, a couple of sandwiches, a bottle of water etc. Has a built-in all-weather cover and tripod mount. It's also quite comfortable to use and not overly stiff like most camera backpacks are. Probably the lightest camera backpack I've run across as well.

    The top non-camera compartment is not padded, but I prefer it that way -- it makes the bag more flexible and comfortable to wear for a long time. The two drawbacks I've noticed so far:
    1. If you want to access the camera from the side (which is a huge convenience), you can only fit one attached lens and one other lens. Even then, the dividers are a bit inconvenient to setup, but workable. I can fit my D90, 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 VR with hood attached, and 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR with hood reversed. There's space for more, but the dividers just weren't designed to work well in this configuration.
    2. The zipper for the upper compartment really needs two hands to operate. Not a big deal but a bit annoying.

    Some other bags that may fit your needs:
    Lowepro FastPack 200that was already mentioned
    Lowepro Primus
    Kata 3N1 20 (there's also a larger 3N1 30)​

    As you can tell from all the bags I mentioned, I'm a big fan of having a side access flap :D
     
  6. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I love my Kata. I am thinking of upgrading from the 3n1-10 to a 20 or 30.




    p!nK
     
  7. mJs

    mJs TPF Noob!

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    I personally like the Lowepro bags, however I found the problem with the Fastpack is there's not much of a tripod option if you want to take one. I purchased the lowepro dryzone rover for my Hawaii trip, because I was going in the rainy season and concerned with the weather.

    Lowepro - DryZone Rover

    I like the pack, in that the bottom compartment is waterproof, (although they will not 100% guarantee it, and they recommend that you don't use it as a flotation device *gee thanks eh?). The top of the pack has a camelpack compartment (comes with a bladder too), and enough room for some clothes. There is also a sleeve for a full sized tripod on the back. The 3 straps are well padded and comfortable. The only thing I wasn't big on, was access to the camera compartment. If you are carrying a tripod, you have to remove it in order to get into the zipper (which there are 2 of - a heavy weight drysuit zipper, and then a regular one). If you're not worried about fast access, and want something durable and good in wet weather, you may want to have a look.
     
  8. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the suggestions so far, though none them are quite what I'm after.

    It needs to be a backpack primarily, with provision for a dslr and a small amount of associated gear.

    I definitely don't need to put my laptop in there.

    I currently have a tamrac adenture 9, but this only has a very small amount of room for extra gear although I can fit my laptop and most of my camera gear in there. But this is not what I need (I got it as part of a package deal).
     
  9. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Maybe a Kata DR-465, or 466. The 466 has a laptop portion that you could put a shirt and some other stuff into. Not sure the top part is big enough. The bottom definitely is, I fit a gripped D300 with Tamron 17-50, Tokina 11-16 and 50mm plus speedlight in the bottom.

    To give you and idea of what might go in the top, I have fit a 70-200 2.8, speedlight, cleaning supplies, and other small stuff in the top, 1.4 TC.

    Plus a couple diapers and wipes and change of clothes for my daughter in the laptop portion of the bag.
    Video bags camera bags Kata - Manufacturer of camera bags

    It's really comfortable. Wore it for a few days at Disney, the weight didn't really bother me that much, it was so comfortable. Although my back was hot! That's with any bag through I guess, and it was over 100 with heat index that week.
     
  10. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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  11. JClishe

    JClishe No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This sums up precisely the backpack that I've spent the last year looking for, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist.

    I have a [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Kata-DR-467i-Digital-Rucksack-Black/dp/B003036CTC"]Kata DR-467i [/ame]and it's the best compromise I've seen, and it is a decent bag, but it's not ideal as a "backpack first" bag.
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    +1 :thumbup:
     

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