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Author Topic: Lowepro Orion or Rover pack experiences?  (Read 3133 times)
danmitch
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« on: December 01, 2005, 09:31:45 PM »
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I'm trying to come up with a better system (or systems?) for carrying camera gear than what I currently use. On day hikes I normally use a large Mountainsmith lumbar pack for lenses and small stuff, a small Lowepro or Tamrac bag for the camera (350D), and I carry my tripod in a bag over my shoulder. What a mess... but it works.

Typical gear for hiking includes:

Canon Rebel 350D with Canon 17-40 f4 attached
EF 70-200mm f4
Canon 50mm f1.4
EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 (it has IS)
Velbon carbon fiber tripod with Acratech Ballhead
A few filters and miscellaneous small gear

I'm looking for a better system for those times when I'm out on a longish day hike and need to carry non-photo gear as well: warm/dry clothing, food, water, etc. I might also use a pack for travelling by car or air with the photo gear and my Mac 15" laptop. Some Lowepro packs look interesting to me and I wonder if anyone can share any experiences with them?

Lowepro Orion AW All Weather Convertible Beltpack - Upper and lower sections separate so that it can (supposedly - I'd like to hear more) function as a belt pack for carrying camera gear.

Lowepro Rover AW II - Lower section designed to carry camera and lenses. Upper section for other gear. Includes some kind of tripod carrier.

Lowepro Rover Plus AW - Seems similar to the Rover AW II but with beefier suspension system.

Thanks in advance,

Dan
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situgrrl
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2005, 05:53:19 AM »
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I have a Rover AW.  It's good - plenty big enough for your gear.  It's well balanced and comfy when it's on and there is no tripod attached.  The tripod holder is a bit crap - it takes ages to work out the bet way of doing it (I unfld the thing, stick my ball head in the "pocket" and the elastic over the legs carrying it upside down.)

It is a heavy bag though and I can't snowboard with it on.  It's also difficult to work from unless you use pouches on the belt.

Lowe now do these single stap backpacks which look to be a good comprimise.

C
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jdemott
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2005, 01:20:31 PM »
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I have the Orion AW; it is the model from several years ago--I think the current model is a bit larger.  Overall, the Orion concept is a nice one, but for me, it doesn't work for the amount of gear I want to take and I often end up taking my much larger and heavier backpack style bag.

I like the fact that the lower compartment can detach from the upper.  I sometimes use it as a shoulder bag with a very lightweight kit.  I find that the lower compartment  isn't workable as a stand-alone belt pack--when loaded, it is just too heavy to be comfortable worn as a belt.  It might be okay with a light camera and a single zoom lens and a few accessories.  Used with the upper pack, it is fairly easy to detach the two sections and swing the belt pack in front, which lets you get your gear without putting the bag down in mud, sand, etc.  Swinging it back to the rear is a little harder, however, as I always fumble to re-attach the sections.  When both sections are attached and worn as a pack, I find it carries the load fairly comfortably.

With your kit, I think you would end up carrying the 70-200 in the upper compartment.  You should still have room for a jacket, lunch, water bottle, etc.  The rain cover only covers the lower compartment.  The upper pack should protect things from an occasional light shower, but it isn't weather proof.

In theory, you can attach a tripod at the bottom, but I find it to be very awkward.  I end up carrying it over my shoulder.
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John DeMott
Julian Love
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2005, 02:24:18 PM »
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I have the original Rover AW (not Mark II) and basically never use it. It is too big and awkward for short trips and too small for anything longer. I'm considering a Kenesis Journeyman - larger pack to put hiking stuff in but also can carry a pro body with a couple of f/2.8 zooms http://www.kinesisgear.com/p.html

Julian
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