Camera Bags for extensive traveling

Discussion in 'Travel' started by leslie_cheung, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. I have always used Domke (and other non camera makeshift bags) but I need something *bigger* and
    preferably *backpack* style for extensive traveling. And just how much does a waist belt help?
    What backpacks do you use?
  2. AFAIK a waistbelt holds at least 30% of a real backpacks weight. - Suggestion visit some outdoor / trekking store to get basic information and a feeling about good backpacks, made to carry 50lbs of stuff 10h/day, which also happen to fit your personal shape.

    I own some giant Loewe backpack but can't share no experience yet. All my previously used backpacks were of the inferior interrail style, read cheap and just suitable to walk less than one hour towards the train station.

    Keep in mind that backpacks are time consuming and very inconvenient ot be put on and off, once they are stuffed. My Loewe allows quick access to 2 bodies while worn.

    Maybe you'll be happier with a Newswear waist vest and a normal backpack holding the really odd lenses wrapped in underwear.
  3. I have used LowePros Super Trekker for 2 years and Pro Trekker 6 years. Typically the loaded Super or Pro, might weight 45 lbs or 30 lbs, respectively. Both very comfortable for longs days use/carry and both exceptional at durability/protection of gear inside. Mind you, the Super weights 12 lbs empty!!! So that gives you some idea about the nukeproof construction and padding. Strapping on a tripod, some trail munchies and inserting a 100oz hydration bladder and the total mass can pass 60lbs. Grunt! A counterpoint, for airline travel the Lowepro empty weight can subtract from you useful carry on capacity. A travel backpack promoted by Moose Peterson at: has a good reputation, but I can not speak from personal experience. Good Luck!
  4. Boy, I wish I knew the answer to this one! I once had a camera carrier (it wasn't really a 'bag')that was close to ideal-it was a Nikon FB8 (see picture). It had three Nikon lens mounts on a steel plate on the bottom, and space for two bodies (one w/o a lens, the other with a short lens). The top opened up away from your waist, so you could snap one lens in and another out with one hand. It was the fastest case for lens changing I have ever found, and I miss it every time I muck about with stupid rear lens caps. It had two flaws only. The first, which I put up with, was that it was fairly heavy. It had a substantial frame/body that was perfectly adequate for self defense. The second was its real weak point--the leatherette with which it was covered would deteriorate and crack (and ooze black on your clothes) after only a few years. I actually wrote to the President of Nikon in Japan about it and they sent me a replacement, but alas, it did the same thing after the passage of time. I covered it with black duct tape (what else) and am still seeking a really talented leathersmith to try to recover it. I did find that a different model (FB-5) was covered with real leather, and I bought one in mint condition for a hefty price, and it now shelters my Nikkormat EL or my F, but it only holds one body at a time. If I could find the same format for my digital Canons, I'd buy it almost regardless of price. Heck, if Nikon brought one out for their digital cameras, I'd switch back to Nikon for digital too! (Next installment, the Tenba D17C story)
  5. While strolling along the electronic mall one day, I discovered that B&H had a camera case for two bodies, plus many lenses, plus a 17" laptop computer. All 'used' for about $70. It seemed to be just what I was needing for a trip to Egypt with my two Canon digital cameras, bunch of lenses, laptop, etc. I ordered it and very soon a huge box arrived on my doorstep. The case is 18.5"x12"x16. Aha! The astute reader will have noticed that this adds up to 46.5" - and the international and national airline limits on carry-ons is 45" or sometimes much less. Would this thing make it? The answer is 'barely'. I was actually allowed to board aircraft with this thing on my shoulder when people with smaller bags were being pulled aside. Got there and back, but it was a chancy business, especially on the smaller jets that seem to have taken over much internal US routes. Did I say the BB8 was heavy? The combined D17C . weight of all that gear and the computer was also pushing the limit on carry-on weight! All the same, if you need a really, really big case, this is the one, but I'll try to avoid flying with it in future. Tenba has replaced this model with a newer variant, but the B&H ones seem to be new 'old stock' rather than actually used. The thing is so huge that I still haven't found the "secret pocket" mentioned on the tags.
  6. I'm a fan of the Lowe Photo Trekkers. Bomb-proof construction. The waist belt can make a huge difference in comfort, although it becomes more important as an accessory as more weight is carried in the backpack. If you're going to carry lots of gear and attach jackets, tripod, etc., consider a model that has something that's better than a belt - wheels.
  7. Leslie, have a look at the Tenba PB-15C:

    It's not perfect but it's just about the largest backpack that you'll get on a plane in the
    worst case scenario - London Heathrow (where the one carryon item policy is ruthlessly
    enforced). The other option is the Lowepro Photo Trekker. What tips thing in the Tenba's
    favor is that the laptop compartment is accessible without opening the main section of the
    pack, and that's a big deal these days when a lot of airports demand that your Macbook is
    removed from your pack for seperate screening. One small thing that'll make travelling
    easier is making sure that all of your cables are easy to get to, because nothing attracts
    security attention more than a bag full of firewire and ethernet cables (and if you're smart
    you will have a bag full of duplicate cables) - you don't want to have to unpack everything
    every time you're challenged.

    Travelling is hell now. Enjoy....
  8. After a week of searching and pondering, I ended up with a smallish kata bag and a kata waist belt bag instead of one large tenba/lowepro. The decision was made primarily for flexibility. I can always throw in either of the waist bag or backpack inside my main rucksack. I did however bargain my prices way down on these kata bags to let them go:)
  9. I used a waist belt pack. ONCE. Uncomfortable and after a while downright painful. Its now in permanent storage.
  10. How's this ... carry both a backpack and the Domke. I have many backpacks and bags,
    always reloading them as a solution to the current problem. My solution to your premise is
    to load the outfit in one or another of the LowePro AWs and to carry the Domke (F-3ish) as
    the walking bag (with few sundry items) when my camera is in my hands, shooting.
  11. I have noticed several FB-5 bags available. I use FM2/T and FM3a cameras. Is FB-5 satisfactory to secure the camera body? What lens sizes will the case secure? I have MF AI-s Nikkor 50-135 one-touch zoom, MF AI-s Nikkor 200 mm f/4, MF AI-s Nikkor 180 mm f/2.8 ED plus several "standard" lenses.

Share This Page