Convertible backpack

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by kylee, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. Hello everyone,
    I am looking to replace my normal backpack that I use every day. I use it for food, books, art supplies etc. and my camera. I carry my d7000 with me everywhere. It usually has the 35mm f1.8 attached to it and the 55-300mm is in there as well.
    I was hoping to find a new backpack that would have a dedicated space for my camera and 2 lenses to keep it separate from all the other stuff I carry around. I found one backpack from fstop gear that would work but I wanted to check and see if there were other options out there.
    This is an example of the type of thing I am looking for. It is a backpack shell that can function as a regular backpack. But it has an extra access door on the back and individual padded camera units (ICU's on their website) that click into the inside of it turning it into a camera bag.
    Does anyone know of any other companies that make bags like this?
    Thank you for your help.
  2. well, several companies make standalone or separate ICU kind of things so that you can use your preferred backpack (because honestly, most of the camera backpacks are overpadded and overpriced)
  3. Sorry I can't really help naming another brand but are you sure you want that much lag as those f-stop packs create, to get ready? To me they seem like well balanced hiking packs that you have to unbuckle entirely and probably place on the ground to gain access to your camera. They don't seem made for casual wearing with just 1 shoulder strap in use. I used a inferior Cullmann photo backpack of that kind and felt rather slowed down in the field. - My big Loewepro offers 2 quickdraw flaps at belt height for mid sized bodies and lenses, which are accessible with the entire monster worn.
    Usually I grab a less ergonomic military style backpack and keep my camera in a small cam + zoom bag inside while just commuting (motorcycle, bad weather...) and attach that bag to my left backpack strap's bottom end when I'm hunting for subjects on foot. When using medium sized sets of gear I usually end backpacking small old camera bags and for active shooting on the move I transfer lenses into my vest.
    I hardly ever use the hip straps of backpacks - too much buckling for my taste. - I also figured out that I become dysfunctional as a photographer while I'm carrying an enormous load. To keep gear somewhat accessible after adding groceries or such to my pack I usually put all straps into a snap hook attached to the backpack tying rope, which also serves as my packing checklist (meter, various cameras -any strap missing?)
  4. This is my choice for doing exactly what you are doing

    I just came back from a week of domestic USA travel and had no problems going through security or putting in the
    overhead bins of various size jets.
  5. I've been known to remove all the inserts from my LowePro mini-trekker or ThinkTank Airport Acceleration and just use them as a large (padded) bag. The ThinkTank, especially, might be a bit bigger than you're thinking (though I'm very tempted to complement mine with a Shape Shifter for when I want to carry less. I have a LowePro FastPack (I think it's a 250 but could be wrong) for travelling light, and that has a separate, small, storage section above the camera bit (and a laptop insert). But it doesn't convert, as such (though you can take the inserts out and use it as a two-part bag. If you can, I'd suggest trying something in a store - bags are personal. Good luck.
  6. Thank you everyone for your suggestions and comments. Howard do you have any companies that make good ICU units that you would recommend?
    Ellis that backpack is great but it is a little bit more than what I was looking for. Right now I am using my regular Dakine backpack and I usually wrap my camera gear in a sweater and put it in there.
    Jochen I can see your concern about lag caused by that sort of configuration but I am not terribly concerned about it because it will be faster than what I do now. Not only that but I almost never leave my camera in the backpack when I am walking around and might want to take photos. I hold the camera in my hand. I am looking for something that I can use for short trips to visit family that will work as a backpack but also keep a minimal camera setup safe.
    I have a think tank belt pack for specific photographic situations where I need to carry more gear and I have a pelican rolling case for when I need to take a lot more gear traveling.
    This would be my every day pack for me.
    I found a couple more examples of bags that might work for me though I wish I could see them in person.
    Both of these have removable camera units. I will have to look around and see if anyone has them in stock so I can play with them and see if they are comfortable.
    Thanks again everyone.
  7. I just got back from REI looking at backpacks and found quite a few good options. I figured based on my current backpack that I need a minimum of 30L capacity and possibly go up to 40L capacity.
    Now I just need to find a decent insert to go into one of the backpacks. These are decently cheaper than buying an actual photo backpack.
  8. I have used an older model of the Kinesis Journeyman pack:
    I routinely use mine with Nikon D300, 70-210 f/2.8, 10-24 f/3.5-4.5, 70-180 Micro-Nikkor, tripod, panorama hardware +/- panoramic film body plus food, water, cold weather +/- raingear. Ithink it has roughly a 40L capacity.
    The pack is not itself padded, a feature I appreciate, however because it is modular padded compartments of various sizes can be added to the inside or outside.
    Occasionally I use it simply as a backpack over my Kelty pack since it has better accessibility to the interior.
    Unlike some dedicated photo backpacks I have had the hip belt is actually functional and takes weight off ones shoulders.
  9. That Kinesis Journeyman P450 -- looks highly cramped compared to Lowepro Fastpack 250 (to carry a Minolta 80-200 mm f/2.8 with hood mounted on Sony A900 (with grip)). Now, only if I could remove laptop section|padding from mine (yes, I know that there is version of Fastpack 250 sans laptop compartment, but that is not as modular as has been listed here).

    One of Dakine bags may fit the bill, for me, if I could see the space left inside near the top after camera unit has been placed inside.
  10. The Kinesis is not at all cramped. This is a shot of the pack with a 300 f/4 on a D300, a 17-35f/2.8 on an F3 body, an 18-200 zoom, 70-180 zoom and room for plenty of other gear - photo or otherwise. Ordinarily the bag with the F3 would be on the hip belt leaving more room in the pack if desired.

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