October 21, 2014, 12:47:27 AM

Author Topic: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed  (Read 6393 times)

mackguyver

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Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« on: September 17, 2013, 09:14:32 AM »
When I received my 300mm f/2.8 II the other night I came to the realization that LowePro is full of crap.  My beloved Flipside 400 AW that holds "up to a 300mm f/2.8" does NOT hold it with the lens hood, nor is there room for much else.  I wish the Flipside 500 AW had existed when I bought my bag many years ago, but looking at its specs, I'm not sure it will work, either.  The Pro Trekker line just , but maybe it's worth considering.

Now I'm looking at all brands and types of bags and would love to hear some suggestions.  I don't want a Glass Taxi type bag that just carries the lens and a bit of other stuff.  What I'd like to carry is the following items that comprise my nature photo kit:

300mm f/2.8 IS II (with lens hood reversed - body attached is nice but not needed)
70-200 f/2.8 IS II
24-70 f/2.8 II
16-35 f/2.8 II
1.4x & 2x III TCs
Tripod on back/side
Misc filters, RRS pano slide, small first aid kit, snake bite kit, lens cleaning kit

Preferences - backpack style with hip & sternum belts, waterproof cover

I don't think my gear list is exactly exotic or remotely unique, but I can't find much out there that I'm sure will fit all of it.  The Pro Trekker and Gura Gear Bataflae seem to fit, but the Pro Trekker line seems too huge and bulky from what I read and the Bataflae isn't exactly cheap.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« on: September 17, 2013, 09:14:32 AM »

RGF

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 10:49:52 AM »
check out gura gear - their bataflae 32L is huge and will easily swallow all you equipment.  Also rugged and very lightweight.

tron

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 10:56:41 AM »
check out gura gear - their bataflae 32L is huge and will easily swallow all you equipment.  Also rugged and very lightweight.
As you said: It's huge. Half of it will hold a 600 f/4 or 800 f/5.6 without camera or a 500 f/4 with camera.

OP mentioned 300 2.8. So a Bataflae 26L would be a better choice. It will hold the 300 2.8 with camera attached in one half and the other equipment in the other half with room to spare...

P.S I do have 26L and believe me it's BIG. You do not want even bigger than necessary...

mackguyver

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2013, 11:52:14 AM »
RGF & tron - thank you both for your replies.  I guess is confirms the unfortunate truth in photography - if you want the best, you have to pay for it.  From everything I've read about their stuff, it sounds like they are tough as nails and last forever.  Maybe like the old Eastpak "Guaranteed for Life...Maybe Longer" ads:

Jackson_Bill

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2013, 11:56:50 AM »
When I received my 300mm f/2.8 II the other night I came to the realization that LowePro is full of crap. 
I suspect that somewhere in the fine print LowePro mentioned that you have to reverse the hood. I have the LowePro Trekker 600 and carry my EFS 15-85, 70-200 f2.8, and 500 f4 mounted on the 7D, a 1.4 tele and assorted other stuff. However, I do have to reverse the hood on the 500 and I'd have to do that with any backpack. In fact, I wouldn't want a backpack that's another 9" longer.

mackguyver

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2013, 12:01:14 PM »
When I received my 300mm f/2.8 II the other night I came to the realization that LowePro is full of crap. 
I suspect that somewhere in the fine print LowePro mentioned that you have to reverse the hood. I have the LowePro Trekker 600 and carry my EFS 15-85, 70-200 f2.8, and 500 f4 mounted on the 7D, a 1.4 tele and assorted other stuff. However, I do have to reverse the hood on the 500 and I'd have to do that with any backpack. In fact, I wouldn't want a backpack that's another 9" longer.
Unfortunately, no, and I am talking about it with the hood reversed.  The bag does zip closed, but just barely and there's a huge bulge in the back of the pack, making it all but unwearable.  I love their products and have a ton of their bags, but other than technically being able to "hold" the 300mm, it isn't useable. 

I'll have to check out the Trekker line - this is one of those times I really miss the brick & mortar stores.  I'll have to buy a pack just to see if it works...

Halfrack

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2013, 01:02:23 PM »
You didn't say where you're carrying it.  My heart is set on one of the new line from think tank: Mindshift Gear!

http://www.mindshiftgear.com/products/rotation180-professional-deluxe

The rotational cubby is just sick for having a body/lens combo plus a lens and other crap - but it's geared for hiking/backpacking more than carrying around town.

I think the bag folks need work together on a 'what fits in' type page, where you can fill in boxes with your gear and will give you a 'known to fit in' with a layout.
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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2013, 01:02:23 PM »

mackguyver

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2013, 01:18:50 PM »
You didn't say where you're carrying it.
You're right, I left that out.  I'll be carrying it outdoors, mostly in the swamps and forests of Florida, so the urban stuff is out, and toughness and the ability to cope with rain is needed.  No need to store overnight gear or anything elaborate in the way of clothing.
I think the bag folks need work together on a 'what fits in' type page, where you can fill in boxes with your gear and will give you a 'known to fit in' with a layout.
That would be nice, and maybe an idea for a new website like the camera size one...

Thanks for the link to Mindshift, another one that I definitely need to consider.

Eldar

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2013, 01:20:24 PM »
I have the pro trekker 400 AW, which I am quite happy with. The 400mm f2.8L IS II, mounted on the 1DX fits. The 600mm f4L IS II can be squeezed in. Like you, I like to carry more than just the long white when I go out. I believe your package should fit nicely in the 400, maybe even the 300. I have not had issues carrying this pack as hand luggage when flying regular flights (have not had it on smaller planes).
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Cali_PH

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2013, 01:26:48 PM »
I'd suggest taking a look at one of the larger f-stop bags, I'm guessing one of those would fit the bill.

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2013, 04:04:11 PM »
I'm carrying exactly the same lenses as you, plus a 100mm macro and fisheye and everything fits perfect in my Gura Gear Bataflae 32L. I have two camera bodies, one which remains attached to the 300mm with hood in shooting position. I've traveled and hiked many miles with this setup and it's been superb so far. Hope that helps.

mackguyver

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2013, 04:10:36 PM »
I'm carrying exactly the same lenses as you, plus a 100mm macro and fisheye and everything fits perfect in my Gura Gear Bataflae 32L. I have two camera bodies, one which remains attached to the 300mm with hood in shooting position. I've traveled and hiked many miles with this setup and it's been superb so far. Hope that helps.
Thanks for the tip and that may be exactly what I need because I left off my 180mm macro that tags along sometimes.  Still thinking about giving the Flipside 500 AW a try - my budget's a bit strained after the 300 purchase :(

ONeill

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2013, 04:21:11 PM »
Cali_PH is right in guessing that F-Stop bags should feature in your search, and Dave-NYC is right there with the specifics. All his comments are accurate and relevant. Having a Loka myself, which is their middle sized rucksack, gives me plenty of confidence in recommending the brand to you for the use you've described. The quality is absolutely top-notch (yes, you do get what you pay for; the corollary being that you do have to pay for the best), and although you can strip out the camera insert section and use it as a regular back-woods or mountain daysack (at which it excels), it's simply superb for carrying around a fairly comprehensive selection of FF 35mm kit including tripod, plus the stuff you need to stay alive away from civilization, and then making all the weight disappear when you wear it. They make both bigger and smaller bags than the Loka, according to your needs (you may find the Satori is too big for you, though, capacity-wise), but whichever bag you go for, the real benefit is that the camera carrying inserts are almost infinitely customizeable within the limits of the size of the bag. They have ten different sized photo gear inserts, many of which you can double up for more capacity. I don't think you'll have any problem whatsoever finding a combination that will fulfill your needs handsomely. The Loka frame fits me very well - I'm 6' (1.82m) and fairly broad. The green color option is also highly camouflageable, if that's of any relevance. May I suggest that you get out a tape and measure what you want to carry before deciding on anything?

After a lot of research, I chose this brand/model over the Clik Elite Contrejour (not quite as well thought out, tough or as flexible, but a very close second); Lowepro Rover Pro (quality and robustness issues and the frame/harness is more suited to a smaller/shorter back); and Gura Gear/Kata/Think Tank/Lowepro/Tamrac/Tenba variations, all of which were either too 'city/airport' oriented, or insufficiently designed for back-woods trips.

I feel qualified to recommend F-Stop. I have had way too many other bags over the years, ranging from shoulder bags, daysacks and carry-on bags for personal and travel photo trips, all bought in the hope that they would be 'the answer', and a mass of plastic boxes (mostly Pelican) for work use. At the end of the day, the very best bag I've ever had is a canvas Billingham 335 which has seen every continent, climate and several war zones since I bought it back in 1979 and still goes strong having never allowed a single bit of kit to get damaged. It's not the answer for you, here, but I think F-Stop might well be.

Hope this influences you and helps in your search.

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2013, 04:21:11 PM »

JaxPhotographer

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2013, 05:30:01 PM »
I currently use the Gura Gear Bata 32L. You are right, it isn't cheap but it is more than spacious for what you need to carry. The construction is outstanding, very light weight but strong. The interior is customizable with the strong Velcro dividers. It holds my tripod well using the outside strapping and pocket. The lower back/waist support and the shoulder strapping are comfortable even with a full load when adjusted properly. It also has plenty of zippered pockets to carry my filters, chargers, cords, etc. I spent four days hiking with it Arizona last year and was very pleased with it. It also fits in airline overhead compartments.
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RGF

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2013, 06:28:31 PM »
check out gura gear - their bataflae 32L is huge and will easily swallow all you equipment.  Also rugged and very lightweight.
As you said: It's huge. Half of it will hold a 600 f/4 or 800 f/5.6 without camera or a 500 f/4 with camera.

OP mentioned 300 2.8. So a Bataflae 26L would be a better choice. It will hold the 300 2.8 with camera attached in one half and the other equipment in the other half with room to spare...

P.S I do have 26L and believe me it's BIG. You do not want even bigger than necessary...

I tend toward larger bags, so (1) I can keep equipment easily accessible and (2) take that extra items (water, sun screen, sandwich, ...) with me.

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Re: Big(ger) Bag Recommendations Needed
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2013, 06:28:31 PM »