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11-09-2011, 08:27 PM   #1
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Good walkaround bag for travel?

Hi all,

I have some travel coming up, and while I currently have an Adorama Slinger bag ( SLNY Adorama Slinger Bag, Single Strap Backpack / Shoulder Bag, Navy. ), which I like well enough to throw in the car for local or car trips, it's not great for walkaround for hours - a bit awkward, a bit big, etc.

I don't really want or need a backback style bag at this point (too big), and I have some messenger bags I could 'convert,' but that's still on the big side for walking around somewhere for a few hours. I'm utterly confused as to sizing on the Lowepros and similar, but I'd like to fit:
K5 with carryspeed/rapidspeed strap and a lens attached, now either one of the kit 15-55WR, Tamron/Quantarary 70-300, SMC-A 70-210 f/4...later probably the 18-135WR
- room for one other lens from the above
- a few lens wipes
- small pocket to stuff the fast 50, SMC-A 50 f/1.7 or spare card and battery.

That's it. I've been looking at holster style bags, like these: Case Logic SLRC-201 SLR Zoom Holster (Black): Camera & Photo

It seems like the toploaders probably won't work out unless someone's aware of one that will take +1 zoom in addition to what's mounted on the body? The Caselogic seems to basically be a toploader + single lens case attached, so maybe that's the way to go here for minimal size but fits what I need - anyone go through similiar?

The only other thoughts are something like the Domke or crumpler, but comments on the crumpler wearing through clothes isn't a great 'vacation walkaround bag' in my book. Thoughts?

11-09-2011, 08:49 PM   #2
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If you are interested in something a bit different, and (in my opinion) a cut above the pack, take a look at the Billingham range. I have two - the Hadley Pro:
Billingham Hadley Pro Shoulder Bag (Sage) BI 505248 B&H Photo

... and the Hadley Small:
Billingham Hadley Shoulder Bag Small BI 503348 B&H Photo Video

The Small is perfect when I walk around with a set of primes and a flash, and the Pro provides the extra space when I need a zoom or two. You really need to see and touch a Billingham, though, to appreciate the quality and rustic style.
11-09-2011, 08:52 PM   #3
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I can recommend a Crumpler 5 million dollar home. Wierd name but a very practical bag for shooting from.
11-09-2011, 09:09 PM   #4
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My favourite bag for travel is a Thinktank Holster. It is rugged, waterproof, and light. It will fit my K-5 with a zoom. There is room for spare battery, filters, etc. . It also has a zippered extension to accomadate a longer lens. There is also a place that allows attachement of a padded individual lens case.

I use it frequently on trips and hikes. Most of the time I carry my three Limited lenses (One on camera, the others in the bottom in their leather bags) and love it for its utility and ruggedness.

11-09-2011, 10:02 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primes4ever Quote
My favourite bag for travel is a Thinktank Holster. It is rugged, waterproof, and light. It will fit my K-5 with a zoom. There is room for spare battery, filters, etc. . It also has a zippered extension to accomadate a longer lens. There is also a place that allows attachement of a padded individual lens case.

I use it frequently on trips and hikes. Most of the time I carry my three Limited lenses (One on camera, the others in the bottom in their leather bags) and love it for its utility and ruggedness.
I had one of those but gave it away. I found it sits too close to your body and with all the strapping It gets too sweaty in the tropics or just hot conditions. I felt too strapped in and it was uncomfortable for me. Some people may not be bothered with it so much but it needs to be considered.

11-09-2011, 10:03 PM   #6
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The style of the Case Logic that you linked to is similar to some Lowepro bags like the 'offtrail 2'; the offtrail 2 does not have the front pouch. It has removable pouches for extra lenses. One pouch fits a DFA100WR and either the FA31LTd or kitlens comfortably (you can do size comparisons, the lenshood of the kit lens is a tight fit). The other pouch just fits an AF540 flash or my M50/1.7, charger, blower, lenspen etc. The lid has space for small items like spare cards, body cap and rear cap etc.

Access to the camera in this type of bags is easy in my opinion but with both pouches it is a bit bulky.

What worries me about the Case Logic is the positioning of the top zip; does not seem to indicate that it's designed to be weather resistant (nor are the pouches of the offtrail 2 compared to the main compartment but I have not had problems). The lid of the offtrail 2 overlaps the compartment so water basically can't get in.

Just my experience to share. Go to the shop with your gear and fit it is probably the best advice.
11-09-2011, 10:16 PM   #7
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I now have five bags and see more in my future (I suffer from BBA - bag buying addiction. I'm sure this was contracted from my wife) including a Lowe Pro Sling, a Lowe Pro waist bag with add on pockets, a large backpack that can take two cameras with a 70-200 and a 300 attached and about another 12 lenses or more too, a backpack for work (computer, camera and up to 5 lenses) through to my latest a Tamrac Express 7 - model 3537 which comes in black or khaki - (which I find easier to use than a sling and more stylish to take with me when going out to a dinner / friends / events etc. and you still want to take a camera and 3,4,5 lenses. The Official Tamrac Homepage - The leading manufacturer and distributor of camera, photography and camcorder bags
11-09-2011, 10:46 PM   #8
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I have two bags at the moment that pretty much cover everything i need.

For the city, the everyday, and light traveling, I use a Domke F8: 70080S Domke F-8 Small Shoulder Camera Bag for 1 or 2 Cameras Plus Accessories, Sand
It is water resistance, there is no zipper (i hate zippers covers...) for easy access and it carries my K5 + 2, 3 If you have limited primes. I'm generally a prime lens kinda guy so this bag is perfect for taking with me around the city. There's enough room for wallet, charger, cellphone, and other small items. There is a pouch on the inside, two side pockets and a slot at the back for quick access of credit card or cellphone - something thin. It also has a zipper compartment under the hood for SD card or something small. Currently, I have a K5+43mm and 15mm on the side. It also looks alright, like a typical small messenger bag.

For the outdoor or if I want to bring more gear, I have a Clik Elite Compact Sport: Compact Sport | Clik Elite
This is by far the most comfortable backpack style camera bag I've ever used. I was looking into getting a dslr backpacks and a lot of the typical brands do not offer much additional storage for other items and are generally too big. If you are out hiking or biking, you should have space for a jacket, snack, water bottle, etc. This fits my K5 + 50-135mm + 2 primes easily + light jacket, food, water bottle, just things to get me through the day. I generally don't like to pack too much because I rather take photos then spend time switching lenses over and over again.

Note though, the Domke is really only for prime lens, I cannot fit the K5 with zoom attached. Hope this helps.

11-09-2011, 11:02 PM   #9
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BJ - The hadleys look nice but too big for my needs in this case. I might look at them again when it's time to replace the bigger bag.
Figure a K5 with 70-300 or DA55-300 mounted(future), the 18-55 or 18-135 as the second lens.
The 50mm can be stuffed almost anywhere, add some lens wipes, spare battery and SD card and I'm done. Anything significantly bigger approaches the size of the Adorama slinger quickly, and I don't want BBA

Twitch - I was looking at the Crumpler 5mil, which is where I saw the comments about it wearing against close, and someone pointing to the Domske- any thoughts there on either of those?

Primes - hmm. The holster I can see once I get my 'final gear' sorted, but it won't handle the generic mounted lens + spare I need for right now. They do have some nice stuff though, the retrospective looks quite nice, if a bit $, thanks!

@shraubstock - what did you replace the thinktank with?

@sterretje - the offtrail 2 with 1 lens case but as a shoulder/sling bag is exactly what I'm looking for, unless I wind up with one of the 'doesn't look like a camera bag' bags. It's not a sling bag though from what I see, only a belt-pack/waist-pack? That's fine for some cases, but really looking for a shoulder (or convertible) bag right now. You're right on the weatherproofing...I doubt the CL is. It may well be the 'quick and cheap' option, and throw a garbage bag into the pocket, if I can't find a more ideal solution (trip is coming up soon)..

@ff - I've seen a few Tamracs, and they look pretty nice, but it's tough to find one on the smaller side, this is the closest I've found so far:
Those Tamrac expresses look similar to the 5MHD and the Domke 5 (some long number, think I linked above to it), thanks. The model you mention is too big for my current needs, but they have a few sizes..can't seem to find pics yet with an actual person holding each of them. How's it hold up in moderate rain and over time?
11-09-2011, 11:25 PM   #10
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Eagle - thanks. The Domkes look nice, but sizing in them is driving me insane.
The Clic elite - some good stuff there, bookmarked for later. I will need a backpack type bag that can handle 'the elements' and somewhat rough treatment, but right now, need something smaller than a backpack.

Yeah, I'm really wishing there were a decent local photog store in the area that actually carried a decent selection about now.
11-09-2011, 11:27 PM   #11
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Just bought a Lowepro Adventura 140 - for my Micro 4/3 system. If you need me to, I can try to stick the K-5 in there along with some lenses of comparable size and see if it fits.
11-09-2011, 11:30 PM   #12
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Try the Tamrac Velocity 5. I've had one for a few years now (along with way too many other bags) and it is great for a 2 zoom kit with room for a smaller third lens, plus the usual extra battery and memory cards, cleaning cloth, etc.
11-09-2011, 11:35 PM   #13
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Oh on a side note, I actually purchased the Adorama Slinger Bag before, but sold it soon afterwards. Don't misjudge the photo, the bag was actually quite big, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your needs. It turned out to be too big for me, and when I had filled up the bag, the single strap design really made my shoulders uncomfortable after a day of wearing. This led me to find a backpack style dslr bag.
11-10-2011, 12:01 AM   #14
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I purchased a Kata 20 3N1 and carry K5 with lens attached and 3 other lenses, (a tight fit! - perhaps I should have bought the 30 3N1!). It also has room for filters, batteries, etc.
It is not too big (IMO) and very comfortable - good padded straps, can be worn over one shoulder, as a sling, or as a backpack. My previous bags have been more case-like and I would never go back to that.
11-10-2011, 12:04 AM   #15
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I now completely read OP and realize backpacks are out. Oh well, maybe others can benefit from this post still


I've got the Tamrac Evolution 6 in brown (model 5786 - see another link to Tamrac's site above)

These are stock photos:
Both sides (configurable)
with tripod attached
top compartment

It can be a standard back pack, or a sling pack either side, it has tripod foot pocket + clip tripod secure point. it can be configured for either side access to the camera. Comes with rain jacket in a pocket.

It's a relatively small pack that is basically magic. in it i've presently got:

K200D with A50 2.8 Macro mounted
ME Super with helios 44m-2 55mm F/2 mounted
kit 18-55
Tamron AF 28-200 IF lens
M50mm F/1.7
"Kitstar" (I think Makinon) 28mm F2.8
Set of macro filters in case
mini tripod
remote, cables, various caps, rubber collapsible hood, charged "next" pack of eneloops, rocket blower, and a couple other misc. accessories.

Granted, with all that, it weights about 30 lbs , but it is in a relatively small, well padded, and extremely well thought out design. Extremely configurable.

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