backpack question for 5d

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by shayne_ancheta, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Sorry if this is in the wrong section, i couldnt find the right place but it pertains to my 5d so i went for it. Anyway i am buying a backpack to carry my 5dII with 70-200LIS and canon 16-35 2.8, canon 24-70 2.8, and my canon 1002,8 macro and a 580flash. And of course few misc small things. My wife is going to be the one carrying the bag and i have narrowed it down to two bags. The kata 3n1-20 and the think tank streetwalker. We wanted as small a pack as possible to carry all that stuff. A couple things that would be nice is to access the camera without taking off pack and to be able to store camera with 70-200 on the body... I know thats alot to ask. I know for a fact the Think tank will fit the gear but no side access. I know the kata will also fit gear but i dont know if it will fit with 70-200 attached. Does anyone have any experience with that bag or have any suggestions?
  2. I think the Kata 3n1-20 would be too small for your gear. When I was trying to buy a backpack I ordered the Kata, but found it too small and returned it. My 40d with the 70-200mm f/4 attached would fit, but it was very tight. There is a larger Kata bag in the series, but I didn't try that and ended up going with a Lowpro fastpack instead. If you haven't see it already, there is a website where people post reviews of camera bags with photos of the bags filled with gear.
  3. I believe you would need the kata 3n1 30 especially if you plan to attach the 70-200.
  4. shayne,
    With something like a pack, I don’t think one could overemphasize the importance of hauling all your gear to a store and trying out several. Some time ago took all my stuff to the local REI. I picked out a few packs that I thought might do the job and loaded them up. The one I was originally sure would be my pick was obviously unsuitable when I loaded it up, and I fell in love with the one I first was sure would be a dud (but grabbed anyway because it was at least about the right size).
    That leads to my second point. Don’t limit yourself to bags sold specifically as camera gear. With a bunch of Domke wraps, anything can become a camera bag. And something that looks like a cheap student knapsack is much less likely to gather undesirable attention than a “steal me” camera bag. For bonus points, drag the bag through the mud a couple times.
  5. "My wife is going to be the one carrying the bag"
    My wife occasionally volunteers to carry my photo backpack (with less gear then you have), and is very happy to return it to me after about a half hour!
  6. sbp


    FWIW, I recently bought a Think Tank Streetwalker Pro. First test was three weeks in Asia. Load was 1Ds3, 50D, 24-70/2.8, 70-200/4, 35/1.4, 17-40/4, 580EXII, spare batteries for 1Ds3/50D, battery chargers for 1Ds3/50D, CF card wallet, cleaning kit, and assorted cables. The bag seems much bigger inside than it's external dimensions suggest. It was much more comfortable to carry than the LowePro Vertex 200 I previously used for similar loads. Build quality and attention to detail are very good.
    That said, I agree with Ben. Take your anticipated load to the store and load the bag.
  7. I can sometimes get my wife to carry a tripod. But your wife must be amazingly buff if able to tote a 5dII, 70-200LIS, 16-35 2.8, canon 24-70 2.8, 1002,8 macro and 580 flash. Hopefully she won't tip over backwards...
  8. Thanks guys for the great suggestions, i forgot to mention i live in alaska. So needless to say i cant go try out the bags. We have one store here that carrys that stuff and i did go try out what they had. They had the streetwalker and the tamrac bags and a couple lowepro. I am much more interested in a bag that does not look like a camera bag, that said i dont care who makes it i just want a god sturdy compact bag.
    I did not see the bag review area, thanks for that i will check it out. I was already leaning towards the streetwalker because i did see it in person and put the showroom lenses in there and they did fit, i just would not have the luxury of side access.
  9. My wife will hold a camera if I need to zip a bag up, but getting her to carry that lot? - respect.
  10. sbp


    FWIW #2... The Think Tank bags are all black and pretty non-desrcript. They don't look like camera bags and seem pretty bullet proof. IMHO, luxury is load carrying comfort, not extra zippers... 8~)
  11. I am with Steve on thintank, I have many of their bags and all are great. I am not a big fan of the 3 in 1 bags. Gear can easily fall out very easily, my friend dropped his 16-35 out of that bag.

    Thinktank makes some nice belt packs/shoulder bags. you may want to look at these too. I just got a wired up 10 and its nice because it has a built in belt that can hold additional bags for accessories or lenses. The Urban disguise 35 is another of my favs since it fits a 70-200 2.8 mounted on the camera plus additional lenses, you can also get a backpack attachment for this. I got great bags, I just need to travel more :-}
  12. The kata 3N1-20 is probably too small. I do however have the 3N1-30. You can store the 5D with the 70-200 F4 attached. In fact I had that configuration today on my normal weekend walk. I currently have the original 5D with 24-105, 70-200, 17-40, 100-400, and a Sigma 50 1.4. Generally I have no problem getting the 5D, 50, 70-200, 24-105, and 17-40 in the lower compartment. I cannot carry the 70-200 if I decide to bring the 100-400. The upper compartment can be used to carry other things like your flash, extra battery, and memory cards.
    Unfortunately if you are doing any serious hiking or walking there is no room left for 1 quart of water (the minimum I need), food, or anything else. The bag is rather non-descript and only has a 1 square inch Kata lable. Its mostly black and just looks like a slightly large, fancy backpack. Most people would probably not recognize it as camera backpack.
    Generally I don't use it as a sling back if it is fully loaded. It doesn't sling easily when it is that heavy. Latches around the zippers make it unlikely for a zipper to open up and anything to fall out (I have not dropped any lenses from it. It does carry well as a backpack fully loaded.
  13. Thanks Steve F for the review, would you say that a 5ft 6in 125lb woman would have a problem with that pack? it is a few inches bigger than the think tank.
    And also i will mention that normally i am tasked with carrying anything heavy which would include everything. She normally doesnt carry anything but her own water and i carry the pack doesnt matter if its a 100lbs, but now that she is going to be out of town and out of country she doesnt have her usual pack mule(me). So we want her to have a light pack because all the lenses/body/flas is over ten lbs. So anything to help keep the load as light as possible is a benefit.
  14. You might have a look at a Lowepro long-lens chest harness for you, maybe with a belt-mounted lens case. Backpacking is all about being ready, and there is little more frustrating than having a wildlife opportunity that disappears while you are fiddling for the camera. Wearing a camera around your neck, suspended from the camera strap, is a recipe for a sore neck. If your really are backpacking, you will have lots of gear to carry besides camera gear, and it's problematic to change lenses on the fly. The Chest harness is great for protecting your camera, and my chest harness is fine even with my 70-200 2.8. However that beast stays home for extended backpacking adventure. You'll likely get more action from the short lenses, especially that 16-35, and if you save weight from losing the longer glass you might have room for a small tripod. In the past, when I had a sherpa to carry non-camera gear, I would use a Lowepro drybag 300 and the above chest harness.
  15. I hope this doesn't show up twice, but my first try disappeared.
    I had about the same amount of equipment as you, and probably a bit more and a 5dII body. That includes a 100-400. and three other L-series lenses.
    I found a backpack that provided great protection for the equipment and pulled. But the wheels were so small, they'd only work in airports and weren't terribly good on sidewalks. I searched for weeks for a bag with bigger wheels. I even went to Toys R Us and priced wagons and was that close to buying one.
    In an outdoor sporting goods store, I found a canoe carrier, one of those kind you strap to one end of a canoe and pull the other end to the water. I disassembled it and left only the basic fram and wheels, about 14 inches. I used duct tape and bungee cords to secure the bag. My monopod fits in the laptop compartment and that big, heavy tank of a tripod (I find heavier tripods sturdier than the composites) sits on the top secured by two more cords.
    That contraption goes anywhere I go, including effortlessly into woods and hills where I shoot landscapes and flowers. when I have to fly, I can easily remove it from the frame and it's back to its whimpy self.
    The key is when you get tired of hauling around all that metal and glass, you'll improvise.
  16. One tip I can give you is don't get the sling-shot type bags, single shoulder types, as after a while you'll get a crock neck, even trapped nerves and I got a bad knee and hip. I am a big strapping and fit Welshman and it happened to me. I have now got a smaller, conventional 2 shoulder back pack and found I can carry more, for longer and with no body problems.
  17. I have that exact set up, only I have the 17-40 rather than the 16-35, Lol. I use this bag on trips to carry my gear around.
    It's large but it fits everything.. If you want the 70-200 attached there is also this one.. its a bit larger.
    Like I said, I carry that exact set up. I find the first bag works perfectly.
  18. I just want to know where I can find a wife like that.
  19. Just a few short observations from my time selling cameras at Ritz.

    More bags were returned than any other camera gear, I think.

    By far the main reason bags were returned was, “too small”, even though at the store we constantly advised customers to pick the bag they thought was right and buy one size larger.

    Folks agonize over bags for more than cameras and lenses. Folks would spend 15 minutes asking about $1500 cameras before making a decision to buy, and then would come into the store 3 or 4 times looking at bags for 30 minutes a trip before finally buying. (And then still return them sometimes.)

    One of my friends at the store at least 6 high-end bags she had won from various manufacturers for selling their bags and claimed she did not like any of them – she actually gave me one of the bags discussed above because she never used it (it was one of those side entry types that had only one shoulder strap and she had back trouble that the bag aggravated.)

    I like the side entry sling-around bag because I am often hiking in Florida marsh and swamp land with no dry flat place to put the bag down safely.
  20. I replaced the hip belt on my large backpack with a Street & Field hip belt from Lowepro. I'm still working on my carrying system, but here are some interesting ideas from a photojournalist. The Think Tank belt system allows the equipment to slide around. If you used a system belt you could carry your camera and long lens, and some accessories. This would provide quick access, and take some of the load off your wife.
  21. I use the Lowepro Compu Trekker AW and when I carry two bodies with 70-200, 24-70 and 17-40 and collecgtion of filters and flashes it really a weighty pack to carry. I think a smaller rucksack is not advisable and I also think its going to be two heavy for most ladies to carry. If you have two top loading hip fitted bags then you will also find two cameras with lenses is no small load. Then you still need carry batteries filters maybe a few primes. I would advise you to load and test carry the bag first.
  22. Don't forget to check out the Tamrac and Lowepro bags. They are well made and are often less money than some of the other brands. I agree that Kata and ThinkTank are also good. Kata, as you probably know, make bags other than their 3-n-1 series which may be more rugged. I, too, am in awe of your wife's strength and fortitude to be able to carry all of that equipment.
  23. I think you married a horse
  24. I've used crumpler whisky and cox backpack, and very happy with it. You can take a look at their product lines at
  25. David writes, "By far the main reason bags were returned was, “too small”, even though at the store we constantly advised customers to pick the bag they thought was right and buy one size larger."​
    I don't doubt your experience but most people need at least 2 bags: one big one to carry lots of gear and a small one for a modest walkaround kit. My big bags rarely get used as I have difficulty walking all day fully loaded. I guess they mainly keep dust off my gear when not in use! My Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home is almost always with me and only holds a DSLR/normal zoom and an additional small lens and/or flash.
  26. I have essentially all of the same lenses (and a 50mm f/1.4, 1.4x teleconverter, and extra baterries, etc.) in one backpack (Lowepro). Out of curiosity, I just took the bag and weighed it. Comes in at a deceiving 31 lbs. Feels more like 50 lbs.
  27. Thanks Steve F for the review, would you say that a 5ft 6in 125lb woman would have a problem with that pack? it is a few inches bigger than the think tank.​
    I'm 5'11". It might be close. It all depends on how she adjusts thestraps. I think the best thing to do is Try one at a local store.
    that said I measured the 5D 70-200 F4 at 10" long. The 3n1-20 main compartment is 8.66 x 6.29 x 11.81". So you could store the 5D with the 70-200 lens attached in a vertical orientation instead of the horizontal I use in my 3n1-30. But that may force you to store one lens in the upper compartment. It a tight fit on the 3n1-20. Again I think you should go to the store and find the best fitting bag. Hopefully 3n1-30 or something equivelent will fit.
  28. I have a Lowepro Primus AW, a backpack with a side-entry pocket for the camera and very substantial shoulder harness and a very thickly padded waist belt. It very comfortably carries more gear than I would normally want on a day trip. At the same time, backpack type bags are not a good solution for camping. I haven't found a way to carry the camping gear, food, and water with that across my back. Backpack bags occupy a somewhat awkward market segment. They're easily large enough to comfortably carry the gear along with picnic lunch and bottled water. At the same time, putting one on for an afternoon stroll feels like a bit of a commitment. Maybe a college student more used to wearing his belongings will find it a more natural fit. There's no easy solution. It carries the weight very well, 30+ lbs with tripod if I pack sloppily, almost as well as a framed pack. I haven't used my smaller bags since buying this, despite the slight misgiving I already mentioned. The swing around access is priceless, and maybe its best feature next to the harnesses.
    The side entry compartment works well enough, but I no longer try to use it for the camera. The camera stays with me on a Sun Slinger strap, with or without the pack. Weatherproofing comes from a poncho kept in the pack. With the pack on, the lens nestles down on my hip between the pack and a Lowepro 2W lens case fitted to the waist strap, almost as though it were snuggled in a holster. The Sun Slinger type straps, I think, are the best carrying solution for a camera. Their advertising plays up the fast draw, paparazzi functionality, and while it is all that, the most important feature for me is that it is surprisingly stable and easily protected with your arm and hand, while remaining very quickly and easily accessible. I had tried it first using an old luggage shoulder strap clipped to the D-ring on the RC2 plate. That worked well enough to splurge on the store bought strap with its better hardware. The only concern I have is the attachment point. The SunSlinger has a 1/4-20 stud that screws into the tripod mount. I like to keep the RC2 plate on the body always, and so attached the sling to an RC2 adapter plate instead. The adapter plate has a 3/8" tapped hole, though, and requires a thread adapter to fit the sling's 1/4" stud. The thread adapter is the weak point in the chain. I often have $3000+ of gear swinging on a 20 cent thread adapter. I think sometimes of having a machinist buddy bore out the stud and tap it for a 3/8" setscrew. The SunSlinger is worth looking at if you haven't seen these before. The straight strap doesn't sit as well as a shaped briefcase strap, but it hasn't bothered me at all. There is a competing brand with a better shaped strap.
  29. That would be the Sun Sniper , not Sun Slinger . Black Rapid Strap RS7 would be the competing product I had in mind. Amazon carries them both.
  30. The Tamrac Adventure 9 or the lowepro minitrekker should hold all of that. The Tamrac has a top compartment for lunch and a jacket, whereas the minitrekker is basically set up to carry just camera gear. It will hold a bit more gear than the Tamrac.
    I agree with others that you might want to rethink the load. I'm 100 kgs and built like a Tongan rugby player and by the time I fully load up either bag with gear its more weight than I'd be happy carrying on anything other than a short trek.
    For example, the Tamrac will take a 5D and 24-105 f4L attached, 17-40 f4L, 70-300 DO, 50 f2.5 CM, drebel backup and a small pair of binoculars. Yet with this load it feels heavy to me and I would not be happy carrying it for more than a couple of hours.
  31. Slightly off topic but related - my wife and I have evolved a system that works well for us. We carry two packs; she the one with my photo gear and me with a regular backpack with everything else. Mine has the real heavy stuff - food, water, binoculars, first aid kit, any especially heavy photo gear. She carries the photo pack with the gear I anticipate using. This way, I can get to her pack for my gear, and she can get to mine for food and water without either of us having to take the pack off.
    When we take a break, we remove the both packs and we'll re-arrange if necessary.
  32. hi!
    i own the kata 3N1-20 backpack, and there is plenty space in it for my 5d2 and 70-200 f/4 L mounted plus 17-40L, 100mm macro and my tamron 28-75. ok the tamron is smaller than the canon 24-70 but even so, there is no problem. i even chekked it once again for you and took a photo ( i try to attach it if i can).( on the photo you can see my 70-200 f/4 on the eos 33 because i needed the 5d mk2 for taking the photo ). on the upper compartment you can put the flash if you want.
    all the best.
  33. hi!
    i own the kata 3N1-20 backpack, and there is plenty space in it for my 5d2 and 70-200 f/4 L mounted plus 17-40L, 100mm macro and my tamron 28-75. ok the tamron is smaller than the canon 24-70 but even so, there is no problem. i even chekked it once again for you and took a photo ( i try to attach it if i can).( on the photo you can see my 70-200 f/4 on the eos 33 because i needed the 5d mk2 for taking the photo ). on the upper compartment you can put the flash if you want. if you look at the picture note that the other 3 lenses mentioned are inside the bag, placed in the smaller compartments.
    all the best.
  34. I posted a reply to similar question a while back but I thought worth repeating, namely that I bought a Lowepro backpack, one of the larger ones so it could carry an assortment of lenses etc. After using it twice it has remained in the cupboard, since I found the weight of all that stuff plus the backpack itself was just too much for anything other than a small hike.
    I'd therefore say:
    1. the lightest you can get away with, and reduce the amount of lenses etc you carry if necessary -I like the idea of 2 smaller bags and carry one each...
    2. if possible borrow one and try it out FOR REAL - a quick jog around the block from the shop doesn't tell you what it will feel like after a 3 hour outing up the side of a mountain !
    Maybe you're much fitter than me though (not too difficult)
  35. For $29.00, you can get a Mountainsmith kit cube and stow your gear in a pack setup with non-camera gear for trekking in Alaska.
  36. WOW! you guys are great with ideas! Ok, lets start off with SD woods, Shes not a horse but pretty tough. She is in the navy and is a Master at arms so she has toughened up alot.
    I weighed all the lenses and flash (i dont have the 24-70 yet but shopping for one) and its all just over ten lbs. then about 2-3 for misc stuff. So thats only say 15 plus pack weight. The kata 3n1-20 is only about 2.8lbs and the lowepros are consistently a little heavier. The crumpers are all rather large it seems.
    Thanks for the pic Zsolt, i am very suprised that fits in there like that. That is definatley a minimal setup for weight.
    She would love to carry less lenses and i tried to convince her to carry less but she wants the full range of lenses. I just have to agree....
    As far as trying packs goes it just isnt possible because of where we live. (we are moving to lower 48 again in about 2 years though.)
    Maybe i should just get here a really big bag and she might change her mind on carrying the stuff, i think she would be fine for day trips with just the 16-35 and the 24-70. That would simplify things alot.
  37. I'd skip the 24-70 f2.8. If you have a wide zoom and a long zoom at f2.8 then I really don't think you need to cover the 35-70 range. And I don't think you need an f2.8 zoom for outdoor daylight shooting.
  38. Geoff i see your point it just always seems that the big zoom is to big for small spaces and wide zoom i have to get to close alot of the time. I have been using a "cheapie" mid range zoom but on the 5d2 it is really unusable anymore because the quality is so poor.
  39. Too much stuff. You don't need all that equipment. One camera, two lenses ought to do it. Go to a "outdoors" store and buy a good day pack. Carry your camera around your neck (you are going to take pictues, right) and wrap the other lens in a sweater or light jacket in your daypack. Strobe and other stuff can be wrapped same, a ziplock bag or two for small stuff. Stop worrying about carrying every lens you own when you go shooting. Ancient history: during the Vietnam war, the photographers most popular combination was a 35mm on a Leica and a 105mm on a Nikon. That was it. They had a wide and tele and went light. You're not going into a battle, but you'll be battling with that backpack all the time. When stuff gets heavy you stop taking pictures. Good luck and good shooting. :)
  40. So no one liked my improvised camera battle wagon? It really works well and doesn't require a second person.
  41. I love these discussions! Shayne, your kit is almost identical to mine, and sometimes I have to carry the whole kit and kaboodle on long hikes. But believe me, less is more, and those who say that two lenses are enough are usually right. (Except that I find it hard to go anywhere without my 100mm 2.8 macro)
    I have a Lowepro Flipside 400 that holds the lot, but if your Mrs. can carry that lot wiith ease I'll trade her in for mine! The Flipside bags are heavy but very robust, and have the advantage of better security than some others I've seen. They have two shoulder straps but using the waist strap they CAN be swung around and opened at waist level if you slip out of one shoulder strap, but frankly I think it's a waste of time and prefer to put mine on the ground.
    Two bags make a heap of sense. Make them reasonable spacious ones but don't fill them with stuff...then you can put the camera away with any lens attached, or carry a sandwich or whatever takes your fancy. Nifty little packs that everything just fits into one way are pretty un-clever to me. I would rather go with the simple backpack with everything wrapped in spare clothes if it came to least you won't die of hypothermia if the weather turns bad.
    Happy shooting everyone. Richard

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