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Archive 2016 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy...
  
 
Trek_of_Joy
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


Hello all, I'm preparing my gear for a year-long, round the world trip with my wife and I'm trying to find a bag for a 2-body, 4/5-lens mirrorless kit. I'll be carrying twin Sony a6500's when they come out, along with the 10-18, 18-105, 24/1.8, 55/1.8 and a Batis 85, plus a few accessories. I may add the 55-210 since its so small/light and only take it with me when I need more reach. I'm also thinking about not taking the Batis 85 and just using the 55 as my portrait type lens to shed a little more weight. This bag will be used for camera gear only. I have another carry-on sized backpack for all my clothes, laptop and such. The big issue is that I'll be lugging it everyday for a year, so it needs to be comfortable.

I'm 6'2" with a fairly long torso. I'd like to go the photo backpack route as we'll be doing a lot of walking, hiking and exploring off the beaten path, but every option I've seen that will properly fit me is way too big. I have a Tenba messenger bag, but that puts all the weight on one shoulder. I'm fit, but after walking around for a few hours, I feel it. We'll be chasing summer for the most part and spending a lot of time in hot climates, so a vest isn't an option. Plus I don't want a bag that screams photographer.

I have a nice Northface daypack that I've tried to use as a camera bag, but access is poor compared to camera specific options. All the zippers and compression straps get in the way, plus the main compartment is not segmented, so with the camera insert things slide under/behind it when you start moving around.

Just wondering what others have used to carry gear all day or any tall guy pack suggestions. I've never carried a sling and I see others modding tactical harnesses to fit their needs. There are so many options I'm sure there are tons I haven't seen.

Suggestions? Any insight is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Chris



Oct 12, 2016 at 04:06 PM
1KIND
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


Have you looked at Peak Design's new Everyday Backpack?

http://www.1kindphotography.com/2016/09/indiegogo-peak-design-everyday-backpack-tote-sling.html



Oct 14, 2016 at 03:16 PM
pbraymond
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


I've settled on FStop (Loka), though with your gear selection it almost seems like any backpack that would fit your tall profile well will have excess capacity. Depends also on your tolerance for comfort (or discomfort) with the weight you'll be carrying, which would determine how sophisticated your harness will need to be. I'm thinking a Thinktank sling or smaller backpack might work well for you with your gear, if you can handle the less supportive harness/suspension vs the Fstop.

I seem to recall LowePro has a newer bag out as well. If I find the link I'll update this post.

**Edit - reading some unsettling things about Fstop. Not sure if they are true, but since you can't get the bags anyway (on the perpetual backorder) maybe it does not matter.

Lowerpro has a gazillion new backpacks that I've not played with, so apologies that I can't help there.

I can vouch for ThinkTank Photo, and continue to use and enjoy their products.

Edited on Oct 14, 2016 at 09:08 PM · View previous versions



Oct 14, 2016 at 04:59 PM
OregonSun
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


If I was in your shoes, I would be looking for a non photo pack that is the right size/shape and has good access, then get whatever inserts, pouches, etc you need for protection. This route will give you vastly more options as far as fit, style, hydration options, external pockets, etc. Some of the better brands are Vaude, Black Diamond, Deuter, Osprey.

Heron



Oct 14, 2016 at 05:31 PM
chez
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


OregonSun wrote:
If I was in your shoes, I would be looking for a non photo pack that is the right size/shape and has good access, then get whatever inserts, pouches, etc you need for protection. This route will give you vastly more options as far as fit, style, hydration options, external pockets, etc. Some of the better brands are Vaude, Black Diamond, Deuter, Osprey.

Heron


I've used photo packs from Lowepro and F-Stop and they are allay to bulky and heavy for what the provide. I've finally settled in on using an Osprey trekking pack and either have my gear in individual wraps or put an insert into the Osprey. The Osprey is very light, has an excellent suspension system which puts the weight onto your waist and off your shoulders. It also has a mesh backing which provides air circulation while wearing it which comes in very handy in high temperature humid environments.

I'd go to a outdoor store like REI and get properly fitted with a trekking pack and then figure out how to carry your equipment.



Oct 15, 2016 at 12:26 AM
jharter
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


Not quite what you are asking, but:

Consider a Ribz chest pack.

Cons: no padding, relatively small capacity, fiddly to put on and take off in airplane and restaurants, water resistant but not waterproof.

Pros: inexpensive, most comfortable pack out there, cool and balanced design i.e. no back sweating or shoulder aching, perfect size for a 2 body 2 lens kit.

I use mine with a Sony A7rII, 16-35/4, 55/1.8, 90/2.8 macro, 2 filter wallets, extra batteries, lens cloths, Leica 10x25 binoculars, lens pen, remote release. It would easily fit the 6500 + 1 lens in each side plus a second lens depending on size but none of the lenses you mention are larger than the 90mm macro.

Depending on the trip, I carry my gear in the Ribz pack or else I use a regular camera bag/backpack and roll up the Ribz pack in my suitcase. I have tried numerous photo backpacks and ThinkTank belt system with the shoulder harness. The Ribz pack is much better for a relatively lightweight kit like mine.

Ribz Pack

I rarely zip the packs together and just wear them loose. The setup rides better on your body if each side is of equal weight. If I have my camera and lens on the tripod such that one side of the pack is empty then the straps drift in length. I could solve that with a little piece of velcro but I simple pull on the pack to even it out when I put my camera back in.



Oct 15, 2016 at 07:34 PM
TMaG82
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


Mindshift Gear Rotation series
Lowepro ProTactic series
F-Stop Kenti
Thule Aspect

All have side access which you unsling one shoulder and get access to your gear.



Oct 16, 2016 at 11:37 AM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


You could feasibly just take:

a6500 w/ 24 1.8

a6500 w/ 55 1.8

And a 12mm Samyang.

Often travel is made better with less gear.



Oct 16, 2016 at 02:12 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


I see now why you were asking me about the Ribz I use, in the other thread.

If I were you I would buy the RIBZ and my favourite backpack (I've used Osprey and have a 90L Gregory too), those from Boreas. When not using the RIBZ it weighs almost nothing and is easy to pack away - you could then often leave your pack in your hotel room and just use the RIBZ when trekking / on day trips / sightseeing (the RIBZ keeps everything in front of you which will also deter pickpockets).

I have a write-up somewhere on FM on the Boreas I have (just love the numerous unusual colour schemes of their packs !). Lots of photos of how I use it as pack for both hiking and to store my photographic gear : http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1366149/0

And here's a link to their website (Californian company) : https://www.boreasgear.com/ or https://www.boreasgear.com/collections/packs

The advantage of the Boreas, over say a Mindshift, is that although it may take you 10-20 seconds longer to get your camera out you will always be comfortable with excellent suspension and functionality and it won't eventually be a pain-in-the-ass chore carrying your gear around (this is assuming you do a lot of hiking with it). I utilise both the very large top pockets (two sections) or the excellent expandable stretchy material large pocket in the centre on the back (it took my D800E and Tamron 15-30, so mirrorless will never be an issue) !



Oct 25, 2016 at 11:22 AM
nick53097
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


Plus one for Osprey and inserts.


Oct 27, 2016 at 07:26 PM
 

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ariot
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access




Two bodies, three lenses and a crap load of batteries fit in a good shoulder bag, and they look classy and innocous. Buy the Domke "postal" pad that walking letter carriers use and you can hang mirrorless on your shoulder all day. I used a F803 with two OMD EM1s, the 12-40 pro and 40-150 pro plus batteries and 1.4x all in an F803 for about a year -- wearing it pretty much everywhere. It was easy on busses, trains, airplanes, cars, whatever. If you need more room, a Hadley large can hold gear plus a stuffable gortex rain jacket.

The key is the Domke shoulder pad :-)




Oct 28, 2016 at 12:50 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


jharter wrote:
Not quite what you are asking, but:

Consider a Ribz chest pack.

Ribz Pack


Reminds me of the Newswear Chestvest. I have one of those and while I found it useful and usable for specific situations, disliked that clothing around my abdominal area would eventually saturate with sweat. It's ok while shooting a sporting event where looks don't matter, but wandering around a town then taking it off at a restaurant, etc., to reveal the huge patch of sweated-through clothes...

Maybe Ribz is better. It looks interesting and I could see using it for my mirrorless kit in hiking type situations, though less so for 'around town' situations.

For that I'd personally prefer a smaller minimally padded messenger and keep it to a single camera while shooting (the second body can be in a daypack or in with the clothes if you're carrying everything).



Oct 28, 2016 at 03:44 AM
jharter
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


From looking at the photos I of the Chestvest, I would guess that the Ribz pack is much less hot to wear. So far, I have never zipped up the Ribz pack. You would need to do that only if you were doing some serious climbing. With the central zipper unzipped, the Ribz wears like two small shoulder bags but secured by backpack straps. I wore it this summer during heat waves in North Carolina and it was not a bother.

The Chestiest looks like it has much more capacity though, especially compared to the Ribz zipped together. Zipping up the Ribz means that you don't wan't each side bulging like a sphere stuffed full of gear or it would feel uncomfortable.



Oct 28, 2016 at 11:43 AM
ariot
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


Maybe I'm being too cynical, but in parts of the world where I have been, I would not want to walk down the street with something like a Ribz or any other sort of chest vest unless I had press credentials.

From the back, you look strapped up. From the front, you look like a 'tog or something worse. Maybe I hold this opinion because I'm a retired military guy. I just always do a double take when someone is front loaded or is wearing anything supported by two shoulder straps that isn't a backpack (like the press belts/pouches with suspenders). That stuff is fine in the boondocks or in the states, outside of a few cities where LEOs are on high alert.

I vote for one of the backpacks or a shoulder bag, just like every other tourist or traveler would use.

At least something with colors that are bright and high vis. -- nothing black or tacticool.



Oct 28, 2016 at 12:27 PM
jharter
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


That's a good point. I have not yet used it internationally. For outdoor, landscape, hiking, in/out of the car it would be no issue.


Oct 28, 2016 at 01:53 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


ariot wrote:
Maybe I'm being too cynical, but in parts of the world where I have been, I would not want to walk down the street with something like a Ribz or any other sort of chest vest unless I had press credentials.

From the back, you look strapped up. From the front, you look like a 'tog or something worse. Maybe I hold this opinion because I'm a retired military guy. I just always do a double take when someone is front loaded or is wearing anything supported by two shoulder straps that isn't a backpack (like the press belts/pouches with suspenders).
...Show more
You may have a point if working / traveling in the Middle East and maybe one or two other sensitive locations. I hadn't considered that. However it hasn't been an issue wherever I've used it (SEA / China / North Asia / Western Europe) but it's something to bear in mind. The good thing about the RIBZ is it's incredibly light and packable so easy to stash in your pack or elsewhere if you were having any doubts about how it may be perceived in the area you were traveling in.

Do note though that I suggested using this in addition to, not in place of, a backpack. It enables you to go light and leave the pack back in the hotel or give you tons more storage in front of you, when wearing your pack.



Oct 28, 2016 at 06:11 PM
ariot
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


Yes, I like the Ribz, and I may get one. I would take it to places where I'm comfortable, or where I have family or friends with me who are local (Philippines, Japan, China, Vietnam). But down the street in D.C., or in Turkey, or in Berlin, I wouldn't use any chest pack.

My biggest fear is that one day oversensitive random citizen in some random city will finger me to the police due to my gear or bags, and those police will over-react. Or, a security person on high alert will mistake a longer lens or bag for something more worthy of scrutiny.

I try to blend in, even though sometimes that's impossible.




Oct 28, 2016 at 06:42 PM
jharter
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


One note on longer lenses and the Ribz: It would hold an A7r2 attached to the 70-200/4 on one side but I think the lens hood would need to be removed and you probably would not have room for much else on that side. I did use it with the 70-300, but normally my longest lens is the 9o/2.8 macro which will fit vertically in one of the elastic pouches - snugly with the lens hood reversed.


Oct 29, 2016 at 02:36 AM
Trek_of_Joy
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


Frogfish wrote:
I see now why you were asking me about the Ribz I use, in the other thread.

If I were you I would buy the RIBZ and my favourite backpack (I've used Osprey and have a 90L Gregory too), those from Boreas. When not using the RIBZ it weighs almost nothing and is easy to pack away - you could then often leave your pack in your hotel room and just use the RIBZ when trekking / on day trips / sightseeing (the RIBZ keeps everything in front of you which will also deter pickpockets).

I have a write-up somewhere on
...Show more

Thanks for the extra info. I have an Osprey as my main clothing and 'everything but camera gear' pack and I have one of the Ribs on order. I wish I had stumbled across Boreas first, I probably would have bought one of those as my main pack. I managed to get a Peak Design 20L Everyday backpack as well - should be here in a couple weeks, some are claiming its comfortable for the long haul. We'll see.



Nov 05, 2016 at 10:12 PM
Trek_of_Joy
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Help, need bag for extended travel, all-day comfort, easy access


ariot wrote:
Maybe I'm being too cynical, but in parts of the world where I have been, I would not want to walk down the street with something like a Ribz or any other sort of chest vest unless I had press credentials.

From the back, you look strapped up. From the front, you look like a 'tog or something worse. Maybe I hold this opinion because I'm a retired military guy. I just always do a double take when someone is front loaded or is wearing anything supported by two shoulder straps that isn't a backpack (like the press belts/pouches with suspenders).
...Show more

Interesting, I hadn't thought of that, most of the places we're going are not conflict zones, but we will be heading to Israel and a few places in the southern part of Africa. I am auditioning a Peak Design Everyday backpack as well.



Nov 05, 2016 at 10:13 PM
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