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Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,628
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


I sold one of my good camera backpacks about two years ago and now I'm regretting it. I'm going to do some traveling down in the Caribbean soon and I want to pack heavy for my trip so I'm looking for a good camera backpack to take with me. Most of my gear I take in rolling bags and on this trip that's not going to be practical. I don't need a backpack with anything for a laptop, just camera gear...one body, 3-4 lenses, a few strobes, accessories, that sort of thing.

Any suggestions for a good one? FYI, I'm not a big fan of the side-opening bags...just a backpack that can hold a lot of gear. Thanks!
Feb 03 13 08:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,532
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Shot By Adam wrote:
I sold one of my good camera backpacks about two years ago and now I'm regretting it. I'm going to do some traveling down in the Caribbean soon and I want to pack heavy for my trip so I'm looking for a good camera backpack to take with me. Most of my gear I take in rolling bags and on this trip that's not going to be practical. I don't need a backpack with anything for a laptop, just camera gear...one body, 3-4 lenses, a few strobes, accessories, that sort of thing.

Any suggestions for a good one? FYI, I'm not a big fan of the side-opening bags...just a backpack that can hold a lot of gear. Thanks!

camera backpacks and slingbacks usually feature side-opening. I'm a pack fanatic. I have 3 different lowePros for different situations, including a laptop bag. One that does avoid side opening is the Crumpler cupcake Full. If you can stand the name, and the cuteness of the shape it might work for you. (i managed to resist buying it because I really didnt need another).  it doesnt have tie-downs for a tripod or ice axe or portable boson generator or whatever it is that photographers are carrying these days but if you are on vacation you might not be bringing one.
here are some inside/outside images (sorry for the long link)
https://www.google.ca/search?q=crumpler … 61&bih=858

Feb 03 13 09:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ken Fields Photography
Posts: 144
Wailuku, Hawaii, US


I have the Lowepro Nature Trekker AWII and like it a lot. There's one on ebay ending within a day, good price, so far...There's a few more listed there too....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lowepro-Nature- … 20cef0721e
Feb 03 13 09:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Joseph Peffer
Posts: 285
Miami, Florida, US


Multiblitz made an amazing one for lights that was only $80. Downside is there always out of stock. Perfect for carrying 2 white lightnings with tripods and accessories. It's brilliant.
Feb 03 13 09:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
redbanana
Posts: 775
Lexington, Kentucky, US


I use a Tenba large shootout backpack for many reasons. Water proof zippers, large enough for two camera bodies and a 70-200 plus 3 other lenses and four speedlights and many other things like radio triggers, light meter, cokin filter system 17 inch laptop and some books, tripod (full size not the compact). You can buy the roller backpack if you want p,us i like that with the cover you can make it a nice tight travel bag. They are super durable I've had mine 3 year I think and I do not have one rip, tear or thread coming loose. Minus the fact it is dirty the pack looks brand F'ing new.

http://www.tenba.com/Collections/Shootout.aspx
Feb 03 13 09:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
S W I N S K E Y
Posts: 24,315
Saint Petersburg, Florida, US


i have been using this one for the past three years: http://products.lowepro.com/product/Pro … 184,16.htm

http://i.imgur.com/m8TQi.png
Feb 03 13 09:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Boreal Photography
Posts: 292
Duluth, Minnesota, US


I just got this camera backpack, pretty nice
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005HT … 05_s02_i00
Feb 03 13 10:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ArtisticGlamour
Posts: 3,846
Phoenix, Arizona, US


One suggestion is that if you are going to be wearing it for any extended period...a WAIST BELT is a good attribute to have on a backpack. (my Lowepro has a pretty good one)

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g461/TyPortfolio/waistbelt_zps29bbeaba.jpg

You will be MUCH happier with the added waistbelt if you have to wear it for any type of hike or extended timeframe.
Feb 03 13 11:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,628
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


S W I N S K E Y wrote:
i have been using this one for the past three years: http://products.lowepro.com/product/Pro … 184,16.htm

The one I used to have was a Nature Trekker AWII and I was pretty happy with it. I'm looking right now at this one on eBay as the seller is willing to let me pick it up locally:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi … TQ:US:1123

What do you like the most about this bag?

Feb 03 13 11:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,628
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Randall_Oelerich wrote:
I just got this camera backpack, pretty nice
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005HT … 05_s02_i00

I love the design of this a lot, and the price is great too. Only problem is it has tons of room for everything OTHER than your camera. I'm traveling with a D800 with grip, 14-24 f/2.8, 24-70, and a 70-200. Plus there are all the accessories as well. I just wish they made a bag that holds more camera gear and less laptop stuff.

Feb 03 13 11:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Napier Photographie
Posts: 87
Dallas, Texas, US


I've got that exact LowePro AW bag you're looking at on ebay.  It's a roughly 10 year old model and it's traveled the world with me for about that long.  It still works like a champ but after I tried out the newer AWII I have to admit that I found it a little more comfortable with slightly better ergonomics than my older bag but not enough so to justify buying it.

I've held up to 2 pro bodies, 5 lenses including an 80-200 2.8, 2-speedlites, a smaller reflector and various cables and other gear at one time and, though fairly heavy for a hike, it remained comfortable for the entire day.
Feb 03 13 11:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
redbanana
Posts: 775
Lexington, Kentucky, US


Shot By Adam wrote:

I love the design of this a lot, and the price is great too. Only problem is it has tons of room for everything OTHER than your camera. I'm traveling with a D800 with grip, 14-24 f/2.8, 24-70, and a 70-200. Plus there are all the accessories as well. I just wish they made a bag that holds more camera gear and less laptop stuff.

Did you not see my post? The Tenba holds plenty of camera gear, plus all weather rubber zippers. I've worsen it in a full on down pour without the rain cover that comes with it and my stuff is born dry. I've carried a D4, D700 (with grip) 70-200 2.8, sigmas 50 1.4, 105 macro, 16-35 and 85 1.4. While carrying 3 vivitar 285's 2 Nikon SB 910's and a SB 28 along with various other things like radio triggers (cyber sync triggers) cokin filter system and about 45 AA eneloops.

If you need to carry more gear than that then I'm not sure you will find a backpack that could handle it lol

Feb 03 13 11:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LightWriting
Posts: 399
Long Beach, California, US


I LOVE my Think Tank
Feb 03 13 12:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Boreal Photography
Posts: 292
Duluth, Minnesota, US


Shot By Adam wrote:

I love the design of this a lot, and the price is great too. Only problem is it has tons of room for everything OTHER than your camera. I'm traveling with a D800 with grip, 14-24 f/2.8, 24-70, and a 70-200. Plus there are all the accessories as well. I just wish they made a bag that holds more camera gear and less laptop stuff.

It is fairly configurable-- did you see this photo of it on zon, showing it packed with a camera and several lenses?
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41UguIM19VL.jpg
i do not really plan to use it for any laptop or such, just camera gear and accessories. I have a Canon T4i with grip and several lenses.

Feb 03 13 02:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
S W I N S K E Y
Posts: 24,315
Saint Petersburg, Florida, US


Shot By Adam wrote:
What do you like the most about this bag?

well all my travel equipment fits...and it has protected my equipment all over the world. the shoulder straps and waist straps are comfortable wearing all day..

a good investment for me..

http://i.imgur.com/m8TQi.png

Feb 03 13 02:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photo212grapher
Posts: 1,540
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


http://www.naturescapes.net/store/backpacks/

I have a Gura. Their Kimboko will fit a Canon 500mm f/4L with a teleconverter, but not with the camera body attached.
Feb 03 13 02:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ArtisticGlamour
Posts: 3,846
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Shot By Adam wrote:
Any suggestions for a good one? FYI, I'm not a big fan of the side-opening bags...just a backpack that can hold a lot of gear. Thanks!

Is this a backpack for carry between the airport and the hotel, or will this be something you will carry all day?

http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ … g-fit.html

Feb 03 13 03:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Z_Photo
Posts: 6,933
Huntsville, Alabama, US


Feb 03 13 03:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Boreal Photography
Posts: 292
Duluth, Minnesota, US


Shot By Adam wrote:
I love the design of this a lot, and the price is great too. Only problem is it has tons of room for everything OTHER than your camera. I'm traveling with a D800 with grip, 14-24 f/2.8, 24-70, and a 70-200. Plus there are all the accessories as well. I just wish they made a bag that holds more camera gear and less laptop stuff.

Okay I am going to back-peddle, eat some crow-- you are spot on! I just took my existing Tamron pack made for cameras and lenses and repacked my stuff in it, wow, yes, better than that canvas rugged looking pack. I am going to return that canvas pack I bought, save some cashola, stick with the tamron pack i already have that fits several lenses, my camera with grip, my Speedlite and some flash accessories, has compartments for memory cards and lens cleaning tissue and filters, straps for tripod. Lesson learned.

Feb 03 13 05:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ShotbyRon
Posts: 767
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


I use this one and love it!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002DW … 02_s00_i01

I carry my camera, 3 lens, 2 flashes and little odds and ends. Plus the tripod hangs nicely on the side if you need it.
Feb 03 13 05:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Rieger
Posts: 137
Kansas City, Missouri, US


I have a few for different things - but the best one for me is the Gura Gear.  It's comfortable & holds a ton of gear.

http://www.guragear.com/

John
Feb 03 13 06:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David M Russell
Posts: 1,119
New York, New York, US


I've always liked the LowePro bags. There's something to be said for a camera backpack that's designed by a company that has a history in designing backpacks, and not just a company that is putting straps on a camera bag.

I liked the older ones, esp. the CompuTrekker Plus AW, better than the current ones. But I'm currently hauling a pile of gear around in a FastPack 400 or 450. Lots of capacity.

Tons to choose from:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Nt … av-Search=
Feb 04 13 04:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JONATHAN RICHARD
Posts: 641
New York, New York, US


Since 2010  I have been using  a KIBOKO 30 L ( 30 liter capacity  )  by Gura Gear, ( Now replaced by the Bataflae 32 L)  the orginal 30 L is still available at B & H ( see link  to B & H below )

http://www.guragear.com/kiboko-30l/

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/revie … boko.shtml



The harness and waist belt is the most comfortable and well balanced support system you will find designed for a pack system. This will be much appreciated when hiking miles thru an exotic landscape .

The bag can be carried as a US  carry-on bag with the external top and side handles, or as a backpack using the retractable harness system.

Their butterfly flaps provide access to just the gear needed which I find most useful in conditions where exposing the entire open pack is less desirable

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/revie … view.shtml

Their new Bataflae 32 L would be a good fit with the  side attachment system that allows for cary of a tripod 

http://www.guragear.com/bataflae-32l-black/

I can assure you either bag can swallow your camera systems, and long lenses and will  make it  possible to work out of the bag with multiple bodies attached to lenses .



The KIBOKO 22 L is somewhat smaller in capacity by 8- liters.. but can accommodate a 17 " laptop

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jWOsJ2R … re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxDAG5RtxR4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STP_bITNj1A


KIBOKO 30 L & KIBOKO 22 + can still be found at B&H here in NY as of 2/04/2013

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Nt … %2FSPAN%3E


Michael Reichmann Review

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/revie … gear.shtml

So why the Butterfly design ....? .. By Nick Devlin


As a die-hard single-compartment kind of guy, I confess to having found the butterfly design baffling when I first saw it, and irritating when I first used it. My pet peeve is that the flaps simply will not stay open when unzipped. Of course, as with everything about the Kiboko, this a conscious design choice, the genesis of which lies in Andy Biggs’ primary work as a safari photographer and expedition leader.  Put simply, when shooting in the dusts of Africa, the last thing you want is for the flap of your backpack to stay open.  The Kiboko is designed around a mandate of protecting your gear, and closing the garage door, so to speak, whenever the bag is on the ground goes a long way towards accomplishing that goal.
When asked, Andy explained that the butterfly design grew out of the need to have two bodies with lenses attached ready to go on Safari. In addition it limits the space needed to open the bag and also prevents a large flap from landing in snow, mud, elephant dung or whatever else happens to be on the ground.
Feb 04 13 04:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Foto Priganica
Posts: 50
Leeds, England, United Kingdom


I love my Naneu Pro backpack and sling photo bag ... brilliant quality and durability for $ ... good adjustable compartments design as well ... check at :

http://www.naneubags.com/products-by-ty … l-slr-bags
Feb 04 13 05:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,628
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Here's the issues I'm running into.

1. The Tenba bags look good, but most of the larger ones are designed with a laptop compartment which I patently do not want.

2. Price: There are some great bags in this thread but forking out $450 for a backpack just seems a bit silly to me at this time. I'm looking for a good eBay find, not really something new and paying top dollar for. A good used bag for under $120+shipping is more of what I'm looking for, not a new bag for $400+.

3. Obscurity. Some of the bags here look good, but I can't find them on eBay because they aren't that common.

4. Features. I'm following the KISS method here. I don't need fancy compartments or anything like that. One big zipper and get access to all my gear. Simple. Some cords or straps on the outside to hold a tripod/monopod would be cool too, but nothing complicated.

The original bag I found on eBay seems to be my best choice so far.
Feb 04 13 06:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jacob Howe
Posts: 41
Nashville, Tennessee, US


Tenba is definitely the way to go.
Feb 04 13 06:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,628
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Jacob Howe wrote:
Tenba is definitely the way to go.

There's one I'm looking at right now on eBay actually.

Feb 04 13 06:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photo212grapher
Posts: 1,540
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Shot By Adam wrote:
Here's the issues I'm running into.
--snip--
3. Obscurity. Some of the bags here look good, but I can't find them on eBay because they aren't that common.
--snip--

Why is Ebay a must? Seems silly to limit your selection to one auction site, when you might just find exactly what you want at a manufacturer's site. Price? If this is a use and throw-away, price has much to do with it, but if this is something you plan on using for a long time, new or used? Easy choice for me to make, especially on a product that has many zippers and clasps and a lot of stitching.

Feb 04 13 06:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,628
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


photo212grapher wrote:
Why is Ebay a must? Seems silly to limit your selection to one auction site, when you might just find exactly what you want at a manufacturer's site.

I'm looking for a used bag. Paying 4X the price for retails is silly to me for a bag I'm probably going to use less than 5 times a year. The reason I sold my old one was because it just collected dust. I'm kind of regretting it now, but hoarding gear that never gets used doesn't make sense to me.

Feb 04 13 06:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
redbanana
Posts: 775
Lexington, Kentucky, US


Dude the large bags do have laptop compartments but that doesn't mean you have to use it for that. I stuff all type of crap in there from lighting books, journals, large gels for strobes, a reflector, poncho for me, plastic bags to cover my speedlights hell even carry my snacks in there. Thats a lot of stuff inside of that compartment.

As for price there are 4 bags i found in 10 seconds on ebay for less than $150 buy it now option. Hell even one roller that was $180 so i think you are looking in the wrong spot. I personally have no interest what bag you choose but i think you are over looking a great bag based on retail suggested value.
Feb 04 13 08:02 am  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
MainePaintah
Posts: 1,713
Saco, Maine, US


Shot By Adam wrote:

I'm looking for a used bag. Paying 4X the price for retails is silly to me for a bag I'm probably going to use less than 5 times a year. The reason I sold my old one was because it just collected dust. I'm kind of regretting it now, but hoarding gear that never gets used doesn't make sense to me.

I have a medium Tenba bag that I have had for 20+ years. It was treated with kid gloves and looks like it is a couple of months old;

It was wonderful and served me well in it's day and it has carried around all of the following, at different times of course:

2 Nikon F's
3-4 lenses
spot meter and
Gossen  Luna-Pro meter

Pentax 6x7 with wooden grip
3 lenses
Spot meter

Fujica 6x7
Fujica 6x9
Spot meter
Gossen Luna-Pro meter

Never had a problem, like I said it is like new condition, and I would be willing to sell it for $125 plus shipping.

Message me if interested.
Tim

Feb 04 13 08:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,532
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


MainePaintah wrote:

I have a medium Tenba bag that I have had for 20+ years. It was treated with kid gloves and looks like it is a couple of months old;

people treat their bags too carefully. if you are going to be careful you could use a shopping bag or a 19.95$ special from walmart.  These things are built to take punishment and protect your gear. I got an OGIO backpack for school because I asked someone about their cool new bag and they replied "This? I've had it through undergrad and grad school It's got to be seven years old at least"  Every day use for 7 years carrying books and pencils and lumpy shit is what the fabrics can do now.
someone should buy your bag.  you haven't used it yet.

Feb 04 13 08:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ArtisticGlamour
Posts: 3,846
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Again, how much time will it be on your back?

If this is something that you will wear ALL DAY, you want to think about FIT, and having a proper waiststrap. (Try a good Lowepro, for example, and adjust it properly).
http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ … g-fit.html
80% of the weight should be on your hips and not your shoulders.

But, if it's just a glorified airline bag...then whatever will hold the gear. As long as it looks cool.
Feb 04 13 08:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,628
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


ArtisticGlamour wrote:
Again, how much time will it be on your back?

If this is something that you will wear ALL DAY, you want to think about FIT, and having a proper waiststrap. (Try a good Lowepro, for example, and adjust it properly).

But, if it's just a glorified airline bag...then whatever will hold the gear. As long as it looks cool.

Kind of somewhere in between. I'd be using it for travel but on my back...maybe 3-5 hours at a time, at the most.

Feb 04 13 08:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ArtisticGlamour
Posts: 3,846
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Shot By Adam wrote:
Kind of somewhere in between. I'd be using it for travel but on my back...maybe 3-5 hours at a time, at the most.

Bro, I can't stress enough the importance of a waiststrap if you will have it on for more than an 1/2 hour! Your back will seriously thank you! I guide at the Grand Canyon and Sedona...I have a good Lowepro, and take the time to ADJUST it properly.

I can go all day because it's mostly on my hips and evenly distributed.
http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ … g-fit.html

Feb 04 13 08:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David A Bliss
Posts: 162
Parker, Colorado, US


I'm a little late to the party here, and don't have a lot more to offer, but I've had the Nature Trekker for at least 6 years.  I don't have anything to compare it to as it is the only one I have owned, but it has been great.  To give you perspective, my background is in outdoor photography.  I have literally dragged it across rocks, mud, trees...  It has been in rain, snow, below zero and 115 degree heat, desert and humidity.  I have worn it for hours at a time (all day) and hiked many miles with it on, it's been on the New York subway and out in the middle of Death Valley.  It is very comfortable and easy to adjust.  Plenty of padding in the straps, belt, and where it touches your back.  It has a built in rain condom that I think I've used maybe once or twice.  The weather proofing is outstanding.

I have only had it not fit in the overhead compartment once, and that was on a small airplane.  It goes through the security belt with no issues.  It is easy to travel with yet big enough to fit everything you would need.  There have only been a couple of trips that I had to choose between lenses to go with me.

On many occasions it has also served as a seatback on the ground next to the trail as I've slept through mid-day sun....  ;-)
Feb 04 13 08:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,756
Fresno, California, US


This is what I use, Tamrac 5256 Black CyberPack 6 Photo/Laptop Backpack (Black)

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8371/8387743058_81014b9112.jpg
Bag by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51R02xbKz7L._SL500_AA300_.jpg
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00091 … 01_s00_i00

Two Nikon D3 cameras
AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED
AF-S Zoom-NIKKOR 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED
AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
Kenko 1.4X Teleplus - 4 Element DGX Auto Focus for Nikon AF Digital SLRs
If I pack only 2 SB800 flashes then I can pack an AT-X 300 AF PRO -TOKINA 300mm f/2.8
15 inch MacBook Pro
Feb 04 13 08:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ArtisticGlamour
Posts: 3,846
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Shot By Adam wrote:
The one I used to have was a Nature Trekker AWII and I was pretty happy with it.
David A Bliss wrote:
I'm a little late to the party here, and don't have a lot more to offer, but I've had the Nature Trekker for at least 6 years.

Excellent choice!
http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g461/TyPortfolio/backpack_zps34a2b750.jpg

Feb 04 13 08:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Brooklyn Bridge Images
Posts: 9,285
Brooklyn, New York, US


Shot By Adam wrote:

Im in same boat
I cant spend $450 on bag
Thats more than current value of my cameras
Have you looked at the BH used dept ?
They have brand new bags as DEMO
I got a $350+ Tenba bag several years ago for $100

Feb 04 13 09:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
4point0
Posts: 687
Los Angeles, California, US


This might sound a bit much but have you considered a solidly built regular backpack of the right dimensions and make your own or buy pre-assembled padded inserts? It would be economical and might just be a solution.

One of my camera bags is a Coach bag and I made padding with foam. Right now it has 1' foam, which is way overkill. Every time I go the craft store they never seem to have 1/2' foam. Anyway the point is it works.
Feb 04 13 10:28 am  Link  Quote 
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