Help me choose a backpack


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Feb 22, 2009
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I am a hobbiest photographer and a college student. There are many occasions when I take my camera with me to classes, sporting events, weekend trips, etc. Consequently, I am looking for a backpack that has one compartment where I can secure and protect my camera equipment, and then other storage space where I could carry textbooks, clothes for a weekend, etc. Ideally, I would love as much storage space outside of the camera compartment as possible, as well as be able to hold my photo stuff(Canon Rebel XT, 17-85 lens, telephoto lens, and flash).

Can anyone recommend a good backpack that might meet these requirements. I have not found one yet, but I can't imagine that there is not someone else out there in my situation.
backpacks pretty much have to be bought in person at a shop - certainly you need to see the bag, check that its big enough for your needs (take your kit to the shop to try fitting it in) and also so that its comfortable for you to use as well as easy for you to use.

LowePro are a good solid company to go with - their bags are very well made and aimed at photographers. I would avoid any canon/nikon brand bags as they generally lack a lot of guts to them.

some people like backpacks - I do as they hold all the gear on both shoulders and can hold quite a bit of it
Shoulder bags - good to allow you quick access to kit when walking around, though all the weight is on one shoulder so its generally used with a lighter setup ( I have no idea how LP carries a 70-200mm f2.8 and a 300mm f2.8 (As well as other things like heavy pro end cameras ) all on one shoulder!)
Slingshot bags are sort of a cross between a shoulder and backpack - allowing more speed in access over a backpack, however you stilll have to take the bag off to get full access to the kit. Downside is that (again) all the weight is on one shoulder)
yeah i second lowepro. I have a nature trekker AW from 6 years ago and its still going strong. doesn't even smell bad despite having absorbed more than its capacity in sweat. They do some bags now with half the main compartment dedicated for laptops and notebooks. I am not sure about massive college textbooks though
I just bought the Lowepro Compu-Daypak. It has a separate bottom compartment for the camera+lens and will comfortably hold 3 more lenses. It also has a separate compartment for a laptop with a 17" screen which rests against your back. A third large compartment for accessories (lots of little pockets for batteries, memory cards, filters, etc.). I'm not sure if it would hold those huge college textbooks, but, seriously, how often do you take your textbooks to class??? I know I never really did. The ones I did take (such as foreign language) were small enough to fit. All you need is your notebooks/legal pads. Do y'all still take notes with pen and paper(it's been 15 years since grad school...)? :lol:

Anyway, the bag is very comfortable, well-padded, and carries the weight quite well. I used it for the first time yesterday at a Mardi Gras parade and often forgot I had it on.

Just my $.02

about $75 at Best Buy, but I'm sure you could find it for a few dollars less online.

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