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Author Topic: Bataflae backpack from Gura Gear  (Read 6225 times)
dreed
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« on: November 06, 2012, 01:14:10 AM »
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From the review comes this quote:

"Third, he reasoned, few people actually carry their laptops into the field on shoots."

Right. What we carry into the field (when walking) along with our camera gear is food and water so why isn't there a camelback option for camera backpacks?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 01:16:02 AM by dreed » Logged
dchew
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 05:18:02 AM »
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F-Stop has it.  Including the slot for the hydration tube.


Dave
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dreed
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 07:34:19 AM »
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F-Stop has it.  Including the slot for the hydration tube.

Ah, it would appear to be their mountain series:
http://fstopgear.com/product/mountain

Yay! Finally a backpack that is designed for the landscape photographer that is prepared to venture more than 50m from their car.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 07:39:39 AM by dreed » Logged
ndevlin
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 10:28:11 AM »
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The Gura bags are most certainly not expedition or overnight gear. They're travel and day packs.  That said, I have never really seen the advantage of the camelback over flexible water bottles, at least for photo-focussed day tripping.

F-Stop makes interesting gear. Would be interested in seeing it up close.

- N.
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 11:22:16 AM »
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I was a late adopter of the hydration bladder method of carrying water on a hike.  I used to carry all manner of water bottles/canteens over the years.  Water is heavy and a partially filled water bottle is an awkward load due to sloshing.  A hydration bladder packs much better at any level than equivalent water bottles.  Furthermore if you have to get out your water bottle, drink and put it away you are less likely to drink and can get dehydrated without really thinking about it.  You may say you've never allowed yourself to get dehydrated, but a dull headache is a sign of dehydration that most people will attribute to something else.  Good backpacks are expensive and good photo backpacks even more so.  I'm at the point where I would rather wrap my photo gear in my sweater and rain gear and pack it in a good trekking backpack with a hydration bladder and a good harness system than packing it in a pack designed for photo gear that lacks a good harness system or hydration bladder.  The f-stop backpacks look pretty good and I may have to break down and spend more money on another pack.  I wish I could see it in person.
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dreed
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 12:26:11 PM »
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That said, I have never really seen the advantage of the camelback over flexible water bottles, at least for photo-focussed day tripping.

If nothing else, using a camelback solution allows you to forget about needing to repack your backpack after every "water stop" to ensure that the heaviest items are always at the bottom.
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dchew
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 04:00:44 PM »
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F-Stop makes interesting gear. Would be interested in seeing it up close.

- N.
F-Stop is the one bag I've found that is designed to carry cameras plus...  Yet still primarily focused on photography.  For moderate to long distance hiking, backpacking, skiing or even mountaineering there is nothing else like it I have found.  The two features I really like about their approach are 1) the multiple ICU options and 2) the open from the harness side.

However, for a safari or similar workshop-like experience the Gura gear would probably be a better option since you don't really need all that much other stuff during the day, and the distance from the van is usually not too far.  

Both companies appear to make seriously good stuff.  Just a different target of outdoor photographic adventures.

Dave



« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 04:54:38 PM by dchew » Logged

PDobson
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 04:59:34 PM »
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I think the Gura packs are designed for short trips in nature or in well-supported areas. For that, they look very well designed. They definitely don't belong in the backcountry.

Those F-stop bags look interesting. Dave, how to the F-stop bags compare to dedicated mountain packs in a similar price range, (Arc'teryx, Cilo, Mystery Ranch)? What are the pros and cons of this type of pack in a mountaineering environment? I'm sort of a pack addict, but I've never found a camera bag that I'm willing to carry outside of the city.

Phillip

P.S. Be careful of relying on hydration systems when dehydration poses a serious threat. They are a wonderful luxury, but the design is complex, and if it fails, you lose all of your water. I had the valve rip off of the tube and fall down the mountain during a summer ice climb in the Sierra. I got soaked and cold, and I had to finish the climb with the tube in my mouth so I wouldn't lose any more water. By the end of the day, I was severely dehydrated. Now if I bring a Camelbak, I always back it up with Nalgene or Platypus bottles.
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dchew
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 07:12:03 PM »
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Phillip,
My gear lust extends to backpacks, so I've used the old JanSports (dating myself here), Dana Designs, Arcteryx, Osprey, Gregory, Mountainsmith, and a few others I can't remember...  I think they are similar to the old Dana packs. Bombproof, well built and thought through, very comfortable but not necessarily light.  Although for a photo backpack I think their weight is very respectable.  

One of my main long-time gripes with photo backpacks is they are relatively short and wide.  The shoulder load transfer/lift straps never really work the way they should like they do on a good internal frame pack. The f-stops are longer and work just like they are supposed to.  Also you can mount an ice tool or ice axe in the normal way.  I would not hesitate taking it for a moderate mountain trip.  Sierras, Tetons, even Rainier.

However, the size required for a multi-purpose event is very dependent on how much camera you take and which ICU you settle on.  If there is a problem with this system it is predicting which pack and which ICU you really need. They should almost have a trial program where they ship demo packs for your testing first.  I have 3 ICU's (med, lg, xl).  I think the most popular pack is the Tilopa, but frankly I found that one to be the "tweener."  Too big for normal every day stuff and too little for 2-3 days.  I have the Loka also and like it very much.  I would love to trade my Tilopa for the larger Satori.  However, there are not that many photographers who also play up high in the mountains so I get why the Tilopa is so popular.

Another option is to simply buy an ICU and use a standard internal frame pack.  It would probably have to be one that had multiple access since getting it out the top would be a chore over and over again.

Dave
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 08:35:58 PM by dchew » Logged

PDobson
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 09:09:43 PM »
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That's really helpful. Thanks.

Those old Dana packs were some of the best in their class. Not light, but their carry made up for it when it came to load hauling on non-technical terrain. Your comparison has me very optimistic. (Dana Gleason now owns and operates Mystery Ranch.)

It seems the big advantage of the photo-specific bags is ease of access. They'd be perfect for easier trips with a photography emphasis where you want quick access to multiple lenses and other equipment. I'm thinking Canadian Rockies scrambles and crags that require a moderate approach. The Loka sounds good for that use. I don't really enjoy backpacking for the sake of it, so any extended trips are going to involve serious objectives and less photography. If the Loka carries an ice-cragging kit and a few lenses, it would be perfect for group trips to Hyalite.

On more challenging trips, I just pick one lens and sling the camera over my shoulder. For difficult pitches, the camera just gets tossed in the top of the pack, (better yet, my partner's pack).

I don't need a photo specific bag to climb well, just carry well in the mountains. For that, something tank-like with solid suspension is perfect.
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John Camp
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 09:34:54 PM »
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I've always been suspicious of the Camelbaks on issues like keeping the water clean, and because it's so easy just to add a few small lightweight bottles of whatever quantity of water you need. After reading these commentaries, I went looking online for reviews, and while a lot of people are very pleased with the qualities of different designs, I found one review site where the reviewer dropped 50-pound bags of sand on various Camelbak-type water carriers, and many of them failed. In other words, don't fall on your back when you're out in the rocks, or drop your pack any distance, or you could be without water.

I have fourteen or fifteen different camera bags, collected over many years and never thrown out, and have given up on finding the perfect pack. For the Nikon gear, I now have one big roller bag that stays in the car, and a small well-padded Kata pack in which I usually put the D800e and a couple of lenses, and that's it -- in other words, I decide ahead of time what I'm mostly likely to need, and take only that, instead of taking everything. If I miss a shot because I don't have a needed lens, well, there'll be more shots. Or maybe there won't be. The world will remain unshaken in either case, and I will be carrying much lighter loads.

When traveling by air, I now leave the Nikons at home and take  Panasonic m4/3 system. I can get two bodies and all the lenses I'm likely to need (including a 200-600 equiv) in a small auxiliary bag, with my laptop and other carry-on gear in a second small backpack. If my ultimate quality isn't as good as it would have been with the Nikon gear, well, once again, the world will remain unshaken, as will I.

JC
 
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dreed
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2012, 02:20:35 AM »
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...
One of my main long-time gripes with photo backpacks is they are relatively short and wide.  The shoulder load transfer/lift straps never really work the way they should like they do on a good internal frame pack. The f-stops are longer and work just like they are supposed to.  Also you can mount an ice tool or ice axe in the normal way.  I would not hesitate taking it for a moderate mountain trip.  Sierras, Tetons, even Rainier.
...

Thus far I've not picked up a camera-biased backpack because I've never been convinced that they've been made for hiking with vs just a different means to transport photographic equipment with. The above comment is golden in that regard.
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dchew
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2012, 04:26:39 AM »
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Yeah.  Even in Nick's review you can see what I mean in his photo of "...the smiling 12 year old."  None of the pack is above the shoulder, so the load transfer straps just wrap around, providing little benefit.  Now she doesn't have the belt buckled, so I'm not being fair.  But at least the photo illustrates my point.  Again, the Bataflae looks like a great photo backpack for traditional uses.  

In regards to hydration systems, I have two comments: 1) I was also a late adopter.  In situations like glacier travel they are invaluable. Because you are roped up, random stoping even for 30 seconds to grab a bottle out of the backpack doesn't happen.  On Mt. Rainier I did not have one and I bet I didn't drink the whole night of our summit push; not good.  2) In Alaska I had one. We threw our packs into the bush plane, and when we got out I found that the mouthpiece had been pinched by another pack during the flight. All the water ran out of my unit onto my brother's pack.  I had back-up water, but it could have made for a very short day...

I think the throwing-rock test is a bit extreme.  The forces of a fall when it is inside the pack are different.  I've seen lot's of people fall on their back with these, myself included Smiley.  Never seen one leak inside a pack.

Dave
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 04:30:16 AM by dchew » Logged

Wayne Fox
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2012, 01:52:28 PM »
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From the review comes this quote:

"Third, he reasoned, few people actually carry their laptops into the field on shoots."

Right. What we carry into the field (when walking) along with our camera gear is food and water so why isn't there a camelback option for camera backpacks?
Many Clik bags also have an isolated camelback pocket (your gear won't get wet).  I use clik bags when hiking, but prefer Guragear when traveling and only needing to hike shorter distances.

The Clik harness system is also very comfortable and the bags themselves are light (much like Guragear).  My problem with many bags is they weigh too much before you even put any gear in them.
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OldRoy
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« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2012, 04:09:49 AM »
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I've always been suspicious of the Camelbaks on issues like keeping the water clean, and because it's so easy just to add a few small lightweight bottles of whatever quantity of water you need. After reading these commentaries, I went looking online for reviews, and while a lot of people are very pleased with the qualities of different designs, I found one review site where the reviewer dropped 50-pound bags of sand on various Camelbak-type water carriers, and many of them failed. In other words, don't fall on your back when you're out in the rocks, or drop your pack any distance, or you could be without water.

I have fourteen or fifteen different camera bags, collected over many years and never thrown out, and have given up on finding the perfect pack. For the Nikon gear, I now have one big roller bag that stays in the car, and a small well-padded Kata pack in which I usually put the D800e and a couple of lenses, and that's it -- in other words, I decide ahead of time what I'm mostly likely to need, and take only that, instead of taking everything. If I miss a shot because I don't have a needed lens, well, there'll be more shots. Or maybe there won't be. The world will remain unshaken in either case, and I will be carrying much lighter loads.

When traveling by air, I now leave the Nikons at home and take  Panasonic m4/3 system. I can get two bodies and all the lenses I'm likely to need (including a 200-600 equiv) in a small auxiliary bag, with my laptop and other carry-on gear in a second small backpack. If my ultimate quality isn't as good as it would have been with the Nikon gear, well, once again, the world will remain unshaken, as will I.

JC
 
This post summarises my feelings precisely. Fortunately it didn't require the purchase of 14 backpacks for me to realise that backpack design wasn't the problem; I discovered this after buying only five and experiencing no reduction of the weight of my Nikon gear. The answer was a smaller camera and lenses, in my case the OMD.
Roy
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Hans Kruse
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2012, 06:00:48 AM »
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I bought the Bataflae just before my last workshop trip to Tuscany. My old Crumpler had the zippers worn out and I had hesitated buying a new bag since it was really teh Guragear I wanted by no space for a laptop. Normally on European flights you are limited to one piece of carry on. Anyway I wanted the better space so bought the Bataflae. I carried on this trip a Phase One IQ160 and three lenses, a Canon 1Ds mkII and 5D mkIII (including RRS L-brackets) and 16-35 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8. The nice thing is that all cameras could be in the bag with a lens mounted ready to take on a shoot. I used a small bag for my iPad and 15" MBP and chargers and this went ok, but I suspect I will have a discussion with an airline about the extra bag  Wink
I like the Bataflae for the room and for the extra pockets and the carry harnish and hip support feels really good and I think I could go at least for an hour and a half trek into the mountains which is about the maximum I do in the Dolomites (seldomly on my workshops and there are always some that can't do it). The other reason for the Bataflae is that I can have all my normal Canon stuff and a Canon 500mm lens in the there as well (without the Phase One camera).
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francois
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« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2012, 06:39:13 AM »
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I bought the Bataflae just before my last workshop trip to Tuscany. My old Crumpler had the zippers worn out and I had hesitated buying a new bag since it was really teh Guragear I wanted by no space for a laptop. Normally on European flights you are limited to one piece of carry on. Anyway I wanted the better space so bought the Bataflae. I carried on this trip a Phase One IQ160 and three lenses, a Canon 1Ds mkII and 5D mkIII (including RRS L-brackets) and 16-35 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8. The nice thing is that all cameras could be in the bag with a lens mounted ready to take on a shoot. I used a small bag for my iPad and 15" MBP and chargers and this went ok, but I suspect I will have a discussion with an airline about the extra bag  Wink
I like the Bataflae for the room and for the extra pockets and the carry harnish and hip support feels really good and I think I could go at least for an hour and a half trek into the mountains which is about the maximum I do in the Dolomites (seldomly on my workshops and there are always some that can't do it). The other reason for the Bataflae is that I can have all my normal Canon stuff and a Canon 500mm lens in the there as well (without the Phase One camera).

Hi Hans,
Just one quick question: how does the 1Ds3 w/ RRS fit in height? Is it tight or normal?
Thanks for your report.
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Francois
Hans Kruse
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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2012, 06:51:30 AM »
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Hi Hans,
Just one quick question: how does the 1Ds3 w/ RRS fit in height? Is it tight or normal?
Thanks for your report.

The 1Ds mkIII with L-bracket fit upright (not tilted) and with a lens attached. The Phase One also with an L-bracket fits upright. See the layout for this trip. I could have stuffed a few more lenses in and especially I had detached the bodies from the lenses as you can see.
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francois
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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2012, 01:41:54 AM »
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The 1Ds mkIII with L-bracket fit upright (not tilted) and with a lens attached. The Phase One also with an L-bracket fits upright. See the layout for this trip. I could have stuffed a few more lenses in and especially I had detached the bodies from the lenses as you can see.

Hans,
Thanks a lot for the photo. That bag seems to be deep enough!
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Francois
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« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2013, 04:54:20 PM »
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As Hans' photo shows, these bags are massive-deep. They swallow gear with the RRS plate of them - and indeed were designed to do so.

- N.
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
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