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Thread: Backpack Opinions

  1. #1
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    Backpack Opinions



    I'm in the market for a new backpack and there seem to be a number of quality backpacks these days with Kata, Lowepro, ThinkTank, Tamrac, etc. My dilemma is that I'm going to have to buy it sight unseen as there are no quality camera shops conveniently located except Calumet. Since they started building their own brand the retail store isn't carrying much inventory of other brands.


    I've read most of the reviews available but I'm looking for recommendations from individuals who have some first hand knowledge. What's important to me is:
    • The capacity to carry my equipment.
    • Extra capacity for stuffing a shirt or two (I dress in layers so you know the drill), sandwich style lunch and a few beverages.
    • Comfort for the longer hikes (less than 10 miles)
    • Small enough for domestic air travel. (removable or concealable waist belt)
    • Laptop is purely optional



    The equipment I always carry is: 40D, 70-200 f/4L, 24-105 f/4L, 17-40 f/4L, 100m f/2.8 macro, 100-400, 1.4 ext., Kenko Extension Tubes, 430ex, fliters and accessories. I have an extra body that I don't have room for and someday I plan to add a 135L.


    Finding a bag with the equipment capacity is pretty easy from manufacturer specs. Bullet two is more vague in most reviews and bullet 3 is subjective.


    Any recommendations you can provide would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Re: Backpack Opinions



    Hi Don,


    My first thought reading your specs and your load is that the ideal carrying tool would be a SUV... You haven't stipulated whether quick access to your kit is important or not.


    If it isn't, I think I'd go about itanother way. Customise a good hiking rucksack to store your kit. It would certainly be cheaper (why do all manufacturers of photography accessories assume shooters have more money than sense?). You haven't mentioned the need to carry a tripod, so I assume that it isn't high on your list of priorities.


    My expensive experience with backpack hold-alls (won't mention the C, L or B names) is that they are a compromise, especially if you do need to lug a laptop with you. They do a little of everything rather badly. Now I take a large slingshot in my other luggage for convenience.


    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
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    Re: Backpack Opinions



    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Stuart Fletcher


    Hi Don,


    My first thought reading your specs and your load is that the ideal carrying tool would be a SUV... You haven't stipulated whether quick access to your kit is important or not.


    LOL. I actuallly have an SUV so I'm all set in that regard. Quick access is less important that my other needs. My fundamental problem is twofold. I lack a photographic discipline. I'm as likely to set up on macros and spend a day within 3' of the car as I am to go after wildlife or landscapes. Two, my daytrips are usually full day trips, so during the course of the day I'm likely to shoot a variety of scenes and I like being prepared. A tripod is an essential piece of my gear, but I usually carry that off the bag or on it's own sling. []

  4. #4
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    Re: Backpack Opinions



    I got a LoPro nature Trekkar for christmas this year and it would probably fit almost all of the equipement, you might need to fork out a little extra for the side pouch things they make for it. They are super ridgid and seem like they'd take a whole LOT of beatings before they hurt your stuff. possibly the larger model would do ya. There are straps for all sorts of stuff, and the get in the way a bit around the house but outside it is wonderful, and access is OK if you leave the belt strap on and just twist the pack to your front. SUPER well built from what I can tell and most certainly worth the money.


    Just know they are BIG for most indoors stuff.


    The one I have is: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lowepro-Nature-Trekker-II-AW-Backpack-Review.aspx


    two larger ones are: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lowepro-Photo-Trekker-II-AW-Camera-Backpack-Review.aspx


    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lowepro-Pro-Trekker-II-AW-Camera-Backpack-Review.aspx





    hope this helps, I'm SUPER SUPER SUPER pleased with mine
    7d w/ BG-E7, 24-70 f2.8L, 70-200 f2.8L IS II

  5. #5
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    Re: Backpack Opinions



    Quote Originally Posted by twistedphrame


    I got a LoPro nature Trekkar for christmas this year and it would probably fit almost all of the equipement, you might need to fork out a little extra for the side pouch things they make for it. They are super ridgid and seem like they'd take a whole LOT of beatings before they hurt your stuff. possibly the larger model would do ya. There are straps for all sorts of stuff, and the get in the way a bit around the house but outside it is wonderful, and access is OK if you leave the belt strap on and just twist the pack to your front. SUPER well built from what I can tell and most certainly worth the money.
    <div style="CLEAR: both"]</div>

    Thanks, that's a great suggestion and has been the front runner of my choices. I currently have the mini-trekkar and a number of the side pouches and have been happy with the LowePro brand. Does the Nature Trekkar have a large outside pouch like the mini and does the waist belt remove or tuck away? If it does, I'll be all set as it seems to be the right size.

  6. #6
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    Re: Backpack Opinions



    it has an outside pounch that has no pockets inside of it (I just throw a water bottle or two and some snacks in there) t also comes with a mini backpack that can strap on to the nature trekkar for added random stuff storage. The waist belt is actually my only complaint now that you bring it up. As far as I can tell it can't be removed or tucked away and for alot of cases (especially setting it down) it gets in the way. I may just not have figured out how to do it though someone else may know more difinitively.
    7d w/ BG-E7, 24-70 f2.8L, 70-200 f2.8L IS II

  7. #7

    Re: Backpack Opinions



    I just use a Canon 200EG, which is great for my needs. Probably not as good as lowepro, etc, but its also smaller and didn't cost no $250+. However, think its too small for your needs, you'd probably have to leave at least one lens at home if you used it.

  8. #8
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    Re: Backpack Opinions



    Amazingly enough, the Canon 200EG is a terrific starter backpack. That was the first photography backpack I ever purchased, and it held everything I needed it to for quite some time. The only reason I switched backpacks (recently) is because I wanted a more indiscreet backpack that didn't scream, "Hey, I've got expensive equipment in me!!" However, I wouldn't recommend the backpack to anyone who's actually doing some serious hiking. I simply used it to carry my stuff from the car to my shoots (a short distance away). My newest backpack is the KATA DR-467. While it's about the same size as the Canon backpack, it seems you can't put quite as much stuff in it, however, it does have a laptop pocket I'm not using at the moment.


    Kata DR-467 review


    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=518789
    <h1 class="irregualrHeader"] </h1>

  9. #9
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    Re: Backpack Opinions



    Crumpler have some great bags. I have this one and am extremely happy with it -https://www.crumplerbags.com/flash/flash.aspx#/english/product-details/karachi-outpost-ko03a.html


    There is a larger bag with a drag handle that might suit too -https://www.crumplerbags.com/flash/flash.aspx#/english/product-details/cork-and-fork-cf01a.html





    Cheers,


    A.



  10. #10
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    Re: Backpack Opinions



    I recently purchased a Burton Zoom Pro with very similar capacity requirements as yourself and have absolutely loved the bag.


    Was in Paris last weekend with this bag fully loaded, hiked around for a day (decided to opt out on public transport outside of getting too and from the train station to leave town) and still felt like I could have gone for more when the day was done. I am a bit surprised I've enjoyed it this much.


    I think the bag is definitely designed for those of us with some height. I'm 6'4" if that helps.


    You might want to check cambags.com as they typically give excellent reviews for most bags.

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