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03-27-2014, 04:59 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by hmirchev Quote
so...the guy sold the bag anyway, now i'm looking at lowepro flipside 400AW. any thoughts?
Here is a camea bag review website with a lot of backpack reviews: Reviews - Cambags.com Camera Bag Resource..

I have the Lowepro FastPack 350 and it very well made: Lowepro FastPack 350 Reviews - Cambags.com Camera Bag Resource.

The FastPack design allows for side entry like a sling bag when you slip your right arm out of the shoulder strap. It also has a laptop section that I've never used for a laptop but I'm amazed how much I use it for storing flat bounce cards, note paper, and even a few selected pages from my camera and flash manuals.

Tim

03-27-2014, 05:17 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by hmirchev Quote
that's true...maybe i'll just visit a camera store to try out some backpacks and then look for better prices online..

i decided to take a bit less equipment, probably a tablet instead of a laptop, and only a few lenses..i really like the airbac backpacks because of how their straps are designed for comfort, but the outside walls seem a little bit too thin...
The outside walls aren't thin in the least.The bottom portion on my model is protected by the air bladder against shock. Also the top sides are protected with air pockets (similar to the Nike shoes) and the bottom section where the majority of my gear is the front and sides are protected with sufficient foam padding. Then the backside lower portion is protected by the air bladder with the upper portion protected with more air pocket padding which also provides carrying comfort. If adjusted correctly both with inflated air and strap adjustment you do not feel the weight on your shoulders. I am not really trying to suede you to decide on this bag, I'm just providing information from my experience.. I hadn't heard of it before and when I ran across it I thought the technology was worth giving it a try for which I am very satisfied with it for my needs. This is a well thought out designed bag and well worth considering if you want to stay under $100.00 and it is very comfortable to carry the weight for hours at a time. As an old wilderness trekker I also certainly agree with Lowell on what he has to say regarding backpacks for sure. You certainly wouldn't go wrong with his suggestions at all.
03-27-2014, 01:14 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by hmirchev Quote
that's true...maybe i'll just visit a camera store to try out some backpacks and then look for better prices online..

i decided to take a bit less equipment, probably a tablet instead of a laptop, and only a few lenses..i really like the airbac backpacks because of how their straps are designed for comfort, but the outside walls seem a little bit too thin...
Don't discount a backpack you think is comfortable, padding can be added, comfort usually cannot
QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
Snip......As an old wilderness trekker I also certainly agree with Lowell on what he has to say regarding backpacks for sure. You certainly wouldn't go wrong with his suggestions at all.
Thanks
03-27-2014, 03:55 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by hmirchev Quote
now i'm looking at lowepro flipside 400AW. any thoughts?
I've just ordered one of those myself in green/black. It was on special locally. Should arrive next week. I'll give some feedback once it arrives. Then I will add it to my small camera backpack 'fleet' (sorted by size): Tamrac Travel Pack 73, Lowepro Flipside 300, & a Vanguard Uprise 45.

Each pack has it's pros and cons, varying capacity, and is useful for different scenarios. I generally prefer rear-opening packs with good straps and harnesses, good tripod carrying options, and good poor weather capability. But I normally don't like carrying tons of gear, so I think something like the Flipside 400 is about as big as I will ever go.

03-27-2014, 04:07 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I've just ordered one of those myself in green/black. It was on special locally. Should arrive next week. I'll give some feedback once it arrives
awesome, thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
The outside walls aren't thin in the least.The bottom portion on my model is protected by the air bladder against shock. Also the top sides are protected with air pockets (similar to the Nike shoes) and the bottom section where the majority of my gear is the front and sides are protected with sufficient foam padding. Then the backside lower portion is protected by the air bladder with the upper portion protected with more air pocket padding which also provides carrying comfort. If adjusted correctly both with inflated air and strap adjustment you do not feel the weight on your shoulders. I am not really trying to suede you to decide on this bag, I'm just providing information from my experience.. I hadn't heard of it before and when I ran across it I thought the technology was worth giving it a try for which I am very satisfied with it for my needs. This is a well thought out designed bag and well worth considering if you want to stay under $100.00 and it is very comfortable to carry the weight for hours at a time. As an old wilderness trekker I also certainly agree with Lowell on what he has to say regarding backpacks for sure. You certainly wouldn't go wrong with his suggestions at all.
I love how they designed it with air pockets for more comfort, which airbac backpack is bigger? the Zoom or the Focus?
03-28-2014, 04:46 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by hmirchev Quote
I love how they designed it with air pockets for more comfort, which airbac backpack is bigger? the Zoom or the Focus?
They both are the same size dimension, the difference is the configuration for gear. I did notice on the site, they both now can carry a 15" laptop. I have the older Focus model because I wanted a separate bigger section to store extra stuff. I noticed on the newer Focus model they have added a back zippered section for storing a laptop. They have changed the design on this model from what mine is, I think given the choice of the two present models I now would opt for the Zoom one over the Focus model for your purposes as it would allow carrying more lenses & cameras conveniently.

BTW..I noticed at B&H has the Focus & Zoom bag for $79.00.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 03-28-2014 at 05:07 AM.
03-28-2014, 06:51 AM   #22
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For a lightweight, comfortable and sporty option, you might consider the Lowepro Sport 200 (although it's more than what you originally targeted for price - about $120).

Photo Sport 200 AW Camera bags, backpacks and rolling cases

I recently took it on a 3-week trip to Borneo. I have a bad back, so a comfortable, lightweight and well-balanced bag is essential. This pack held my K-3, 18-135, 55-300 and 77 lens (in the main, padded camera compartment accessible from the side if you sling the pack around). I put my flash in the large, top-loading section, but it sat down toward the bottom of the bag. The water reservoir was large enough to hold my Asus 11.6 laptop. The main section also held phones, chargers, camera accessories like a rocket blower, memory card case, Gary Fong light diffuser, a snack, etc. The front pocket held a sweater and my hat. The top zip pocket held small bits and bobs and the secure inside pocket held my passport and a skinny wallet. The waist straps have some light padding and two small pockets (not big enough for a camera or larger cellphone). It also has a raincover and some straps for other gear.

I was really pleased with how it worked out. It was very comfortable, even fully loaded.

Note that I'm 5'7" but with fairly broad shoulders for a woman. I think it would be comfortable for a bigger guy and also for a woman somewhat smaller than I am.

04-02-2014, 02:36 AM   #23
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Hello,

I am using the Caselogic 206 and I can state the following:

+
- excellent build quality - it won't let you down
- super protection against shock (I could lay it on the ground and sit down on the bottom plastic with gear in it - and I'm quite a heavyweight)
- compact package
- really rearrangeable interior


+/-
- not super-weathersealed, but no worries in normal rain

-
- the DSLR-Suspension system isn't that fantastic, the neoprene hammock stretches and slacks quite fast.
- not padded enough on the back and the straps so it's not made for long walks - it's more like an urban wear
- not really made for quick access - you really need to take it off both shoulders and put it down or hang it on 'in reverse' to get your camera out

I hope this helps a bit, and I wish you successful shopping
04-02-2014, 04:49 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by hmirchev Quote
so...the guy sold the bag anyway, now i'm looking at lowepro flipside 400AW. any thoughts?
Excellent. It's not a gimmick either, it's genuinely useful.as long as you pack it accordingly. The waist belt is the real deal also. I think it's a bargain for the going price. The Trekker AW series is also great and are true adjustable frame backpacks that just happen to be designed to carry camera equipment. A Trekker 600 and Flipside 400 are my primary backpacks and I couldn't be happier.
04-02-2014, 05:29 AM   #25
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I got my Flipside 400 on Monday. Some initial impressions:

- not as large as I thought it would be. Larger than the Flipside 300, (in width and depth, but not height), but not so large that it is ungainly. Still carry-on compatible too;
- substantially more interior spacious than Flipside 300;
- front pocket easily holds my netbook (if need be) as well as lots of other stuff;
- construction very good, quality feel;
- shoulder straps, broad waist belt and raised back padding are very comfortable;
- handy attachment points for carabiners/accessories on the side of the pack, as well as on the waist and shoulder straps;
- the green/black colour scheme does indeed look 'un-camera bag', which is good.

I haven't taken it out anywhere yet for a workout, but I am happy with the purchase.
04-05-2014, 12:32 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I got my Flipside 400 on Monday. Some initial impressions:

- not as large as I thought it would be. Larger than the Flipside 300, (in width and depth, but not height), but not so large that it is ungainly. Still carry-on compatible too;
- substantially more interior spacious than Flipside 300;
- front pocket easily holds my netbook (if need be) as well as lots of other stuff;
- construction very good, quality feel;
- shoulder straps, broad waist belt and raised back padding are very comfortable;
- handy attachment points for carabiners/accessories on the side of the pack, as well as on the waist and shoulder straps;
- the green/black colour scheme does indeed look 'un-camera bag', which is good.

I haven't taken it out anywhere yet for a workout, but I am happy with the purchase.
The first time you spin it around your waist and use it as a work platform you'll wonder why no one thought of it before. Be sure the waist strap is snug otherwise it defeats the purpose. Propping you leg up slightly on a rock and resting it on your thigh is best if possible but it will still work otherwise.
04-05-2014, 03:19 PM   #27
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Amazon also makes a nice one http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Backpack-DSLR-Cameras-Accessories-Black/dp/B002VPE1WK/

But you might tire by carrying all of that gear with you everywhere. I put most of my gear in the backpack for storing, but for shoots I use a Case Logic sling Amazon.com: Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling (Black): Camera & Photo

It is big enough to carry a K-5 II and mounted 18-135 or 55-300 as well as hold the other of the two in a separate pouch with room for the 35mm DA or 50mm too. The otherside of the sling has a smaller pouch useful for carrying a lenspen and extra sd cards. I wouldn't want to lug around any more than that all day..

One thing to note is the sling isn't tall enough to hold the K-5 II with the DBG4 battery grip on it.. have to take it off to get it to fit in the sling.
04-05-2014, 03:42 PM   #28
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well, looks like I'm gonna go try out the Lowepro 400AW and see if its comfortable
04-05-2014, 05:15 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
The first time you spin it around your waist and use it as a work platform you'll wonder why no one thought of it before.
One of my other rear-opening backpacks, the Vanguard Uprise 45, also lets you work this way. It is indeed very handy when out in the field, especially in muddy/dusty places, to be able to have this sort of work platform.

One feature that the Vanguard has, but which the Flipside 300 or 400 lack, is the ability to tuck the waist straps away inside the back padding of the bag if you don't need to use the waist strap - and/or if you just don't want the waist strap dangling about (eg when using public transport). You can also tuck a small monopod into the same area of the Uprise 45, which is handy.
04-05-2014, 05:48 PM   #30
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I'm looking forward a backpack as well and had it down to the Photo Sport or a Clik Elite to check out, then I ran across a reference to F-Stop bags. Check them out, they look impressive.
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