Backpack's in New York?

Jul 15, 2008
British Columbia, Canada
I'm planning on doing trip to New York mid June. My spouse and I will be doing all the touristy stuff, but I am definitely bringing my camera gear. Are most of the tourist spots in New York (Manhattan) OK with people wearing backpacks? Any issues I should be aware of? Will it make it too hard to walk down the sidewalks? I do have a UD35 that I'm going to try bringing too, but it normally just kills my neck and back after wearing it for a full day. Thanks for any tips!
Mar 4, 2008
Needmore, PA and Dayton, NJ USA
Around town, you will see lots of backpacks. As for "tourist spots," it depends. I would definitely recommend checking the website for each site to see what their rules are.

Most museums are not going to allow any type of baggage into the display areas. Ball parks like Yankee Stadium and Citi Field generally do not allow large bags in, but will allow the smaller "handbag" type. Your other open air venues usually do not have a problem with small bags and even things like a LowePro SlingBack 350. It may help if you give us an idea of the sites you are thinking of going to to get more details.
Jan 16, 2009
There are places that require you to check in your backpack (e.g. MoMA, the Met museum) - the websites of the places you want to visit will usually have this information. Walking around generally is no more of an issue than elsewhere, but (as in any city) backpacks can be attractive targets for pickpockets in crowded places. And of course that backpack can get pretty heavy after a few hours of walking around doing the tourist stuff!
Mar 6, 2009
Montreal, Québec
I have been in NYC twice in the last 2 years, and always with my Mountain Smith backpack.
And no problems at all with the backpack all around Manhattan
Of course in some restaurants you may be a little cramped for space...but that's about it.
For the tourist spots.. I was told by my local photo store manager to avoid the Empire State because of the long waits,
But to go to the Rock was good advise did not even waited 15 minutes to get on top.
And if you are around the New York Public Library, go behing the Library building to Bryan Park it is a great place to relax for a while.

Have fun!
Nov 15, 2006
Upstate SC
I've been a few times, as well, with no real issues. Places like the Natural History Museum will want to inspect the bag, but once they see camera gear, they just motion you on through (this was my experience, anyway). Also seems that police and security officers are slowly getting the memo that photography is NOT a crime. That doesn't mean there won't be isolated hassles, but I think for the most part, you'll be fine at the big touristy spots shooting away. For obvious reasons, you may want to consider a pack other than a normal photo pack (LowePro, Tamrac, etc). I use either my Timbuk2 Q bag or a Camelback Cloud Walker with a Mountainsmith Camera Cube inside. Bags like these generally don't get a second glance. I would have been uncomfortable wandering around Central Park at night toting a bag with a well know brand on it - even in the super cold temps during late December. Just felt less like a potential target. Even if the relative safety was only perceived, I undoubtedly enjoyed myself more.

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