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Old Nov 23, 2010, 11:45 AM   #1
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looking for a good strong well built small to medium backpack
what type do you use?
what gear do you normally pack in it ?
why do you prefer that one?

Dave
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Old Nov 23, 2010, 1:06 PM   #2
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I have a Tamrac Adventure 7. It has a padded lower half with inserts and a smaller upper half for small items. I can carry my dslr camera with lens attached as well as 2 or 3 other lenses plus some filters, cleaning clothes, lens pen. The upper part has the camera manual, notepad which is fitted into a mesh holder. In a pinch, a rolled up nylon shell would probably fit in it but there is a limited amount of room. There are two mesh pouches on the outside for water bottles. A zipped pocket on the front will hold media cards and other small items.

This line has packs that are smaller as well as larger. I think the next size up will hold a small laptop. I chose this size because it will carry what I need for 99% of my outings and it is still small enough and light enough not to become a chore to carry.

The one downside to this particular model is that when you need to get something out of it you need to take it off and set it down.

The Tamrac site (http://www.tamrac.com/welcome.htm) has pictures/ specs/etc. for the Adventure series as well as others.

Regards

Last edited by bluenose; Nov 23, 2010 at 2:38 PM. Reason: Additional information/ link.
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Old Nov 23, 2010, 11:56 PM   #3
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i love the convenience and accessability of a shoulder bag but on my last few trips i think my shoulder/lower back has had enough. i think my limit is if i know before hand that i am going somewhere and i can rest the bag down and not have to think about it for a while, that is when a shoulder bag should be used.
one too many have recomend a backpack
i got the Lowepro flipside 400 recently but have not gotten a chance to test it out yet. loaded it feels ok but the straps dont feel right.
i also got the Lowepro versapack. camera compartment is very limited, but the straps are very comfortable
Why are crumpler back packs so expensive?

Dave
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Old Nov 24, 2010, 2:25 AM   #4
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I have lowepro fastpack 250 its has enough room for a DSLR a couple of lenses a flash laptop and still has room left. Plus for me easy on my back
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Old Nov 24, 2010, 2:56 AM   #5
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There's a bunch of video's at YouTube for different bags/backpacks...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKL-4...eature=related

These are mostly LowPro but you can find many others as well if you just
use the search (at top) with the brand name...

Hope that helps...
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Old Nov 24, 2010, 6:50 AM   #6
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dave, when you say backpack, are you hiking with it? or just going out-in-town? or biking? or car camping? i looked at some videos of the two you mention and the 400 is huge! the versapack didn't seem too well setup. the video i watched showed how hard it was to access the equipment in it.

have you looked at a slingback? you can use them just standing up. i don't really like putting my bag down on the grass or dirt so this suits me. also, when biking, i can just stand over the top tube and get my camera out or change lenses.

mine is the lowepro 100 model. i may get a bigger one for more extended outings but this carries my slr, 2 lenses and my flash. also i can stuff a p&s with a tiny tripod in one of the pockets. here's the sales pitch but it explains things well. i don't see any negatives to the bag anyway.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKL-4...eature=related
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Old Nov 24, 2010, 7:18 AM   #7
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So I take it you like the Lowepro Sling style, Frank...? Are they well made, quality
materials, ie; zippers, seams, fabric, strap, liners, etc...?

I'm considering one of these two because I can carry a notebook in them as well...

Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW Backpack
http://products.lowepro.com/product/...AW,2141,23.htm

Lowepro SlingShot 350 AW Backpack
http://products.lowepro.com/product/...-AW,2117,4.htm

I'm kind of leaning towards the "Classified" model because it looks like you can
access everything right from the top (side) when you swing it around...

I'm going to see if I can find a place where I can try them in person before making
a final decision...

Edit:
Don't mean to hijack your thread, Dave, just figured you'd be interested in these
things as well...

Last edited by Wizzard0003; Nov 24, 2010 at 8:04 AM.
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Old Nov 24, 2010, 8:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizzard0003 View Post
So I take it you like the Lowepro Sling style, Frank...? Are they well made, quality
materials, ie; zippers, seams, fabric, strap, liners, etc...?

I'm considering one of these two because I can carry a notebook in them as well...

Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW Backpack
http://products.lowepro.com/product/...AW,2141,23.htm

Lowepro SlingShot 350 AW Backpack
http://products.lowepro.com/product/...-AW,2117,4.htm

I'm kind of leaning towards the "Classified" model because it looks like you can
access everything right from the top (side) when you swing it around...

I'm going to see if I can find a place where I can try them in person before making
a final decision...
I can't tell if the classified can be worn on your back. I know the slingshot model can be. The one I got is very well made. Watch a video of the one you choose so you can see all the features. I didn't know mine had a rain cover built-in for a few weeks.
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Old Nov 24, 2010, 8:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank-in-toronto View Post
I can't tell if the classified can be worn on your back. I know the slingshot model can be. The one I got is very well made. Watch a video of the one you choose so you can see all the features. I didn't know mine had a rain cover built-in for a few weeks.
Yes, the Classified "Sling" model can... They don't show it in the pic's of the
220 AW but they do with the 180 AW...

(use the arrows to click through the pic's)
http://products.lowepro.com/product/...-AW,2140,4.htm

Here's a page showing all of the "Sling" models...

http://products.lowepro.com/catalog/Sling-Bags,4.htm

Also, if you check them all out on Amazon (Classified Sling and Slingshot) you
can see more pic's and descriptions...

Last edited by Wizzard0003; Nov 24, 2010 at 8:32 AM.
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Old Nov 24, 2010, 3:02 PM   #10
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My 2 cents on the subject of backpack camera bags:

One thing I've found over the past couple of years is that you can always overload a camera bag, even the best designed one, to the point of causing problems somewhere on your body. I've done that with every camera bag I've ever owned, and only now am I getting to the point of being disciplined enough to not want to carry everything including the kitchen sink when I'm out hiking, or at least everything I can possibily stuff into the bag.

The second thing is that what works well for me, a pint-sized female, may very well not work for someone who's 6'5" and 250 lbs. So for me to say that I love a particular bag does not mean that it will work for you.

As far as backpacks go - it seems to me that one can get either a hybrid type pack(sling/backpack) or a regular backpack. There are advantages and disadvantages to both and which will work for you depends on your personal preference and your use. If I were flying or transporting a lot of equipment from point A to point B, a regular backpack is the way to go - the straps and harness systems are better padded/designed specifically for carrying heavy loads. On the other hand, my experience with day-hiking is that whatever is in a backpack stays there until lunch/destination stop. While I would want to change lenses every 100 feet or so, I won't bother and will miss many wonderful shots because of that.

If my intention is to use a pack every day, for hiking and walking about town, then I would want something with quick access - either a sling bag or one of the hybrid type bags such as the Kata 3N1 bags.

Lowepro's Slingshot bags are very well padded and the design of the strap is such that it spreads the weight out in a wider area than a backpack-type strap, allowing you to carry a bit more weight than you could otherwise. However, that design means that you can only wear it over the right shoulder (a limitation, especially if you have a minor tendon tear in the right shoulder). I have the Lowepro Slingshot 200 and as long as I don't over-load it, it works very well (I'm on my second one, the stitching on the zipper gave out because I was constantly over-loading the first one).

I really like the design of the Kata 3N1 bags - they allow you to wear them as either a backpack or as a sling bag. Tamrac has a series of bags that are of a similar design, the quality of both manufacturer's bags appears to be about the same (both very good). There are some design differences, they aren't the same bag, so some people might have a preference between them. I'm now tossing around the idea of getting one of the mid sized bags in this design, something that is small enough that I won't overload my carrying capacity. I currently have the 3N1-30 bag and I can no longer carry it (more or less fully loaded) because of shoulder problems. The advantage/disadvantage of these types of hybrid bags is the design of the straps. Because you don't have to use both shoulder straps (a neat feature), they are designed with a pocket to hold the unused strap. That means the strap has to be designed to fold into it, which means compromises in its design. That's not a problem if you are using a smaller bag and not carrying much weight, but it means that the straps are not designed for maximum comfort/carrying capacity, and it is VERY easy to over-load them.

The other option I'm thinking of is some sort of harness/vest system. Lowepro makes an interesting one that I saw demonstrated 2 weeks ago. It might be a good solution as it's very customizable, if you are big enough you can have easy access to lots of stuff, and it would spread the weight around more than just on your shoulders.

Good luck with your research on this.
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