DSLR / MBP BackPack

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Pak^Man, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Pak^Man macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Hi all,

    I'm looking for recommendations on a Sling (preferred) or Backpack, to carry my MBP 15" and my Nikon D90.

    I've been doing my reading on this.... and looking at Lowepros, Thinktank, etc. but my need is for the most compact bag that I can fit my gear in. I do a lot of travel by air, and would like to keep this gear small so it can go as my "personal item", not my "carry on".

    Total gear ould include:
    • MBP 15" unibody + Charger
    • 2.5" External Hard Drive
    • Bluetooth mouse
    • Nikon D90 w 18-105mm kit lens + Charger
    • Nikon 55mm 1.8 prime
    • Room for one for zoon lens (Maybe Nikon 16-85)
    • Flash

    Once again, my aim to carry these in the smallest bag possible, that can be carried in planes and also buses, trains etc.

    I'll be taking this gear to Canada for my first ever trip! :)

  2. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
  3. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
  4. Elbert C macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2008
    AK, USA
    Lowepro Fast Pack 250 will hold all the gear you're planning to bring with you. IDK if it can go as a personal item tho.
  5. Vel macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2008
  6. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
  7. DSPalpatine macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2009
    I use a Tamrac Adventure 9 backpack which holds my gear just fine. I've traveled with it throughout southeastern Asia, as well as multiple trips in the U.S. It's a little heavier than some of the backpacks listed above, but the strap- and back-padding has meant I can go hiking for hours on end without shoulder or back pain. The gear is also well-padded. I put my Macbook in a sleeve and then place it in the laptop compartment, and still have room to spare.

    One bit of advice, though: go to a camera store with your gear and make sure everything can fit easily. Try different brands on, and see which one fits you best. When I did this, I also ended up buying from the camera store, because my salesperson was extremely helpful, even though I would have saved about (US) $10 buying online. Just a thought...
  8. gnd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2008
    At my cat's house
    As a former LowePro FastPack 250 user I can only highly recommend it:
    - very comfortable to carry
    - very easy access to the camera while on the go
    - the top compartment was big enough for 3.5" external HD with cables and power supply, camera charger, spare batteries, other stuff like wallets, keys, pens, flashlight, usb key ...
    - pocket for the laptop is big enough to actually squeeze a 17" HP inside (although it takes a lot of effort to do so)
    - the way I had it set up it held in its camera part my camera with the grip and a lens (Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8), 3 other lenses (200mm f/4, 90mm f/2.5 macro, 24mm f/1.8)) in separate compartments, flash and a couple small primes (50mm f/1.4, 28mm f/2.8) on top of that.
    - the outside pocket covered with the flap held a few filters, wired and wireless remote, tripod plate and some cleaning supplies
    - I traveled with it as my personal item from Europe to USA

    I moved up to the FastPack 350 because I wanted to fit my 17" laptop more comfortably inside
  9. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2010
    Calgary AB
    +1 on the Lowepro Fastpack 250. Very comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Lots of space in the top for you to throw junk in, and lower front-side access camera pouch is fantastic for easy access and that perfect fit for your extra lenses
  10. CK Williams macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2008
    Las Vegas
    I've been using the previous version of the Kata 467 for about 6 months and have found it to travel very well. It's small enough to fit under an airline seat and has plenty of storage space. I have a gripped D700, 3 lenses, a small flash, filters, a 13" MBP (a 15" would fit), and various accessories in it with room to spare. It also has a strap on the back to secure it to the handle on my pull-along suitcase.

  11. Eaton Photos macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    I will recommend the Think Tank Shape Shifter: http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/shape-shifter-backpack.aspx

    I own this bag, and use it for walking around town, shooting assignments, and also as a means to carry my school books, along with my 15" MBP. It truly does collapse down into a small form factor, but then also zips out, and opens up into a remarkably large backpack, with lots of room to spare. I would have no qualms using it, as my Carry On, as it will hold both camera gear, my notebook/ external HDD, and some clothes. :)
  12. Pak^Man thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Thnaks for all the input guys!

    I looked at all of these bags, and many more.... went to multiple web-sites and considered posted dimensions, review, etc.... but all were too big for what I wanted.

    Aldo looked at a couple of Lowepros (Fastpack 250, and a Flipside), but the >10" depth was too much.

    Then I found this glorious beast from BBP:


    Along with this insert:


    Got it yesterday.... Tried it.... LOVE IT!!

    The bag is about 6" deep (which is fantastic), and I love the fact that I can take out the Camera paddy for when I only need the MBP and some clothes for overnight trips.

    It hold my gear perfectly... and the dual-use strap system (backpack or messenger), is a great added bonus.

    Highly recommended for the casual DSLR user who travels by air a lot!! :D
  13. Designer Dale, Dec 1, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010

    Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    ^^ Nice set-up. Now you need to figure out how to convince airport security that it's not a parachute. Just hope your initials aren't DB...


    Attached Files:

  14. wesrk macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2007
    Didn't want to start a new thread, so I'll ask here. I'm basically in the market looking for my first dslr, I'm looking at the Nikon D3100 and the Canon 550D. I'll buy one of those two most likely.

    My question though, what bag should I get for either of them that at the same time fits inside a regular size backpack that also contains my mbp? Or how can I carry my mbp and the new camera in the same backpack? I travel regularly so airport guidelines is also a factor here, carry-on wise.

    Thank you.
  15. andalusia macrumors 68030


    Apr 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    I have this bag, it holds plenty :)
  16. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2010
    Calgary AB
    +1 on the Fastpack 250 . Traveled lots with it and its great. Nice slot for the laptop for easy TSA inspection access. Lots of space for lenses and my flash among other accessories. (Everything in my signature minus the dell fits into it with considerable room to spare)

    For me I find i dont need that much to keep me entertained on the plane so its fine to fit a book or two and then stay entertained playing with photoshop or doing other things on the comp or ipad. I pack everything else in my normal luggage and catch up with it at my destination.
  17. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    I had the FastPack 350, but found it a bit small for the top compartment. I used it with a 40D + 17-40L, as well as my 1Ds (not at the same time). In its' defense, I tried to use it as a replacement for my regular backpack, thus the comment about the top compartment being too small.

    I bought mine on eBay from a place called (Send & Sell) or something, based out of Colorado I think. I paid $75 shipped, and it was brand new. You can choose from several colours.

    I am in the market for a new bag. I am going to get a Kata 467i or whatever it is. It seems a bit bigger than the LowePro (not by much), and I like how the laptop compartment loads FROM THE TOP, not from the side. My MBP slid out of the Lowepro (I didn't zip it all the way), just wish it loaded from the top..more secure.

    The Kata feels more supportive and built just as well as the LowePro. It even has a tripod holder, which I NEED as I have hiked 20 miles at a time holding my tripod. Not that fun.

    I have a 1Ds, Rokinon 85mm 1,4, Olympus 24mm 2,8, and 3 extra batteries for my behemoth. The batteries weigh a bit, and two of them put together are as big as a crop body, lol. All this weight feels better distributed in the Kata than on the LowePro in my opinion.
  18. And1ss, Apr 3, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011

    And1ss macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    Do you guys think the Lowepro fastpack 250 would be decent if converted to a regular backpack?

    I'm looking for a backpack that can hold an slr, m4/3s camera, 15mbp, and sometimes a textbook and/or notebook. The kata looks more promising than the lowepro.


    Edit: looks like you can unzip the central divider and turn it into a full-fledge school backpack. Looks like the kata is the winner for me.
  19. JDDavis macrumors 65816


    Jan 16, 2009
    I'll vouch for this one too. I've been using it for a few months now and am pretty happy with it. Stable enough to haul everything I need plus a tripod on my bike as well.
  20. munkees macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2005
    Pacific Northwest
    Mountain Hardwear and The Northface make very nice laptop bags which a room for camera gear. I have also been looking at osprey back backs that seem to be awesome for air flow to help keep the back dry. I like to day hike.
  21. mjoshi123 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2010
    This is what I used on my recent India trip Kata KT DR-467-BG with my 13.3" MBP + Canon 40D + 15-85 + 75-300 + 10-22 + 2 2.5" backup HDD + card readers + usb cables + bunch of smaller items like ipod + cellphone and it saved me lot of hassel as well as it was comfortable carrying (although bit heavy with all the gears in it).


    It is well padded bag with good amount of room to fit things in.
  22. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    I was in their store on Friday (downtown PDX) and they have some nice stuff. I think Mountain Hardware is owned by Columbia, and they make some good stuff.

    I am hoping to pick up a Kata in the next few weeks.
  23. Auszero macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2009
    I have always thought the incase ari bag was pretty legit for a sling pack. However the F Stop Loka will be my next bag purchase.
  24. legreve macrumors regular


    Nov 22, 2010
    Im carrying the Lowe Pro Runner and it has a back compartment that fits the 15" MBP along with a front that holds your camera body and 3-5 lenses and accessories. It even comes with a build in rain cover and nice adjustable straps. I would highly recommend this bag.

  25. And1ss macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    Just an update, I got the kata 467i and it's awesome. The ability to convert from camera backpack to normal backpack is very convenient.

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