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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Advice Needed - Photo Backpack
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02/07/2016 08:29:37 PM · #1
The trip we're currently on has made me realize, I *really* need a backpack. My basic needs are:
- Handle a Canon FF body (no grip) with a 70-200/2.8 attached
- Store at least two, preferably three additional lenses
- Have a laptop compartment that can handle a 15.6" laptop
- Provide ready access to the camera and attached lens
- Have good reviews for comfort and rugged construction
I'd welcome ideas from the DPC community. From what I've seen, it is looking like any bag that meets these needs is going to be a pretty large bag (the laptop seems to be the killer here). I won't pollute your minds with the bags I've looked at.
02/07/2016 08:54:01 PM · #2
I really like Fstop bags but they are having a supply problem right now, which sucks because I need a bigger bag now. One of the only camera backpacks that is designed like a true hiking backpack. I can load mine up and thanks to the internal frame and great waist belt all the weight rides on my hips and not shoulders.
02/07/2016 09:48:26 PM · #3
I've had a Naneu Urban Gear bag for about six years now and it has treated me well. Looks like the current model similar to mine is the Urban Gear U120n Camera Backpack
02/07/2016 11:54:42 PM · #4
I looked at, and liked the F-Stop bags... like many others I have looked at, in order to fit a 15.6" laptop, you have to get into one of their very large bags. Cost becomes significant, but I will spend the cash if I have to. What's hanging me up is the fact that I can currently get both my camera bag and a laptop bag under most all airline seats... but there's almost no chance of doing so with some of these larger backpacks.
I also looked at the Naneu bags, specifically the U120n. That one looked pretty interesting, but based on reviews of the current model, it seems that they may have downgraded their materials and construction.

My search continues...
02/08/2016 12:18:27 AM · #5
I have the Lowepro DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW (Black). I didn't shop for it, since i got it as a bonus with my Nikon D600, and I didn't think I'd like it, but I really do! There's also a non AW version which is slightly different (AW has ports for video--I think that may be the main difference).

It will meet your requirements easily.

I hiked in the Grand Canyon with it and my D600 + 3 or so lenses, a full-size tripod (but light one), my lunch etc.

The main drawback for me is that it's not really "lightweight" as I try to get my gear weight down--I think it weighs around 4 lbs. The strap padding isn't as good as my high end biking backpack, but in fact it turns out it's pretty comfy. It has side access to get to things, like a sling. Just take one strap off and open. The Tripod holder base is mesh (you can also use it as a bottle holder). It hasn't ripped or anything, but I could see the potential for that with a tripod poking it.

It's not the "ultimate" bag I'm sure, but it does the trick for me, and even if you end up "paying for it" (I didn't), it's reasonable in price. The non-AW model is only $89 I think.

02/08/2016 01:21:06 AM · #6
Originally posted by Neil:

I have the Lowepro DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW (Black). I didn't shop for it, since i got it as a bonus with my Nikon D600, and I didn't think I'd like it, but I really do! There's also a non AW version which is slightly different (AW has ports for video--I think that may be the main difference).

With Lowepro, "AW" signifies "All Weather", meaning it has a zippered compartment on the bottom from which can emerge a fitted rain cover that stretches around the whole pack.
02/08/2016 01:39:32 AM · #7
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by Neil:

I have the Lowepro DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW (Black). I didn't shop for it, since i got it as a bonus with my Nikon D600, and I didn't think I'd like it, but I really do! There's also a non AW version which is slightly different (AW has ports for video--I think that may be the main difference).

With Lowepro, "AW" signifies "All Weather", meaning it has a zippered compartment on the bottom from which can emerge a fitted rain cover that stretches around the whole pack.


I see...thanks for the info. That's too bad...a rain cover is important! And too bad because at least at B&H, the non AW version appears to be $50 off $139.99 list!

//www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/531365-REG/Lowepro_LP35197_PEU_Fastpack_350_Backpack_Black.html

Mine did have some sort of video designation. Here it is:

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

But I actually don't see another 350 without the designation (other than the non AW version).
02/08/2016 01:42:04 AM · #8
Neil, it looks like LowePro's latest models don't include the "350" size in the "Fastpack" line, only the 150 and 250. Looking at dimensions, though, it seems like the 250 AW II has about the same space as the 350 AW.
I'll do a bit more research, but at the price, the Fastpack 250 AW II seems like it might fit the bill. It definitely is not high end, but seems like it would be serviceable.
02/08/2016 06:43:20 AM · #9
Amazon has the Fastpack 350 available for $90 and Adorama has the 350 AW for $130. I've had my 350 since they first came out and love it. My only complaint is that the grab handle on the top of the bag is a little small (and I don't have big hands).

Lowepro Fastback 350

Fastpack 350 AW - Adorama

Tim

Message edited by author 2016-02-08 06:45:10.
02/08/2016 09:24:49 AM · #10
I ended up going with a ThinkTank bag. Solid packs.
02/08/2016 09:41:59 AM · #11
Tarmac Anvil 27

Will protect your back and your gear. Provides a working platform in the wilderness. A place for everything and everything in its place.
02/08/2016 11:12:34 AM · #12
This one's a back saver!
02/08/2016 12:13:43 PM · #13
Originally posted by Neil:

This one's a back saver!


Good one! LOL!!!

In the Rockies, the real deal goes to the llamas. I think it's their trail friendly hooves and their acclimation to 10,000'.
02/08/2016 01:48:53 PM · #14
Originally posted by Neil:

This one's a back saver!
Haw! Funny, we just visited a goat dairy yesterday, LOL! They did have goats for sale, but my wife said she already had an old goat. O Snap!

Richard, that looks like an excellent pack. Are you using that model? If so, is it possible to access the camera/mounted lens without doffing the pack? The 27 actually looks like it might be a little more capacity than I need. The 23 looks like it will also take a 15" laptop, so perhaps that is also an option.
02/08/2016 01:52:24 PM · #15
Originally posted by hahn23:

Originally posted by Neil:

This one's a back saver!


Good one! LOL!!!

In the Rockies, the real deal goes to the llamas. I think it's their trail friendly hooves and their acclimation to 10,000'.


Cool. And at least Llamas won't eat your lens rags and your other small pieces of equipment!
02/08/2016 01:53:36 PM · #16
Originally posted by kirbic:

The 27 actually looks like it might be a little more capacity than I need.

... and appears to cost more than my camera ... :-(
02/08/2016 07:54:32 PM · #17
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by Neil:

This one's a back saver!
Haw! Funny, we just visited a goat dairy yesterday, LOL! They did have goats for sale, but my wife said she already had an old goat. O Snap!

Richard, that looks like an excellent pack. Are you using that model? If so, is it possible to access the camera/mounted lens without doffing the pack? The 27 actually looks like it might be a little more capacity than I need. The 23 looks like it will also take a 15" laptop, so perhaps that is also an option.


No, I have the Tamrac Expedition model, which has served me well. I think the newer versions are similar. I hike with both hands free. Not really quick access to the camera, but I fall on my face a lot.
02/08/2016 08:56:36 PM · #18
Originally posted by hahn23:


No, I have the Tamrac Expedition model, which has served me well. I think the newer versions are similar.


I believe you are correct, the newer "Anvil" line seems to be pretty much a direct replacement for the Expedition line. It does seem like they have made a lot of improvements. I really like what I see.
02/09/2016 01:46:02 PM · #19
I have a Tamrac Expedition now and will likely be getting an Anvil when I finish this degree program. I'm looking at the 23 as well. Doesn't seem like the 27 would fit under the seat on the plane and allow leg room. It's only a couple of inches but I've found that can be a big deal. Especially on smaller planes or planes with narrow sections near the window (my favorite seat).
02/09/2016 03:07:04 PM · #20
Originally posted by ciaeagle:

I have a Tamrac Expedition now and will likely be getting an Anvil when I finish this degree program. I'm looking at the 23 as well. Doesn't seem like the 27 would fit under the seat on the plane and allow leg room. It's only a couple of inches but I've found that can be a big deal. Especially on smaller planes or planes with narrow sections near the window (my favorite seat).


That echoes my thoughts exactly. It seems that the Slim 15 is exactly the same pack as the 23, but shorter in height. I am carefully comparing that and the 23. Big difference is, my 24-70, my 100/2.8 Macro and perhaps a couple others would have to lay down, using up a lot more space. Really liking the 23, but I need to consider "flyability."
02/09/2016 05:48:16 PM · #21
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by ciaeagle:

I have a Tamrac Expedition now and will likely be getting an Anvil when I finish this degree program. I'm looking at the 23 as well. Doesn't seem like the 27 would fit under the seat on the plane and allow leg room. It's only a couple of inches but I've found that can be a big deal. Especially on smaller planes or planes with narrow sections near the window (my favorite seat).


That echoes my thoughts exactly. It seems that the Slim 15 is exactly the same pack as the 23, but shorter in height. I am carefully comparing that and the 23. Big difference is, my 24-70, my 100/2.8 Macro and perhaps a couple others would have to lay down, using up a lot more space. Really liking the 23, but I need to consider "flyability."
'

I wanted to make sure that you realize that this (and apparently all the other) Tamracs (at least now) do not offer access while wearing the pack...which was one of your initial requirements.

Personally, though the pack looks very good, I would never buy a pack where I had to take it off in order to change lenses.

I was thinking another company good to look into which does is Kata. It turns out they've been bought my Manfrotto. But some of their nice bags are still around, just relabeled. See this one, for example for another nice bag but with side access:

//www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1049372&gclid=CjwKEAiAuea1BRCbn-2n7PbLgEMSJAABQvTT4ObtqOJlWPP73l9pb3IOQZhZyIRI_w_SqAj8ZWzb_RoCnfHw_wcB&is=REG&ap=y&m=Y&Q=&A=details

02/09/2016 06:29:32 PM · #22
Originally posted by Neil:

...I wanted to make sure that you realize that this (and apparently all the other) Tamracs (at least now) do not offer access while wearing the pack...which was one of your initial requirements.

Personally, though the pack looks very good, I would never buy a pack where I had to take it off in order to change lenses.


It's true the Tamrac series mentioned above are backpack-like. Yes, you do have to take the camera pack off your back to access equipment. ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1211/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_880686.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1211/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_880686.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

In nearly ten years, I've not found this to be a problem because i want a secure system for rocky trails. If my terrain was flat and smooth, i'd be more receptive to a quick access system. And, I really like having a compartmentalized "platform" for staging image captures. I'm old and slow these days, but still strong enough to handle the weight of the equipment.
02/10/2016 06:49:00 AM · #23
Here's a website that have user reviews and pictures showing what each bag can hold.

Camera Bag Review Site

Tim
02/10/2016 10:17:02 PM · #24
Originally posted by Neil:


I wanted to make sure that you realize that this (and apparently all the other) Tamracs (at least now) do not offer access while wearing the pack...which was one of your initial requirements.


I don't have to take my Tamrac pack off to change the lens either. If I am wearing it my husband pulls out the lens or if he's wearing it I do. Muahaha! Otherwise rocks make great tables and I bring a black plastic bag to lay it on if the ground is required.
02/10/2016 11:03:53 PM · #25
Originally posted by ciaeagle:

Originally posted by Neil:


I wanted to make sure that you realize that this (and apparently all the other) Tamracs (at least now) do not offer access while wearing the pack...which was one of your initial requirements.


I don't have to take my Tamrac pack off to change the lens either. If I am wearing it my husband pulls out the lens or if he's wearing it I do. Muahaha! Otherwise rocks make great tables and I bring a black plastic bag to lay it on if the ground is required.


Right...my wife would totally go for that...NOT. :)
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