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Thread: Bags and Backpacks

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    New Hampshire, USA

    Bags and Backpacks

    Its been awhile since I've seen a thread on this topic, and I might be in the market, so I was wondering what bags and backpacks were people using and what do you like about them?

    I am currently splitting my time between a Lowepro Flipside 400AW and a Gura gear Kiboko 22+L. I use the Flipside as my small/light pack. The Kiboko is when I am taking a good amount of gear. I can't quite fit everything, but close.

    Overall I very much like the Kiboko. One of those things that impresses you every time you use it It is very well put together, can hold a lot, and yet is very comfortable. My only issue would be the zippers are a bit sticky, but that isn't too big a deal. I can fit my 150-600S and filters in one side and the 5DIII with 4-5 lenses in the other side. Other filters and accessories go in the outside pouches. I do wish it was just a bit deeper so the 70-300L could stand up in it (it "almost" can). But that is about my only issue. A near perfect pack, IMO.

    My Flipside is a bit less comfortable, lacks a sternum strap (I really should buy one online). I also wish it was deeper as some of the newer lenses are a little tight standing up in it. But it is a light pack, and I do really like the "Flipside" aspect. Not only is it more secure, but when accessing my gear, the part of the pack is touching the ground is not the side that will eventually be against my back. Also, and I may not explain this well, but I often access my gear without ever putting the bag on the ground. I can simply slide my arms out of the shoulder straps, leave the belt on, rotate the bag so it is in front of me and access my gear like a big fanny pack.

    What I might be in the market for would be:

    • Something even smaller than the Flipside. Fit maybe my camera with lens mounted, the 70-300L upright, and a third lens (16-35 f/4 IS?) or flash.
    • Some sort of harness system where I could have a toploader with the 5DIII and lens mounted and then another lens on the side.
    • An ultimate hiking backpack.

    I am mostly interested in hearing what people use and like.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Planet Earth
    My input is probably not usefull, I think most of my gear has been phased out for newer models.

    I have a Lowpro 400 AW Trekker and a Tamrac 8x. I find little real difference between the two and would say both are ok and get the job done. If I were in the market to buy a new bag I wouldn't neccessarly look at those two manufactures because both bags are somewhat uncomfortable.

    To fill the need you are talking about I have two sizes of the Tamrac Velocity. It is an over the shoulder bag. While it is not the most organized bag in the world it is fairly comfortable and easy to access. On the small bag I can carry a 70-200 with body mounted and stash two other lenses on each side. The 1D IV is fat in the bag but barely fits. I can not carry all my gear in the little bag, so I usually travel with a soft sided pelican and carry the secondary support gear in that bag.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Steilacoom, WA
    Honestly, I go through backpacks every 9-12 months and have never really found one that I like a lot. The one that I use regularly now is the Lowepro 350 (I bought used 4 years ago) which is great when I want to carry lots of gear, but when I want to go light, it feels wrong on my back. I have taken 2 bodies, 6 lenses, a small tripod and a laptop on a trip and thought the pack was perfect.

    For a trip I took back in May, I bought a used Ruggard Commando 36 shoulder bag. It held a Sony A6000, a Sony 50, an adapter, a Tokina 16-28 and Canon 100 USM Macro in the case and it was perfect for traveling light. It has plenty of protection, however the shoulder strap pad fell apart (the strap is just fine, just too narrow to carry the weight without digging into your shoulder). Right now I use it to hold 3 speedlights, a controller and tripod mounts....seems like that is the perfect use for the small bag.

    I am trying out a Manfrotto bag I bought at Costco last weekend. I want to use it on my upcoming trip, so will be testing out this month.

    The case that has lasted the longest is the Pelican 1510. I take it with me on car trips only, as it is too big for me to feel comfortable on the plane (and with the regs changing, it might be too large).

    My ideal pack is one that holds a FF body with Grip, a speedlight, and 3-4 lenses. When I fly, I like to carry some munchies and other incidentals. And I want it to be smaller than my Lowepro. I have had slings, top, side and bottom loads, and don't really have a preference.
    Way too much gear and even more lighting equipment.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Big Mouse Florida
    Brant, I think you have seen my ape case. Holds 1 body w 70-200 attached, the tammzoka, 16-35, 24 & 50 arts, 90 t/s, 2x tc in the main compartment. Laptop, filters all on the inside. Mini tripod, batteries, various cables, light modifier and reflectors and nodal slider in outside pockets.

    It was the 2nd largest they made at the time.

    I have a large messenger that gets 0-0 use. The other is similar to what you have.

    Had a lowenpro 100 runner, basically a large fanny with a shoulder strap. For hiking, I would put a peak clip on the shoulder strap and carry the camera on the strap - that was darn handy until I gave it to my daughter.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Central Kentucky
    I have a Think Tank back pack which is really well made and holds a lot of gear.

    I have traveled by plane and it fits in overhead bins.

    When I went to Bosque it contained 2 pro bodies, 500mm, 70-200mm , 35-128mm, 2 teleconverters, battery charger and extra batteries and my 15 in Mac Book Pro

    Its a great bag.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    I started with a LowePro Nature Trekker and upgraded a couple years later to a Photo Trekker (the other bag became a hand-me-down to my wife). Both are still going strong, though due to massive differences in torso I just can't wear her bag for long if at all. Backpacks have become a means of transportation for us; we each use a Shootsac for a lot of on-the-go lens work, or I use a LowePro vest and belt with any assortment of LowePro LensExchange cases and Utility Pouch for field work.

    I recently picked up a LowePro TopLoader 75 for the times when I want to take just one camera and one lens in the car, and don't want it banging around. I've also added a Pelican 1610 to the arsenal for more varied hauling needs.
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

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