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FORUMS General Gear Talk Camera Bags, Backpacks & Cases 
Thread started 23 Oct 2017 (Monday) 16:52
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Camera Bag for Hiking

165 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 3
Joined Nov 2006
Location: New Jersey
Oct 23, 2017 16:52 |  #1

I would like to know what everyone uses for carrying there gear around when they are hiking.

I have the following:

1. Canon 6D
2. 17-40
3. 24-105
4 70-200
5 Tripod

Im looking for easy access to camera, maybe a sling bag or something? What is your suggestions?


Mike Ventarola
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55 posts
Likes: 17
Joined Sep 2017
Location: Denver/USA
Oct 23, 2017 17:19 |  #2

I personally like to Lowepro passport sling bag. holds my camera and 2 lenses (that's really all you need for hiking) and is fairly cheap. If i'm going on a multi day hike, then I just take my hiking back pack and pack the camera and lenses at the top. I use a monopod as a walking stick so I really don't have to think about it.

Old Town Photo
Gear: Canon 6D, Canon T2i (Self modded, LPF2 removed/replaced with Baader IR Cut Filter for Astro), Canon EF 100mm f/2, Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 for Canon, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 for Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Gitzo GT1532 Mountaineer tripod w/Gitzo GH1382QD Ballhead.

Senior Member
769 posts
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Joined Dec 2011
Location: United States
Oct 23, 2017 23:48 |  #3

I think the answer depends also on how far you are hiking, if it involves an overnight or longer, and location (layers if the weather can change quickly). I think comfort and ease of access may be diametrically opposed, which I why I suggest it depends on where and how far you plan to hike.

For short hikes and urban outings, I use a Mindshift Backlight 26L (plenty of space for the gear you listed).

For longer hikes in the mountains, I realized I need more space than my ~40L daypack can provide and I have been looking at larger panel loading packs. This is my most likely candidate for the longer hikes:​m …0-panel-loading-backpack/ (external link). I've also looked at the Gregory Baltoro 65. I gave up looking at f-stop when they refused to acknowledge a warranty issue and denied that I purchased the pack from them (even when presented with the receipt information).

A lumbar pack will be a little small for all of that gear, but might be something to consider if you can limit the gear you carry.

I have a Mountainsmith Descent sling which can carry all of your lenses, but I find it a bit much for all of those lenses over just one shoulder, which is why I always end up with backpacks.

- John

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Joined Sep 2009
Location: near Saratoga Springs, NY
Oct 24, 2017 12:01 |  #4

I use the Mindshift Horizon rotation which is a 34L bag and allows you to slide out the belt pack where your body and one or two additional lenses can reside. I like it because I don't have to take the shoulder straps off to access the camera for shots on the fly. To get to the other storage areas, you do have to remove the bag completely.

I have carried a 5D3, 5D4, 16-35, 24-105 and 70-200 along with a Lee filter kit, water bottles, snacks, tripod and some other day use items. It does get heavy after a while and while I'm not quite "old", I'm no spring chicken either.

The Mindshift gear is on the expensive side but excellent.

Of course, when it comes to bags, there is no perfect one, and it does depend alot on personal preference.

Website (external link) flickr (external link) 500px (external link) FaceBook (external link)

Cream of the Crop
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Joined Aug 2009
Oct 24, 2017 19:45 |  #5

I have the Mindshift Backlight 26L mentioned above. It's a nice bag and I like that it has different options for carrying a tripod and can be opened from the back to keep the parts touching me clean. It can be spun around for access without putting it down. Access isn't as quick as a small sling, but I wouldn't want to carry that much gear on a single shoulder for more than about 10 minutes anyway.

Hokie ­ Jim
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Joined Jan 2016
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Post edited over 1 year ago by Hokie Jim. (2 edits in all)
Oct 25, 2017 11:42 |  #6

Mountainsmith Parallax, but then again I've never been any good at reducing pack weight.

Camera access isn't very easy, requires putting the pack down, but if I'm somewhere where I think I'll need quick access it's on a sling most of the time anyway.

The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them. - Antoine de Saint Exupéry
Canon 6D | 16-35 f/4L IS | Zeiss Milvus 50 f/1.4 | 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | 580EXII | Gitzo 1410MK2/RRS BH-55

Senior Member
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Joined Apr 2010
Location: Oregon
Oct 25, 2017 13:28 |  #7 …gory-targhee-45-snow-pack (external link)

rear access, good stability, holds 30 pounds with no issues, but does not have a dedicated water bottle side pocket, and one as to fiddle a bit to carry a tripod on the side.
A F-stop medium ICU fits inside with no problems, sell leaving plenty of spare room for the essentials. I attach a pouch (ammo pouch actually) to waist belt as I don't like the idea of having a hydration bladder inside the bag with camera gear.

Editing Image OK

John ­ from ­ PA
Cream of the Crop
8,457 posts
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Joined May 2003
Location: Southeast Pennsylvania
Oct 26, 2017 05:23 |  #8

One of the B&H Flashback Deals is the Lowepro Fastpack 350, normally $140, now $70. That's a great price if it will take care of your needs.

See https://www.bhphotovid​ …k_350_Backpack_​Black.html (external link) for the details.

You can go to the LowePro "Bagfinder" at​m/bagfinder (external link) and do a virtual loading of your equipment and then check the bags that will work.

Senior Member
487 posts
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Joined Dec 2008
Location: Toronto
Oct 26, 2017 11:30 |  #9

I personally haven't found any slings that are comfortable to carry IF I'm also carrying a tripod.
I have a FStop Lotus that is extremely comfortable to carry and can carry a extra stuff like jacket, water, snacks, etc.
I actually used it recently when going to New York walking around with the family all day - obviously not the best for frequent lens changes, but very comfortable - and long days, I choose comfort over convenience. Shorter days, or lots of swapping lenses - I go for the sling / shoulder bags (my ThinTank Speedracer 2 is my main gear bag right now).

I have a photographic memory, just wish I'd remember to take the lens cap off more often! :oops:
7DII - Canon 70-200 2.8 II - 85 1.8 - Sigma 10-20 - 17-50/2.8OS - F-Stop Lotus Backpack - ThinkTank Speed Racer V2 - Tamrac Velocity 8x - Peak Design Slide & Capture Pro
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102 posts
Gallery: 5 photos
Likes: 208
Joined Apr 2016
Location: Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Oct 27, 2017 14:36 |  #10

I used a messenger bag for about 10 years loaded with heavy books and it has messed up my shoulder a bit. I can't carry anything for more than an hour without it hurting really bad now. It can't be good for your back either. For that reason, I'll never recommend a shoulder bag of any kind. It's probably fine if you don't have much weight or you limit your time with it, but with all that gear I might steer towards a two-shoulder bag. In my experience, there's no such thing as a bag that's really easy or convenient to access all your gear quickly and is also comfortable to carry around. I have always found it easier to just quickly dump the bag on a table or even the ground, switch my lenses, zip it up and throw it back on than to try to fiddle with holding the bag with your 3rd arm while you try to change your gear.

The best I've found for this is my F-stop Ajna with medium ICU. I can carry my body, 70-200, and 2-3 other lenses with ample room for a tripod and other peripherals or personal items. It's super easy to dismount, open up, direct access to everything through the back, zip it back up, and throw it over your shoulder again. Great support, comfortable, and well-made. I highly recommend it... if you can afford it. I think all-in I was around $300 for it which is admittedly pretty steep. But I justified it based on the value of the gear I was putting inside of it, it's comfort and quality, and unmatched feature sets.

You can probably get something 85% as good for a bit cheaper, but I really like my Ajna and am happy with the price and performance.

2,844 posts
Gallery: 314 photos
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Joined Nov 2008
Location: Gainesville, GA
Nov 08, 2017 11:03 |  #11

Depends on the trip, but if I'm going to be hiking WHILE shooting, I usually just carry my f1x cross body. If it is a little more involved, I might attach the backpack harness to the bag and carry it that way (which is very comfortable by the way). If I'm doing very rugged hiking or a significant distance (more than 3 miles in or so I will use the Fstop Satori. You give up ease of access but it is very comfortable.

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Camera Bag for Hiking
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