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Thread: Recommendations for a camera backpack

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    Recommendations for a camera backpack

    Hi All,

    I am looking to get a good camera backpack and wanted some idea's. I have been looking all over the net and I'm more confused than when I first started.

    The backpack I'm looking for I would like it to be able to house a laptop, plus a extra bodies as well, and up to 5-6 lenses and also 2 flashes as well as the general accessories too. eg: cards, batteries,
    battery charger, remote shutter release etc etc.

    I would also like it hopefully to have a tripod mount too, if possible.

    If there is anymore information that you need please ask.

    Thanks in advance for all help and suggestions.

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    Member rodw's Avatar
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    I've got the Lowepro 200AW. http://products.lowepro.com/product/...AW,2181,14.htm

    It won't take a laptop as it is a small compact bag. I rarely wear it on my back so usually just cart it round by the handle. When I do put it on, it is a godsend! You can carry a tripod on it but the straps are not big enough for my Manfrotto 055 (you can strap one leg in but it did not feel right to me). For it's size it swallows an enormous amount of gear. You'll need the next size up as I only have 3 lenses, 2 larger flashes, an SB400 flash, a few filters, and a lot of stuff in the outside pocket. I can fit my 70-200 f2.8 in it but only attached to the camera so I carry it seperately as it does not get that much use. I think I have outgrown it now as when I bought it I never planned on the 70-200. I have my radio flash stuff in a small Lowepro Pouch on the outside attached to one of the loops designed for that purpose. Sometimes I attach other lens cases to it and it can take the 70-200 case on one side and another smaller lens case on the tripod strap at the back (which gets it to 5 lenses).

    I know what you are going though. Go and have a look at a camera shop who has lots on display. I spent probably an hour or more looking at a lot of options and settled on a backpack that was small enough to double as a hand held camera bag. Before I had this bag, I used to wear a cheap bum bag with a LowePro top loader SLR pouch on the belt beside it and a lens case on the other side. I found this was a great 2 lens setup for hiking and walking around.

    I kinda like the flexibility of having a few seperate cases so I can strip back to basics if I am bush walking etc.
    Last edited by rodw; 14-03-2012 at 10:24pm.
    RodW
    Brisbane south side

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    Member bushbikie's Avatar
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    If you intend to take the camera bag as airline carry-on cabin luggage then also think about the "recommended" max dimensions/weight (they vary from airline to airline which is a pain in the proverbial!).
    5D MkII Gripped | EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II | EF 24-70mm f/2.8L | EF 50mm f/1.4 USM | EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM | EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro | Extender 2x II | 580EX II & 430EX II Speedlites
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    Thanks for the replies rodw & bushbikie.

    I should have also mentioned that i would like it to be airline carry on friendly.

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    Member rodw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonk0 View Post
    Thanks for the replies rodw & bushbikie.

    I should have also mentioned that i would like it to be airline carry on friendly.
    You would have no problems with the one I have I am sure. Smaller than a briefcase but maybe a tad wider (the way I pack it anyway). The detatchable cases may not be a bad idea from this perspective as you are usually allowed more than one piece of carry on luggage.

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    Thanks rod, but i would really like it to hold a laptop as well, that's the only thing I don't like about the 200AW.

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    I'd recommend the Think Tank airport range. Big enough for your requirement, laptop included, tripod holder. Most importantly it is legal for all airlines.

    I have the acceleration V2 and it suits all of my needs.

    Think Tank Acceleration
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    Thank for that, I will have a look.

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    Perpetually Bewildered
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    Gonk, the first thing you need to know is that whatever bag you buy will at some stage be too small for all your gear - usually sooner rather than later .

    A quick note on Lowepro - "200AW" is a designation used on lots of bags across the range and is used with a model name. Rod's model above is a "Pro Runner", the "200" refers to the size (they typically run 100, 200, 300, etc) and the "AW" refers to an "All Weather" cover that goes over the bag. I have a Vertex 200AW which seems a reasonable bag and should fit your requirements. However I rarely use it as a backpack - it either sits at home with my gear in it or goes in the boot of the car as it's quite heavy when full. (I have a couple of smaller bags that I generally use when I go out to shoot something). Some websites have "product finders" where you can select your requirements and it will give you a list of products that fit - Lowepro's is here.

    ThinkTank have an excellent reputation but I haven't used their gear. Maybe check out Kata as well...


    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    Thanks for the info Phil, and I'll go look at Lowerpro's product search now and I'll look at kata's as well.

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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    I got the flipside 400 AW and I love it. My 4th bag and my last till it wears out as it is just want I need. I carry 3 flashs 2 x 430 EX II & 1 x 580 EX II, set of ND filters and holders, sigma 10-20mm, 14-105 and 70-200 f/4, 50D gripped. Set of plasic flash diffusers, plus so odds and ends in the front of bag such as remote timer controller and lens cleaning gear. Fair bit of gear but is extremely comfortable. Never had any queries taking on domestic flights. Hmm, no laptop model though.

    My buddy has the Vertex 200 AW which I have used and it is also a great back and maybe a little more room than mine, also has notebook space. So why did I buy Flipside - a shed load cheaper :-)
    Please be honest with your Critique of my images. I may not always agree, but I will not be offended - CC assists my learning and is always appreciate

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    I have a ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro and it's great. So light on my back I often have to check and make sure I haven't left anything behind. I think the largest version of this bag fits a laptop. As others have said, there are other options with them too.

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    Why don't you go to the Digital Camera Warehouse shop in Melbourne and check out all the bags they have there?
    While I'm not sure of what range they carry in Melbourne, their Sydney shop has literally hundreds of bags on display and the people there are very friendly and helpful.
    It's hard to buy bags form recomendations and the web. You really have to go and have a look and put some of your stuff inside it to get a good idea of what you need, and from my experience, DCW have the largest range on display, and their prices aren't too bad either.

    With all that gear, it sounds to me like you need a roller bag unless you're built like Arnie!
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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Best bag I have ever used is the Lowepro Flipside 400. The beauty of this bag is that you access it from the side that is against your back when you have it on. The idea being that when you take it off, the part that sits on the ground is the outer side, not the side that is against your back and when you put it back on your back, you don't get dirty! You can actually access your gear whilst the waist belt is still attached by slipping out of the shoulder straps and swing the bag to your front with the waist belt still attached.

    Watch the 1.21 minute video:
    http://products.lowepro.com/product/...AW,2116,14.htm

    I fit the following in my Lowepro Flipside 400:
    D700
    16-35 f4 VR of 14-24 f2.8
    24-70 f2.8 attached to D700
    70-200 f2.8 VRII
    1.4x TCII
    2x TCIII
    In the last spot left, I either put the D7000, or a flash, or 105 f2.8 micro, or 85mm f1.4G.

    I have taken this bag on trips to Europe and Singapore and it is so comfortable I hardly know I have it on, even with all this gear. I also take a Lowepro Lens Exchange Case 200, which I attach to the waist belt and I put a lens in there for easy access when swapping between two lenses. So, I may be swapping between the 16-35 f4 and the 24-70 f2.8 and put one in the lens exchange case and the other on the camera. As the lens exchange case is in front, it is an easy and quick task to swap lenses.

    Watch the 1.17 minute video:
    http://products.lowepro.com/product/...AW,2226,53.htm

    Unfortunately, it will not take a laptop, but the new Lowepro 500 should fit one, which is bigger, which I am hoping to get next week as it has just been announced. I have a small Dell laptop that measures 295mm x 225mm and it just doesn't quite fit into the Flipside 400, but I just carry it seperately for the moment until I get the Flipside 500. The Flipside 500's back pocket (for accessories etc) measures 26cm x 6cm x 38.5cm, so should easily fit a small laptop. See the specs of both the 400 and 500 to see the inner size difference between the two.

    Flipside 500 + video showing laptop in the pocket:
    http://products.lowepro.com/product/...AW,2294,14.htm

    Here is my gear packed into the Flipside 400:


    When I go out with my 300mm, I also mount my Nikon 300mm f2.8 lens case onto the waist belt and it acts as a great left arm rest for steady shots with long lenses like the 300 + TC's. It's amazing how well this works as a steadying arm rest and support.



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    Ausphotography Regular junqbox's Avatar
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    I use a Vertex 200 for the whole kit and caboodle and it works fine. Have travelled OS and domestic flights with it. Trick is not to put it down, just keep it on your back so they don't think it's as heavy or large than it looks. Keep in mind, this is serious weight to lug around. I'll often take a smaller pack for day to day when travelling with the big one. Either a SlingShot 302AW or an old Stealth bag.

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    Thanks for all the replies and information on the different backpacks, I thought i might have found one last night after looking around
    the kata 3N1-35 PL http://www.kata-bags.us/3n1-35-pl-sling-backpack but after the info and replies I'm not so sure now.
    It would also be good benny to be able to do as you said and try my gear in the bag, but I don't get to Melbourne to often, and my best bet
    to try my gear in a bag would be a camera house.

    I have a lot of food for thought now, so all I have to do is make a decision.

    [top]


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    I've been thinking about the Lowepro Fastpack 350 AW to do much the same as you want. Haven't bit the bullet yet. Perhaps have a look at these.

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    I'm just wondering if anyone has used the Fancier (Weifeng) B600A which Protog supply. At $80 as compared to $150-180 for the Lowepro 350 its seems like good value.

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