Photography backpacks - pictures requested

espenhb

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Hi!

Considering getting a new backpack that in addition to a camera, a couple of lenses, filters, a tripod and a flash or two(with triggers) also can carry some essentials like extra layers of clothes, a water bottle etc. Basically everything I need for walking around for a day of photographing.

Think of summer, decent weather and a day of walking along either in the city and suburbs, or a day hiking along tracks(nothing extreme). Space for laptop isn't really a necessity.

So if any of own a bag that more or less fits the bill, I would appreciate it if you could post some pictures, preferably the "what's in my bag"-type. Or even just the name of the backpack and a list of what you can fit into it would help a lot. The selections of bags in the local stores here are limited, and browsing the web for backpacks makes my mind confused and doesn't offer much context. I want some real world examples.

Regards,
Espen
 

Overread

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Honestly camera backpacks tend to be pretty rubbish for carrying anything but camera gear. About the best I've ever had was an older Lowepro Nature Trekker which had a good front pouch section that you could at least stuff a set of small rainproof clothes into etc... and using a pouch on the side a waterbottle could be held. It was a neat little bag; let down only by its harness being lightweight and lacking suitable padding.

In general if you want to hike with a bag then its often easier to get a hiking bag and just use the clothes to pad the equipment inside. Granted this really slows access to the gear; but on the flipside they tend to be a lot easier to pack with other gear for a day out - although they will be a problem for tripods.


What kind of gear do you have? A few lenses can mean a few small primes or it could mean huge optics. A rough idea of what we are talking about might help .
 

JoeW

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Somewhere out there, I'm sure there is a backpack that fits your requirements...and it likely runs a couple of hundred dollars. Also, I believe that the critical thing for stuff like slings and backpacks and maybe even messenger bags is that you need to try them on and see how they ride on you.

Me? I've got an Under Armour Storm day pack. It fits the need perfectly when I need something that can hold fleece or jacket, food and water, extra socks, plus all the camera gear you implied AND be waterproof. But UA doesn't make camera bags you say? Yep, they don't. I bought a Timbuktu insert and the UA Storm ruck and added the insert. It has the advantage of being an insert I can modify (if I"m carrying my 70-200mm f2.8 bazooka lens, or 3 bodies that day, or a bunch of filters, or 2 speed lights).

Let me say this--I rarely use backpacks. Here's why: if you're looking for a means of carrying gear from one place to another (where you'll then use it), a backpack is pretty functional. But if you're planning to be able to shoot along the way, a backpack usually sucks. I often found (when using a backpack) and I'd be shooting along the way (with things like wildlife where the critters couldn't hold the pose for the 45 seconds it took me to get the pack off my back, unzipped, camera out, and set up), I'd wear it in front...or...put only one arm through a strap (so it was a big sling)..or...kept most of the gear outside of the backpack (which kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it?). I have 2 backpacks: a big one solely for camera gear (I've never worn it but it's a great storage bag of an extra body and lens I keep but rarely use plus my 4th and 5th speed lights) and my UA bag (which I've probably worn 5 times).
 

tirediron

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Huh... just looked and Lowepro doesn't even make the one I was going to suggest anymore. It's an older (10+ years now) Trekker AW series. It's got a bottom compartment that holds 1 body & 4 lenses, or a couple of bodies & lenses, and a separate top pocket that can hold anything, just a big, open space, two water-bottle pockets, tripod holder.. it's the one I use when I want to take a bit of gear on the bicycle or for a day hike.
 
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espenhb

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Preliminary conclusion: Don't by a combined one. Gotcha.

Most of the time I would be filling it with a 6D and a medium zoom, 24-105 being my most used. A 50mm prime would be there, and sometimes a wide angle zoom. Nothing big and heavy. This would however from time to time be swapped out with a film-rig containing a 35 mm Canon AE1 with a 50mm and a couple of zooms and a medium format Zenza Bronica. But they take up less space than the aforementioned setup.

As far as the practical part of this goes, I usually walk around with the camera in my hand or around my neck, so getting it out won't be an issue. It's to be used mainly as a safe place to store whatever isn't mounted on the camera at any given time, and also as a place to put the camera when the hike ends up at a pub or lunch at a bench.

I'll look around for bags that'll work with inserts. I've thought about going that route before, but my main concern is stuff getting mixed up when it's not in the same room. A memory card wallet disappearing inside a sweater or keys taking a detour and ending up at the bottom, for example.
 

andrewdoeshair

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Check out Portage Supply Co. They have a pretty big backpack that sounds like t would fit your needs. I got one from their first run and it was way bigger than I expected. It's my purse now, it's on me all day every day. Disclaimer, though, I had it PACKED (about 18 lbs of gear) and I broke the handle on the top. An email to the company had it replaced, one day shipping, at zero cost to me. I repaired the original (ugly but functional) and now I have two. I used it for a weekend away and was able to fit 3 days worth of clothes along with a 5Diii, 4 lenses, a speedlight with trigger and receiver, 2 spare camera batteries, a dozen spare AA batteries, and a neweer LED light. It's cheap, too.
 

smoke665

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I've been struggling with this as well. Have a backpack, and a couple of bags, none of which seem to work quite right for me. Ordered a vest this week, that I'm hoping will fill the gap for me.
 

Braineack

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Backpacks really stink for access. If you require a backpack, make sure it has the side access so you can swap out/put away without having to: take the backpack off completely, set it on the ground, open it up, do whatever, then zip it back and put it back on.
 

gckless

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I don't have photos, but I have a Lowepro Fastpack 250, sounds pretty close to what you're looking for. Bottom camera area, top open area, side access, rain cover, it's a nice bag. They also have a 150, but don't think there's anything bigger than the 250 for Fastpacks.
 

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