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Author Topic: Looking for a new bag/backpack  (Read 5174 times)

mws

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Looking for a new bag/backpack
« on: February 15, 2012, 10:07:32 AM »
I’m looking for some suggestions on bags/backpacks. Currently I’m using the Lowepro Fast Pack 350. I’m currently at capacity and plan on a new body and a lens or two in the near future.

What initially attracted me to this bag was the laptop sleeve, and the fact that it also has an area that is not all padded for carrying what ever you want. The one thing I really dislike about it is the lack of ability to easily carry a tripod.

Here is what I am currently carrying:

50D w/ grip
24-70 2.8 L
70-200 2.8 L IS II
50 1.4
28-135 IS
18-35 EF-S
Speed light 430exii
Misc other stuff, chargers, cords, etc.

I plan on getting what ever the 5D mk iii ends up to be, another speed light, and another lens or possibly two.

I’d like a backpack that can easily carry all of that, with a laptop spot. Anyone have any good suggestions for under $ 200.00?

Thanks in advance!

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Looking for a new bag/backpack
« on: February 15, 2012, 10:07:32 AM »

guffster

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2012, 10:51:45 AM »
Don't know if this helps or not, but I picked up a used Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II from ebay in nice shape and it holds all you are talking about and more.  This bag is no longer produced and replacements are available which are similar in size and capacity if you are looking for new rather than used. 

I wanted a used bag to carry a 500 f4 attached to a gripped 7D with an attached 1.4x, plus additional accessories such as a 580EX II flash, flash adapter, beamer, an extra body or two, 3 or 4 additional lenses, memory cards, both camera and flash batteries, cleaning supplies, etc.    It also has a laptop storage area and waterproof cover.

Works great for my needs and the price was right on (< $100).  In addition, its size is right for carry-on if you are flying. 

Some of the newer bags can get a bit pricey, however they offer outstanding support, comfort, and capabilities...

-Guffster
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 06:43:40 PM by guffster »

vlim

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 11:29:21 AM »
Quote
and the fact that it also has an area that is not all padded for carrying what ever you want


Take a look at the backpacks made by F-stop gear... Clearly not under 200$ but awesome bags with some volume left for non photo gear. The Tilopa BC is a 48 liters bag with so many options in terms of storage for your photo gear (4 sizes possible in term of ICU, the large one is for you) and still plenty of room for other stuffs.

http://fstopgear.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=482:tilopa-bc&catid=55:mountain&Itemid=331
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 04:44:02 AM by vlim »

barryjphoto

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 11:37:03 AM »
For under 200 I'd check out Case Logic. I have one but it's a bit tricky with a gripped body, the rest will fit no prob. It's no Crumpler but I was somewhat impressed for how little $$
http://www.caselogic.com/slr_camera_backpack/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=211092&productid=10128428

Crapking

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 11:39:42 AM »
If willing to consider an over-the shoulder and a separate laptop sleeve, (as opposed to traditional backback), I was amazed at how much gear the ThinkTank 30 Retrospective can hold.  While it sounds nice to have an integrated space for the laptop, in my searches, I found that having accessibility AND adequate packing makes the bags either too big or too flimsy, so I keep them separate. I'm sure others have different experiences/preferences, and most own (or have owned) MANY bags before finding the right one 'for now'.

But I routinely carry the following in the Retrospective 30

7d & 1dIV bodies (front pockets)
16-35 / 24-70 zooms (with hoods)
35 / 50 / 135 primes (with hoods)
430 Ex speedlight
Dual Rapid strap slings
plus pockets for the filters / batteries / chargers
plus occasionally use the 2 'loops' to clip on additional lenses (70-200), or water bottle
1Dx, 1DIV, 5D3, 7D, (Sigma 15 FE)
16-35/2.8; 24-70/2.8 II; 70-200/2.8 II, 100-400L
35/1.4, 40/2.8; 50/1.2, 85/1.2, 135/2; 200/2

picturesbyme

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 11:58:13 AM »
I'm using two, a CaseLogic SLRC206 backpack if I need more gear and a Tenba messenger bag if I need less or I'm in the city. I highly recommend both. Of course it depends on your need, taste, brand-name-addiction :) ..etc.
If you need something larger I would check out the new Naneu 120. It might be the best quality bag I ever seen and if you need room it has plenty. All of them can carry a laptop up to 15" (which space is now used for a much smaller tablet). more here: http://www.picturesbyme.com/f873601515





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SPG

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 02:39:19 PM »
You might want to take a look at Burton snowboards' F-Stop Pack. I know, I know, they're a snowboard company, but they have a whole team of photographers that have been tweaking the design of this pack for the last decade.
I use one and it carries two bodies, a 70-200, 17-55, 50, 8mm, 2 430ex, monopod, lightstand, triggers, a bottle of water and lunch. I can strap a tripod to it when I'm filming, or an avalanche shovel, and it's got extra storage pockets outside the padded main compartment. The only thing it doesn't have is a dedicated laptop compartment as you wouldn't want to carry that out into the snow.

http://www.burton.com/mens-bags-luggage-packs-f-stop-pack/256143,default,pd.html?start=33&cgid=mens-packs


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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 02:39:19 PM »

bigblue1ca

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 03:32:22 PM »
Check out F-Stop Gear - http://fstopgear.com

I have the Tilopa BC (Back Country) and it's great for hiking, skiing, or just carrying your gear around town.  It has a slot to carry my 17" laptop and it carries my tripod.  It also has room to carry a jacket or some clothes in it as well.





Or if you want something a little smaller there's the Loka:



With all these backpacks and others that F-Stop offers (bigger or smaller) you can selected the size(s) of the ICU (Internal Carrier Unit) you buy depending on how much gear you have or how much you want to take out on a given day.  Most of them will let you carry a tripod with ease.  They're a little more than your price range, but if you are looking for a good high quality backpack regardless of the brand, they're not cheap.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 03:34:30 PM by bigblue1ca »

vlim

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2012, 03:17:38 AM »
I've ordered one Loka bag, i can't wait for testing it...

Take a closer look at the ICU fitting diagram for the Tilopa BC, as you can see, there's a lot of room for your personnal gear :


« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 05:04:20 AM by vlim »

mws

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2012, 11:39:20 AM »
Thanks for the tips. I think I'm going to go with the Mountainsmith mountainsmith. Found it on Amazon for 120.00

http://www.mountainsmith.com/products.asp?productId=276&categoryId=13&subCategoryId=14&subCategory2Id=0

mws

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2012, 11:50:21 AM »
That should be Mountainsmith Parallax Pro. Can't edit a post for some reason.

SPG

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2012, 03:35:02 PM »
One other pack maker that I didn't see mentioned here is ThinkTank. I picked up their Streetwalker (horrible name!) pack last summer as I needed a smaller pack for a more touristing type of trip I was taking where I'd be walking around all day without some of the gear I'd carry on the mountain. I was amazed at how well it fit. Really comfortable even when loaded up with a lot of gear. Surprisingly roomy inside. I've had quite a few packs over the years and I've put up with some uncomfortable packs just because I could fit a lot of gear in them. I'm looking at you LowePro! The ones that are really comfortable and can hold a lot of gear and survive the abuse dished out in harsh environments are few and far between. A really old Tamrack, the newest Burton, and ThinkTank are the only ones I can recommend.

blueridge

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2012, 03:58:18 PM »
I would wait until the next model of whatever you want is introduced....

 :D :D :D :D :D :D

[pat]

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2012, 03:58:18 PM »

willhuff.net

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2012, 04:48:46 PM »
I'd just like to add another recommendation to others for f-stop backpacks. I have the Satori and love it. For weddings I can pack my main camera, 5 lenses, 5 flashes, and all the accessories like cards and batteries and a snack. I can also strap 3 light stands to the outside of it. For backcountry camping trips I bought the smaller ICU to put my camera, wide angle lens, and pano tripod head inside. The rest of the pack can be filled with food, clothes, rain jacket, etc and I can strap my tripod, tent, and sleeping bag and pad to the outside.

stefsan

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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2012, 03:17:50 AM »
+1 from me for the f-stop packs. Rather expensive but worth every cent. They are extremely well designed, versatile and nearly indestructible. Recommended for rough mountaineering and skiing as well as for strolling the city.  8)
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Re: Looking for a new bag/backpack
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2012, 03:17:50 AM »