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Author Topic: F-stop Backpack anyone?  (Read 7523 times)
Ken R
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« on: May 26, 2009, 07:18:10 AM »
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Hi, I am shopping for a backpack to use for hiking in the rainforest with my camera gear, tripod + essentials like food, water, change of clothes and accesories.

I searched online and besides the usual tenba, lowpro and tamrac offerings I found this: http://www.fstopgear.com/now/product/mountain-series/tilopa

Looks awesome. Its can be used in several configurations. So it works as a travel bag for clothing or a combination camera / clothing bag. The photo gear fits in another small bag inside the main bag with access from the rear of the bag. If anyone has used a backpack in the woods you know that typical photo backpacks open in the front which means one needs to rest the bag on its back where all the shoulder straps are etc. and it gets filthy and then that filth goes straight to your back when carrying the bag.  

The tilopa has access to the camera compartment in the back which is nice. The lowepro primus does that but the camera compartment is rather small. The copuPrimus is larger but the bag is huge and doesnt have as many straps and pockets as the Tilopa. I love the fact that on the tilopa the tripod can be carried on the side. The support system also seems excellent.

The few negatives I find in the fstop bag: the fact that one needs to open another zipper to access the camera bag inside the bag. But that is a positive since water is less likely to get in there. Also, the main compartment is shared so if one opens the top one looks down and see the camera gear bag inside.

I plan on taking my 1Ds mk3, 70-200mm f2.8L IS, 17-40mmL, 24-70mmL and a flash with ext cord + tripod and a few accesories. Besides the camera gear I need to carry on or 2 24oz water bottles, rain jacket, water shoes,small towel, snacks, extra shirt, socks etc.

I could not find much info on the bag. F-stop seems like a small company. The product seems awesome but isnt widely available.

Anyone have more info?

thx

K
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Wally
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 11:11:27 AM »
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whatever bag you take make sure it is very watertight. I would load it up with towels and then take a hose to it. and then see if the towels inside get wet or not. If you have never hiked in a rainforest before everything will get wet and stay wet.

If I were going to the rainforest today, I would keep my main camera gear inside of a dry bag, inside of my main backpack, then carry one of the small waterproof digital P&S with me in a pocket when I am hiking. I would also lash a sturdy tripod to the outside of the bag and use it to keep the bag off the ground.
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sergio
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2009, 08:22:35 PM »
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No matter what you do, it's going to get wet and filthy. Humidity is VERY high, a little less than being directly in water. I use Lowepro backpcks and small shoulder bags. They work pretty well. I always carry regular plastic bags to give a little protection in case of heavy rains. I never use silica gel. My experience is that it stresses gear more. It is better to keep everything more or less in a stable environment instead of going from humidity 0 to 100 in a short time. And I usually have my camera out of the bag, not in. Close carefully your bags at night when humidity rises considerably. Have fun.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2009, 08:23:59 PM by sergio » Logged

vandevanterSH
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 09:19:39 PM »
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I plan on taking my 1Ds mk3, 70-200mm f2.8L IS, 17-40mmL, 24-70mmL and a flash with ext cord + tripod and a few accesories
**********
With that amount of gear, the Lowepro DryZone is probably your best bet.   The interior compartment is waterproof and is set up with padded compartments for camera gear.   There is additional storage out-side of the waterproof compartment for non-critical supplies.

Steve
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Ronny Nilsen
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 02:11:21 AM »
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Quote from: sneakyracer
I searched online and besides the usual tenba, lowpro and tamrac offerings I found this: http://www.fstopgear.com/now/product/mountain-series/tilopa
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I plan on taking my 1Ds mk3, 70-200mm f2.8L IS, 17-40mmL, 24-70mmL and a flash with ext cord + tripod and a few accesories. Besides the camera gear I need to carry on or 2 24oz water bottles, rain jacket, water shoes,small towel, snacks, extra shirt, socks etc.

I could not find much info on the bag. F-stop seems like a small company. The product seems awesome but isnt widely available.

Anyone have more info?

Not more info on the Tilopa, but I searched for a similar solution a while back and put up the options that could fit my need here:
Back packs

Ronny
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2009, 03:51:32 PM »
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Not more info on the Tilopa, but I searched for a similar solution a while back and put up the options that could fit my need here:
*******
Thanks for the link...I like the Kinesis + technical pack idea...but for water protection I would still use the DryZone

Steve

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Ronny Nilsen
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 05:09:09 AM »
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Quote from: vandevanterSH
Thanks for the link...I like the Kinesis + technical pack idea...but for water protection I would still use the DryZone

Steve

If you are concerned that the camera bag will drop into open water, then a DryZone is best. But if all you worry about is rain and moisture in the air, I don't think a DryZone will offer better protection. A good technical backpack will protect from rain. And if you open the bag and use the camera then the DryZone will not offer more protection than other solutions as the moist air then will get into the bag...

Ronny
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2009, 11:49:59 AM »
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Although the DryZone is fully submersible, it's a pretty terrible backpack overall as far as comfort/fit and ergonomics go. It's easily my least-favorite backpack, and I only use it when I'm going to be going on the water (eg kayaking). It's short and very boxy, and quite heavy. Access to the main compartment is made even more cumbersome due to the outer flap/pocket. The harness is too short for anybody over about 5'5" and even though it's adjustible I still couldn't get the waist belt to be low enough to be of any use.

My hiking backpack of choice right now is the LowePro CompuPrimus. It wouldn't be suitable for overnight backpacking, but for long dayhikes it works pretty well. It holds a reasonable amount of camera gear in the bottom compartment (though it's a big tight getting a pro DSLR with grip and L-bracket in/out), and has a top compartment for other gear. I also put a camel-back water bladder in the laptop pocket. The access panels are against your back, so you don't have to set the pack face-down to get at your gear. I really like this aspect when hiking in Oregon in rainy weather. I could put the all-weather cover over the pack, so that when I set it down only the cover was against the ground and the face/harness/belt stayed clean.
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astockwell
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2009, 06:12:50 AM »
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Quote from: sneakyracer
Hi, I am shopping for a backpack to use for hiking in the rainforest with my camera gear, tripod + essentials like food, water, change of clothes and accesories.

I searched online and besides the usual tenba, lowpro and tamrac offerings I found this: http://www.fstopgear.com/now/product/mountain-series/tilopa

Looks awesome. Its can be used in several configurations. So it works as a travel bag for clothing or a combination camera / clothing bag. The photo gear fits in another small bag inside the main bag with access from the rear of the bag. If anyone has used a backpack in the woods you know that typical photo backpacks open in the front which means one needs to rest the bag on its back where all the shoulder straps are etc. and it gets filthy and then that filth goes straight to your back when carrying the bag.  

The tilopa has access to the camera compartment in the back which is nice. The lowepro primus does that but the camera compartment is rather small. The copuPrimus is larger but the bag is huge and doesnt have as many straps and pockets as the Tilopa. I love the fact that on the tilopa the tripod can be carried on the side. The support system also seems excellent.

The few negatives I find in the fstop bag: the fact that one needs to open another zipper to access the camera bag inside the bag. But that is a positive since water is less likely to get in there. Also, the main compartment is shared so if one opens the top one looks down and see the camera gear bag inside.

I plan on taking my 1Ds mk3, 70-200mm f2.8L IS, 17-40mmL, 24-70mmL and a flash with ext cord + tripod and a few accesories. Besides the camera gear I need to carry on or 2 24oz water bottles, rain jacket, water shoes,small towel, snacks, extra shirt, socks etc.

I could not find much info on the bag. F-stop seems like a small company. The product seems awesome but isnt widely available.

Anyone have more info?

thx

K

Haven't heard anymore info, but you may have ended the quest in finding a hiking/camera bag for me. Looks like a great pack for the money? Just interested how much it holds over a standard internal frame pack? Too bad they aren't offering the pre order price anymore, but the price is still good. I guess I would just want to see and touch one first before buying.

-Andy
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Ken R
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2009, 09:43:28 PM »
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Quote from: astockwell
Haven't heard anymore info, but you may have ended the quest in finding a hiking/camera bag for me. Looks like a great pack for the money? Just interested how much it holds over a standard internal frame pack? Too bad they aren't offering the pre order price anymore, but the price is still good. I guess I would just want to see and touch one first before buying.

-Andy

Hi, thanks for the responses.

Weight is definately an issue. The lighter the better, but a reasonable ammount of padding is a must still. I looked at the dryzone but the main, waterproof, zipper seems like a pain and it will get dirt on it out in the woods for sure which will reduce its effectiveness. My main issue is protection from rain. I wont be dunking the bag anywhere!

I have an older Tenba DB-17c backpack which is great for traveling with my gear and laptop on planes since its thin for its size but the front cover has little padding and the front pockets dont hold much, also no provission for slip lock type pouches and no place to put the water bottle or tripod. Its basically a bag for urban use. It also has zippered doors on the side for easy lens access but the negative is that one has to be double checking they are not even a bit open or risk loosing something. . I plan on keeping this bag for this purpose and packing another bag for use on location.

I am really considering the flipside 400aw from lowepro. I love the fact that with the tripod attached I can put the bag down and rest that side of the bag on the ground and open the back and not get the straps dirty. The tripod not being on the access of the gear is also a plus. (on most bags the tripod is attached on the door that opens up to the main compartment or on the side. I do wish the 400aw was a bit longer (im 6-2) but seems comfortable enough and not too heavy. It doesnt look like a bag made for the woods like lowepros larger more traditional backpacks like the nature trekker but seems well built. If i get the flipside 400aw I will add a few slip-lock pouches for convenience. I wish the bag had more space for clothes etc but its ok. I can put a jacket on top and stap it down.

I would also like to get the tilopa to transport my gear and clothes while travelling and in cases I need to take more gear out. It doesnt offer as easy an access as the flipside (need to open two compartment doors instead of one on the lowepro) and is larger but seems like an extremely well designed bag.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 09:47:34 PM by sneakyracer » Logged
Ken R
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2009, 10:16:13 AM »
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Hi, I made my choice. I decided on a Naneu Pro Alpha backpack. http://www.naneupro.com/products.mdv?p=mo-a

Its large but not too big (18in H) and has a camera comartment that opens on the back (low, where the waist straps are) with a removable insert and a separate gear compartment on top. It can carry a tripod on the side and water on the other and has some extra pockets in front. Looks very well made eben though its only about $100. Its light (under 3lbs) which is a big advantage. A lot of the lowepro (and tenba, tamrac etc) backpacks are 5-7 lbs.






So the bag won due to the perfect combination of light weight, space for camera gear, accesibility of the gear and space for clothes and other stuff in a sepparate compartment.
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