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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Camera hiking backpack ?
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12/21/2013 10:03:03 AM · #1
After doing a lot of research, still not a lot of good options..
Searching for a descent camera backpack with following features:

- comfortable for hiking (so descent hip belt and shoulder straps is an absolute MUST)

- next to camera gear, can hold enough personal items
(should fit a field guide, or 2, maybe binoculars, an extra layer, the usuals such as cellphone and some food/water, ...)

- side access (I usually carry my binoculars around my neck all day, but want quick access to my camera when I see a shot) => nature photography, so quick access is a must

- should fit:
* Sony A77 body + SAL 18250 attached (this item must have quick access, the other lenses can optionally be stored 'not for immediate access', opening the front/back for these is ok)
* Sony SAL75300 lens
* Sigma 150-500 + reversed lens hood (this causes most problems in finding a bag)
* smaller items such as extra battery, extra memory, 2 filter-wallets

- tripod carrying system

- I'm willing to pay for the quality it's worth, but being a student, everything over, say, 200 will take some convincing

I could use some tips here,
Thanks in advance!
12/21/2013 10:35:35 AM · #2
You might like the Tamrac Evolution 8 Very configurable and versatile, holds a lot. I had one for a short time, but it was way too big for my needs. I traded it to ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Cory. Not sure if he is still using it or not, but you can ask about it.

At Amazon it is selling for under $200 USD, which should probably convert to within your 200 budget.

Message edited by author 2013-12-21 10:40:00.
12/21/2013 11:08:24 AM · #3
I'm partial to the thinktank bags myself. Nice and light, but still protective enough. A question, though. Is this for day hiking? Have you ever hiked with that much gear? With all the parts you're talking about, you've got a 20+ pound pack just for a day hike. You might consider ditching some of the gear and going with a smaller bag. I assume from your kit that you're birding. Maybe ditch the two smaller lenses and tripod, and just take the sigma and a monopod. You'll still get 90% of the shots, and enjoy the experience more.

My personal opinion is that buying a pack without trying it on is a recipe for heartache, or at least a sore back. My recommendation would to be to take everything you expect to carry to a shop that has a lot of bags, and spend an hour trying on different bags. I like my thinktank airport ultralight. It's comfortable for me, and carries an amazing amount of stuff for how small and light it is, but I'm a smallish woman, and you're probably not, so the pack may or may not be comfortable to you.
12/21/2013 05:47:18 PM · #4
Many affordable price points and options right here partner: Camera Back Packs

Message edited by author 2013-12-21 17:47:37.
12/22/2013 02:09:24 AM · #5
When I went "real" hiking in the Grand Canyon, I bought a very comfortable regular backpack and used that. But it was limiting. I had a Lowepro DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW that I got with my D600, but I didn't think it felt as comfortable as a regular pack.

However, since then, I've been using it for day trips, and I think it's very comfortable, and convenient to use. It's also on sale now:

//www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/823536-REG/Lowepro_LP36394_PAM_DSLR_Video_Fastpack_350.html

12/22/2013 03:43:40 AM · #6
I've given up on camera backpacks. I use a camelback, a silnylon sack, and individual padded lens cases. The camera itself, if it needs padding, gets wrapped in a jacket, but usually it is out or unwrapped for easy retrieval.

If I really really need a camera bag, I have a chest mounted lowepro that I can strap on independently of a backpack.

EDIT: oh yea, for a tripod, I use a jacket and my cable release.

Message edited by author 2013-12-22 03:45:30.
12/22/2013 08:55:35 AM · #7
I have been using Manfrotto Sling Bag White as a secondary bag for all travel needs and it is very handy. you can have a camera body, 2 lenses, a flash and extract batteries, card and you can mount a tripod on this. This helped me in many situation!

Message edited by author 2013-12-22 08:56:00.
12/22/2013 09:07:33 AM · #8
Tamrac 7x This is my hiking backpack and my camera gear carrier. I've had it for 7 years. Starting to show some wear and tear, but has served me well on many hundreds of miles of Colorado trails. Best feature is the way the hip belt and shoulder straps work to arrange the weight carry on my hips, rather than weight on my shoulders.
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