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05-15-2011, 11:36 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by ben_leg Quote
The quest for the ultimate camera bag
This is a age old question that many of us here, have sought to answer and probably why we have assorted camera bags in various cupboards around the house.

It's often made especially difficult when "needs" appear to change all by themselves over the years.

For what it's worth, I would try to find a good camera retail outlet, go in and touch/feel/try/play with various bags and see if this helps in the selection process, otherwise you'll end up with a case of BBA (bag buying addiction) just like me.

05-19-2011, 10:38 PM   #32
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3n1-22 didn't work for me

Thought I'd put my $0.02 in here.

I just bought a 3n1-22, received it today and already have a return request in at B&H.

What I posted at another forum:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, got the bag and it turned out to be really uncomfortable. Its stiff shape just doesn't sit against my back well at all. That the straps aren't full suspension also hurts because then the bottom of the bag sits against my ass, with the top leaning away from my back. Feels like it doesn't sit high enough.

Maybe the one I tried on before was comfy enough, for the short while in store, because it was the larger 33 version. I have a feeling that after a few hours of hiking, that would be pretty uncomfortable as well.

So I'll be returning the 3n1.

I really tested out the 3n1 as well as I could at home today. Loaded it up and wore it around the house for a couple hours I think, in each of the various strap configurations. But it just didn't sit well on my back in any configuration or position. Maybe the 22 was just too small for my frame, or too stiff and boxy. I don't know.

A lot of people do appear to love this pack, and I can see the potential, but it just won't work out for me.

....Not all is lost today though. After fiddling around with my Lowepro Rover AW II (being all sullen and disappointed), I discovered that the padded area is just a removable insert. So I removed that, placed it inside my Dakine Blade ski pack, and it fits pretty darn well. The Dakine is super comfortable and awesome for hiking (full suspension, wide straps, hips/chest secure, adjustable everything, water bladder area, pockets, etc... been using it for the last few years). It also has a side accessible zippered door, which is one of the things that really attracted me to the Kata, and others like it.

One benefit of using the Dakine, is it doesn't look like a camera pack at all. I intend to find some velcro to sew or glue to the inside walls of the pack, to make the insert more secure. Maybe also find something suitable to work as a rain cover. But beyond that, I think it'll work out really really well.

Wish I had tinkered with and discovered that the Rover's pad was just an insert a couple years ago.

So I'll just take my $95 back and be happy with this frankenpack I've created. Perhaps a new lens will be in my future instead.
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Last edited by gooberlx; 05-19-2011 at 10:52 PM.
05-21-2011, 04:12 PM   #33
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I think I found the camera bag that I wanted for hiking:

Lowepro | Photo Sport Series

Photo Sport AW Series
Go fast & light...with your camera & personal gear.
Introducing the new
Photo Sport AW Series

Adventure sport athletes who like to go fast and light — but equally like to capture the moment — will enjoy the freedom and comfort of Lowepro's Photo Sport AW series. These ultra-lightweight, dual-compartment backpack and sling pack designs offer ample space for personal gear and a camera kit. Lightweight, resilient and high-performance tech fabrics with ultra-tear-strength coating provide extra durability.

** I always wanted a hiking backpack + camera bag ** finally Lowepro created this hybrid bag! I am deciding for the 100 AW of the 200AW... without seeing them in person have difficulty figure out how big they are actually...


Lee
05-23-2011, 10:12 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
I think I found the camera bag that I wanted for hiking:

Lowepro | Photo Sport Series

Photo Sport AW Series
Go fast & light...with your camera & personal gear.
Introducing the new
Photo Sport AW Series

Adventure sport athletes who like to go fast and light but equally like to capture the moment will enjoy the freedom and comfort of Lowepro's Photo Sport AW series. These ultra-lightweight, dual-compartment backpack and sling pack designs offer ample space for personal gear and a camera kit. Lightweight, resilient and high-performance tech fabrics with ultra-tear-strength coating provide extra durability.

** I always wanted a hiking backpack + camera bag ** finally Lowepro created this hybrid bag! I am deciding for the 100 AW of the 200AW... without seeing them in person have difficulty figure out how big they are actually...


Lee

WOW!!!!

On paper, this look like the solution i was looking for...

But there are very few review out there, so anyone did try it...

How good is the back support???

In the 200 is there any place for extra lense in the camera compartment??? or i need to put it the other compartment???

05-23-2011, 12:14 PM   #35
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Ben,

I can't find any review yet. But here is a link that show you more pictures than any place you will find:
New Lowepro photo sport sling 200 aw camera backpack | eBay

I am deciding which color to get.... like the orange but afraid it is too catchy...


Lee
05-23-2011, 02:11 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by ben_leg Quote
WOW!!!!

On paper, this look like the solution i was looking for...

But there are very few review out there, so anyone did try it...

How good is the back support???

In the 200 is there any place for extra lense in the camera compartment??? or i need to put it the other compartment???
Looks promising, but I'm a bit skeptical because the waist strap looks on the thin side. I just looked at my favorite hiking daypacks from Marmot and Osprey and the waist straps are much beefier. Only on my much smaller Black Diamond Hollow Point pack is the strap that thin.
05-25-2011, 09:50 PM   #37
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John,

I ordered it... this is just the 'dream bag' that I have have hope for for outdoor activities + photography. At least it seem.

I wanted to order the orange one, but on 2nd thought it might be too catchy, so a black one is coming. I will try to write something when it get here, though I haven't done any product review before.

Will see!


Last edited by LFLee; 05-26-2011 at 10:23 PM.
05-26-2011, 10:52 PM   #38
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OK, got the bag today... not as impressive as shown in the ads.

The camera compartment is kind of small, and the weird thing is the camera compartment is at the lower side and not the whole lower side, occupied about 8/10 of the lower compartment. So from the top loading, you see something like a L-shape interior. The top compartment and the camera compartment is not fully separated (i.e. not seal) as I would like to (in case liquid in the top compartment spill). I think the L-shape interior allow you to accommodate something longer (maybe a tripod?, but it is too tight for tripod).

The water bag compartment can easily accommodate a 100oz water bag (water bag reservoir not included). It can also fit a netbook, if the bag is not fully loaded, else it will put a lot of stress on the netbook.

OK, now the camera compartment. It is pretty small, only have one separator. maybe like a crumpler 4 million dollar home. I tried and it can fit my K-5 attached to 50-135, and beside it I am able to fit the 16-50, and probably a prime like FA50 size. But if the 16-50 is attached to the camera, the 50-135 will fully occupied the side. When 50-135 is attached, it is a little bit tight, my camera strap (Crumpler industry disgrace) would have to squeeze in. Definitely cannot accommodate the batter grip attached to the camera (I tried).

with smaller lenses, like the 18-55, and 50-200WR, the space is much generous now. You can tighten the camera compartment with a strap, so they don't bounce around and also make them closer to your body. A 16-50, and 100WR + a prime is also not bad (but when you attach the prime on the body you have trouble placing 100WR + 16-50...).

It is very comfortable when I loaded it with just 50-135+K-5+16-50. The design is such that most heavy things (waterbag, camera) are closest to your torso, which is good.

The whole bag is just a little bigger than the Crumpler 7 million dollar, which is kind of smaller than I expect. It is also smaller than the Crumpler sinking barage. The zip to the camera compartment is not as easy to open as it should, you need to use both hand to zip them up.

The top compartment you can probably put some snacks, tools, and more lenses I guess. not too much bell and whistles as those fancy camelbak water bag, which is a little disappointing. I was hoping it have some small pockets inside the top compartment for easy organization.

A camera bag suitable for a day hike, or city walk when you travel. In the field, I am not sure if this will be better than the Crumpler sinking barage, which I also have.

OK, hope this helps, I hope I can do a comparison with the Crumpler sinking barage. Will update if anyone interested. This is the first Lowepro camera bag I actually wanted to buy because it looks much better than other lowepro camera bags (I have other Lowepro non-camera bags).
05-30-2011, 08:43 AM   #39
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Hi LFLee,

Is it possible to know which version of the bag you got??? (100 or 200)

How will you qualify the back support of the bag (how stiff it's compare to a normal bag)???

Do you think that with time you will fell the camera compartment??? (will be the case if the bag is soft)

Thanks for your review.

Ben
06-06-2011, 10:35 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by ben_leg Quote
Hi LFLee,

Is it possible to know which version of the bag you got??? (100 or 200)

How will you qualify the back support of the bag (how stiff it's compare to a normal bag)???

Do you think that with time you will fell the camera compartment??? (will be the case if the bag is soft)

Thanks for your review.

Ben
Hi Ben,

Just take the bag with me to camp last weekend....let me try to answer your question.

I got the 200W, the 100w is a sling bag (only one strap) Initially I thought they are both backpack (and not very clear from the pictures provided by lowepro) so if you want backpack you have only one choice, the 200w.

The support is pretty good (soft and flexible) much like those in Camelpak. I put K-5, 16-50, 50-135 and barely feel their weight while carrying them with both strap on. You don't get to feel the camera compartment while carrying it. There is a thick pad (and compartment for water reservoir) between you and the camera compartment.

It can easily fit 3L (100oz) water reservoir in the compartment. I have tried it with the Camelpak Antidote 100 oz reservoir and the one from Platypus (3L) reservoir without problem.

It is almost perfect bag.... I would like to see the following improvements though:
1. Additional small pockets inside the bag for better organizing of small camera items; currently there is only one small pocket inside; Along this line, it can also add one or two zip pocket outside the bag for storage of small items; Right now there is only one attached to the carry strap.
2. The adjustable camera compartment strap can be longer to accommodate larger lenses (the provided pad is large enough) but strap is a little too short, it should be 4 inches longer. I am looking to do some diy modification to solve the problem.
3. The attached rain coat is pretty nice, during my camping it rain continuously and that helps - but I would have hope it can cover the whole bag when I am not carrying it.
4. I would like to see the camera compartment and the storage compartment completely separated and water seal so if I feel safer when I put water inside the storage compartment, same thing the storage for water reservoir should ideally seal in case the reservoir leaks;
5. It would be perfect if the camera compartment is water seal; or make the camera compartment pad removable (like those insert), so we can put the compartment inside a dry bag before we put into the compartment;

I would say this very close to my 'perfect bag' requirements, and if they came out with a new version with the above improvements I would definitely buy again (I would get the orange one then)! Overall a very good idea and I hope they will continue to develop this series of bag.

Hope this helps! I will give more feedback after I try out the bag in Acadia NP next month where I hope to do some long day hikes and put it to test.

Lee

Last edited by LFLee; 06-06-2011 at 10:43 AM.
11-18-2011, 12:06 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
Hi Ben,

Just take the bag with me to camp last weekend....let me try to answer your question.

I got the 200W, the 100w is a sling bag (only one strap) Initially I thought they are both backpack (and not very clear from the pictures provided by lowepro) so if you want backpack you have only one choice, the 200w.

The support is pretty good (soft and flexible) much like those in Camelpak. I put K-5, 16-50, 50-135 and barely feel their weight while carrying them with both strap on. You don't get to feel the camera compartment while carrying it. There is a thick pad (and compartment for water reservoir) between you and the camera compartment.

It can easily fit 3L (100oz) water reservoir in the compartment. I have tried it with the Camelpak Antidote 100 oz reservoir and the one from Platypus (3L) reservoir without problem.

It is almost perfect bag.... I would like to see the following improvements though:
1. Additional small pockets inside the bag for better organizing of small camera items; currently there is only one small pocket inside; Along this line, it can also add one or two zip pocket outside the bag for storage of small items; Right now there is only one attached to the carry strap.
2. The adjustable camera compartment strap can be longer to accommodate larger lenses (the provided pad is large enough) but strap is a little too short, it should be 4 inches longer. I am looking to do some diy modification to solve the problem.
3. The attached rain coat is pretty nice, during my camping it rain continuously and that helps - but I would have hope it can cover the whole bag when I am not carrying it.
4. I would like to see the camera compartment and the storage compartment completely separated and water seal so if I feel safer when I put water inside the storage compartment, same thing the storage for water reservoir should ideally seal in case the reservoir leaks;
5. It would be perfect if the camera compartment is water seal; or make the camera compartment pad removable (like those insert), so we can put the compartment inside a dry bag before we put into the compartment;

I would say this very close to my 'perfect bag' requirements, and if they came out with a new version with the above improvements I would definitely buy again (I would get the orange one then)! Overall a very good idea and I hope they will continue to develop this series of bag.

Hope this helps! I will give more feedback after I try out the bag in Acadia NP next month where I hope to do some long day hikes and put it to test.

Lee
Now that you've had a Summer and Fall to test out the pack, any additional thoughts? My understanding was that the water reservoir area was supposed to be water tight, so there shouldn't be leakage worries? I currently carry a K7 (no grip), 18-55, 50-200 and 35 2.4 + Metz 50 flash. Think it could all fit somehow? I'm guessing it's probably too tight. It's certainly not all needed for hiking and day trips, but it would be nice for extended vacations.

Last edited by gooberlx; 11-18-2011 at 12:15 PM.
12-07-2011, 09:23 PM   #42
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Posting a slightly modified review of the Clik Elite Obscura which I posted elsewhere. I carry the following equipment in the bag, basically my whole kit:

K-5
M 40 mm
FA 50 mm
DFA 100 mm macro
Sigma 10-20 mm
DA 18-135 mm
DA 55-300 mm
compact tripod/Gorillapod

I also purchased a Clik Elite SLR chestpack to go with the backpack -- it clips onto the front and sits in the middle of your chest, or you can use it on its own with the shoulder strap slung over the shoulder/across the body, or as a chest back (depends how you configure the strap).

The bag has a side access port where the camera is stored, much like you will find on a sling bag. The inside of this camera compartment telescopes to adjust to how big the lens is, giving you more room in the pack for clothes, food etc., if you have a smaller lens. The access port is not the biggest, so I have read that if you use a bigger camera or the grip on the K-5, it will be a tight squeeze.

Inside the bag, there is a "marsupial pouch" to hold lenses/flashes, etc. I basically divides into three sections. I typically stack the M 40 mm and FA 50mm in the same slot, the DFA 100 mm macro and Sigma 10-20 each get their own and the 55-300 attached to the teleconverter is laid across the top.

There is one outer organizer pocket to keep spare memory cards, batteries or other little gadgets/cables.

Continuing with camera specific features, there are two sets of bungees, one on the back and one on the side to hold a tripod.

Otherwise, it has all the features of a well-designed, well-constructed hiking daypack:

-built-in rain cover (seams not sealed, but does the job)
- compartment for water bladder (on the back, external to the main compartment, which might help protect your gear if there is leak)
mesh back, shoulder straps and hip wings which permit a surprising amount of evaporation (contact points can get damp but not soaked in hot -weather)
- stretch water bottle pocket on one side
- stretch zippered pocket on back, good for windshell/hats gloves

I wish it had a stretch mesh pocket on the inside to keep small items handy in the main compartment, but this is just a small thing.

Stylewise, it doesn't look like a photo bag, which, in addition to the above features, is why I got it. Also, it is not so camera specific that you can't get use out of it as just a nice backpack. There is a newer design available which has more subtle colours than the original teal, white, scarlet and grey.

I had a problem with getting the chest pack to mate with clips on the bag, but ultimately got good service through email then over the phone to resolve the problem.

It is not especially cheap, but I would say it is a good value when compared to other bags. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to use it for any serious hiking, but in an urban environment, on transit and on a bike, it works well. I have used it for the past six months as my everyday bag. I can fit in my 13" Macbook, camera manual and toilet kit, which I also typically have with me.

One of the previous posters noted that the bag gets deformed with use. I haven't found this to be the case. The construction is solid. Usually with hiking bags of this size and bigger, a plastic frame sheet/aluminum stays/ internal support of some kind is needed to provide rigidity. The Obscura uses a plastic frame sheet, but the sheet is corrugated along the horizontal, which means it is quite floppy along the horizontal axis and quite rigid along the vertical. The advantage of this that I have found is that it conforms well to the curve of my back but is also keeps my water bladder from bulging out the back of the bag and pushing into my back in an odd way.
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