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Thread started 15 Aug 2012 (Wednesday) 01:25
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Bag for ski, air travel, backpacking

 
Mark
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Aug 15, 2012 01:25 |  #1

Hi,

I'm planning a 50ish day trip to Europe and Canada at the end of the year, where I'll be staying mainly in hostels. Planning on skiing a fair bit of it, and doing touristy things. Also hopefully doing some adventurey things in Iceland, maybe Norway and Canada too. There will also be a lot of flying so cabin baggage is important.

So, I think I'll be taking a 5D3, 24TS, 17-40, 35, 50, 70-200 and probably 24-70, also maybe one or two 580EX/PW's. Also a Gitzo 1541, and 12" thinkpad, harddrives, cables and such.
I currently have a Vertex 100, but it isn't very comfortable at all.

What I want:
Comfortable to wear for long periods
Looks like it doesn't weigh 20kg so as to not get the people wanting to weigh it
Nondescript normal backpack appearance, (also would like to be able to fit tripod in for this)
Can fit gear and other things like clothes in
I would really like to be able to take only one bag, but this probably can't happen.
Able to ski with it on.

When I looked around all I could really find was the f-stop bags, and out of them I'm not sure whether to go for the Loca or Tilopa, both claim to be carry on, but I get the feeling the Tilopa will look more suss for it being weighed. Also with these, if I'm forced to check it I can take the ICU with my gear in it out, which is pretty neat.

Is there anything else?
What do people think of the f-stop bags?
And also, what do you do for security in a hostel?

Thanks,
Mark


Mark

  
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Bianchi
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Aug 15, 2012 09:03 |  #2

A suggestion, would be to have a second small fold up type of bag in your main bag, for days on the slope not having to have to ski with such a large and heavy one with all your gear and clothing. However with that said, since you are staying as hostels, you will have no place safe to leave your main bag, unless ski area has lockers.

Never owned F stop, but from all the threads I've seen, everyone raves about them. Send the folks a email @ fstop, and ask them what there suggestion would be for your requirements.

Another bag I noticed hikers use alot is the Osprey. There's a forum on Hammocks, where they sling there hammocks between two trees and use special quilts to keep warm in cold weather. Those chaps like to travel light on there hikes, I am sure you will get a good bit of advice on a lightweight yet comfortable backpack for your neeeds.


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EmaginePixel
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Aug 15, 2012 09:15 |  #3

Sounds like a lot of fun! Travel safe and have a great time.

That's a lot of gear. I have a Lowepro Pro Runner 350 AW and should fit pretty tight. Plus it's one of the lighter bags out there of its size. Make sure you get one with a good waist buckle support. It will relieve some weight off your shoulders.

http://products.lowepr​o.com …Runner-350-AW,2183,16.htm (external link)

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The Pro Trekker 400 AW is right up your alley for hiking.

http://products.lowepr​o.com …rekker-400-AW,2166,16.htm (external link)
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Sirrith
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Aug 15, 2012 10:04 |  #4

The bigger f-stop bags are definitely what you need to be looking at. I only have the small Guru myself, but I love it to bits (well, as much as you can love a backpack). You can see my impressions and follow up in my review in my sig. In fact, I used it in Iceland for a week, so if you have any questions about that particular country, feel free to send me a message :)

As for security in hostels, I either take everything with me, or get a private room (not really the hostel experience, but I'd rather have my gear safe).


-Tom
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Mark
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Aug 15, 2012 10:50 |  #5

Bianchi wrote in post #14861271 (external link)
A suggestion, would be to have a second small fold up type of bag in your main bag, for days on the slope not having to have to ski with such a large and heavy one with all your gear and clothing. However with that said, since you are staying as hostels, you will have no place safe to leave your main bag, unless ski area has lockers.

Never owned F stop, but from all the threads I've seen, everyone raves about them. Send the folks a email @ fstop, and ask them what there suggestion would be for your requirements.

Another bag I noticed hikers use alot is the Osprey. There's a forum on Hammocks, where they sling there hammocks between two trees and use special quilts to keep warm in cold weather. Those chaps like to travel light on there hikes, I am sure you will get a good bit of advice on a lightweight yet comfortable backpack for your neeeds.

Yeah, I agree about having a smaller bag, but my problem with that is that I can't find a smaller bag that takes some camera gear, is comfortable, and will fold up. And yeah, having nowhere safe is also an issue.

Emailing is a good idea, why do I never think of that!

Osprey? I can't find any osprey bags for camera gear? The hammock thing sounds awesome, which forum is this?

mellofelow wrote in post #14861323 (external link)
Sounds like a lot of fun! Travel safe and have a great time.

That's a lot of gear. I have a Lowepro Pro Runner 350 AW and should fit pretty tight. Plus it's one of the lighter bags out there of its size. Make sure you get one with a good waist buckle support. It will relieve some weight off your shoulders.

http://products.lowepr​o.com …Runner-350-AW,2183,16.htm (external link)


The Pro Trekker 400 AW is right up your alley for hiking.

http://products.lowepr​o.com …rekker-400-AW,2166,16.htm (external link)

Thanks!
The problem with Lowepro, and almost every 'normal' camera bag I've found is that they don't leave much space for anything other than camera gear, as well as being obvious camera bags.

Sirrith wrote in post #14861543 (external link)
The bigger f-stop bags are definitely what you need to be looking at. I only have the small Guru myself, but I love it to bits (well, as much as you can love a backpack). You can see my impressions and follow up in my review in my sig. In fact, I used it in Iceland for a week, so if you have any questions about that particular country, feel free to send me a message :)

As for security in hostels, I either take everything with me, or get a private room (not really the hostel experience, but I'd rather have my gear safe).

The more I look the more it seems f-stop is the best thing out there...

I haven't actually stayed in hostels before, but don't they usually have lockers (or are they often too small)? Do you think those pacsafe bag wrap things are any use?


Mark

  
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Dumont244
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Aug 15, 2012 11:17 |  #6

I've got a Guru too and really love it !The F-stop gears seems the best for what you need, they are a bit expensive but really worth every penny.

Clik Elite bags seems great too but I've never tried them.




  
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Bianchi
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Aug 15, 2012 12:29 |  #7

Here's the link for the hammock forum Mate ...

http://www.hammockforu​ms.net/ (external link)

Wait till you meet Chug there, he will have you laughing, also check out all his u-tube videos...

You can always remove the ICU in your main bag to use in the smaller one for skiing.

In Iceland , if by chance you are invited to someone's home bring a bottle, and by the time you leave it will be finished. They love to drink. At least that was my experience when I was there. If you have a chance enjoy a lamb meal while there, its the best I ever experienced. From a Photgrapers perspective, you will enjoy it, if the weather cooperates. If you have a chance to take a dip in the pool in Reykjavik in the middle of winter, its thermo heated, think Jacuzzi... Oh, and the ladies are not hard on the eyes...you are going to enjoy....


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kinghong1970
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Aug 15, 2012 13:44 |  #8

Mark wrote in post #14861690 (external link)
The problem with Lowepro, and almost every 'normal' camera bag I've found is that they don't leave much space for anything other than camera gear, as well as being obvious camera bags.

ditto... it's a great bag... but it is a huge bag for dedicated camera gear and not so much versatility... all that padding bulk adds to the weight of gear.

i tried it and returned it... f-stop is a good option... if they ever have it in stock.


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whiskey
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Aug 15, 2012 14:01 |  #9

Another option is Clik Elite. I'm actually looking at the contrejour 40 myself. There isn't much review of it, however they have a good youtube channel that you can see how the bag works. Lots of space for day trip stuff.

http://www.clikelite.c​om/products/contrejour​-40/ (external link)




  
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Sirrith
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Aug 15, 2012 19:40 |  #10

Mark wrote in post #14861690 (external link)
I haven't actually stayed in hostels before, but don't they usually have lockers (or are they often too small)? Do you think those pacsafe bag wrap things are any use?

The ones I've been to don't have lockers, but I don't know if that applies to all. And I doubt a pacsafe mesh thing will stop someone from stealing your whole bag or getting into it if they are really bent on doing so; a pair of wire clippers and they could just take the whole thing with them.


-Tom
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Jptenberg
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Aug 15, 2012 21:21 |  #11

Look into the Click-Elite Contrejour 40. It is a very comfortable pack for hiking and skiing and other activities. It is good-sized and should be able to hold your gear. Last season, I was shooting some ice climbing in Vail, and had it loaded down with 50 lbs of gear and it was a well-balanced pack to hike up the steep snow-covered trail.

F-stop is also a very good company, but their packs work off modules, which may or may not fit your needs. The drawback of a mdule is that you have to take the pack off to get at what you want. The Click pack has a nice access on the side, so you can swing it around like a sling to get your cam without taking the pack all the way off--nice for skiing and stuff where you want to bang off a few shots and get back to it quickly.


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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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jrm27
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Aug 15, 2012 23:53 |  #12

I'd take a look at the mountainsmith borealis at. It even has straps for carrying skis!


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Tommi ­ B
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Aug 17, 2012 11:16 |  #13

Hi, I have a F-stop Tilopa BC and I think it would be a great choice. But with all the gear you listed, I think you will need a large ICU at least, which means you will have limited space left. I would also think of another issue: The F-stop stuff is really great to carry, but your gear will sum up to be pretty heavy, especially for skiing...
I have bought two ICUs - one medium pro and one small shallow, so I can split the gear, and leave one back if necessary.


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Cali_PH
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Aug 21, 2012 01:17 as a reply to  @ Tommi B's post |  #14

I've had an F-Stop Loka for about a couple of years and love it. I've been amazed at how heavy it can be when loaded when I first pick it up, but I can carry it on my back for long hikes fine. I've also taken it on about a dozen plane trips and it fits in the overhead bin fine, as long as you're not strapping a tripod to it or extra pouches on the MOLLE strips (which are also a nice feature few mention, if you have MOLLE compatible pouches to add on).

I did the Subway hike in Zion with a 5DmkIII, 60D, 17-40L, 24-105L, 10-22, Gitzo traveler, filters, gatorade, snacks, some lighter stuff (extra batteries, memory, water proof bags), and surprisingly had no problems with my back. Only issue was my legs, especially on the way back up the cliff near the parking lot. My fault for not being in good shape, not the bag. And the fact that the Subway hike is a bit...strenuous :lol:

Now, aside from the other camera bags suggested, you can also get a standard hiking pack, and insert an F-Stop ICU, or other generic camera padded bag into it too (I've seen several generic ones on Amazon). As you said, the removable ICU is great for peace of mind. No matter what pack you have, they may still make you check it if the overhead bin space runs out on a plane. Knowing you can take your precious camera gear out and stow it under the seat before checking the back is a huge plus, instead of having it taken away and tossed about with the other luggage.

From the amount of gear you're talking about, though, I'm not sure you can get any bag that'll fit all that, plus travel clothes, toiletries, etc, and still have it fit in an plane's overhead bin...unless your non-camera stuff can pack small & light.

Oh, and the only real bits of wear on my Loka are the logo on the back, since I lay it there to access the inside, and the stretchy water bottle pocket on one side. That's my own fault though, since I choose to keep my tripod on the side, stretching that pocket, instead of by the middle strap.

For some reason, I seem to recall some type of lifetime warranty on F-stop bags...but I don't recall exactly, and I certainly don't recall any specific restrictions, so don't quote me on that.




  
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TijmenDal
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Aug 21, 2012 03:00 |  #15

I've traveled quite a bit with my Tilopa. Several flights and never had a problem getting asked how much it weighed or anything.
The Loka is for sure going to be too small. Especially with all the gear you want to take. You should really not take that much btw. Unless you want to make it a dedicated photo trip (which it doesn't sound like), take 2-3 lenses. I don't know if you've traveled, but all that weighs a ton.

And skiing with that is not going to be possible for sure. You're going to end up leaning back REALLY badly. You want to keep the weight down as much as you can when you go skiing.


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