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FORUMS General Gear Talk Camera Bags, Backpacks & Cases 
Thread started 16 Jan 2016 (Saturday) 02:05
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I want a backpack, but shoulder bags are so much better....?

 
strider42
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Jan 16, 2016 02:05 |  #1

I've always carried an over the shoulder bag, because the gear is always right there. Even on multi-hour hikes, I just can't get over what seems to be the fact of the backpacks, that you have to pretty much take it off, set it down, open it up. My shoulder bag I just rip open at will.

But, I'm getting a bit older, and the fact is carrying a shoulder bag for hours at a time is hard on the body, even making regular shoulder switches.

Can anyone recommend a backpack that maximizes the ability to just rip it open and start grabbing gear, switching lenses almost as on-the-fly as a shoulder pack allows?

I carry a 1Ds, 5dMKII, flash, macro lens, wide angle, and 28-70 zoom. However, I am accustomed to carrying a small backpack of snacks and trail gear in addition to my shoulder pack of camera gear, so I probably want something with a bit of extra wiggle room as well if possible.




  
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FarmerTed1971
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Jan 16, 2016 02:25 |  #2

I was a shoulder bag guy (Crumpler 7MDH) but bought a backpack (f-stop Guru) and use it now about 80% of the time... especially when hiking. It is not as fast, but it IS way more comfortable and holds more.
I do not have any experience with the quick access backpacks.

The Lowepro Fastback series looks like it might be up your alley...
http://www.lowepro.com​/fastpack (external link)


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strider42
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Jan 16, 2016 03:38 |  #3

Yeah, it's ok I guess but as he says, you can get your camera but none of the gear. Also, I think it's crazy anyone makes camera bags without built-in rain flies! I really don't want to be right here, someone help me out!




  
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Charlie
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Jan 16, 2016 09:03 |  #4

Mindshift or belt packs. I personal love a mixture of belt and backpack for hiking. Belt pack is by far easiest to access gear, even easier than shoulder bag.

They are marketed towards event shooters, but work great for hiking. Low center gravity helps in all scenarios, easier to balance


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C ­ Scott ­ IV
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Jan 16, 2016 09:04 |  #5

Have you looked at the Lowepro Flipside? Here's a video if it. https://player.vimeo.c​om/video/40750956 (external link)

It has a waist strap so all you have to do is slide the straps off your shoulders and swivel it around to the front. It is like a table in front of you to get to all your gear.

I have the Flipside 300 and 500. I climbed to Clingmans Dome in Smoky Mountains National Park with a gripped 7D with 100-400L attached and a 28-300L (same size as the 100-400L).

The newer models have rain flies and hydration options. http://store.lowepro.c​om …cks/flipside-sport-15l-aw (external link)


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jmaher
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Jan 16, 2016 09:37 |  #6

I am not really a backpack fan but I have a Flipside 300 and can recommend it highly for ease of use.




  
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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 2 years ago by MalVeauX.
     
Jan 16, 2016 09:52 |  #7

strider42 wrote in post #17860042 (external link)
I've always carried an over the shoulder bag, because the gear is always right there. Even on multi-hour hikes, I just can't get over what seems to be the fact of the backpacks, that you have to pretty much take it off, set it down, open it up. My shoulder bag I just rip open at will.

But, I'm getting a bit older, and the fact is carrying a shoulder bag for hours at a time is hard on the body, even making regular shoulder switches.

Can anyone recommend a backpack that maximizes the ability to just rip it open and start grabbing gear, switching lenses almost as on-the-fly as a shoulder pack allows?

I carry a 1Ds, 5dMKII, flash, macro lens, wide angle, and 28-70 zoom. However, I am accustomed to carrying a small backpack of snacks and trail gear in addition to my shoulder pack of camera gear, so I probably want something with a bit of extra wiggle room as well if possible.

Heya,

I've always hate shoulder bags. You have to set it down, open it up, stack gear on top of gear, it shifts, dig around looking for stuff, etc. And walking around off-center due to the weight. Easier to drop the whole thing. It dangles and swings while you walk. Annoying. I use a small messenger style should bag for smaller gear, like my 5D and EOS-M with a lens or two and a flash. But more than that, I switch to a backpack.

Lots of nice small and medium to large size camera backpacks have a mechanism to allow you to pull gear out of it while wearing the bag, such as from the side through a port, or by turning the bag around, it leans foward while still attached to your waist, and opens from the back side so you don't have to set the bag down and you can change things out with a work space even while still standing. I find this a lot more useful.

I really like the Lowepro Flipside series. Check out the Flipside AW 300 and 400 for larger gear. The Flipside AW 200 for smaller gear (can hold a full frame or 1D series, with a large medium zoom, extra lens and a flash). Not expensive either. Good quality.

I use Lowepro lens cases too with this bag, it attaches to belts on it so you can add more gear externally for even faster access and easy storage so you can take that "one more lens" or flash, etc.

Very best,


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Tommydigi
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Jan 16, 2016 10:04 |  #8

I always preferred shoulder bags too, I still have a think tank retro 7 and 30. I tried many backpacks and I hated them all for the same reasons you describe. Over the last few years I picked up an Fstop Kenti ( think tank makes a trifecta that is similar ) Its a side access backpack that is small and very comfortable. I love the Kenti for times I want to carry 1 or 2 cameras plus some non camera gear. Its the first backpack I liked. I've grown to love it and I hardly ever use my shoulder bags anymore.

For Christmas I got a Mindshift gear backlight 26L that I also like. It opens from the back sorta like the lowepro flipsides but the quality is much higher and everything about it just works better.


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iazybandit
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Post edited over 2 years ago by iazybandit. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 16, 2016 10:06 |  #9

Have you looked at MindShift Gear? It's a sister company of ThinkTank Photo

http://www.mindshiftge​ar.com …ctions/backpack​s#oid=12_1 (external link)

It's a backpack but if you need your camera, all you do is slide the pouch that is hidden inside the backpack and rotate it to the front.

IMAGE: http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0215/2856/products/MINDSHIFT_HORIZON_HERO_RIGHT_SIDE_OPEN_TAHOE_BLUE_DSC_2342_large.jpg?v=1429823076

The new Everyday Messenger Bag from Peak Design is a shoulder bag but has a waist strap to prevent your bag from swinging and it has a zipper on the cover flap to allow you easy access to your gear. This is the only shoulder bag that I can think of that has a waist strap included for a shoulder bag.

http://www.1kindphotog​raphy.com …eryday-messenger-bag.html (external link)

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Hokie ­ Jim
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Jan 16, 2016 10:17 |  #10

Shoulder bags just work for me...I don't carry the bag with me to where I'm actually shooting 90% of the time, just leave it in the car at the trailhead or leave it in the hotel room.

Really thinking about getting an ONA, I'm liking the ones that can fit a 15" laptop and my camera gear. I'm spending a lot more time on planes than I used to, and it seems like a neat carry-on.


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Jan 16, 2016 11:20 |  #11

When I walk around, I usually have the camera hanging from my shoulder & a few other lenses go in a waist pack. This has worked well for decades.
Everything is in front of me where I usually want it, or I can slide it around & it's in back out of the way. It doesn't swing from my shoulder, & doesn't cover my back & make me sweat in the Summer.

There's an image of it in this post: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?p=246480

Other options:
Looking for a recommendation on Waist Pack type bag

Photog vest , which one?


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Jon
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Jan 16, 2016 11:22 |  #12

Several bag manufacturers have backpack straps for shoulderbags; I'm currently using the ThinkTank Backpack Conversion Straps (external link) on several of my Domke bags. That way I can back-pack while I'm walking and sling it as a shoulder bag while I'm shooting. I've also used one from Tenba, which they don't seem to make any more, and the Domke Backpack Strap (external link).

My first preference would have to be the Tenba; it's got 6 attachment points to my Domke F-1x bag (4 on the top rings and 2 on the bottom) so it sits better. it also has nicely-padded straps. Unfortunately, I can't find it anywhere.

The ThinkTank secures to the hand-grip strap on the bags; if your bag doesn't have a handle you can get Domke's handle strap (external link) or attach a length of webbing across the top via snap-hooks or mini-carabiners. It too has padding on the straps.

The Domke was the first one to be available (back in the '80s, early in the line); it's got fewer bells and whistles than the other two, including unpadded 2" web shoulder straps and it only has 4 attachment snaps for direct connection to your bag, so it can be hard to find an arrangement so it hangs well when used as a backpack (most arrangements have it hanging at an angle so it "wedges" into the small of your back). I mainly use that if I need something that's not going to take up much space when traveling.


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Charlie
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Jan 16, 2016 11:58 |  #13

few more unmentioned:

spyder holster
cotton carrier
think tank digital holster
lowepro toploader
photo vest

I have the holsters by think tank and lowepro, and prefer lowepro with short lenses, however think tank for long hooded lenses with the pop down. Photo vests are nice as heck, but may work against you if you need to stay cool. I can fit a full mirrorless kit in a photovest if needed, however, it's typically used to carry my triggers and small lenses.

I've hiked the same place a few times, and definitely prefer belt over backpack.

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I like being able to take photos WHILE hiking, and not hold up the crowd. There are some really steep terrain that a belt system is vastly superior because you have very low center of gravity, and less likely to lose balance. It's just so much more efficient for shorter hikes like this. The whole hike is probably only 5-6 miles for reference, I dont do full day outings, too much for my kids to handle.

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Jan 16, 2016 12:25 |  #14

With an F-Stop bag you can get at all of your gear without taking the bag off. I do this all the time. You leave the hip belt buckled but remove the shoulder straps and swing the bag around to the front of you. Then, the bag will sorta tip forward while it is supported solely by the hip belt. This leaves both hands free to unzip the front flap and grab what you need, then zip back up and swing it around and it's back in position. Once you do this a few times it's very fast. I do this regularly including when I'm standing in knee deep water.


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Jan 17, 2016 03:39 |  #15

+1 for the Lowepro, As for myself I have got the Lowepro Flipside 400 AW which did come in handy when I was in New Zealand last year.




  
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I want a backpack, but shoulder bags are so much better....?
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