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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Backpack /Carry System for Day Hike
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03/19/2017 04:53:40 PM · #1
Hi.

To put it succinctly: I am looking for a solution that will enable me to carry some minimal camera gear as well as food and water. But, also have some flexibility for other stuff (see below).

I have a 14 mile day hike planned with a couple families. I've gone hiking many times before and I'm no stranger to it. I've taken my camera and my canon backpack all throughout day trips including locally, Freiburg Germany, Bern Switzerland, France, etc. Walking through a city for a day is different than a hike through the woods because I can always get a bit to eat and drink.

With all that said, if I'm to spend money on a backpack that will meet the minimal objective above, it would be good to also have the flexibility to carry the following, should I ever need to pack for a return photo trip where I want to take more extensive photos:

Food and water
6D Camera with 24-105 lens attached
100-400 lens
Flash
Tripod
Macro lens
other misc things (filters, batteries, etc.)

That is not to say I'll be carrying that on this trip. But there have certainly been shorter trips I wish I had brought additional equipment.

Typically, I walk around with an R strap which has been quite nice. But, from time to time, I'd like to put it away.

Thank you.
03/20/2017 07:35:20 AM · #2
Here is a website you might find useful (CamBags.com). Several of the reviews have pictures by the actual users.

I have the Lowepro Fastpack 350. I don't know if it will hold all of the gear you listed. I have found that I have easy side access to my camera when I remove my right arm from the shoulder strap and swing it around wearing just the left shoulder strap.

Tim
03/20/2017 01:22:03 PM · #3
Hi. I purchased a LowePro Photo Sport BP 200 AW for a trip to Maine last year.

The selling feature for me was being able to carry my camelbak in the hydro-sleeve. I was able to carry a camera and medium size lens in the side pocket and added more gear to the internal pocket. I've owned more camera bags than I can count, and this is one of the most comfortable ones I've owned.

Some other nice features on it as well. Not sure if it would work for what you need or not, but certainly worth a look. They also sell a larger 300 series model.

Good luck, and enjoy your trip.

Oh ... one other thing; I use the Cotton Carrier setup and one of the items is a backpack strap attachment - I had this on vacation with the bag mentioned above. I put this on when I know I'll want the camera handy (handier than grabbing from the side compartment of the bag). Something to consider. I have the belt and also the chest harness (for different scenarios). Nice product. R-Straps are nice too! :-)
03/20/2017 03:57:53 PM · #4
Thanks. I'll look at these links. There are some things on F-Stop as well which look pretty good, but may be a bit too big for day hikes.
03/20/2017 09:28:10 PM · #5
I bought and love the F-Stop Guru UL. It's fantastic for day trips and travel in general. I am taking a trip to UK and Italy soon and it's what I am using. Very light and very well built. One unique thing is the ability to change out the lens/camera compartment (ICU) (Internal Camera Unit) with a different one. If you have different gear for different shooting needs, you have the ability to set up an ICU with each set up and easily remove and replace inside the pack. This pack has a hydration pocket for a good size water container. One really nice feature I like how you open the pack to access your gear, it's on the inside, the side that touches your lower back. When you take it off and lay it on the ground, the part that touches your back does not get all dirty because it's facing up. Very quick and easy to get your gear out. I also have a Lowe Pro that opens from the back side so I know and understand the difference in each design. The Guru does not have a dedicated spot for the tripod, but if you have a small travel tripod, you can strap to the side and be just fine. Plenty of room in a top compartment for your lunch too, and filters, and rocket blower.
03/20/2017 09:58:15 PM · #6
Wonderful. Thanks for the suggestion. I certainly have some good options to look at. The most important is room for the hydration pack. Short or long hike, walking or biking, I need an easy way to carry gear and water.
03/25/2017 12:09:57 AM · #7
I just thought of one other question....

Is there a good bag that meets everything I mentioned and can be taken as a carry-on onto a plane?

There are certainly a lot of options out there...tough to pick.

Thanks,
Paul
03/25/2017 10:08:12 AM · #8
Lowepro Fastpack 350 DSLR Camera Backpack will work eve in plane and it does have a sleeve for laptop.

I have it and I used it for international travel and there were no issues.

03/25/2017 01:37:32 PM · #9
The one I'm using is the Tamrac Anvil 23. I've taken it as carry-on on a few flights, and the only issue I had stowing it was on a narrow-body regional jet, where it had to go under the seat, would not fit in the overhead. I carry a lighter 15.6" laptop (Lenovo Yoga 710) and the built-in sleeve works very well for that.

Edit to correct product reference

Message edited by author 2017-03-25 13:40:37.
03/25/2017 05:25:14 PM · #10
Seriously check out Fstop As a wildlife photographer they make about the only packs that meet most of my requirements. They ride as good as a true backpacking pack and are super versatile. I find most other packs that are similar have way to much padding in the shoulder/waist straps as well as the camera compartment. While their packs are not setup for it, you can move the ICU towards the top and pack your lighter stuff below it. This way you can place the heavier gear towards the top where it should be. Most similar packs (like the Mindshift stuff) place all the camera gear at the bottom, which is the worse place to have the weight when backpacking.

I have the Guru and recently picked up the Ajna. While waiting for the Ajna to arrive they sent me a loaner pack, so I got to try out the Lotus (which is between the two packs that I have). I will be buying their larges pack some time this year for my 3 week Big Bend National Park trip.
03/25/2017 07:18:04 PM · #11
Thanks again everyone. I'll certainly check these all out. I'll probably opt for a larger bag for local day hikes and if it ends up being too large for a carry on (knowing ahead of time), there is no reason I can't pack that into a suitcase and use a smaller one.

Appreciate all the input.

Paul
03/27/2017 05:36:38 PM · #12
Thanks again.

I've looked at all of these, albeit online, and I'm trying to decide between the PhotoSport 300 and Guru UL, but leaning more toward the PhotoSport 300.

But...in my searching, I came across this one:

http://clikelite.com/products/product-category/backpacks/

Specifically the Contrejour 40. It's big. Curious if anyone has seen or had any experience with it. It's size is 28x13 making it too large for a plane, but I have a bag I can carry my camera on the plane in anyway. Compare with the Guru @ 22x15 and PS 300 @ 10.6x9.5.

Also, thinking back to other times I've been out, it's not only for hiking but for biking as well. Thus, the hydration back is a must.

A good back locations like this, as well.

Thanks again for the ideas!

Paul
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