Slim backpacks for Macbook Pro 17inch/DSLR

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by phaedarus, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. phaedarus, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

    phaedarus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    #1
    So, as a soon-to-be traveling photographer, who will be editing photos on set, I'm in the market for a backpack that can accommodate a 17 inch MBP and a DSL camera.

    The camera in question is a Nikon D7000 (Width 5.2 in. (132mm), Height 4.1 in. (103mm), Depth 3.0 in. (77mm)) with a 50mm lens. I may plan to buy a macro and telephoto lens later.

    I have been looking at the Booq Boa Squeeze and really like the style. However, it doesn't appear as though it can accommodate both a DSL/MBP 17. Has anyone used this product to do just that?

    I have visited both camera and electronics stores. The general claim seems to be that I need either a backpack designed for notebooks or a backpack designed for cameras. There isn't any one that particularly does both exceptionally well. I'm not sure I agree with this so perhaps the forum users here can confirm its validity.

    The backpack will be used for everyday traveling and I prefer to keep it slim and fairly light as I take public transportation. I don't forsee my job taking me out on hikes or the wilderness much so anything massive is something I definitely want to avoid.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Hell, AL
    #2
    DSL?

    DSLR.

    What is your budget?

    I highly recommend ThinkTank Photo's products. The Shape Shifter might work for you.

    LowePro has plenty of bags that will fit a 17" and a DSLR. None of them are slim, though.
     
  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #3
    I have the Kata DR-467 and think it's great. My 17" fits very snug with an incase hardshell on it, meaning that height wise it's really the smallest you can go and still fit the 17" comfortably, which is fine because it's technically a max of 15" (per kata specs). Can comfortably fit nikon d90 , kit lens, 50mm, charger at the bottom. At the top I usually carry the g-tech g-raid mini. Then I tighten the side straps enough to hold a monopod. I wouldn't hesitate to buy again.

    http://www.kata-bags.com/product.asp?Version=photo&p_Id=401
     
  4. Benbikeman macrumors 6502a

    Benbikeman

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    I'd suggest visiting a large camera store with your kit and trying the bags, as it's a very personal decision. I've always found Lowepro bags the best for me, and I have a couple that have lasted many years of tough use.
     
  5. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
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    #5
    I concur with this, too. Even then it might not work out; I have three $200+ bags collecting dust. I should get them on Craigslist someday...

    Depending on your budget, you can also check out Crumpler.

    By the way Assimilated, lovely work.
     
  6. phaedarus thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 27, 2008
    #6
    Thanks for the replies thus far.

    My budget is $200 CND
     
  7. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
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    #7
    You should be able to find this Lowepro somewhere in a metropolitan area. Lowepro is everywhere. Not my ideal bit of kit, but it is in the budget and meets your requirements.
     
  8. DougOLis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #8
    I'm looking into getting a new bag for my camera and soon to be new computer as well. It does seem like there are more 15" bags out there than 17" (which is one of my decision factors in selecting a new computer), but I have found some good 17" ready bags.

    Right now I think my top 2 choices are:
    Crumpler Customary Barge Deluxe
    Kata Bumblebee-222 UL

    Also considering these 2 Kata bags:
    Kata DR-467i
    Kata 3N1-33

    The Union Street from ONA looks fantastic but I don't think it's quite big enough for a 17".
     
  9. polobreaka macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 10, 2009
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    Huntington Beach, CA
    #9
    this is my go to favorite bag when im looking for lightweight. it carries laptop, dslr, extra lens, flash, accessories. it is pretty comfortable too.
     
  10. phaedarus thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    #10
    I just took a look at a few of the backpacks, most notable from Kata and it makes me wonder if any of these camera bags were designed with security in mind. They all scream, "Steal me!".

    They all tend to have bottom-rear compartments for the camera gear. Have they ever thought about either a thief or just some idiot unzipping that section wherein all your expensive equipment drops to the ground? The shapeshifter seems to be the only one that addresses this with padlocked zippers.

    The rain cover seems very tedious to work with and it has to be removed each time you need to dig into your backpack. And what if you're already caught in pouring rain? Can't the backpack be made waterproof out of the box?

    One thing I can say for certain is this: there's no such thing as a slim backpack for cameras!
     
  11. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Hell, AL
    #11
    I disagree. If you are willing to keep your lens unmounted, there are plenty of slim cases. The problem in your case is the 17" notebook as it limits your choices of bags.

    I'll be traveling to Ireland again shortly. I am going to use the Shape Shifter for the flight to carry my 15" MBP and my D3 setup (D3, 70-200mm, 24-70mm, 50mm, SB900). When I get there, I am going to put my kit in my Domke F2. For years I never understood why I saw everyone using that Domke F2, then I received one as a gift and I cannot imagine being without it.
     
  12. Benbikeman macrumors 6502a

    Benbikeman

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    May 17, 2011
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    London, England
    #12
    It's one of the reasons I like Lowepro. They tend to be discreet, plain black backpacks with no giveaway text.
     
  13. Gene S macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    #13
    Except of course their logo. =)

    If I was targeting camera backpacks, thats the one I would look for. Do they make anything BUT camera bags?
     
  14. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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    #14
    This.
     
  15. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #15
    I use this with a 15" and dslr setup.. but I am relatively certain it has room for the 17"

    http://www.kata-bags.com/product.asp?Version=photo&p_Id=19777

    Not too expensive if you look online - considerably less than msrp

    Review - http://blog.rmsp.com/2010/08/13/kata-bumblebee-pack-series-review/

    pic from that review

    [​IMG]

    As for the theft comments.. well - it's unlikely that would happen. More likely to target people they can strap slash - and it's not like the kata bags look like anything other than a backpack.

    Finally - a nice feature is that you can convert it into a regular laptop backpack by taking out the padded compartments.
     
  16. Benbikeman macrumors 6502a

    Benbikeman

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    London, England
    #16
    A discreet one, easily covered. There's no realistic chance of someone opening the zips without you being aware of it, and the padding means that slashing it without awareness is far from easy.

    Compare and contrast with something like Crumpler, that just screams 'laptop and camera inside!', and is far more accessible to thieves.
     
  17. katabags macrumors newbie

    katabags

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    #17
    Bags security

    Hello. I work for Kata and saw this thread, so I thought I might as well answer it.

    True, some bags are less secured than others. But you need to consider that more secure bags are less useful - no side pockets or zippers, or at least none with easy access.

    The Bumblebee DL that some one'd linked to is indeed less secured. But the Bumblebee UL is different - any thief that wants your stuff will need to open up two zippers - one external and one internal. The DR-467i is also not that easy to steal from - the thief will have to pull open the camera compartment, not easy to do so without getting noticed.

    The 3N1 33 is less secured than others, since it has side access. But, with some attention as to how you close the zippers (behind the buckles...) - it won't be too easy.

    The bags aren't theft proof. A good thief will get into anything. But there are measures bag designers take, and I bet we're not so unique at that. The best test you can do is to try it on you in the store and have a friend try and get something out of it.
     
  18. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

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    Mar 5, 2009
    #18
  19. danpass macrumors 68020

    danpass

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    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #19
    vellllllly tempting .....
     
  20. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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    #20
    Thanks for chiming in. I found the information useful.
     
  21. Benbikeman macrumors 6502a

    Benbikeman

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    London, England
    #21
    Coincidentally, I just bought the slightly bigger brother to this.

    For weddings, I take my big Lowepro rollerbag as that has enough space for all my backup and 'just in case' kit. It is, though, rather unwieldy when moving between locations. I was thus contemplating a switch to a bigger backpack that had room for my backup kit while the 'just in case' stuff could stay in the car.

    The mission gained new impetus when I recently discovered that there are adult Interail passes, and started formulating a mad plan to visit a number of European friends and a few favourite European cities in a meandering fashion.

    A rollerbag isn't ideal for such a trip, but I wouldn't want to do it without my Mac as I'm a 'process photos immediately or it'll never happen' kind of guy. I thus took a trip to Calumet to look for a backpack that could hold a 17-inch laptop, D3, three lenses, a flash and enough clothing and toiletries to get by a few days at a time between laundry visits.

    Calumet had six different backpacks with 17-inch laptop slots, ranging in price from £59 to £259. I quickly eliminated two of them, leaving four possibilities. I'd taken my Mac, D3, three lenses and an SB800 with me so I could try each for size. I transferred all the kit to each bag in turn, and went on a few laps of the store. :)

    Two of the bags got eliminated at that stage - really not comfortable at all. That included a Calumet bag I can only presume was never actually tested by anyone as it was a horrible angular thing.

    I was then down to a Lowepro bag for £99 and a Kata one for an eye-watering £259. I was really determined to buy the Lowepro, so transferred the kit back and forth a total of four times, comparing the two. I was there for about an hour in all.

    In the end, I was forced to admit defeat. The waist-straps on the Lowepro bag were purely cosmetic: they didn't take any of the weight. The Kata, in contrast, was amazing - it literally felt about 40% lighter when fully loaded with identical kit.

    It also has a lovely modular design, and the 5-year warranty was extended to a lifetime warranty when registered online. Since I plan on using it for a couple of decades at least, that knocks it down to £13 a year.

    I could have saved £35 by buying online, but I though that wasn't really fair after taking over most of the floor space of Calumet for an hour. So I am now the happy owner of a Kata Bumblebee PL-220. :)
     
  22. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #22
    Thanks for the detailed info!

    I think there's one point to make about the picture I posted - that I meant to add before.. It makes the bag look BIG.. and it's not a big bag at all. :)
     
  23. randomrazr macrumors 65816

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    Jan 1, 2011
  24. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
  25. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    #25
    look up incase canvas backpack, this is the 2010 one, the new 2011 ones are different lookng but dont offer as much pockets/features.

    heres a vid i made of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBJUkXcun4Q

    maybe hit that subscriber button? :D
     

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