Good backpack for my trip in Thailand?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by solamnus, May 4, 2014.

  1. Ok after my first post about the lenses and gear i wanted to get peoples input on a good backpack for the trip.
    I have sort of decided on bringing my D700 together with the 24-70 and maybe 1 or 2 primes as well as my fuji X20.
    I have some great bags and own one backpack allready which is really nice to use at home. It is a national geographic explorer bag. It screams photographer a bit too much though and it is a bit fidgety when it comes to get the gear out and not the most comfortable bag for a long trip i reckon.
    I have looked on the Lowpro flipside sport bags, 15 L size. Only downside i see with those are that they have got not much room for extra stuff like batteries and phone etc.
    Do you guys have any favorite backpacks for trips? And why?
  2. After trying a few camera packs from Lowepro and Tamrac, I switched back to Crumpler for a full sized camera backpack.
    The Crumpler has better quality material for wear and tear and better build (zippers and velcro parts esp.)
    The Crumpler Sinking Barge model I currently travel with boasts excellent modular layout options with good access, plenty of side pocket space for separating batteries / plates / triggers / filters / cleaning kits etc.
    The most important feature - the shoulder straps are far better designed with ergonmic curves and padding exactly where yo want it and the waist band strap really takes a good proportion of the weight off the shoulders. The tripod sling is also very good quality and 100% useable on smaller travel sized tripods.
    Most of the Crumpler camera backpacks look like normal backpacks with no hint of camera gear until you open it up.
  3. I have two that I use - EMS Eastern Mountain Sports "Four Wheel Jive" and an REI pack similar to "Traverse 30" both were roughly $89 each. I prefer the EMS pack. The EMS "Four Wheel Jive" has many different sized compartments which help to organize my gear - small out side just right for business cards and car keys. Larger compartment behind it - just right for spare rechargeable batteries, and spare camera batteries, filters. An even larger one behind it for flash equipment. The next compartment is even larger for camera and spare lenses. A thin section behind it - for storing light modifier, There are also two small side pockets that I hardly use.
  4. A used black coloured LowePro Photo Trekker AW. It can hold what you have stated with interior space remaining. In my opinion, it doesn't "scream" photo backpack.
  5. Gup

    Gup Gup

    A second thumbs up for the LowePro Trekker. Mine is the maximum allowable for carry-on and is big enough for what you've listed with enough room left over for a change of clothes or a sweater, or lunch, etc. It's got a padded waistband as well as straps. A suitcase handle on the side. A tripod cup on the back. Tie downs everywhere. A concealed rain cover. Welded waterproof seams and zippers. Concealed compartments and a removable day-bag with straps. Being LowePro it is compatible with many options available separately as needed that are easily velcro'd on or off. It is built like a tank and wears like a regular backpack. I bought it for a large Nikon D2x, three zooms and a Hassleblad 503CW and three lenses. Like a few other things around here... I never used it once!
  6. I recently acquired a mindshift pro and I absolutely love it. I haven't put it through its paces for hiking yet but for regular traveling I have gone on several weekend road trips and I fit a D7000 body, 35mm prime, 55-300mm zoom, 10-24mm sigma and 105 macro in the belt pack, a gorilla pod tripod on the back, flash bracket in the side pocket, batteries, memory cards and charger in the top pocket, and other accessories.

    In addition to that I was also able to fit 4 days worth of clothes in the top part of the back pack. It is extremely well made and very comfortable to wear. Not only that but you can get a padded insert for the top part of the backpack so if you need to cary more gear you can.

    The belt pack is detachable so for quick day trips you can grab it and go if you don't want to bring the whole backpack with you. It is a very large backpack though. I believe it is made by the same people who design and make the Thinktank bags.

    The quality is superb. You can fit a bigger tripod on the back if you want and it has plenty of loops to attach more stuff to the outside if you want. It also doesn't scream camera bag. Most of my family and friends who have seen it have no idea it has camera gear in it.
    My favorite thing about it is that I don't have to use it as a full backpack if I don't want. I can fit a lot of photo gear in the bottom belt pack and I can take out the padded insert on the top and use the top for hiking gear or food.
    The one I have:
    Their smaller bag:
  7. Thanks a lot for those suggestions. Will look them all up and read up on them. Heard good things about crumpler etc.
  8. The bigger bag looks really awesome Kyle. Have not seen those around much here in sweden from what i recall. Must check some retailers out and take a look at one.
    /Cheers Martin.
  9. That's not so much gear really. I can't see needing a whole camera backpack for a camera wih 3 lenses. Why not get a
    regular frame pack and then put the gear in padded pouches in that, using the rest of the space for the rest of your stuff?
    My fiancée just got a great LL Bean one that has air space between the pack and the back and very good support, and
    weighs practically nothing.
  10. My favorite backpack remains the ThinkTANK Photo Shapeshifter, especially for shooting in crowded urban environs. You
    can pull a second zipper around the main compartment to main it hard for casual fingers to get inside and secondarily to
    compress its profile. That makes it easier to move around in crowded spaces line markets.

    It also has Heavy duty D-rings stitched into the font of the shoulder straps. I use locking caribineers (climbers rope clips)
    as go between a for my camera straps. Once again it foils grab and go thieves (unless the cut the camera strap) and also
    they can carry the weight of the camera instead of your neck or shoulders.

    I'm 6'5" and one of my assistants is about 5'3" . The ShapeShifter fits both of us very well.
  11. Wow, Ellis. That Shapeshifter must be one heck of a size to fit both of you. :)
    Actually, I also like Think Tank stuff. I have a bunch of them and my favorite is one like Ellis' but without the function to "Shapeshift". It's the Streetwalker pro. The difference between the pro and no-pro is that the pro has a pullout tripod holder.
    One thing that I really like about the TT system is that I can get what's called the Camera Support Strap (CSS) which hangs from the bag and can connect quickly to a TT holster or another TT bag. However, to connect directly to a camera I use something called the Optech utility loop ($12). I have these loops attached to just about all my cameras.
    This way I can attach a heavy camera and lens to the CSS which takes the load off my neck and transfers it to the shoulders. Believe me, this makes a huge difference when you are carrying/working all day.
    Also, if you want to work with a tripod the camera comes off the CSS and you can quickly snap it onto the tripod or just work hand held.
  12. If you like the Lowepro Flipside, it might be worth looking at the Lowepro Hatchback, especially the 22 litre version.
    This backpack is very light (less than 1kg empty) and has a bottom compartment for the camera gear which (like the Flipside) zips against the back for security. With a little contortion I can swing the bag around on one strap and open the camera compartment without putting it down.
    The upper compartment opens in a conventional manner, and gives me somewhere to put my lunch, jacket, water bottle, souvenirs etc. etc. Also, if necessary the whole camera compartment is removeable, turning it into a standard daypack. Alternatively, if I want to carry a lot of photo gear I can drop a Crumpler Haven into the top compartment. It's a very versatile bag. Apart from the Lowepro insignia, it looks like a student backpack and doesn't particularly scream "camera bag".
  13. Ok just wanted you guys to know that in the end i went with the Lowepro flipside sport 20L version.
    But there were several of the ones you included in your posts that i checked out and that looked great too.
    I got the bag at hom last night and packed it up allready and it looks great. I found i have all the space i needed but yet it feels pretty light on my back which is great. It also has the smaller pockets etc i was afraid would be lacking for cards,chargers etc. So that was great too. Also i tried "fliping" it as adverticed and it worked just as they said. So that was another great thing.
    Only after the trip will i know for sure if it was a great back as i believe it is.
    Thanks for all the advice.
  14. Let me make a couple of points:
    1. The right answer is individual...b/c fit is individual. The backpack or messenger bag or sling that rides well on me may very well cause bruises and blisters on you. Getting recommendations is nice but if 20 of us all agreed on the same bag, it could be a disaster for you. Don't buy until you try it (or a facsimile) on to see how it rides.
    2. Depends on how you shoot. If I was going from point A to point B, I'd probably get a backpack. If I was going to be shooting along the way, I'd get a sling or holster (b/c it sucks to take a backpack off, open it up, pull out gear, protect the backpack or put it back on, shoot, take backpack off, repack gear). I know you're going to be doing a range of photography, but ask yourself some hard questions about how you're likely to use it and shoot. Will you be carrying a tripod with you? Swapping lens frequently as you shoot? Shooting outdoors (with risk of rain or dust)? Serious threat of thieves around you as you shoot?
    3. I've got a bunch of things I have to carry my gear. When I travel (i.e.: fly), I have a soft-sided black duffle I stuff gear in and surround with clothes and toiletries. It's carry-on but will hold my tripod, multiple bodies and lens and everything I need. I also have a holster (most frequent carrying device, especially when I'll be switching in and out while I shoot) that holds a body with 3 lens). I've got a messenger back that I put a Timbuktu insert into that I use when I also want to bring a laptop. I have a cheap backpack that holds multiple bodies and lens, has a waterproof cover and I can strap water and a tripod to (rarely used...most when I am hiking to a location then unpacking, shooting, packing up and hiking back). I also have a fanny pack for hikes that holds two bottles of water on the side, a body with zoom and some smaller gear (batter, SD cards, ziplock bag in case it rains, filters, microfibre cloth). None of them is my favorite (though I use the holster the most given what and how I shoot). What I pick depends upon the nature of my travel and of my shooting.
  15. You are right of course. It is all about preference and what suit your style of shooting. As with lenses and almost all gear. However i really like threads were you exchange experiences and opinions about gear as it gives me a good idea of how that gear is used in different scenerios and how it performed acording to the poster. Having all that information have helped me numerous times to make easier decisions about what to get.
    Sometimes it has been wrong for me anyhow, but many times it has actually helped me get something that suited me well in the end.
    On this trip as you said i will shoot so many different types of things and will find myself in all kinds of different lighting situations and scenarios. So to only pick the perfect bag would be impossible. But you can try to make a compromise and try to balance the weight and need and get something that i will be the most satisfied with at least.
    For me i THINK the backpack i got will be a pretty good fit. If i did not have the flipside possibility, meaning fliping the backpack to the front to get the camera out quickly, i think i might have taken a shoulder pack instead. However with the possibility to do just that it makes it possible to bring all the gear i want( almost) and also be able to actually use it when i need it.
    I decided to shoot with my 24-70 as the main lens which will also be a great advantage as i will have it mounted with the lenshood ready to take out quite fast. As a backup i will bring the 180 mm and also a 28 mm lens. So i think i will have most scenarios covered and hopefully not break my back in the process! ;)
    If it is a good fit as i believe we will see after this trip is over though hehe. I will get back to you.
    /Thanks, Martin.
  16. You have lots of choices. You can get a backpack designed for photo gear and maybe a laptop, or get an all purpose backpack with compartments that can hold your cameras and lenses and other stuff, like a water bottle. There are pros and cons to both. I have both, and use them for different situations.
    Check out the full line of photo backpack made by Gura Gear. They come in different styles and sizes to fit overhead airplane cabins of different sizes too. Some of the models can be configured to hold camera and other stuff.
    For non photo backpacks, I go to LL Bean's website or REI's website to check out the different traditional backpacks that can be used for a trip where you need to carry camera and other stuff. Many of these are sized for different torsos, which can be very useful if you have a torso that is large or small. They also do not scream "photostuff" inside.
    Joe Smith

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