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Thread: My backpack solution

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    My backpack solution

    Hi all

    I'm preparing for a hiking trip to the Tassie highlands later this month and spent some time looking around for solutions. I'm doing a multi-day hike so I was after a bag that had plenty of space for gear plus my camera equipment. I was looking closely at the F-stop series, but I was unsure about their capacities (their largest bag is a bit under 60 litres). I did like their ICU system though so I got to thinking I could add one of those to a more dedicated hiking pack.

    I spent a lot of time looking at various options and eventually settled on the Deuter Air-contact 75+10 (75 litres). This is a really high quality hiking pack with an excellent harness system, but it also has two key features - a separate bottom compartment with front access, and nice large side pockets for carrying my tripod. After some careful measurement I came to the conclusion that a medium pro ICU from F-stop would fit perfectly in the bottom compartment, so out came the credit card.

    The ICU arrived today and it fits perfectly! As you can see in the photos, the ICU is a great fit in the bottom compartment. I forgot to take a pic with my quick attempt at fitting my gear, but the following was easy:

    - D7000
    - Nikon 70-300VR
    - Nikon 35/1.8
    - Nikon 50/1.8
    - Tokina 11-16
    - SB600
    - Cokin P series holder, adapters and filters
    - Small accessory bag with spare batteries, charger, remote, etc.

    That still leaves the long compartment in the top right of the pic empty.

    I thought I would share in case anyone else was looking for a similar set up. Paid less than $400 all up.

    Cheers

    Shane

    Deuter_Med_ICU_1-2.jpgDeuter_Med_ICU_2-2.jpgDeuter_Med_ICU_3-2.jpgDeuter_Med_ICU_4-2.jpg

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    Looks damn fine!
    I'm going to have to investigate this as my current Black Wolfe Syncam is not really up to the daily grind.
    Peter.

    Some of my photo's are at www.peterking.id.au

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    Ausphotography Regular crafty1tutu's Avatar
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    It looks impressive - I will have to check it out for my travels.

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    That's impressive Shane. Thanks for posting.
    How many litres of back pack is left for your non-camera gear?
    I'm thinking of doing the cradle huts walk (6 days) at some point and would be interested to figure out whether this solution would work for me.
    Last edited by levers55; 12-02-2013 at 11:58am. Reason: ooops

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    Good solution, I use an fstop guru for day stuff and often have just put the ICU in a larger pack when I need more volume. Shows how versatile their ICU system really is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by levers55 View Post
    That's impressive Shane. Thanks for posting.
    How many litres of back pack is left for your non-camera gear?
    I'm thinking of doing the cradle huts walk (6 days) at some point and would be interested to figure out whether this solution would work for me.
    At a guess I'd say the bottom compartment is about 15 litres, so 60 litres in the main compartment. I will be hiking with two other people so we can spread some gear around a bit.

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    Are these bags completely waterproof, or just shower proof?

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    No hiking pack would ever be water proof, some will be water resistant while others would be not at all. It all depends on the material, the types and amount of zips used and the location of flaps over zips and other openings.

    You can also buy dry bag backpacks which are pretty much good for all types of rain and can even handle partial submersion for small lengths of time. But they aren't as versatile as a hiking pack.

    If it's raining you'll want a decent seam sealed pack cover for most packs. Best bet is to also have a dry bag you can drop the camera gear into inside the backpack for extra security since I've had water run down my back, underneath the pack cover and into my camera gear within the pack, luckily it was my 5DII with a L series attached so it was some what sealed at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aussie girl View Post
    Are these bags completely waterproof, or just shower proof?
    The backpack is not waterproof, but they will be ok in light showers. For heavy rain there is a built in rain cover contained in the base that covers the entire pack. I figure with that, plus the fact the camera gear is inside another pack, it should be OK short of actually being submersed.

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    I use a simlar system to this and with the rain cover on the bag 90% of your gear stays dry. Biggest thing to remember is not to drop your bag of throw it around like you normally would if your jumper of sleeping bag was in that compartment.
    No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I always avoid the bags like this where the camera goes at the bottom and the clothing etc goes on top. I have watched people with these bags happily put bottles of water etc in the top. Stupid! If a bottle of water leaks, gravity says it will go down, and guess what is down..all that camera gear.

    So I have never considered one of these and wish someone would make one with the camera bit at the top and the clothing etc section at the bottom.
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    Rick some bags, like my guru, have pockets on the sides, outside of the bag for water bottles which avoids this.

    Other wise you could pack all fstop packs so that the ICU is accessed from the top. But don't forget camera gear is heavy and by putting it at the top can make the bag unbalanced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    I always avoid the bags like this where the camera goes at the bottom and the clothing etc goes on top. I have watched people with these bags happily put bottles of water etc in the top. Stupid! If a bottle of water leaks, gravity says it will go down, and guess what is down..all that camera gear.

    So I have never considered one of these and wish someone would make one with the camera bit at the top and the clothing etc section at the bottom.
    The Deuter bag has a hydration pack compartment. Could this potentially leak? Yes. Is it likely? In my experience, no. I've ridden and raced thousands of km's on dirtbikes using hydration packs and have yet to have one leak. I can't speak for everyone, but from my point of view, having a leaking water container inside the bag is a user problem, not a bag design problem.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaneando View Post
    The Deuter bag has a hydration pack compartment. Could this potentially leak? Yes. Is it likely? In my experience, no. I've ridden and raced thousands of km's on dirtbikes using hydration packs and have yet to have one leak. I can't speak for everyone, but from my point of view, having a leaking water container inside the bag is a user problem, not a bag design problem.
    Sure, but if it did happen? are you prepared to pay the cost of replacing all that gear? The post above is just my opinion and I personally would never get a bag where it is designed for food/water etc to go above camera gear, my choice only! And if someone happens to have an issue with theirs, no sympathy from me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Sure, but if it did happen? are you prepared to pay the cost of replacing all that gear? The post above is just my opinion and I personally would never get a bag where it is designed for food/water etc to go above camera gear, my choice only! And if someone happens to have an issue with theirs, no sympathy from me.
    Fair enough, I see your point. I wouldn't put a water bottle or some other similar container inside the pack. I'm comfortable that my gear will be OK.

    In case it's comprehensively insured, so while it might be inconvenient I wouldn't be out of pocket (should the worst happen).

    Cheers

    Shane

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    I've never heard of these ICU's before. Interesting.
    I've been looking into making a motorcycle tank bag for carrying my camera (makes it easier to grab than having something on the back of the bike). Think I might have to measure one of these up.

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