Backpack advice?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by vanforsman, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. vanforsman macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2014
    Hey all,

    I'm a blossoming photographer in need of a new backpack for my average lenses, 6d, and 15" retina, and soon tripod. I'm wondering if they're any pack like the Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II that can hold a normal tripod, say the Vanguard 263AB. I'd also like to have space for a standard notepad (8.5x11) and or clothing/supplies for short hikes. Most importantly, good hip straps. I'm guessing it'll just be expensive and too large, but maybe you can give me a direction to investigate? I'll probably just end up trying a bunch of packs at a local store. Thanks for the help!
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Advice for bags is probably the hardest thing to give! I was at a large camera store talking to one of the staff about bags. He said the people that come in for bags, generally spend twice as long as those buying cameras.
    My advice is to go to the store with your gear and try them out.
    Other than that the Lowpro bag finder on their website is pretty useful.
  3. kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    I think this is spot on. I have a collection of camera bags in the loft - no backpacks sorry - I just cant find the one that fits universally.

    You really do need to go try them but also consider the hiking aspect first. Maybe a hiking bag with camera inserts (think think tank do small compartments that go in luggage) as it may be cheaper. Camers bags seem to be expensive straight out the gate. For example a good laptop messenger could be had for £50-80 yet a camera messenger will start with a 1 on the front of this...

    Also think real hard about whether you are ALWAYS going to be carrying it all i.e. laptop etc... So maybe a backpack for it all is not the right solution. I bought a Kata bag for my camera and just carry my laptop in an incase bag that I sling over my shoulder those times I need it... Obviously my use case like yours is pretty unique to me so again, go try, go play, go explore before shelling out too much. iMHO
  4. Scepticalscribe macrumors Westmere


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I have a small leather camera bag/case which holds two lenses and a spare roll or two of film (yes, I still shoot with film). Sometimes, that bag travels in my rucksack/backpack, sometimes, it travels in my hand or around my neck.

    You have to ask yourself what sort of photography you do, as this will determine what you need to bring with you.

    Also, ask yourself whether you need to bring all of these things with you all of the time, and how you wish to transport them. Sometimes, when I just want one lens on the camera, the camera itself, in a sort of leather half-case, sits around my neck. Everything else has been banished to the rucksack.
  5. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I've tried different backpacks, and although they were all OK, the one that's proven to be exceptional -- and that I now use exclusively -- is the f-stop "Loka." I don't think you can find it in a store, but check them out on the web.
  6. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68010


    Jun 5, 2012
    I could provide this service at my place given the number of bags I've tried and didn't like and now have stored in my basement. :(

    I like the Gura Gear bags but I don't need space for a laptop. I did read about the Mindshift Gear bags recently. Some of their backpacks would have the features you're looking for and they appear to be well made.
  7. scoami macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2010
    Take a look at the Dakine Sequence backpack.
  8. scoami macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2010
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you need a backpack, buy a real backpack likelthe type you'd use for a hike or multi-day backpacking trip. If you have some gear that needs padding put that in some padding or a case.

    Think about what you are doing. backpacks make poor luggage, pelican cases work best for that. I've even placed a backpack inside a pelican case. When the gear is on your back it does not require much protection. When it is out of your hands it does, so just a normal backpack of the proper size and a case if you need to transport the gear.
  10. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014

    My Lowepro Photo Sport 200AW fits all that requirement, as an addition I still have EVERY Lowepro product I have ever bought, it doesn't seem to wear out...I carry a D300s, 70-300, 17-55/2.8 and MBP 13" in mine and you still have all the rucksack space clear (that all fits into the dedicated camera compartment).
  11. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Set your priorities first. If you are going to hike the backwoods, get a good pack for that purpose and fit a minimal photo kit in it. If you are going to mostly shoot, get a bag for the camera equipment and worry about cloths and stuff separately. I have a camera backpack that sees no use at all anymore. When I shoot wildlife the hiking is limited as I am surrounded by Preserves and National Parks in Washington State. A Domke bag carries my 7D with a 100mm macro and a standard lens while my 120-400 bird lens rides in a small backpack from REI if it isn't on a tripod over my shoulder.

    The smartest wildlife photographer I ever met just piled all his stuff in an old baby stroller.

    And leave the laptop at home for editing.

  12. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    Pick your ideal backpack forgetting about photography. Then figure out who to make it work. Photo specific backpacks are expensive and inflexible. In a year you'll be looking for another one.
  13. vanforsman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2014
    Thanks for all the advice everyone!

    A number of you hammered home priorities and buying for what I want to specialize in, but again this is meant to be a compromise solution. It's not meant for terribly serious hikes, and I do want a pack that can hold a tripod, say, when I'm walking around at night in the city.

    Perhaps its best phrased as, I want a backpack for school that can hold 1-2 lenses and a DSLR, and school stuff of course, hence good hip straps. Unless this alters your suggestions though, I'll definitely check out your suggestions in the mean time, thanks so much!
  14. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space

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