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Author Topic: Looking for a good overnight backpack  (Read 4578 times)

kirispupis

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Looking for a good overnight backpack
« on: September 27, 2016, 10:52:17 PM »
I currently have a GuraGear Bataflae that works fine for day hikes and travel, but I'd like to find a bag that I can use for multiday hikes. Basically I'm looking for something that's more of a hiking bag than a camera bag - but that has the dividers to keep camera gear safe. It should have room for a tent, sleeping bag, and the normal stuff along with somewhere to hang a tripod.
The camera gear I expect to use it for are a 1Dx2, 11-24, 70-200/2.8, 24-70/2.8 II, and a TS-E 24 II. This may sound like a lot but I'm confident I can carry it given that my current bag has additional lenses including a 200-400/1.4x.
Is there any bag out there that does this?
1Dx2|TS-E 24 II|TS-E 17|TS-E 90|200-400/1.4x|MP-E 65|100/2.8 IS Macro|70-200/2.8 IS II||16-35/2.8 II|EOS M

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Looking for a good overnight backpack
« on: September 27, 2016, 10:52:17 PM »

dcm

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Re: Looking for a good overnight backpack
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2016, 01:24:09 AM »
You didn't mention what type of camping gear you have or when/where you plan to backpack.  This has a tremendous impact on the amount of gear you will need to carry.  You really need to sort this out to determine how large a pack you will need.  Traveling lighter will usually allow you to go farther and/ or faster.

You didn't mention which Betaflae, but I assume its the 32L.  So your camera carry alone is likely over 20L for a backpacking trip given your gear list.  Do you really need all of that gear?  I find a wide angle (11-24 or 16-35) for scenery, telephoto (70-200 or 100-400) for wildlife/scenery and a macro are sufficient in most cases.  I don't have a TSE yet, but that or some other special purpose lens would probably replace my macro when needed. I might also substitute my 6D for the 1DX2 in some cases.

REI has some good advice for choosing backpacks and gear checklists you might want to check out, like https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpack.html. REI suggests a weekend pack is 30-50L for efficient packers while a multi-day pack is 50-80L for warm weather trips over 3 days.  This give you an idea of the size of pack you'll need for your camping gear so you can add your 20L+ to this.   I'm not aware of an serious backpacks with built-in dividers.  You'll need to invest in some type of insert for this purpose. 

In my own experience I use a 30L or 45L for my day hiking .  With the 30L I usually carry an S110 with 20-30L of gear/food/water for serious day hikes in the mountains depending on the conditions.  Weather changes quickly in the mountains so you need to be prepared for anything.  The 45L allows me to comfortably carry my M kit (M/M3/11-22/28/55-200) in a 7L or 11L padded insert with the same 20-30L of gear.  When the goal is photography I can also use both inserts to carry my 6D and a few lenses in the 45L pack but I might choose my 65L instead to handle the weight better.   I'd definitely be using the 65L pack (and a larger insert) to carry my 1DX2 and a complement of lenses but I haven't taken it out on the trail yet. 

Last weekend I did a couple of day hikes to peaks with my 45L and M kit in Rocky Mountain National Park while my wife was at a Yoga conference in Estes Park.  One was a beautiful sunny day (2 miles, 700 feet gained), the other was high winds, low clouds, and snow (2.5 miles, 2000 feet gained).  A comfortable pack is paramount when climbing a 15% grade for a few hours.  My pack wasn't full the first day, but I filled it the second day with an extra layers for the conditions.  The third day hike I carried an 18L daypack and my iPhone for a short, sunny stroll with my wife. 

For backpacking trips I carry my 65L pack with the S110 or M kit depending on the goal and available space.  I completed a pair of 2 day solo trips and a 4 day group trip in Rocky Mountain National Park the preceding weekends with my M kit.  My pack was pretty full on the 4 day trip, with the tent and pad lashed externally and a large bear canister inside.  The insert sat nicely atop the bear can.  If I wanted to carry a FF kit on a multi-day trip I'd get the 85L version of my pack and it might still be tight.

As stated in many previous threads, visit a store like REI to get properly fitted with a pack that matches your torso.  Gregory backpacks seem to fit me better while some find other brands are a better fit. 
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 10:05:16 AM by dcm »
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kirispupis

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Re: Looking for a good overnight backpack
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2016, 04:39:37 PM »
Thanks! This pack is for overnight purposes. I expect the vast majority of cases to be a single night - basically hike to a location, get sunset, night stars, then sunrise and hike back. This means that some gear I can avoid taking, though I do believe a bear canister will in some cases be required.

I plan to pick up one of those ultralight 3 season 2 person tents and also an ultralight sleeping bag. This would not be for winter backpacking. Most should be good weather, though as you know the mountains can be unpredictable.

Most of this is mountain hiking and I expect to be in the 2000-6000 ft elevation gain area.

My TS-E 24 II is my primary landscape lens, so that would be coming for sure. I expect to also include the 11-24 and a 70-200/2.8 II - though I may decide to pick up a 100-400 for mountain wildlife. My 200-400/1.4x is too big for multi-day hikes, though I usually take it on single day hikes. I'd probably take one more lens in the pack - such as a 100 macro, 24-70/2.8 II, TS-E 17, or 8-15 fisheye - depending on the hike.

Any recommendations for an insert?
1Dx2|TS-E 24 II|TS-E 17|TS-E 90|200-400/1.4x|MP-E 65|100/2.8 IS Macro|70-200/2.8 IS II||16-35/2.8 II|EOS M

dcm

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Re: Looking for a good overnight backpack
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2016, 05:16:56 PM »

Any recommendations for an insert?

I have some GuraGear inserts I got a few years ago that fit nicely atop the bear can.  The Small Pro Photo Module Case and Small Compact Photo Module get the most use.  I've also got a Medium Compact Photo Module.  The compact photo modules fit will in my 30L and smaller packs.  They work well enough and slip into the pack easily with room to stuff my puffy and other stuff around them.  There are newer ones on the market now but I don't have any experience with them.  In some cases I just use the ThinkTank MM20 I use in town with a zipper pouch or two for overflow/belt carry.  In general, multiple smaller pieces are easier to pack than one larger piece.  I've got some small Nanuk hardcases that I ponder using but haven't tried that yet.

One other thought is the bear can itself - since it is pretty rigid and would protect your gear.  I usually have space in the small bear can (BV 450 - 7L) that I stuff with other things like stove/fuel/etc.   That space could be used to place camera gear instead.  I carried a larger bear can (BV 500 - 11L) on the multi-day trip so it would handle a bit more gear on a short trip.    BTW - bears cans don't fit well in many overnight/weekend packs so you many need a multi-day pack anyway.  It would definitely not fit in my 30L and might not fit well in my 45L.  Make sure you try your bear can choice in the pack you consider.  You can attach some bear cans externally, but then I wouldn't be putting any camera gear in it.

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 05:22:19 PM by dcm »
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AJ

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Re: Looking for a good overnight backpack
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2016, 05:52:14 PM »
Go to MEC (Canada) or REI (USA) or European equivalent, and have yourself fitted for an overnight pack.  Gregory is a time-honored brand.  Deuter makes good packs too.  Look for 70 or 80 Liter capacity.  60 is small but works for going light.

Now, ask the salesclerk for a camera case with a chest harness.  I have a Clik Elite and it is very good.  You can attach additional padded lens bags to your waist if you wish.  Additional gear goes into padded cases in the body of your backpack. 

p.s. When putting on the pack, the Clik Elite goes on first and then the pack.

Don Haines

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Re: Looking for a good overnight backpack
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2016, 08:13:04 PM »
Go to MEC (Canada) or REI (USA) or European equivalent, and have yourself fitted for an overnight pack.  Gregory is a time-honored brand.  Deuter makes good packs too.  Look for 70 or 80 Liter capacity.  60 is small but works for going light.

Now, ask the salesclerk for a camera case with a chest harness.  I have a Clik Elite and it is very good.  You can attach additional padded lens bags to your waist if you wish.  Additional gear goes into padded cases in the body of your backpack. 

p.s. When putting on the pack, the Clik Elite goes on first and then the pack.
Good advice!

Look up BetaShells...... That might provide you with some interesting options......
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timmy_650

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Re: Looking for a good overnight backpack
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2016, 09:27:21 PM »
When I backpack, I carry my Camera on my chest with either my wide angle or telephoto (70-200 f4) depending on where i am and Just wrap my extra lens in clothing in my bag on top or If I am worried about water, I got a dry sack and 1" inch foam and I wrap the lens in the foam then rubber band them and put them into the dry sack. As for the brand of bag, try them on. They all fit a bit differently, so it is what fits you best.

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Re: Looking for a good overnight backpack
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2016, 09:27:21 PM »

dcm

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Re: Looking for a good overnight backpack
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2016, 11:48:07 AM »
I tried the loose approach with my T2i and a few lenses wrapped in pouches and gear several years ago on a few hikes.  I  found it wasn't the greatest when I had to swap lenses or pull other gear from the pack, even with side/front entry.

Here's the GuraGear Small Compact Module (7L) sitting in my Gregory Z45 (45L) on a hike last weekend.  The M3 and 28 Macro are in hand - I'd already swapped them for the S110.  I also have the 11-22, 55-200, 8mm Fisheye, EVF and extra battery on this trip since I wasn't sure what to expect.  Used everything but the fisheye.  And it all fits nicely in a single large ziplock or small trash bag for rain.  I carry the active body/lens combo on my PD Capture. 

The insert fits well in all three orientations and I keep my puffy on top for the summit.  Nice to be able to extract all my camera gear in a single motion and set it aside while I get other gear or food out to set up lunch or camp. 
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ibleedblue244

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Re: Looking for a good overnight backpack
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2016, 01:08:13 PM »
I've used several Lowepro backpacks for years and they have served me well. Might be worth a look.

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Re: Looking for a good overnight backpack
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2016, 01:08:13 PM »