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Author Topic: Backpack for daytrips - cameras + other gear ... suggestions??  (Read 6355 times)

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« on: November 13, 2008, 16:28 »
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I am looking for a backpack to take on day trips where i want to take a DSLR, one long lens, and 1 or 2 other lenses.  It would be nice to also have room for a jacket or some other stuff in a larger area of the pack.

So far it is between these two
Lowepro Fastpack 350
and
Lowepro Primus AW backpack

I like the option of taking out the camera without setting the pack down like on the slingshot 200 pack, which I have, but I find the 200 slingshot gets rather heavy being carried by only one shoulder.  I was in a car accident a year ago and that shoulder still isn't as strong as it was and gets sore easily.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2008, 02:08 by leaf »


« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2008, 17:17 »
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I got older model (Trekker 200) for years and I cannot say anything bad about it. The only problem I see with models you chose is weight and limited number of lens you can take even if they look bigger than mine.

« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2008, 01:46 »
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I also use Lowepro Micro Trekker 200. great.

« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2008, 02:11 »
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the trekker doesn't have an extra area for gear storrage and doesn't have a side access spot for lenses which means you have to set the bag down in the snow / rain to get at your camera..

« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2008, 03:02 »
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I use a conventional backpack together with a Lowerpo pack strapped to my chest using a harness. Here's a pic of me on a daytrip wearing a backpack together with small camera pack. It's very nice having the camera so readily available - especially when skiing. Get the more deluxe harness if you intend on using it a lot - your shoulders will thank you.

Of the three chest packs I have, I like the (now obsolete) S&F the most - too bad they don't make it anymore. It easily holds a walkaround zoom (24-70mm) and a telephoto zoom (70-200mm), and there's enough room for a fisheye, too.

I also have a Toploader 70 and an Off Trail 1, but they can only hold a camera with a mounted lens. I use them mostly for downhill skiing (yee-haa), when having too much weight up high on my chest would throw my balance off too much to safely ski the better stuff.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2008, 03:19 by sharply_done »

« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2008, 04:04 »
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yeah, that isn't such a dumb idea.
My backpack has two little rings on the straps so I could potentially use those as well.... hmmm

what is the full name of the S&F chest pack you have?  perhaps i can find it on ebay.

as for a chest harness ... what do you mean about the deluxe harness
one like this
http://products.lowepro.com/product/S-F-Shoulder-Harness,2028,32.htm
??

It looks like the one you have is the only one with clips on the shoulders.. the others just have loops?!

Xalanx

« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2008, 05:42 »
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I got this

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/425852-REG/Tamrac_554903_5549_Adventure_9_Backpack.html

I can carry 40d, 70-200 f/4, 18-55 IS and non-IS, 60mm macro, 430ex flash and some other small things in the wall pockets. That's in the lower compartiment of the backpack. In the upper part you can put a lot of useful stuff too. It has side pockets too and lots of straps so you can fasten it properly if you're jumping from one rock to another or running or such.

I had it in heavy rain and it suffered some shocks without damaging the equipment at all. That includes also the laptop in the back pocket.

It's not heavy. Well, if you're skinny it is... :P

« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2008, 12:54 »
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yeah, that isn't such a dumb idea.
My backpack has two little rings on the straps so I could potentially use those as well.... hmmm


I tried that, but didn't like how the camera bag was secured in only two places - although there was no way it could ever fall off, it was too free to bounce around. The chest harness secures it in four places, and you can easily adjust the tension and positioning to suit what you're doing (e.g. wear it lower and looser for hiking, higher and tighter for skiing).

Quote
what is the full name of the S&F chest pack you have?  perhaps i can find it on ebay.


It's an S&F Specialist 85 AW. It has a very good detachable shoulder strap (much better than on their cheaper stuff), a detachable waist belt, and adjustable interior walls (just like their backpacks). You can also get "SlipLock" cases for it. The SlipLock case attachment points (on the outside sides of the bag) are great for holding stuff (fleece, shell, hat, gloves, ...) if you get too hot.

Quote
as for a chest harness ... what do you mean about the deluxe harness
one like this
http://products.lowepro.com/product/S-F-Shoulder-Harness,2028,32.htm
??


Yep. I've tried both and prefer the cheaper one. The more expensive one looks quite "camera geeky" and was too padded to wear with anything but a small daypack. If your backpack provides for it you can attach a couple of straps from the shoulder tensioning/weight transfer point to take some of the load.

« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2008, 15:10 »
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didn't you find that bag quite bulky to have on your chest? or wasn't it so bad?

and now I am confused.  In your first post you said to buy the best harness I could - my shoulders would thank me, but in your last post you recomended the lightest harness.....

« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2008, 15:28 »
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The Lowepro Primus is a great bag. I got one about 5 months ago. Its very well made and super comfortable. I carry a D80 with lens attached plus two other lenses and a flash in the camera compartment, a big telephoto lens (wrapped in a towel) in the main part of the bag along with gloves, hat, lightweight waterproofs and there is still a little room for more. In another compartments I have maps, tide tables, a compass, spare memory cards and batteries and a quite a few other bits and pieces. On the outside I carry a large water bottle and a tripod. The tripod carrying system is very good even with quite a heavy one.

I find the camera access pocket difficult to use, so I don't, however, with the waist belt on you can slip off the shoulder straps and slide the bag around to the front of you, you can then access everything in the camera section without taking off the pack.

All in all it's a very well thought out pack with plenty of useful features, strong and very well made. I'd score it 9 out of 10.

« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2008, 16:37 »
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didn't you find that bag quite bulky to have on your chest? or wasn't it so bad?

and now I am confused.  In your first post you said to buy the best harness I could - my shoulders would thank me, but in your last post you recomended the lightest harness.....

It's not too bulky - I've been on multi-day mountain hikes with it without wishing it was smaller. The only downside is the weight, but that's more the fault of the camera and lenses (~8.1/2 lb) than the bag (~3 lb).

Having a harness with padding is a plus. The cheapie model doesn't have any padding at all, but the more expensive one has too much. Although you could wear a cheap backpack with the padded harness, there's just no way that could wear a good backpack (i.e. one that has adequate waist and shoulder padding).

As with anything, give it a try before you buy to see what works best for you.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2008, 16:39 by sharply_done »

« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2008, 17:35 »
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Yeah, I should go and try a few things out.  I like to buy from BH photo in the states often... and no trying online :(

I guess I will have to get my butt off the computer chair and go out to a store.

« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2008, 10:53 »
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ok, haven't decided yet but I went to the camera store to check out bags and I think I might go with sharpleydone's idea of getting something to put a camera on my chest.  I have wanted that for a while, but never found a good bag... but found one at the store.

I am thinking of this one.

I had a lowepro one before but it stuck so far out I didn't like it.  I wished for a bag that JUST covered the camera and nothing more.  This seems like it might do the trick and would even fit a 70-200 lens :)

and perhaps this harness
http://www.adorama.com/TTDHH.html?searchinfo=think%20tank%20harness&item_no=5

has anyone tried those?

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2008, 13:12 »
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I have a LowePro Fastpack 250 and it's okay. I would strongly suggest going to a store and trying one out before buying it.

Some stuff bugs me about it but the shoulder straps constantly feel like they're falling off the edge of my shoulders which drives my nuts. 

digiology

« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2008, 17:13 »
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I have wanted to get a harness for a while now too. I like sharply's set-up. Sounds perfect for hiking and skiing but do you think it will get in the way too much for casual mountain biking?

« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2008, 17:18 »
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this one i checked out today I don't think would.  It doesn't stick out very far on the chest which is nice.  If you had a long lens it might start to hit your legs unless you sinched it up really high.  I wouldn't get any longer of a holster than the '20'   


« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2009, 05:09 »
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just  a little follow up here.

I ended up going with the Lowepro Primus AW and the Think Tank Holster 20 - both to be used in seperate circumstances.

I have been very happy with both choices.  I didn't take the Holster on the trip I was talking about here, but have used it since on skiing trips.

I have written a bit about on my blog for those who want more info.
Think Tank Holster 20 post
Lowepro Primus post


 

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