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03-20-2014, 10:40 PM   #1
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Small Backpack Recommendations?

Hi-

I'm headed for Beijing next month and am considering a smallish backpack for traveling light with some camera gear, a pack that could be worn while bicycling as well maybe. Maybe also easy access. I've been looking at a couple from Clik Elite, LowePro, Case Logic.

Any recommendations out there?

I hope this being a smallish backpack thread isn't already one beat to death. If so, sorry in advance.

Thanks for your ideas.

03-21-2014, 01:31 AM   #2
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Mine is a Lowepro Fastpack 250 and it's brilliant - the ability to take out the DSLR and put it away without taking off the pack is awesome. It's suitable as carry-on luggage. I presume you're going to have some other bag for your clothes however!
03-21-2014, 03:41 AM   #3
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The clik elite compact sport is a smallish backpack, for a body+ lens (without grip) and 2 more lenses. Plus the top compartment for other stuff. Also the Lowepro hatchpacks are nice.
03-28-2014, 01:44 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biff Quote
Hi-

I'm headed for Beijing next month and am considering a smallish backpack for traveling light with some camera gear, a pack that could be worn while bicycling as well maybe. Maybe also easy access. I've been looking at a couple from Clik Elite, LowePro, Case Logic.

Any recommendations out there?

I hope this being a smallish backpack thread isn't already one beat to death. If so, sorry in advance.

Thanks for your ideas.
Check out the Vanguard range.

03-31-2014, 04:19 AM   #5
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I have a Lowepro Photo Sport AW 200 that i use for skiing. It's great, because it has a quickdraw pouch that fits my kit, a tripod attachment on the bottom, and can fit full avalanche gear and gear for a full day toptour. I imagine it will be awesome when the biking season comes around too! only shame is, they didn't have the orange one when I went to get it.
04-06-2014, 10:18 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biff Quote
Hi-

I'm headed for Beijing next month and am considering a smallish backpack for traveling light with some camera gear, a pack that could be worn while bicycling as well maybe. Maybe also easy access. I've been looking at a couple from Clik Elite, LowePro, Case Logic.

Any recommendations out there?

I hope this being a smallish backpack thread isn't already one beat to death. If so, sorry in advance.

Thanks for your ideas.
It all depends on how much gear and how much you are willing to spend on the bag.

If you already have a nice bag, can just go for camera inserts like so, Jill E Jack 15 inch Backpack Camera Insert Bag Padded Dividers Protection | eBay

04-18-2014, 06:58 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZoeB Quote
I have a Lowepro Photo Sport AW 200 that i use for skiing. It's great, because it has a quickdraw pouch that fits my kit, a tripod attachment on the bottom, and can fit full avalanche gear and gear for a full day toptour. I imagine it will be awesome when the biking season comes around too! only shame is, they didn't have the orange one when I went to get it.
I have this pack as well. In addition to the features that ZoeB mentioned, it's one of the lightest bags I found for capacity it offers. It has a lightly padded waist strap (with two small zip pockets) and good cinches on the shoulder straps, so you should be able to keep it secure when you're biking. There is room for a decent amount of camera gear and the upper compartment can hold either some additional accessories or the stuff you tend to travel with as a tourist (e.g., map or small guidebook, snacks, light sweater or jacket, etc.) You can use the water bladder in the back as a water bladder or put a tablet or small laptop in it (my Asus 11.6" netbook fit inside). There is an internal pocket in the top section that is good for keeping a passport or wallet and a fairly roomy, easy-access pocket on top of the packet for bits and bobs (e.g., spare memory cards, rocket blower). There is a fairly deep open pocket at the front where you can stuff a sweater. And it also has a raincover.

I took this bag as my carry-on pack for a 3-week trip to Borneo and Singapore and it functioned well in the bush and the city.

04-18-2014, 12:16 PM   #8
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Consider the Lowe Slingshot series SlingShot. They are not conventional packs with 2 shoulder straps, but instead use a single wide strap that crosses diagonally. The single strap makes it easy to rotate the bag to be in front of you for changing lenses or in crowded situations. During bicycling and aggressive hiking, fasten the auxiliary waist strap to keep the bag from sliding around too much.

I have the smallest size Slingshot 100 AW. It can fit a K-5 with mounted 16-50, DA 55-300, Samyang 14mm (or Tamron 10-24), charger, spare batteries, and other small accessories.
04-19-2014, 04:20 AM   #9
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I have a lowepro micro trekker which has an internal layout and volume similar to the shot by reportage a few posts above

It can hold 2 bodies, a sigma 70-200 plus 2X converter, a sigma 10-20 and a tamron 28-75

If you want the big zoom mounted, the other body can't have a lens on it, but if you don't need the big zoom offen the bodies can both have the other two lenses mentioned mounted ready to go.

The only downside of the lowepro backpack I have is there is no place for water bottles
04-20-2014, 10:39 PM   #10
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@frogoutofwater: as long as the pack isn't stuffed full, my 13" macbook pro fits in the bladder compartment.
04-23-2014, 12:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZoeB Quote
@frogoutofwater: as long as the pack isn't stuffed full, my 13" macbook pro fits in the bladder compartment.
13" macbook is probably the limit for the Lowepro Photo Sport AW 200. My 14" Lenovo (thicker and a bit larger) definitely won't fit.
04-23-2014, 10:12 PM   #12
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it's certainly tight!
04-28-2014, 07:26 AM   #13
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I, too, am looking for a smallish backpack, and yesterday looked at a bunch of them in a Best Buy store. The SlingShot looked great, but it's designed -- as most of the "sling" type packs appear to be -- contoured and designed for right-handed wearers. Only "fits" properly on one side of the body (and not the side I'd want it on). There was a Manfrotto (I forget the model) that looked like it might work, but it was just too, too pricey.

UPDATE: more research, turns out Kata makes several "3N1" bags (different sizes) that can be worn as a backpack or sling-pack on either side by changing the configuration of the strap. Checked them out online and at a local shop. The shop only had the largest size (too big), and the clerk said he thought the Kata bags would be going away soon. B&H have them at a very reasonable price (under $50). So I just ordered two, one for each of us. Will report back after we've knocked them around a little.

Last edited by OrchidJulie; 04-28-2014 at 01:42 PM. Reason: updated
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