MacbookPro/DSLR backpack

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by garstudios, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. garstudios macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012

    im looking for a new backpack that will hold my 15" macbook pro and a dslr with battery grip with lens attached, maybe enough room for other lenses, but i want get into too many details right now, because im looking for something particular.

    the laptop needs to be the front most object in the backpack, as in everything else is in between my back and the laptop. all the bags i have used have the laptop slot against the back. when you load the bag down with gear it presses against the laptop. i have screwed up the screens on 2 macbook pros from the keys scratching the glass. now i know i could put a cloth or something between the keys and glass, but it still seems like to much pressure against the macbook pro. i just got a 2012 non-retina macbook pro with anti-glare, i dont want to scratch it....

    unless you think its going to be the same either way....

    i thought this would be the place to post this question....

  2. caljay macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2012
    Good point on having the laptop against your back and having the pressure of the other gear scratching the screen. I am using Lowepro Fastpack 250 and a MBA 13 2011. That bag has the computer compartment against my back. I frequently layer the MBA and an iPad and also put a better beamer flash extender into the laptop compartment without any problems. The padding seems to be fairly thick. I have used this bag with a 15 inch HP laptop without any problem but without the iPad or flash extender sharing the same compartment.

    That said, ThinkTank Photo has a camera backpack, Airport Commuter, that places a 15inch laptop and iPad on the opposite side of the pack. The URL is
    They are out of stock at the think tank store but Amazon has them available.

    I am looking at the smaller Airport Essentials pack that holds up to a 13 inch laptop and less camera gear than the airport commuter.

    In taking another look at the Airport Essentials specifications, the laptop dimensions listed seem to match the 15 Macbook Pro (using the non-retina 2012). I leave that to you to check. Perhaps an email to Thinktank.

    Hope this helps.
  3. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Elyria, Ohio
    I have a Tamrac 5550 Adventure 10 backpack and it holds everything you are looking for and more! Although, the laptop is against one's back. It's in a separate department though. I haven't scratched mine to date. I have a Canon 60D attached to a 70-200 2.8 II inside the pack with other camera equipment inside the camera section of the backpack. Also, I have attached both a grip and a 70-200 2.8 II to a 5D MK II and my 'backpack' hasn't damaged my MBP! I carry an iPad too, but not inside the same department as my MBP. It's either or if you know what I mean! I hope this helps in one way or another! :D
  4. garstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    thanks for that, ill look into those more. ive never heard of the thinktanks before.
  5. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009



    check them out.

    Also check this site

    idk your price range. For a nice one, you will have to spend atleast $70. Or try to catch one on sale.
  6. haoledoc macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2011
    I have the larger version of this for 17" laptops and it works great. It has the laptop compartment against the outside of the bag like you want. The downside is that it really isn't good for carrying anything other than a laptop and an SLR with a bunch of lenses and accessories. I've recently purchased another bag for those times that I want to travel with a laptop and a camera with 1-2 lenses, but be able to carry other miscellaneous crap.
  7. steveash macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2008
    I have a Lowepro Vertex 300AW which has the laptop area at the front as you describe with the camera gear between it and my back. It is a very well padded and protected bag and pretty damn big. A bit too big for carrying around as it weighs a lot when filled up. I would recommend the smaller Vertex 200AW which will still take a 15 inch Macbook. If you don't need the bulk and protection of all that padding Lowepro also do some slimmer packs with the laptop at the front.
  8. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    I've never had a problem of that sort, but one of my camera bags (Tamrac Expedition 7x) is designed as you've requested.
  9. mgrayson macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2010
    I have two fstopgear backpacks. One for light city use and a bigger one for hiking. They are absurdly well designed. The laptop slot is furthest from your back, and the camera access is against your back. This protects the gear in crowds, and from sand/snow when laying the pack down to access it. The packs are extremely lightweight, and can be fitted with a variety of padded inserts depending on your gear.

    The only problem is that the model you want may be backordered for months. It's a small operation. I gave up waiting for a Loka and bought the slightly larger Tilopa BC instead. It still fits as carry-on with the compression straps cinched a bit, so not a problem.

    --Matt (no connection to the company - just a very satisfied customer)
  10. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    I have this backpack as well, and I would highly recommend it! The only time I really use it, however, is when I'm going on a trip and I want to bring my MBP with me. It has plenty of room for my lenses, body + grip and my different filters, CF cards, lens hoods, etc. It could even an iPad in there too.
  11. a.jfred, Jul 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012

    a.jfred macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I've use Lowepro's Compudaypack in the past. The laptop is still against your back, but it's in the top part of the bag, and the camera gear is in the bottom. It also fits nicely under the airline seat in front of you.

    ETA: I used this with a 13" white Macbook, and later a 15" MPB, and my Olympus E500 with attached Sigma 105mm macro lens, assorted cables & chargers, and a spare 70-300mm lens. I absolutely adore the fact the inserts are movable, so you can make just about anything fit.
  12. neil1980 macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2008
    I've got a similar Tamrac to that and also no issues with the macbook in the section by my back.

    Usually use a Peli case these days but last year I had it full with camera gear and my macbook (thing weighed a ton) and had no issues with damage to the back on the other hand
  13. sapporobaby macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2007
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    Never seen a bag like you are describing but one with a separate compartment should be okay. I use the Kata 33-N-1 and I don't have a single scratch as the computer section is padded and lined with soft cloth liner. The price is pretty good as well.
  14. thejoshhoward macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2010
    Chicago, IL
  15. sapporobaby macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2007
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    I have this one too as a small run around bag. It is great and the quality is outstanding. Kata makes very good bags.
  16. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    I currently have a CompuDapPack by Lowepro but I find it often times too small. When I get a telephoto lens, that thing is definitely not going to fit inside the bag. It's fine for a kit lens and a 60D, maybe with 2 or 3 primes, but for heavy use I would not recommend it.
    (It does fit a 15" MBP very well, even with its sleeve on)
  17. bluez3 macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2010
    i have a lowepro Classified 180 for my dslr and 13"mpb. the 220 claims to hold a 15" laptop. it is going for a great price at bhphoto dot com. it is pretty low key and doesnt advertise 'expensive stuff in here'. the section for the notebook is on the outer most section (wearers' back, camera gear, laptop) just like you are looking for. the bag is semi rigid so it stands upright or on its side on its own and wont flop down easily. it is a sling, so you will have to get used to wearing it, but it offers the ability to swing around to your front to grab the laptop or camera out and use it with out taking the bag off your body. i went with the 180 size since it fit my 13" mbp and it leaves me enough leg room when put under the seat in front of me on an airplane standing on its side. i wasnt sure how the 220 would fit in that situation.

    its a great bag, but i got to ask about how you are packing your laptop into the bag. usually i put the laptop in facing away from the camera gear. i am mostly paranoid about the pentaprism bulge on the camera pushing into the screen or the bottom surfaces of the camera body and lens pushing into the laptop. i'd rather have it pushing into the bottom of the laptop. in the bag you have been using it would seem that the LCD screen would be against your back and against a flat surface if you were careful about how you put the bag down which for the most part is safe except for the keys pressing into the screen as you have experienced.

    in the Classified bag i am using with the LCD outward facing, it would be exposed to bumps from external sources. I combat that by putting an ipad in there too so that the two LCD sreens are facing each other with the leather smart cover acting as the buffer to keep the ipad screen from getting scuffed by the mbp LCD lid. the ipad back is the one facing outward and would take the hit if someone/thing were to bump the back of the bag. i can also load it or set it down so it sits sideways so no weight is on the laptop at all.

    i think that either way you risk something with carrying the laptop with other equipment in the same bag. i would put a microfiber cloth between the screen and keyboard to be sure.

  18. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    I used to have a Tamrac Evolution 8 which worked great for me. It has the laptop compartment against the back however it's in a separate compartment so no worrying about it getting scratched. I was able to carry my 15" MBP, gripped T3i + 3 lenses, flash and a host of other accessories. Think you should take a look at this if a local store in your area has one. Without the grip, the camera body fits in fine. However, with the grip, it tends to be a little snug in there so FYI

  19. garstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    i have a crumplier that has a separate compartment, against the back. thats what caused the scratching. the pressure from the weight of the gear pushed on the center of the back of the screen, which caused the screen to come in contact with the keys of the keyboard. they then scratched the screen. they made little squares all over the screen. i do know i can put a cloth over the keyboard, which i think i will do from now on, i just never had one big enough.

    I'm looking at some manfrotto bags right now.

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