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11-24-2017, 03:12 AM   #1
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Struggling to find a cheap, good large backpack

hi,

has anyone spotted good deals on a large camera backpack for hiking? I am trying to hold a 200-500mm lens (27cm long) attached to a camera body, and one that has a solid tripod mount.
Any suggestions?


Last edited by rrstuff; 11-24-2017 at 03:19 AM.
11-24-2017, 07:18 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrstuff Quote
hi,

has anyone spotted good deals on a large camera backpack for hiking? I am trying to hold a 200-500mm lens (27cm long) attached to a camera body, and one that has a solid tripod mount.
Any suggestions?
Consider that cheap and good are mutually exclusive terms and go from there.
11-24-2017, 07:30 AM - 1 Like   #3
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If your doing day hikes the Tamrac Expedition 5x should be large enough (18 inches tall) plus room for more camera gear. There is one on eBay right now for $70 including shipping. Tamrac also makes smaller bags.

I own the expedition 8x for hauling most of my equipment around and it is a very solid backpack.
11-24-2017, 07:46 AM   #4
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Lowepro Flipside 500 AW Pro DSLR Camera Backpack. I have a K-1 with 24-70, and 70 to 200 vertically below it, and there is still room to spare. Rated for a 500mm F4 plus camera. You can access your gear without having to set the back pack on the ground. On sale in the $130 to $140 range right now, Amazon and B and H. I put my tripod on the side, using the tripod pocket moves the center of gravity too far back for my comfort.

11-24-2017, 10:05 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Check out the Lowero Flipside 300 in the original version. It's pretty inexpensive right now at B&H. I use it for my K-1 and 150-450. You may have to remove the accessory insert (it's 40.4 cm high on the inside). I do that sometimes when I have the Pentax teleconverter mounted on this combo.

Here's a shot with it and the K-1 with the teleconverter and 150-450 mounted. The accessory insert is scrunched up on the left of the inside of the bag. You can also use the area I have set up for additional lenses to carry your accessories.

11-24-2017, 10:08 AM   #6
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Check this link:

Vanguard DSLR Backpack - $34.99 - PentaxForums.com
11-24-2017, 10:42 AM - 1 Like   #7
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What price range is "cheap"? How far are you looking to hike? For 1 mile you can get away with a minimal strap system, for 10 miles over difficult terrain you'll regret cheaping out with bad straps.

Here are 2 bags I have used with my Sigma 50-500:
  1. Canon "Deluxe" Backpack: Around $40. There's nothing deluxe about it: big, inexpensive, and the quality is passable considering the low price. The 50-500 fits attached to a body, but with a large K-1 it's very tight vertically. There's a lot of storage space for other lenses, maps, batteries, remote, and accessories. Tripod straps at the base of the bag are usable but no-frills. Shoulder straps are padded and comfortable. The waist strap is way too thin; it holds the bag from moving but doesn't transfer weight to your hips. Canvas fabric has held up well but is not at all rainproof. Canon Deluxe Backpack 200 EG 6229A003 B&H Photo Video
  2. Manfrotto Off Road Hiker 30L: $80 Black Friday sale. The Canon is purely a camera bag; this Manfrotto is a hiking bag designed for camera and lenses in lower half plus open storage up top. I've carried the 50-500 up top with the body detached below. I suppose you could keep the body attached by remove the inner divider; the divider does come out even though I never used the bag that way. The carrying straps are comfortable, and the thick waist belt does a great job of weight transfer. Side pouch easily fits my 1.5l water bottle, and I can find places to carry more water when needed. Semi-rigid back makes it comfortable and allows back ventilation on hot days; I still get a sweaty back but not as bad as without that spacing. Lightweight water-repellant fabric plus a detachable rain cover. Manfrotto Off road Hiker Backpack (30L, Green) MB OR-BP-30GR B&H
If you're just parking a car and hiking a mile to a photo spot, the Canon is good. If you are considering hiking 15 miles, though, get the Manfrotto or something even larger, because in addition to camera and lens you also need room for water, food, first aid, etc.

11-24-2017, 10:43 AM   #8
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Check at Manoprice.com
11-24-2017, 11:33 AM   #9
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Guys, thanks. This is helpful. Also I appreciate the picture with 150-450, and the information on which dividers come out from the backpacks. I saw many people mentionining lowepros flipside, the tamrac 5x and manfrotto off road hiker are new to me, I will check them out.

- am doing some 5-6 mile hiking with it, so water space would be nice.
- with 200-500, 12-24, 50/1.8 kit, with water, headlamp, vanguard 263ab tripod

---------- Post added 11-24-17 at 12:35 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
What price range is "cheap"? How far are you looking to hike? For 1 mile you can get away with a minimal strap system, for 10 miles over difficult terrain you'll regret cheaping out with bad straps.

Here are 2 bags I have used with my Sigma 50-500:
  1. Canon "Deluxe" Backpack: Around $40. There's nothing deluxe about it: big, inexpensive, and the quality is passable considering the low price. The 50-500 fits attached to a body, but with a large K-1 it's very tight vertically. There's a lot of storage space for other lenses, maps, batteries, remote, and accessories. Tripod straps at the base of the bag are usable but no-frills. Shoulder straps are padded and comfortable. The waist strap is way too thin; it holds the bag from moving but doesn't transfer weight to your hips. Canvas fabric has held up well but is not at all rainproof. Canon Deluxe Backpack 200 EG 6229A003 B&H Photo Video
  2. Manfrotto Off Road Hiker 30L: $80 Black Friday sale. The Canon is purely a camera bag; this Manfrotto is a hiking bag designed for camera and lenses in lower half plus open storage up top. I've carried the 50-500 up top with the body detached below. I suppose you could keep the body attached by remove the inner divider; the divider does come out even though I never used the bag that way. The carrying straps are comfortable, and the thick waist belt does a great job of weight transfer. Side pouch easily fits my 1.5l water bottle, and I can find places to carry more water when needed. Semi-rigid back makes it comfortable and allows back ventilation on hot days; I still get a sweaty back but not as bad as without that spacing. Lightweight water-repellant fabric plus a detachable rain cover. Manfrotto Off road Hiker Backpack (30L, Green) MB OR-BP-30GR B&H
If you're just parking a car and hiking a mile to a photo spot, the Canon is good. If you are considering hiking 15 miles, though, get the Manfrotto or something even larger, because in addition to camera and lens you also need room for water, food, first aid, etc.

Thanks! I was looking at the canon, but it seemed to small. For the off road hiker 30l - it seems that there is just a small padded divider for the dslr + lens, and the rest is just a regular backpack?

---------- Post added 11-24-17 at 12:37 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by steve_k Quote
If your doing day hikes the Tamrac Expedition 5x should be large enough (18 inches tall) plus room for more camera gear. There is one on eBay right now for $70 including shipping. Tamrac also makes smaller bags.

I own the expedition 8x for hauling most of my equipment around and it is a very solid backpack.
Thanks! I like that tamrac line, I am looking into the video reviews right now. I found a used ex condition 8x for $75.

Last edited by rrstuff; 11-24-2017 at 11:38 AM.
11-24-2017, 12:35 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrstuff Quote
- am doing some 5-6 mile hiking with it, so water space would be nice.
I do not know about your physical strength but when going on long hikes weight of the bag may also become important. In my case choice was between sophisticated bag(1.5kg) or an extra lens. I went with flimsy bag that weighed 200gm so that I can carry one more extra lens
11-24-2017, 01:40 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrstuff Quote
Thanks! I was looking at the canon, but it seemed to small. For the off road hiker 30l - it seems that there is just a small padded divider for the dslr + lens, and the rest is just a regular backpack?
I just reread the top post and saw your 200-500 is 27cm long. My 50-500 is a comparatively small 22cm. You're correct that your lens+body won't fit in the Canon while attached.

The Off Road Hiker 30L has a padded camera box in the lower part, accessible from the side of the bag. The padded box can be removed to create one large space combining the upper and lower sections.

---------- Post added 11-24-17 at 03:50 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxfall Quote
I do not know about your physical strength but when going on long hikes weight of the bag may also become important. In my case choice was between sophisticated bag(1.5kg) or an extra lens. I went with flimsy bag that weighed 200gm so that I can carry one more extra lens
Good comment. That reminds me the Manfrotto Hiker 30L is a little heavy due to its internal frame. It has a thick padded belt, though, so all the weight transfers to my hips and legs with no pinch points. I might feel tired at the end of the day but I don't get sore. The Canon bag, no matter how I adjust it, transfers weight to my shoulders or lower back. It's much less comfortable and I wouldn't consider an all day hike with the Canon.

Fit is subjective, in part because people vary in size. I'm glad I live near B&H because it let me can test fit many different bags. That keeps BBA (companion to LBA) under control.
11-24-2017, 08:08 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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You may want to check out the Ruggard Thunderhead series - nicely made and not bad pricing when on specials, which they are right now - the 35 for $79 at B&H - you can click through the different sizes on this page. I picked the 75 up awhile back on a killer daily special from them, and the only issue is when loaded, I need someone to carry me.

Ruggard Thunderhead 35 DSLR & Laptop Backpack PBB-235B B&H
11-25-2017, 10:59 AM   #13
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The Ruggard 75 looks like it might be my next bag! Thanks for the link.
11-25-2017, 02:13 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
The Ruggard 75 looks like it might be my next bag! Thanks for the link.
welcome! Do be aware it is a beast fully loaded, so make sure you need all the room. I'm actually looking at snagging the 35 as a smaller companion when B&H checkout reopens. What I can tell you is the 75 happily swallows up my K1, K3II, 150-450, 15-30, 60-250, Sigma Art 35, plus several other primes all at once. Back to needing someone to carry me when it's all loaded! I am quite happy though. I suffer from LBA, and it gives me a way I really can pack any and everything I might want for a long trip. The straps seem to work well too - waist and across the chest in addition to the shoulders give some options on handling the load.
11-25-2017, 06:14 PM   #15
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Basicly, I want it to store my K3 and my lenses here in the house. When I take the camera away from the house I have a couple of smaller bags to take what equipment I want. However, the trolley might make moving it around easier! The largest I have now is the Tamrac Extreme Series backpack, which is absolutely bulging now.
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