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Author Topic: Functional AND Stylish Camera Backback  (Read 2858 times)
Slim
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« on: June 06, 2013, 10:44:24 AM »
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After doing a mountain hike with my Crumpler Satchel bag (think it's the large X Million Dollar home bag), I've found it's not very conducive to long treks.

Looking for a bag that can hold a lot of stuff (Tripod, at least a 13 inch laptop, 2 bodies, long lense etc.)
And it has to be somewhat stylish.  Too many camera bags look like they are for 10 year olds on their way to school and still go for over $200.

So far the only bag that marginally passes my criteria in style is:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/683158-REG/Kata_KT_PL_B_220_Pro_Light_Bumblebee_220_PL_Backpack.html

I like the new outpost line from Crumpler, but they only hold 11" inch laptops.
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NancyP
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2013, 11:34:09 AM »
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Skip stylish if you plan on hiking several miles with full kit. What you need to find is a backpack with a good frame that fits your torso and with good shoulder straps and padded belt. One size does NOT fit all. Packs expected to hold 20# or more should be fitted. Get your torso measured by a knowledgeable friend or go to an outdoors store (REI, EMS, etc) . Try to get the torso measurement of the photo pack if you can't find it in the store. It is best if you can get a pack with torso length within one inch of your measured torso length.

The problem is that the majority of photo packs tend to be poorly constructed for long hours of use with heavy loads. The best packs only come in one size fits all. Fine if you are an average size person, but if you are a smaller woman, the fit may not be optimal. I have had to do a little after-market adjustment on an F-stop Satori, otherwise a very fine pack, to make it comfortable for a day long hike with 35# load. That pack best fits an average sized man, and I am a smaller-framed woman.

F-stop, Clik-Elite, Gura Gear are all very nice bags. I haven't seen the Kata.
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Slim
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2013, 06:13:03 PM »
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Thanks for pointing me to the f stop bags.  That looks pretty good and it doesn't look like a camera bag.
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James Clark
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2013, 03:55:05 PM »
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I'm a big fan of ThinkTank gear for extensive travel.  Backpack straps (including across-the chest stabilizers AND waist straps) as well as wheels on many of them have made them my go-to pick for when I need to get on a plane, hop in a car and do long hikes all on the same trip.  They're not the lightest things out there though, and they look more like carry-on luggage that outdoor equipment, however much that matters to you...


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OldRoy
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2013, 09:24:04 AM »
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Travelling on a mountain bike and carrying a laptop as part of one's photographic kit? It takes all kinds, I guess.
Whilst I'm moaning, has "lense" now become acceptable usage?
Roy
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2013, 09:37:18 AM »
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... has "lense" now become acceptable usage?


More like a frequent typo, given that "e" is just above "s" on a keyboard. Happened often to me while typing, to the point that now I make a conscious effort to double check it before proceeding.
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Slobodan

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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2013, 11:06:42 AM »
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Thinktank Photo ShapeShifter. http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/shape-shifter-backpack.aspx
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Ellis Vener
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Slim
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2013, 07:19:01 PM »
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Thanks for the suggestions:

I am leaning towards the following bag: 
http://fstopgear.com/product/mountain/loka#.UbPJx7_fYoY
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2013, 11:09:46 PM »
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Until proven otherwise I'll stick to my views that most photobags are useless for serious walking.

I would invest in a good pack from brands such as Osprey and store the photographics gear in pouches within the pack.

I would select a camera able to deal with this kind of approach.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Martin Ranger
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2013, 11:08:47 AM »
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Until proven otherwise I'll stick to my views that most photobags are useless for serious walking.

I would invest in a good pack from brands such as Osprey and store the photographics gear in pouches within the pack.

I would select a camera able to deal with this kind of approach.

Cheers,
Bernard


+1

The camera backpacks I have used are fine to carry equipment to and from a shoot, but they can't beat a real hiking backpack for serious hiking. Also, NanycP is absolutely correct. A backpack needs to be tried on pretty much like a pair of shoes. The most wonderful backpack will be very uncomfortable if it is not the right size or if it just doesn't fit you correctly.
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Martin Ranger
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2013, 03:26:38 PM »
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Having looked at the Kata link:  it looks good and now that I see what you are looking for I withdraw my earlier recommendation of the ShapeShifter and think you should  consider the new MindShift Gear Rotation 180˚: http://www.mindshiftgear.com/pages/products

I have used a MindShift Gear  Rotation 180 on an industrial shoot. It can hold a very large amount of gear  - too much to want to hike long distances with. A former Marine who was the foreman on the job was pretty impressed with the Rotation 180 if that means anything to you. 
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Ellis Vener
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Slim
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2013, 12:54:26 PM »
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+1

The camera backpacks I have used are fine to carry equipment to and from a shoot, but they can't beat a real hiking backpack for serious hiking. Also, NanycP is absolutely correct. A backpack needs to be tried on pretty much like a pair of shoes. The most wonderful backpack will be very uncomfortable if it is not the right size or if it just doesn't fit you correctly.

Since a lot of these bags are specialty bags with no large distribution networks, how does one try different backpacks on to see if they fit right?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2013, 02:10:15 PM »
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Since a lot of these bags are specialty bags with no large distribution networks, how does one try different backpacks on to see if they fit right?

You order them by mail, try them on, and return if not happy. Duhhhh! Wink
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Slobodan

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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2013, 03:13:23 PM »
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try http://www.photobackpacker.com/home.php. I have used them for years-totally customizable. I have the same backpack but different insert for my LF gear vs. the DSLR.
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Thanks,
Kirk

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2013, 09:14:58 PM »
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You order them by mail, try them on, and return if not happy. Duhhhh! Wink

In fact, that's not even required. The specs of most photo bags make them non suitable for real walking.

It is my experience that photo equipment typically cannot represent more than 25% of volume/40% of weight when walking mountains. Most photo bags keep 60+% of volume to photo equipment (most in fact more than 80%) and are way over-specced in terms of gear protection, which makes them too heavy relative to their useful capacity.

This is understandable, they wouldn't qualify as photobags otherwise. Wink

This is why I call them useless.
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Slim
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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2013, 10:18:28 PM »
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F stop tilapia bc bag is on the way.  Have not seen one bad review of this bag.
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leeonmaui
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2013, 11:57:46 PM »
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Aloha,

Every camera bag I every had sucked as a serious hiking bag, I'm with the guy that suggested a regular backpack, even a cheaper one is going to feel way better after a few miles and carry everything you want, a high end back pack (I use an arcteryx bora 95)  is really the way to go. You can start to load pounds up pretty quick, my normal carry camera gear is near 30 lbs, most camera bags and even good back packs are not suited for much more weight than this, forget chest straps and dinky waist belts, serious weight, needs the correct pack.

Once you start adding tripod, two bodies, long lenses, a laptop things get heavy fast. Not to mention food water extra batteries etc etc.  You need to carry all this from your hips, not your back, camera bags are not designed to do this, as most of them want to fit as carry on luggage...

I see the word mountain in your post, you need a real backpack mountain hiking with weight is much less fun without the proper gear.


Everything you see in the picture attached fits in the blue bag in the picture, that's everything I need to shoot and live for ten days, that's 100 plus lbs..
I carry the camera bag on the plane, and the other gear goes into the belly, once I am ready to hike, the camera bag goes into the Backpack.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2013, 05:01:30 AM »
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Thanks for the suggestions:

I am leaning towards the following bag: 
http://fstopgear.com/product/mountain/loka#.UbPJx7_fYoY

Love my Fstop +1
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2013, 05:13:25 PM »
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Leeonmaui, how do you keep the camera gear accessible in a top loading backpack? Choose one or two things to strap onto the outside of the pack? Keep camera and most-used lens in top of bag, everything else below the rest of the cooking ,sleep, shelter gear? I really like the Cotton Carrier vest and a Canon 60D/EF-S 15-85mm lens attached to the vest - in practice I find that this handles most of my daytime trailside photos.
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duane_bolland
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« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2013, 07:14:10 PM »
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I tried an fstop and returned it.  I love my Lowepro Pro Trekker 400 AW.  It is well designed to carry a lot of gear comfortably, and unlike many backpacks it has room for non-camera gear.   I have hiked over 10 miles with it, no problem, and I think the non-black is stylish.
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