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Thread started 16 Feb 2011 (Wednesday) 16:04
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Which brand has backpacks with the thickest, most comfortable shoulder pads?

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Feb 17, 2011 10:04 |  #16

it's way out of the box, but perhaps any backpack you like could be converted and improved rather easily of you have access to someone who can do some simple sewing. My camping backpack has in internal frame,and a set of hip straps for distributing the load, and a clip between the shoulder straps to help keep them aligned on your body.

What I was thinking was perhaps constructing a hip belt section and attaching it to the backpack (might require some additional reinforcement to transfer the weight depending on the backpack style) and attaching a center buckle with some z clips for the shoulder straps. should make just about any backpack more weight friendly, while retaining most of the portability and ease of removal.

Gripped 80D,10-18 STM, 55-250 IS STM, 15-85 IS USM, 85 1.8, 10-400 II, 430 EX II

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Cream of the Crop
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Feb 17, 2011 11:26 |  #17

If you really want to know what has the best shoulder straps, IMO it's this harness system by Lowepro. Not only can you carry all the gear that you can put in a backpack on the Utility belt, but you can hang a camera and lens from each strap. And obviously, everthing is accessible without taking off a backpack to get to it.

The straps are very wide and have closed cell foam along the entire length and the yoke. I carried 40 lbs of lenses, water bottles, accessories and cameras on it through the Galapogos for hours at a time without feeling it on my shoulders. You must use the Utility waistbelt for this to work.

Each pouch has an individual rain cover, and I took Op/Tech rain covers for the cameras. Using this system makes me wonder how often I'll use my backpack.

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Cream of the Crop
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Feb 17, 2011 12:10 |  #18

rvdw98 wrote in post #11860950 (external link)
That probably won't make a difference because:

next time you see a mailman go around, you'll see he's using an add-on pad... works for them, will work for you (and works well with my Kata 3n1-22)

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Cream of the Crop
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Feb 17, 2011 12:20 as a reply to  @ SMP_Homer's post |  #19

Pads won't do anything but soften the load (somewhat)...what's needed is load distribution to the hips. Even with pads, the load is still hanging off the shoulders. And a mail bag gets lighter and lighter as the mail gets delivered... ;)

"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son". - Dean Wormer


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Feb 17, 2011 12:45 |  #20 far

Canon 1D MK IV, Canon 1D MK III, Canon 5D, 24-70 2.8L, 70-200 2.8 L IS MK II, 17-40 F4 Canon, 430 EX, Canon A2E, 530EX Canon 1.4 Extender, 580 II, 600EX-RT, ST-E3-RT, (Way too much stuff for an amateur)

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Feb 17, 2011 13:11 |  #21

I wanted to thank everyone for these extremely helpful responses!

I am new to all this, and the range of choice is overwhelming. I can already tell that the trial and error could get expensive, so all of this input is very helpful.

I should say that I am looking for a pack on par, weight-wise and size-wise, with the Fastpack 100--a smaller pack. I do see great ideas here for that time when I get larger/heavier lenses, but for now I'm looking to keep it small. There are some definite contenders listed here, and I'm off to research them all. Really appreciate the help!

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Feb 18, 2011 09:17 as a reply to  @ r_winter's post |  #22

The Tamrac 767 is the next smaller model from what I have, but has identical features. You might check that out.

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Feb 18, 2011 13:01 |  #23

Tenba Shootout series

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Feb 19, 2011 04:35 |  #24

Not quite sure, but the Lowepro Pro Trekker series seems to have a very good suspensions system. I'd love to have a 600 AW...​kker (external link)

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Feb 20, 2011 13:05 |  #25

Thanks everyone! Really appreciate it!

Wow, that Tamrac 767 is nice! I wish it weighed less empty, because the shoulder straps are exactly what I had in mind. The Tenba is great, too, especially the Ultralight, but the large, non-removeable logo is just not for me. The Pro Trekker is beautiful, but I'm noticing that Lowepro doesn't pad their straps enough for me--I know a lot of people don't want super padded straps--so this would be good for them.

Right now, I'm really leaning towards the Think Tank Streetwalker or Streetwalker Pro. The Tamrac Evolution 6 is still a 'maybe'. Eventually I will be getting a flash, (I don't know which one yet) and possibly a Benro Transfunctional A-1691 or A-0691 Tripod. I am definitely counting the ounces.

If there's anyone that owns, or has tried, both the SW and the SW Pro, I love to hear comparisons.

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Feb 20, 2011 13:42 |  #26

Another vote for ThinkTank. I don't (yet) have a SW but I recently bought a Sling-O-Martic 30. Knocks my Lowepro bags (even my outstanding Vertex 200) into the background in terms of both comfort and build quality.

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Feb 20, 2011 15:08 as a reply to  @ DarthSparky's post |  #27

http://www.bhphotovide​ …k_Medium_Black_​Olive.html (external link)

I love my tenba

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Feb 20, 2011 22:00 |  #28

Ditto, holds a ton and is very comfortable. Weather sealed zippers are a plus.

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Location: Minneapolis, MN
Feb 22, 2011 11:01 |  #29

Check out the Clik-Elite packs. I just ordered an Obscura and it is by far the best made pack around. I talked to Jim who answered the phone on the 2nd ring and he was awealth of info. These packs are made by outdoor junkies who are all photographers and they really know what they are doing. Not cheap packs, but you get what you pay for.

5D3 | 7D | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200L IS II | 100-400L | 24LII | TS-E 24LII | 100L | 135L | 15-85 | Zeiss 50 1.4 | Tokina 11-16 | 580EXII | 430 EXII | Gitzo 3541LS | RRS Leveling base | Arca-Swiss Z1 | RRS Lever Clamp | Gitzo 2542T | Acratech GP-s | RRS TFA-01 with BH-25LR | B+W MRC CP Filters | Hoya ND Filters | Clik-Elite packs | Crumpler bags

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Feb 22, 2011 18:12 |  #30

I have the TT Streetwalker HardDrive, have used it to carry a 5D MKII, 17-40, 24-70, 70-200 2.8, lensbaby composer and a 50 1.4, sometimes with a MBP 15". Very comfortable, but it does not have a belt so the shoulders and back are taking the weight. TT has a belt available, I've not tried it but it does not have any compression straps to pull the pack to the belt. The pack is great for carrying gear in an urban setting, but I wouldn't want to carry it on a trail. For a outdoors pack I have the Gura Gear Kiboko, built tough and comfortable to carry for several miles. Nice thing is that it is half the weight of similar LowePro packs, so you can either carry 4 more pounds of gear/water/food or go lighter.

Gear List:
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24-105mm f4L 70-200mm f2.8L Zeiss 50mm 1.4 Zeiss 18mm 3.5 Zeiss 25mm 2.0 100mm 2.8 Macro USM

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Which brand has backpacks with the thickest, most comfortable shoulder pads?
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