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09-11-2012, 01:46 PM   #1
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What's a roomy, durable backpack that won't break the bank?

My wife's cheap backpack is falling apart on her. She wants something durable & spacious like my f.64 large backpack, but not empty her bank account. Steering clear of the offbrands is probably a good idea, as I've never had good luck with those hanging together very long. Here's some names I've narrowed it down to:


Tamrac
f.64
Lowepro
Domke
Kata
Tenba
Manfrotto
Mountainsmith
Think Tank
Crumpler

Any others? Any recommendations for a good backpack that isn't crazy expensive?

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)


Last edited by GibbyTheMole; 09-11-2012 at 02:03 PM.
09-11-2012, 02:04 PM   #2
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Lowepro - Pro Runner 200 AW

I use the AW 200, fits my k-x, Tamron 70-200 2.8, Sigma 50 1.4, DA 35 F2.4 and Sigma 17-70 no problem. Also carries memory card in seperate pouches, front pocket for all my batteries and tools, inner pocket for my manuals and rain sleeve, two side open pockets for water/lens cap, and tripod support. Has rain sleeve too. If you need roomier, the 300 AW is nice.

It has two front strap clips that traverses the chest and stomach for additional support, and the rain sleeve works wonderfully. I use it when I trek (my messenger bag causes neck pain over time).

Probably the best bang for the buck when found on sale (got mine for $90).
09-11-2012, 02:05 PM   #3
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Think Tank Street Walker.

Its what I use and I love it. Can be had for about 125$. Its extremely well constructed, roomy, lots of pockets for small items and a customizeable inside for lens, and the company as great customer service if you ever have an issue.

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Streetwalker? Backpack - Think Tank
09-11-2012, 02:05 PM   #4
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Go kata, they make Nation Geography bags and if i'm not mistaken Manfrotto.

09-11-2012, 02:25 PM   #5
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I've had this one for 2 1/2 years+.....

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/542365-REG/Tamrac_5585_01_5585_Expedit..._Backpack.html

I've put a good amount of miles on it, and it's holding up very well. Holds lots of stuff (2 bodies - one with the 50-135 attached, and the other with a smaller lens like the 18-55 kit or FA 31 - a couple of additional lenses, a rocket blower & very small pair of binoculars, plenty of memory cards, a couple of spare batteries, some filters, etc...), along with a front pocket I use for full-sized sheets of paper (boarding passes, itineraries, etc...) and on the outside I've added a water bottle holder with a carabiner. The tripod carrier works nice, and if you really want to weigh it down there are lots of spots to hook other things.
It's a little on the heavy side - but not too bad - and pretty comfortable. I've drug it up and down the Grand Canyon with no problems, and I was glad to have most of my "stuff" available. It's not cheap (although it was "only" $160 when I bought mine from B&H 2 1/2 yrs ago), but it's a good investment in your equipment. I even use it for "storage" of much of my stuff, while I use smaller bags for shorter trips where I won't potentially need as much equipment.

Hope that helps.....

Tim
09-12-2012, 05:47 AM   #6
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LowePro FAstPack 250
09-12-2012, 06:28 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions, guys.

Forgot to mention it would need to accommodate 2 bodies & a few lenses. I might just keep an eye on eBay & the forum for a good used one.

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)
09-12-2012, 09:33 AM   #8
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I bought this one after owning one similar 15 years ago:

Canon Deluxe Backpack 200 EG 6229A003 B&H Photo Video

And it currently houses my K-x, the 100-500m I got from you, my kit lens 18-55mm, my two 50mms; well, about 6 lenses altogether. If she doesn't have as many lenses or longer lenses like I have, it should fit her nicely. It is very durable, and water resistant too. I love mine.

Oh and I forgot to mention the many pockets, and zippered compartments that carry all my gadgets, inside the first zippered pocket, it has two additional pockets for filters, or lens pen, or whatever she might want to put there, at the top of this pocket is four small pockets with velcro closures for SDHC cards. Total pockets, two small velcro closure pockets, I could take photos if you want? Let me just say, it has more pockets than I really need but I've filled them with all manner of photographic items.


Last edited by photolady95; 09-12-2012 at 09:38 AM.
09-12-2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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Thanks for the recommendation, photolady I've heard that Canon bag is a lot better than the price would have you believe. It looks a little small, though. My wife has 2 bodies, 4 shorter lenses, and 2 medium length lenses to cram into a bag. Not to mention the cleaning stuff, etc. If the Canon would hold all that stuff I'd snap it up.

BTW: How ya getting along with the rocket launcher? ;-)

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)
09-12-2012, 11:40 AM   #10
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Here is a great website to let you compare the different backpacks available. I love my Lowepro Fastpack 350

Backpacks with 1-2 Bodies and 3 Lenses or More Reviews - Cambags.com Camera Bag Resource.

Tim
09-12-2012, 11:47 AM   #11
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Tamrac and I am pretty sure Tenba are designed AND manufactured in the U.S. (not to say all bags from outside the U.S. are inferior). I am still using a Tamrac SLR bag from the early 80's.
09-12-2012, 01:31 PM   #12
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Photos of inside Canon backpack. If she does have a Rocket Launcher, she can put two bodies in there where I have that one or one body and a zoom lens. The larger empty space on the right side is where I put my K-x.



Getting fine with that Rocket Launcher. I did a Singles in with it in June. I only missed five days but that was due to illness, not the lens being heavier than a two ton truck.

Last edited by photolady95; 09-12-2012 at 01:57 PM.
09-12-2012, 02:27 PM   #13
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photolady: Glad you're digging the lens. Those photos look pretty good! I'll ponder the Canon bag. She doesn't have a rocket launcher, but she has several lenses.
09-12-2012, 02:30 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by atupdate Quote
Here is a great website to let you compare the different backpacks available
Great reference site. That'll help! Thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Tamrac and I am pretty sure Tenba are designed AND manufactured in the U.S. (not to say all bags from outside the U.S. are inferior). I am still using a Tamrac SLR bag from the early 80's.
Yep. I like Tamrac. The Tamrac stuff lasts forever. Some things that come from China are actually pretty good. I haven't had good luck with camera bags from China, though. Usually it's the stitching or the zipper that goes.
09-13-2012, 01:03 AM   #15
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Try the Kinesis Journeyman with whatever inserts you desire. Durable, flexible configuration and all of the options you could ever want. kgear.com
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