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Backpack recommendations, please

Discussion in 'Other Cool Gear, Camera Bags, Camera Straps' started by Pa, May 14, 2007.

  1. I'm sure I'll get deluged here, but if anyone would be willing to look at my kit in the sig line and recommend a backpack I would be most appreciative.

    I'm looking for something that will carry the two cameras with a lens attached, likely the 12-24 on the D200 and the 18-200 on the D70s, the 70-300VR, 35/2, 50/1.8, and a small laptop computer.

    I have very little opportunity to see things like this "in the flesh" here in the boondocks, and it's very difficult to picture how they would suit me from online catalog pics.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. I am sure, Jim, that you will indeed get a few replies...so, check this bag out..


    I just purchased one at B&H in the "Used Department" for $75.00. I am, to say the least, well pleased. I have the camera and the Tamron lens attached, plus all my other gear and room to spare.

    Good hunting on your search for the "Perfect Bag."
  3. Thanks, Dan. This does look interesting. Does it have a laptop compartment?
  4. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    First you need to ask yourself how will I use this bag? Is it for backcountry hiking, or just a car storage unit I shoot from? Do, I like to go street walking and want a less conspicuous shoulder bag, or what? Which gear am I keeping of my signature gear and which selling? I note you have 2 70-300s?

    Anyway, just a few questions to ask yourself. Remember, the bigger the bag, the more the bag weighs too. There's top loading, there's lay flat backpacks that unzip to open to a flat display, then there's shoulder bags like Domke or others.

  5. Sorry, Jim, it does not have a computer compartment. But for $79.00, I thought it was a great deal for my equipment. Doug has some good points on how you will use the bag. I also have a Tamrac Expedition 3 for taking a "lighter" load of gear.
  6. Thanks, Doug; yes, I have thought of these things, and the answer is yes, I want it to do all of those things. It would probably be used to carry the gear I mentioned on the plane, in the car, and on day hikes. Obviously, on a day hike I would substitute lunch for the laptop computer :wink:.

    And I don't want a shoulder bag.

    (I will probably sell the 70-300D or hand down to my son or daughter.)
  7. Well it says that it does have "two roomy, padded compartments", so presumably one of these could be used for a laptop. My current laptop is very small: 11.5 x 8 x 1.5 inches, but of course I can't rule out getting a larger one in the future.
  8. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    I have a bag in mind for you Jim, and I happen to have one of these in inventory. However, I am not sure I am ready to cut mine loose.

    But you may or may not like the style of this, I don't know.

    look up a Lowepro Compurover AW.


    A bit expensive yes, but what you have to consider is the support system on this bag. The batwings assist in distributing weight from just shoulders, to waist, or if you prefer for lighter loads, they can be removed with a little coaxing. (see me for batwing tool design) lol. I have a patended (or not) thing I came up with for this.

    This pack maintains a nice structural integrity even without the notebook computer in it. Their's a trap door from upper compartment to lower compartment. IF you are out of lens space on bottom, you could possibly put one in top compartment.

    The negatives are, this bag is a little bit parsnispity to fool with at times, but it's managable. But if you want your gear accessable on the fly, no way, it takes sitting the pack down, unbucklying/zipping bottom compartment, then putting back takes some time too.

    Your best alternative will be a computrekker I think it's called, like a mini-trekker, but a little bigger with notebook compartment.

  9. There is a Computrekker Plus AW for sale on the board now, but it looks a bit large for my purposes.

    I'm now looking pretty seriously at the Domke recommended by DanD. Looks like a "deal".
  10. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    Jim I think maybe you need more bag than you think you do.

    I wonder if there is a compu minitrekker? Not sure.

    Hey, what bag have you been using? Curious.

    Just keep in mind, if you walk very far, carrying the whole load on 1 part of your body gets old (shoulders) I took one 6 mile hike with a single shoulder sling bag, and sold it shortly thereafter.
  11. The Domke is more bag than I think I need!

    For day hikes, I generally just carry the camera over my shoulder with an extra lens or two in a small fanny pack. Lunch goes in a small backpack with a "Camelback" type water bladder.

    I have a LowePro Nova 4 for car/plane trips, but I have outgrown it.

    I'm planning now toward the Ron Reznick workshop I'll be attending next month in New Mexico.
  12. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN

    That is a really nice bag too, which I also have. I wasn't to happy the other day when my back sweated up by it, maybe it needs a bit more ridging for vents. Also, no real waist weight distribution system, just a standard webbing clip belt. Notebook would have to go in front pocket with zero real protection. Or you possibly could put inside in a neoprene pouch. (if it would fit, which I could probably check if it comes to that) I have a small notebook too.
  13. I like the Kata backpacks myself. They are amoung the most comfortable out there, and you can even go with modular approach. Check out the R103, the HB205, 207 and 502
  14. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    I agree with Doug. Get more backpack than you think that you need. I bought (and still own) Computrekker, but eventually got a Phototrekker as my main bag. I usually use the CT to carry my gear when walking/hiking, and use the PT for carrying my gear to and from the truck.

    Again, my advice is to get more than you think you need.
  15. "Domke iguana 20 is exactly the same bag as kata teddy 2 (Domke has a lot of Kata products in their catalogs)" ...this is a quote from DanD's link.
  16. Paul Alexy

    Paul Alexy

    Apr 17, 2007
    I've been looking at the Kinesis backpack discussed in this thread:

    It appears to be able to go between all photography carrier and all backpack, as well as anything in between.

    Good luck. Lots of bags out there to choose from.
  17. Well that looks like a humdinger but way more than I need. I'm 65 years old and weigh only 140. If I filled it up, I'd never be able to carry it!

    But thanks for the suggestion.
  18. I have a Kata R102 (same as the R103 but without the laptop compartment). Terrific construction and design and materials. That said, I really miss that there isn't anyplace to carry a light jacket. Living in San Francisco, locals know that "layering" is the way to go. We have all these microclimates... it can be 90 degrees in the Mission district and just a few miles away in the Sunset the fog has rolled in and it's mid-50 degree temps.

    Not having a way to carry a jacket is a real problem for me, so I will be looking to replace it with something else.
  19. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    Jim, given your bantem weight class, that would be a vote for the Kata, as their pack weight is less empty than many packs. Generally about 3-5 pounds less.

    Agreed at 140 lb and given your age, you likely aren't going to want to carry a huge bag loaded, it just likely won't work for you I don't think. It's a shame you can't go look at some bags and get a better idea of what could work for you.

    Please don't sell short the idea of modularization as well. You may in fact be better off distributing some weight. (couple of lenses on a belt pack, a light pack for notebook, camera, stuff.

    I've offered about as much assist as I know to do, it may come to like many of us do, ordering first 1 bag, then another until you hit one that works for you, it's expensive and time consuming, but nobody knows an individual like themselves. Or maybe a belt pack with 3 lense pouches, a camera pouch makes sense. The Think Tank stuff is good like the modulus package (belt system).

    They also have that rotation 360 that seems interesting.
  20. Just in case you don't know what we're talking about when we talk about modularization here is a link to a review of a Kata sling bag. In it you will see how their backpacks can be connected to a hip bag and a torso (i.e sling) bag.

    You can also see an example in this image from that review I mentioned above:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2007
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