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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:31 am
Posts: 45
Location: USA - MA
Hi all.

I'm having a hard time choosing a photography backpack from just looking at online pictures, so I'd figure I'd ask for help.

I recently got a job in Boston and I'd like to start taking my dlsr with me to work. I walk about half mile from public transit, so something with a weather would be a plus.

In all I need a bag that can carry minimal gear (dslr, 1 or 2 lenses). On top of the camera, I'm looking for a bag with open space to carry an ipad, small lunch (sandwich, soda, ice pack, bag of chips maybe) and a pair of shoes.

I know this sounds odd. But since I take public transit. I'd like to be able to carry all my stuff in one bag. I bring the shoes because walking the city sucks in dress shoes. So I swap shoes when I get to work.

I'm wondering if theres something out there. or if i should be looking more for a regular backpack that i can also toss a small camera bag in, as apposed to a camera bag I fit all that other crap in.

any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all.

-Derek-

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:47 pm 
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Hmm...if you'd have said "a DSLR with one or two lenses, an All-Weather Cover, small lunch, iPad,..." I might have suggested Lowepro's Classified 160 AW :). But the pair of shoes makes it a lot harder to come up with a bag large enough to fit your shoes as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
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Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
How about a Crumpler Sinking Barge or equivalent - see:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Crump ... Barge_bag/


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:15 am 
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Location: Scotland
Search the forum for reviews of the Lowepro Fastpack 350 it has 3 separate compartments, 1 for the camera kit, 1 for bits and pieces (footwear etc) and a third for a computer/ipad.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:31 am
Posts: 45
Location: USA - MA
thank you all for the recommendations. The crumpler bags, while amazing, are just too expensive for me right now.

I do like the lowepro fastpack, and I already have a flipside, so I know the quality is good. Lowepro's prices are also a little more in my ballpark.

Although I don't think I could fit everything I want into the fast pack, I think I could get most of it except for maybe the lunch. Which might be ok since I could carry a small separate insulated lunch bag. I'd much rather carry a lunch bag than a pair of shoes. haha.

Now I just need to confirm a size 11 pair of shoes will fit in the fastpack's upper compartment. From some of the videos I've seen online, I think they may. I'm going to try and locate a fastpack at a local retailer to see if that helps.

If anyone else has any other ideas, please let me know. Thanks again everyone.

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:15 pm
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Location: Kanduhar, Afghanistan
I plan on a LOT of hiking for nature shooting...

This might not be up your lane but my plan is going to be "modding" a bag. When I was in the civilian world I was a network admin and carried a REI Halfdome 3-day bag. If you are not familiar with hiking, 3-day bag may seam big but it is not. I loved that bag, used it for 10-years. It is water proof NICE padded back. Carried a laptop, test gear, 3-ring binder, change of shoes, and lunch. They don't make it anymore but I will plan on something similar.

Now the fun part, with my military time, sometimes we have to mod our gear. If you have a clear idea of what you want, any good shoe repair shop can do it. I plan on taking a holster style camera case and have it mounted on the inside on the back near the top. Then I will take a padded lens case and have it mounted to one side on the inside. It will be a large lens case so I don't have to worry about what size lens I carry. Most of these bags have a pouch mounted to the top and front, so the top will carry camera "kit." I know this part won't go for you but the snug straps on the outside will hold my tripod/mono pod.

I'm thinking something like this http://www.rei.com/product/778463/rei-lookout-40-pack

Hope this gives you an out of the box idea. You will be amazed at what a little ingenuity comes up with.

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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:06 am
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For hiking that is very smart Mike... I've modified a North Face to carry my cameras, camera gear as well as my hiking stuff for multi-day outings.. In my opinion there is not a camera backpack on the market today that is functional for a multiday hike without some modification. I found it a lot easier to modify a outdoors backpack for a camera than to modify a camera backpack for multiday outdoors use.

One thing that I have done is to use dry bags used by kayakers by lining them with foam which adds some protection for the camera and then keeping them open in my backpack for quick access in the lower compartment. When the weather get miserable I close the dry bag and there is no way any moisture is getting in. Works great and adds next to no weight to your backpack.

I use the lower compartment of my pack for camera gear and the upper for hiking stuff... my sleeping bag and tent are on the outside as usual. This is why I use my lower compartment for the camera stuff as with the sleeping bag on top your access to the upper area is by no means fast. I've timed it and I can have my camera out ready to shoot in about 10 seconds.

I'm actually in the middle of writing a very long article or really short book on gear needed for wildlife photography aside from cameras and lenses and backpacks/bags are a big part of it.

I've got one more really cool mod that I am working on as I speak. If I can make it work I will let you know :)

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