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10-14-2013, 04:10 AM   #1
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New rear-opening bag

I know the perfect camera bag doesn't exist, yet I always find a reason for wanting another one.

This time around, it's because my Lowepro Flipside 300 is on the small side. I could fit my K-5, 17-70, 55-300, 12-24, 35/2.4 and 70/2.4 in the bag pretty easily, together with a flash, a filter and a tripod (not in the bag of course). But now I have the 16-50 and 50-135, and I'm looking to take those two lenses, together with the 12-24 and the 55-300, and would like the bag to be a bit wider and either deeper or taller. I do like the rear-opening feature though, and don't want to have to give that up.

Also, I would want a bag with a better waist strap, like I have on my regular (non-photo) packs, to better distribute the weight of all this stuff.

So I looked at the Lowepro Flipside 400 AW and Flipside Sport 20L AW. I think I would prefer the latter, because it can double as an ordinary backpack for when I don't want to take as much camera gear. But while several reviews mention that it is lighter, the Lowepro site says they are both 1.6 kg. Also, I'm not entirely convinced by how the waist strap looks. The one on the 400 AW looks like it can transfer the weight better. And the 400 AW seems to be able to hold more personal gear in the front pocket, or does it? Can anyone comment on this? Other suggestions are also welcome!

I have also been hearing a lot about F-Stop, and like the concept very much, especially because I would like to put in some non-camera gear as well. But their delivery times are quite long, and I will be travelling pretty soon. Also, the bag would have to be a bit large for both camera gear and regular stuff. But I don't want it to be too big. Somewhere around 30 liters is the limit I think.

The bag should also fit an iPad, and it needs to have either a hydration bladder or the ability to put water bottles in mesh pockets.

10-14-2013, 04:54 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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From the Lowepro Bags that you listed and I google image-ed them and this is what I have for you.

I haven't really used Lowepro before. But I can give you some ThinkTank advice
They've recently branched out to a smaller brand called MindShift which ThinkTank put on Kickstarter and it was successfully funded (big name photographers supported them).

What they are known for, also their only product, is the rotation180 backpack.
Here are the key features for a quick read:
-Rotating belt pack
-Removable sling for easy tripod attachment
-Waterproof rain cover (allows rotation of belt pack)
-Hydration reservoir pocket (3 Liters)
-Fully adjustable shoulder straps
-Front pleated stash pocket
-Mesh side pocket
-Rail on waist belt for attaching modular components
-Back panel allows convenient access to upper compartment
-Fully adjustable shoulder straps
-Memory Foam back panel with air mesh channel
-Side compression
-Internal aluminum frame
-Selection of additional accessories to expand capacity and functionality
-Adjustable ice axe/ski carry loops

The backpack itself is 29 litres. The beltpack is 7 litres. And of course, they offer the accessory of buying the camera padding insert for putting your camera gear in the backpack thing itself instead of using the 180 beltpack.

Of course, just check their website out its cool:
rotation180 Professional: Outdoor Camera Backpacks | MindShift Gear

Hope this helped,
Steve
10-14-2013, 04:57 AM   #3
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I've got the Flipside 400. While its good for short trips, I'm not in love with the harness system. The F-Stop bags look like they have serious support. Sounds like you've got a trip coming up. If I were in your shoes, I'd try to reduce my kit to fit in the Flipside 300 for this trip and order the F Stop for the next one.
10-14-2013, 06:14 AM   #4
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yep, the f-stop bags should meet your needs. As they take different size Camera units, you can just put in the camera unit that you need for that trip. And then I would sggest the Loka, should fit all your gear.
Otherwise the bags from clik elite are excellent, just not sure if they have rear opening bags that will fit your amount of gear.

10-14-2013, 06:40 AM   #5
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I have a Vanguard Uprise 45 backpack, which opens from the rear, and has great shoulder straps, a chest strap, and a waist strap. Also a side-access door. It is not mega-huge, but I can easily fit a monopod and a netbook inside, as well as a 70-200 or even the DA*300 mounted on camera inside, plus a other few lenses, flash, other camera junk. Also has a tripod carrying pouch + strap on the side, rain cover etc.

The only downside is that it looks very much like a camera backpack.
10-20-2013, 05:49 PM   #6
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I recently ordered one of the F-stop bags and two icu's.
I got the loka (30 Litre) and It's been great so far.

I know there's allot of talk about their delivery times, but my pack and shallow medium icu was sent within a couple of days.
I'm still waiting on the large shallow icu, so it depends which parts you're after.

You may want to send them an email and find out if what you want is in stock.
10-25-2013, 10:41 PM   #7
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The Tamrac Zuma 9 Secure Traveller may also be an option - rear opening, mesh pockets on both sides for water bottle, iPad pouch. It may however be too compact, and also lacks a decent waist strap.

I recently looked into it for my own purposes - a secure way to carry gear at gigs sometimes, without the bag being too big.

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