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Archive 2012 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?
  
 
Chris Hower
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?


Is there such a thing? I'm feeling overwhelmed at some exhaustive bag research, and feel no closer to a decision than when I started.

My goals:

  1. A light (<4lb) camera bag that is carry-on compliant
  2. A secure bag that would be difficult to pickpocket the large (ie: dSLR) items
  3. has space for a 13.3" ultrabook (12.3" x 8.6" x .5") - i don't need a dedicated laptop bag spot, but somewhere i can store it for when it's not safe to leave in the hotel room.
  4. has space for a non-gripped dSLR body, a 70-200mm f2.8, and a 16-35mm f2.8 so camera can be stored with whatever lens is currently on
  5. has additional space for a guide book, sunglasses, and 1-1.5L water bottle
  6. can center-mount a tripod on the back, or strap to the top/bottom
  7. is comfortable to wear all day, when it's heavy and while hiking on difficult terrain


my additional, aspirational goals:

  1. can be re-configured to hold a 400 or 500mm f4
  2. is weatherproofed (shielded zippers, water resistant material, w/e)


I am probably crazy, but does such a bag exist?

I've looked at:

LowePro Photo Sport 200 AW (comfortable enough with heavy load?)
http://products.lowepro.com/product/Photo-Sport-200-AW,2271,14.htm
Mountainsmith Spectrum AT Daypack (comfort? not secure? tripod?) http://mountainsmith.com/products.asp?productId=274&categoryId=13&subCategoryId=14&subCategory2Id=0
Gura Gear Kiboko 22L+ (comfort? tripod mounting?) http://www.guragear.com/kiboko-22l/
ClikElite Obscura (secure?) http://www.clikelite.com/products/obscura/
ClikElite ProBody Sport (secure?) http://www.clikelite.com/products/probody-sport/
ThinkTank StreetWalker HardDrive (secure? tripod?) http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/streetwalker-harddrive-backpack.aspx
Fstopgear Loka (not carry-on size? ICU unit awkwardness?) http://fstopgear.com/product/mountain/loka
Fstopgear Guru (ICU unit awkwardness?) http://fstopgear.com/product/mountain/guru

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this topic?



Dec 05, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Mr Joe
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?


Here's an article that will give you more specs and bags to look at:
http://www.joereifer.com/words/2012/01/22/a-brief-statement-on-backpacks-for-hiking-with-photo-gear-from-the-society-obsessed-with-photography-backpack-perfection/

I tried a lot of bags, and ended up with a Loka for most shoots. I also have a Streetwalker HardDrive that I use when I need to bring a laptop and I'm not hiking. The Streetwalker carries tripods just fine.

The Loka is super secure because it opens from the back. Haven't had a problem carrying it on US domestic flights. If you choose wisely on the ICU, it's just part of the bag -- not awkward at all -- versatile! Tripod carrying works OK, but is more basic than a bag with a dedicated pouch on the bottom center. Depends on how big of a tripod you're hauling.





Dec 05, 2012 at 06:09 PM
dgdg
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?


I have taken the fstop loka within the usa even on regional jets as a carry on.
The medium pro icu is great. It will fit a 400mm f4 horizontally. I still manage to fit my 5D, a couple lenses, filters, chargers, ballhead, vixen polarie into the icu. In case I have to take the icu out and put it under the seat, I do not pack anything expensive elsewhere in the Loka. That being said, even in the regional jet I was on, the Loka would fit under the seat in front of me.
The 500mm f4 plus some small amount of other gear will probably require the large icu and vertical placement. You'll have to review the specs to see if it would fit. F-stop has sample pictures of various gear stuffed in their icu's but the largest I see is a 300mm 2.8 which is about the same size as the 400 f4.
They have a responsive support system for inquiries, you should contact them.

It is very comfortable to hike with all day.

As you can tell, I love the bag.



Dec 05, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Todd Warnke
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?


+100 for the Loka.


Dec 05, 2012 at 08:36 PM
dgdg
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?


just realized I have the large pro icu (not medium).


Dec 06, 2012 at 01:39 PM
sjms
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?


the Loka sure is carry on. even the Satori is under most situations. I have a large and medium ICU to use between both. awkwardness is a relative term.
the TT SW HD has a setup for a tripod

Loka in one config using the Large pro ICU. regularly fits a 300/2.8 under the lidon top of the ICU.







Dec 06, 2012 at 01:51 PM
 

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Chris Hower
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?


Thanks for the help, everyone. Given such overwhelming support, I've ordered a Loka. Should be exciting to not break my back while traveling anymore.


Dec 06, 2012 at 03:20 PM
dgdg
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?


sjms wrote:
Loka in one config using the Large pro ICU. regularly fits a 300/2.8 under the lidon top of the ICU.


whoa.....Would be great for my 400 f4

In an overhead bin?
Do you wrap in something?



Dec 06, 2012 at 03:49 PM
sjms
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?


Overhead bin yes. I have a padded bag for my 300 that was made by TT with 1/4" foam. The lens is in it all the time


Dec 06, 2012 at 09:39 PM
dgdg
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?


interesting, another way to cram in more gear.

Was looking at the Think Tank site, not sure I can see the padded bag you are referring too. Could I trouble you for a link?



Dec 08, 2012 at 01:19 AM
sjms
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?


they no longer make it. they seem to have a short attention span for accessories. it was the lens changer 300.
other options:
http://www.kgear.com/store/e/e660.html
http://www.kgear.com/store/e/e584.html



Dec 08, 2012 at 02:34 AM
dgdg
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Secure, lightweight photo backpack?


Thanks!


Dec 08, 2012 at 08:58 PM





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