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04-08-2017, 02:50 PM   #16
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I would call B&H Monday and ask specifically for a woman in camera gear sales and see if she has any recomendations. B&H has to have the biggest selection of camera bags anywhere. If that doesn't work then if there is an REI outdoor store near you go there and check out backbacks. Backpack manufacturers have been making serious gear for women for decades and if you can find one that fits you then you can modify the insides. Best of luck!

04-08-2017, 02:52 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
I've tried sling bag that way. Did not work for me at all.
Sling bag won't work for me that way either. I don't see that as much of a test but these may not work for you in any case. I used to use my bag of this style hiking. It was bulky but very comfortable. The trick is that It is like wearing a weight belt. Snug and very wide.

I wish I could suggest something more useful. Have you tried a belt and pouch system?
04-08-2017, 03:28 PM   #18
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Yeah, "female" does not equal "small male" as basic stuff like leg to torso proportions are different. Generally speaking, women have shorter torsos and longer legs.

My wife had a related problem - women's packs were apparently designed for women shorter than 5'-4"; She was 5'-8". And she hated pink.

F-Stop has backbacks that they claim are designed for women. At least one - Kashmir UL

"For the active female shooter desiring simple and light, f-stop has engineered an ultra-lightweight carry solution. The pound-pinching Kashmir UL retains a ripstop nylon 30L shell, full-size suspension, and an aluminum internal frame but features a different torso height and harness system designed specifically for female frames. The Kashmir UL daypack is the camera industry’s first product to acknowledge the huge contribution women make to professional adventure photography."

Failing that, the hiking industry has women-specific packs and maybe you can find something there and turn it into a camera bag.

Good luck!
04-08-2017, 03:39 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
Can you imagine how long it will take :
a) to learn about backpack making;
b) to create prototypes;
c) to test it, to improve, to start business...
Nope, I don't feel like I can. .
Actually, none of that would be necessary. There are many female options in hiking gear already, so all it would take is:

1) Research which factories make rucksacks for big brands (Chinese and Vietnemese mainly, I expect)
2) Ask them for a price for a few thousand female rucksack backs with a different body attached. Send them images of useful camera bags... Keep it simple
3) Allow their designers to work their magic
4) Wait for the ship
5) Rich
6) Wait for customers to say 'love it except for...'
7) Send those comments to manufacturer
8) Richer

Product design is simple when the design is already out there and just needs sewing to another existing barely need to be involved at all.


04-08-2017, 03:42 PM   #20
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Another in the long list of drawbacks for backpacks, and another reason to avoid them...

04-08-2017, 04:55 PM   #21
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here is something to ponder....

when I fish I carry a box of flies in my shirt pocket, a pair of pliers on my belt and a rod in my hand

when I shoot pictures away from the car I carry a body/lens on a strap or in hand and sometimes a second lens in a pocket (occasionally it all goes in a holster

when my son fishes he takes everything he owns
originally he used a backpack and still carried stuff in his hands

I bought him a golf bag cart(?) as a joke
surprisingly he used it and it worked
now he uses a folding all terrain stroller
it pushes and pulls easily and holds all his stuff
04-08-2017, 05:11 PM - 1 Like   #22
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If you want a comfortable way to carry stuff on your back, stop looking at photo bags. Go to a backpacking store and get a women's pack, correctly sized, and turn it into your camera bag. Tenba makes the BOYB system with a variety of sizes to fit your camera equipment into. Get a couple of them. Put them in your correctly-fitted and appropriately-sized bag for your needs and you'll be set. Your photo bag will never allow you to carry what you need to hike the trail or camp in the mountains, but a trekking pack can carry whatever you need and do it correctly, keeping you comfortable and injury-free. Camera accessories are ridiculously overpriced for what you get. A $35 BYOB bag and a cheap messenger bag replaces the $150-$250 camera bag that only does camera stuff.

---------- Post added 04-08-17 at 08:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Another in the long list of drawbacks for backpacks, and another reason to avoid them...

I try to limit myself to a small over the shoulder bag so I don't haul everything I own. The only reason I'm in the market for a way to carry stuff on my bag is the weight that comes with medium format and the distance/terrain to get back to places I want to shoot.

04-08-2017, 05:25 PM - 7 Likes   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
Oh Lord. Men coming up with solutions. Can't you just listen?
We do listen. We spend our lives listening. We try to understand the problem, and the feelings behind it. What we want to do is alleviate the feelings. We see the way to do that is to try to solve the problem. We want to help. We cannot understand that retaining the problem, and expressing the feelings, is more acceptable than solving the problem.
04-08-2017, 05:35 PM   #24
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@micromacro I found this article from 2014 about F-Stop gear designing a camera backpack for women. It describes all the issues you mentioned and their design solutions for them. It was a Kickstarter idea, and is now a product - Kashmir Backpack.

LoweAlpine has for decades made a complete line of trekking backpacks specifically designed for the woman's body. These have internal frames, are highly customized for women, especially as to torso length and where the bag rests on the lower back, and as to the separation between the straps at the shoulders and their different shape to accommodate a woman's breasts. I know this because my daughters have used their women's outdoor gear for years as Scouting Venturers and outdoors women.

Since LoweAlpine also makes made carrying gear for photographers* you might call them or dig into the website - at the very least one of their day packs might be adaptable.

* EDIT: Actually the camera line LowePro was spun out in the late 90's during the stock market nuttiness. The outdoor gear company was bought by an Italian firm, then passed through a venture capital outfit, and was taken over by a British outdoor sportswear company after the financial crisis. IIRC LowePro is much less sensitive to women's bodies. Greg Lowe was really forward thinking - he designed his first women's gear in 1970.

Last edited by monochrome; 04-08-2017 at 07:34 PM.
04-08-2017, 07:17 PM   #25
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Your observations are spot-on. The U.S. Army ran up against this same thing with backpacks when they began admitting women for combat training a few years ago. A very large number of female candidates washed out with hip injuries caused by backpacks that were designed by and for--you guessed it--men. The packs were designed to distribute more weight on the hips and less on the shoulders, which works fine for men but they found out the hard way that women apparently need it the other way around.
04-08-2017, 09:43 PM   #26
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In this case, the problem is not so much that it's a man's world, but men do not have that problem. So we cannot identify with it. the ones that need to fix the problem is the ones that have the problem. The only way you're going to complain and fix the problem is if you complain to the right person, and make them understand that it is economically viable to fix the problem. So you can either set on the fence and complain, or get off the fence and fix the problem. if you cannot fix the problem yourself, find the right person that can. And make them understand that there is money to be made by fixing the problem.
04-08-2017, 09:47 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Kashmir Backpack
Yes, I found that. Sounds all great, but it's 20 inches height. That means that from the spot when the neck is attached to head it will reach the middle of my butt. I doubt already it's a good solution for walk around bag. For hiking mountain trails - perhaps. For the city-suburb-botanical garden-day on event shooting I'm not sure it's a good idea. Honestly, I don't want to spend $179 just to test it and then send it back.

I also checked all LowePro available bags, and I have tree of them already. Actually I like LowePro bags. They are good. For walking with lighter setup.

---------- Post added 04-08-17 at 09:55 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
If you want a comfortable way to carry stuff on your back, stop looking at photo bags. Go to a backpacking store and get a women's pack, correctly sized, and turn it into your camera bag.
Yes, I know...
You know why am I ranting today? I've searched, and searched, and came to the same conclusion again: buy something else and modify. Ones again. But I don't want to modify. It's like, let's say I want to buy evening gown, which fits perfectly, and it's not cheap, but I need to modify it. Why can't I just find a perfect dress ones.
04-08-2017, 10:11 PM   #28
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I know you said that changing and adapting something else wasn't what you anted, but have a look here: The Best Women's Backpacking Backpack | OutdoorGearLab

Surely there is something for backpacking that you can simply load your lenses, etc. into, along with water and snacks, and head out on a day's photo safari.

I read the reviews, even checked out some of the packs. They are designed with the feminine frame in mind. There are adjustments to tailor them support systems for torso lengths, shoulder comfort and the cross strap on the front can be adjusted to fit just under the bosom.

Last edited by Racer X 69; 04-08-2017 at 10:23 PM.
04-08-2017, 11:31 PM - 2 Likes   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmfilmfan Quote
We do listen. We spend our lives listening. We try to understand the problem, and the feelings behind it. What we want to do is alleviate the feelings. We see the way to do that is to try to solve the problem. We want to help. We cannot understand that retaining the problem, and expressing the feelings, is more acceptable than solving the problem.
That is the best answer ever!
04-09-2017, 02:34 AM - 1 Like   #30
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As I didn't like the usual photo backpacks (too obviously crying out 'photo gear inside', didn't like the ergonomy), I got me an insert from Korea, which is good quality and which I can put in various backpacks and shoulder bags.

See here:
(I'm talking about the brown inserts a little down the page.)

So you could go and find you a comfortable pack which fits the dimensions of the insert and combine the two like I did, and stay flexible.

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