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07-22-2017, 05:07 PM   #1
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Camera backpack/rucksack advice needed.

Hi all,

Looking for a bit of advice regarding camera backpacks. As me and my missus are awaiting our very first child she [missus] developed strong taste for bicycle trips [on everyday basis]. I've decided I may as well connect what she wants t do with what I want to do and make some photos during those trips, but here I am stuck with only ''shoulder strap bags'' for cameras and lenses. I'm not going to carry around much of equipment at once so I don't really need huge storage space but camera with lens plus 2-3 lenses on top of that and spare battery would be a perfect backpack size. Now I've been browsing amazon and ebay and there's plenty of different ones to buy (also plenty of them looking the same just having different logos on them) and can't really decide what to buy to not pay too much and have something at least semi decent. Do you guys have any advice regarding this kind of purchase and having in mind that her mood for bicycle trips may evolve into something totally different in no time (hence I'm looking for something priced fairly low).

Thanks for all replies in advance!

07-22-2017, 05:29 PM - 1 Like   #2
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My only advice is for you to choose a backpack with an extra lens compartment, I dont know if Im being clear.
If you have a camera and 3 lenses I would suggest you to buy a backpack with 4 lens compartments, you never know when you are going to buy a new lens!
07-22-2017, 05:32 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by KevinMoss Quote
My only advice is for you to choose a backpack with an extra lens compartment, I dont know if Im being clear.
If you have a camera and 3 lenses I would suggest you to buy a backpack with 4 lens compartments, you never know when you are going to buy a new lens!
Good point! I was looking for advice about actual products (don't want one of them cancer causing things if you know what I mean) but I really appreciate your advice and will consider it during my search!
07-22-2017, 05:39 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I have a Flipside 400 AW backpack. It would have plenty of room for what you mentioned and is well built, nicely styled, comfortable. and not heavy. I use it for airline travel, and it fits under the seat in front of me on the plane, so I am with it during travel. It has handy compartments, and a tripod holder on the back. There is also a smaller "300" version that may handle what you have. Below is a shortcut to those products listed on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/s/?tag=pentaxforums-20&ie=UTF8&keywords=lowepro+flips...l_8dwn3aavxy_e

07-22-2017, 05:49 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I found what I feel is an ideal solution:
Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack

Put one of your shoulder bags in it for the lenses and camera, which will still leave room for a couple of water bottles, a light rain jacket, a few essential bike tools, extra socks, snacks etc. That's what I've been using for my day- hikes and I barely know it's there.

The Stratos is great for staying cool since it doesn't lay flat to your back, leaving space for airflow and the waist strap in combo with the other adjustment straps keeps the weight on the hips and off the shoulders. When the baby comes it will hold a bit of baby gear too (perhaps at the expense of some of the camera stuff but that's family life )

I've tried a couple of dedicated camera backpacks but they're are not nearly as comfortable on a full day out and about, nor as adaptable to the other stuff you want to carry besides photo gear.

Watch for sale prices as I bought mine for under $90 a few weeks ago. Regular pricing seems to be closer to $120. It's a really good backpack that serves multiple purposes.
07-22-2017, 05:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
I found what I feel is an ideal solution:
Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack

Put one of your shoulder bags in it for the lenses and camera, which will still leave room for a couple of water bottles, a light rain jacket, a few essential bike tools, extra socks, snacks etc. That's what I've been using for my day- hikes and I barely know it's there.

The Stratos is great for staying cool since it doesn't lay flat to your back, leaving space for airflow and the waist strap in combo with the other adjustment straps keeps the weight on the hips and off the shoulders. When the baby comes it will hold a bit of baby gear too (perhaps at the expense of some of the camera stuff but that's family life )

I've tried a couple of dedicated camera backpacks but they're are not nearly as comfortable on a full day out and about, nor as adaptable to the other stuff you want to carry besides photo gear.

Watch for sale prices as I bought mine for under $90 a few weeks ago. Regular pricing seems to be closer to $120. It's a really good backpack that serves multiple purposes.

Thanks for your reply I was thinking about something rather small but you may be right...once the small bean comes I may need some space for nappies on top of camera. Might be better to invest in proper backpack now than change it in couple of months because of lack of space...
07-22-2017, 06:05 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
I've tried a couple of dedicated camera backpacks but they're are not nearly as comfortable on a full day out and about, nor as adaptable to the other stuff you want to carry besides photo gear.
Agreed, and a good consideration if you have a child, you always need to carry a few other things.
FWIW, I took my Think Tank single strap shoulder bag and fit it into a military rucksack I've had for decades of use, with straps for each shoulder. The camera bag fits perfectly, with easy acccess through the top of the rucksak, and I can keep extra lenses in the outside ruck pockets (in padded lens cases, preferably), with room for other things behind or under the Think Tank bag. Since all the camera stuff is still in the shoulder bag, I can take that out separately when all I need is camera gear.
07-22-2017, 06:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
Since all the camera stuff is still in the shoulder bag, I can take that out separately when all I need is camera gear.
Good point. May consider using my old ex-mil backpack. Didn't think about it!

07-22-2017, 06:26 PM   #9
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With a new baby coming, a medium pack will be easier than diaper bags and another carry bag for photographic equipment. If your day trips are more than a few hours, you will be carrying a lot more stuff than you expect. Go for padding and moisture resistance for the actual camera enclosure. Good Luck!
07-22-2017, 09:00 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Have you considered a Backpack/Sling combo or Sling Bag?

To help with quick access to your camera gear it might be worth considering options that provide side access and or sling mount. There are bags that are just straight sling bags like this: Lowepro SlingShot 302 AW Camera Bag LP36174 B&H Photo Video and this: Lowepro Slingshot Edge 150 AW (Black) LP36898 B&H Photo Video and others that are a backpack that can be adapted to a single strap to become a sling bag like this: Case Logic Kilowatt Camera & Laptop Sling Backpack KSB-102

They all should be sufficiently secure on the back when in motion on the bike, but with a simple release of a buckle be wung around to the front to access your kit.

Good luck with the new bub.

Tas
07-22-2017, 09:35 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I have been using a Thule Covert backpack for the last 2-3 years and I love it. It holds all my gear, has room for extras, is durable as hell, and doesn't scream out that you are carrying around a bunch of expensive camera gear. It's not the cheapest, for sure, but after a couple of years of pretty good use, it still looks brand new. It has the side entry for fast-stowing/retrieval of your camera. After having used regular (i.e. non-camera/photography specific) backpacks with inserts for a number of years before that, i definitely love not having to remove my pack and dig in it to find my camera. Also, the Thule has a number of extra pockets along with a big open section above the camera insert, which is also removable so you can use it as a backpack. It has a large pocket for a laptop as well. Oh, and it is very comfortable on the back. Once on both shoulders, it feels much lighter than it does when you are picking it up.

Here is a link: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1060206-REG/thule_tcdk_101_covert_dsl..._backpack.html


Hope this helps.

Last edited by toukan; 07-22-2017 at 09:37 PM. Reason: added link
07-22-2017, 11:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
To help with quick access to your camera gear it might be worth considering options that provide side access and or sling mount. There are bags that are just straight sling bags like this: Lowepro SlingShot 302 AW Camera Bag LP36174 B&H Photo Video and this: Lowepro Slingshot Edge 150 AW (Black) LP36898 B&H Photo Video and others that are a backpack that can be adapted to a single strap to become a sling bag like this: Case Logic Kilowatt Camera & Laptop Sling Backpack KSB-102

They all should be sufficiently secure on the back when in motion on the bike, but with a simple release of a buckle be wung around to the front to access your kit.

Good luck with the new bub.

Tas
Thanks! I'm scared but happy to the bottom of my heart. It will be our first

---------- Post added 07-22-17 at 11:58 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by toukan Quote
I have been using a Thule Covert backpack for the last 2-3 years and I love it. It holds all my gear, has room for extras, is durable as hell, and doesn't scream out that you are carrying around a bunch of expensive camera gear. It's not the cheapest, for sure, but after a couple of years of pretty good use, it still looks brand new. It has the side entry for fast-stowing/retrieval of your camera. After having used regular (i.e. non-camera/photography specific) backpacks with inserts for a number of years before that, i definitely love not having to remove my pack and dig in it to find my camera. Also, the Thule has a number of extra pockets along with a big open section above the camera insert, which is also removable so you can use it as a backpack. It has a large pocket for a laptop as well. Oh, and it is very comfortable on the back. Once on both shoulders, it feels much lighter than it does when you are picking it up.

Here is a link: Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop Backpack 3201963 B&H Photo Video


Hope this helps.
I've looked into it. They are really nice indeed - can find some on ebay and amazon for around 89. Think it may be worth to wait a bit and buy something proper like one you showed to me. For now it's every penny on the side for new family member arrival but again once she or he will be with us I'm going to need this backpack even more - no way this child will be left without photographs to flip back when he's (or she) older

Last edited by MrTiburon; 07-23-2017 at 12:27 AM.
07-23-2017, 12:36 AM   #13
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I use the Lowepro Traveler 150 for when I need a small light-weight back-pack for day trips. Be perfect for your intended use.

It also has a front pocket and front compartment to carry your wallet, phone, keys, small tablet etc so you don't need to carry a separate bag for that and a side pocket to hold a bottle of water. The built quality is very good, like all Lowepro bags, but not as expensive as their higher end options (around US$50).

For your intended use you don't need a over-built backpack that you can take to Timbuktu and back. Just get something compact and light weight.


Last edited by Theov39; 07-24-2017 at 02:20 AM.
07-23-2017, 05:52 AM   #14
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This website has a ton of user reviews on camera backpacks and many show what gear they carry in their bag.

Camera Bags Reviews Homepage - Cambags

Tim
07-23-2017, 07:36 AM - 1 Like   #15
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First of all, congratulations!


Otherwise, if the object is a pack to wear while you're cycling, I'm not sure the backpack route would be my first choice if only for center-of-gravity issues. A sling pack or lumbar pack that you could settle into the small of your back rather than up high between your shoulder blades might be better--or, if you are set on a backpack, consider taking the stays out and lengthening the straps to get it into a similar position. Then--if cycling then becomes a regular thing--I'd invest in a set of panniers and put the densest part of my loadout there.
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