Advice: Bag for Camera and Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Heebeejeebies, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Heebeejeebies macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    I'm looking to carry my Nikon and two lenses along with my 15" MBP, and was wondering what you guys use or recommend. I would ideally like to have a shoulder bag, but I would consider a backpack.

    The things that would go in the bag:
    • MBP 15" (in an incase)
    • Nikon D60
    • Two Nikon lenses (18-55mm and 55-200mm)
    • Birdwatching binoculars
    • 2 Largish books (Sibley guide to birds, Peterson field guide for Insects)
    • Small, note-taking binder
    • Assorted wires (MBP charger, Nikon battery charger, USB connector, headphones)

    I know that's a lot, and it seems like I should probably invest in a suitcase, but as a birdwatcher and a (beginner) photographer, I need to access my camera quickly, and with the way I am now doing things, it's almost impossible. I have a small bag for my Nikon, while my binoculars currently reside in my laptop bag with my MBP. I'm also kind of a wanderer, so I carry everything everywhere, and I don't like to leave my laptop in my car. I haul these two bags together, and it's getting to be a little insane.

    I would also be carrying a monopod, but that doesn't need to go in the bag, but if it can, that would be awesome...
  2. h1r0ll3r, Dec 15, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011

    h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    I don't think you're going to find a shoulder bag that will hold all of that honestly. You're looking at either a large backpack or a rolling suitcase of some sort. If the rolling suitcase isn't quite what you're looking for, perhaps the Jansport Odyssey backpack might be of interest.

    It's pretty big and has quite a few separate compartments that should hold your books/laptop/binoculars. You might need to get something separate to hold the camera/lenses but I think it should work pretty well for your needs.

    Also the Targus Matrix is pretty nice backpack as well.
  3. bunit macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2007
    Westerly RI
    I have a Tamrac 3380 backpack that I absolutely love! It holds my Canon 7D, 3 lenses, my 15" Macbook Pro (in it's own paced compartment, and all needed accessories and even a sweatshirt and lunch. The bag is amazing. if you check out Tamrac's website, i'm sure you'll find something that is perfect for you.
  4. SayCheese macrumors 6502a

    Jun 14, 2007
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    I have a Think Tank Street Walker Harddrive.

    I fits my 1D II with 70-200 f2.8 attached a 17-40 f4 several batteries and power chargers in the main compartment. I also have my 15inch MBP in the back compartment too.

    I highly recommend it.
  5. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    I photograph and watch birds (but I don't photograph birds...), so I'm often out and about with camera, tripod, binoculars, plus a little case for spare batteries, CF cards, etc. But a heavy laptop and cables?? Never...

    I respond best, in photography, to having as little to carry as possible; that means I'm ready for anything. A computer would just weigh me down, for no good reason. You say you don't want to leave it in your car, butt why not? Just find somewhere to hide it (or build a snug compartment for it in the boot/trunk)...
  6. Heebeejeebies thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    That looks like an awesome backpack. Do you think there is enough room in there for a couple of field guide type of books. It seems like the compartments in the backpack are adjustable, but are they deep enough to fit a 6" by 12" book, you think?

    Edit: Noticed the pocket on the front of the bag, which may just be enough to fit my books, but might be a little snug. I guess I should probably take a look at these in person instead of ordering online...
    I absolutely agree, and normally I go out with only my binoculars and camera, but I tend to take long trips and camp, leaving my car in a public place for a while. I guess I'm just a little overprotective too. Maybe I should consider building a little smuggler's hatch in my car. ;)


    I guess I was being a little unreasonable about it being a shoulder bag, but I think the Jansport and the Tarmac are a little too much like the bags I used in high school...

    The Tamrac 3380 looks like a really nice bag, and looks like it might be perfect for the things I need to put it in! Thanks!
  7. sapporobaby macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2007
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    Take a look here:

    They are expensive but they get the job done. I have one, the XL for the 17 inch MBP, but I now have a 15 inch.

    I also have this:,1924.htm

    As well as this: D300 AW,2046.htm

    In short, there is no one bag for all occasions in my opinion. It depends on what you want to carry as well as where you are carrying it.

    Finally my every day bag is this one: (I have the 5X. I can put my MBA inside or my iPad)
  8. SayCheese macrumors 6502a

    Jun 14, 2007
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    I would suggest that you go look in person if you can. I would think you'd get a decent sized book in there but at least if you look in person you can take the book with you and see how it fits.
  9. thecowinheat macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2011
    This is what i use and it holds quite a bit for a shoulder bag.

    timbuk2 snoop medium.
  10. Randy McKown macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2011
    Kansas City
    Lowepro Stealth Reporter D650 AW .. In mine I have MBP, 2 g-drives, logitech trackball, 2 bodies, 4 lenses(105mm, 18-200mm, 50mm, 35mm), Sb-900, Sb-600, Sd-9, battery grip, about 2 inche thickness of folders/paperwork in the back sleeve and misc stuff in the pockets .. filters, chargers, cables, cards, and various odds n ends.

    has a built in zipper access in the top so you can grab your camera without opening the bag and also a built in rain jacket that pulls out of the bottom and wraps the entire bag in case you find yourself in bad weather.
  11. Moccasin macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2011
    Newcastle, UK
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Take a look at Crumpler bags too. They have a fairly large range and many of their larger shoulder/messenger bags come with an extra waist strap to take some of the weight off your shoulder. They also have removable compartments.

    Definitely don't buy without actually seeing and trying the bag too.
  12. deep diver macrumors 65816

    deep diver

    Jan 17, 2008
    Solon, OH
    I have 2 Lowepro bags and really like them. No matter what you get, your best bet will be to try out a few bags at the local camera store.
  13. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    Definitely take a look and try/play with as many as you can at your local camera store (if one is nearby). My 2c.
  14. btdpi007 macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2009
    North Carolina
  15. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    I was gonna say Timbuk2 Snoop too but you want to carry your books. idk if 2 books plus camera and a MBP would fit. Why do you need to carry your books? If I was you I would invest in an iPad. Download PDF versions of the book from either iTunes or from your local library.

    You can try going to Lowepro and putting the gear in a vitural bag to see which ones will work. here is one I thought would work 300 AW,2165.htm

    Crumpler Brazillion dollar bag will have enough room.
  16. thirstypig macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2011
  17. Heebeejeebies thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    Thanks for all the responses... I decided to go with the Tamrac 3380 because it seems to fit all my needs, is a little less expensive than the others, and comes in orange!

    I would love to invest in an iPad, but I don't see the value at the moment. Once I get some spending money I definitely will. However, I use the Sibley Field Guide on my iPhone, and carry a Sibley Guide to Bird Behavior, as opposed to the guide to Birds (I'm a behaviorist), and while it's not something I necessarily need, I prefer to have it with me...

    Once again, thanks to everyone who gave advice...

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