Bag, bags and more bags… the story of photographers' lives - can’t live with them and can’t live without them! Right?
While it is good news that OP DPARK has found an individual solution that works for his specs, after a thorough & lengthy search...
Here is just an F.Y.I. (for anyone else still searching)- yet another perspective and only one opinion of a bit of backpack bag info…
Depends on the intended application, venue etc. but given the original post POTN DPARK’s thread title and if CRITERIA is: streamline/relative bag compactness, with good capacity(including future needs) and lightweight, then potential backpack purchasers may want to consider the newer, (launched in last year or so), LOWEPRO PRORUNNER AW Series backpacks… (see below for Lowepro PRORUNNER AW series links)
The Lowerpro PRORUNNER AW series appears to be a slightly redesigned version of Lowepro’s almost identical (with the belt now narrower on the ProRunner series) to the proven & very popular MINI-TREKKER AW & MICRO-TREKKER AW backpacks which were discontinued in approximately mid- 2011 and referenced by RPROWE(POTN entry # 34 above).
i.e. appears Lowepro has remarketed the Mini & Micro Trekker AW series as the ProRunner AW series.
Like RPCROWE, I have the Lowepro MINI-TREKKER AW (for 2 camera backpack applications) and also the Lowepro MICRO-TREKKER AW (for 1 camera backpack applications) - both great value bags by every criteria!! Here is a sample of both bags capacity…
(holds: all with lens hoods reversed 1DmkIII with mounted 70-200f2.8L IS USM+mountedTC2XmkII, 5DmkII, 24-70f2.8L, 85f1.2L, 16-35f2.8L, compact macro 50f2.5; front pocket: 2-580EXII, Pocket Wizards 2-TT5, 2-TT1, 2-AC3, spare AA batteries, 2-Rogue Flash Bender–large, 2 Sto-Fen, lunch, compass, cell phone; hideaway mount: Gitzo #GT1542T tripod &/or Sirui #BSRP-326 monopod http://www.bhphotovideo.com …Section_Carbon_Fiber.html https://photography-on-the.net …showthread.php?t=1139696; exterior loop: water bottle).
(holds: all with lens hoods reversed 1DmkIII or 5DmkII either body with mounted 70-200f2.8L IS USM+mountedTC2XmkII, 24-70f2.8L, 85f1.2L, 16-35f2.8L, compact macro 50f2.5; front pocket: 2-580EXII, Pocket Wizards 2-TT5, 1-TT1, 1-AC3, spare AA batteries, 2-Rogue Flash Bender–large, 2 Sto-Fen, lunch, compass, cell phone; hideaway mount: Gitzo #GT1542T tripod &/or Sirui #BSRP-326 monopod; exterior loop: water bottle).
[For shooting bags/setups, I have the ThinkTank Speed FreakV2, Speed Racer V2, (Think Tank Skin modular system for air travel) and Lowepro S&F belt modular systems(if rugged outdoors/nature needs more protection than the good Think Tank Skins provide) combined with Cotton Carrier vest & holster for 1DmkIII & 5DmkII]. All great products too.
I ideally try to keep my bag’s weight in the comfortable and agile 10-12lbs range, but because of applications sometimes 15-18lbs range, but still for sustained manageable weight for any long outdoor multi-location shooting. If not doing prolonged walking then preferring the Lowepro or Think Tank waist-belt modular systems, or convenient Think Tank Speed series shooting bags].
LOWEPRO PRORUNNER AW Series-
(In front compartment/pocket, capacity for: lunch, tablet or small notebook &/or bulkier space consuming speedlights) Also has the exterior provision of hideaway tripod/monopod mount & “Sliplock” attachment loops to add on exterior pouches, water bottle, etc.
Don’t let the inside ID: Depth 4.5”deceive you as, I can carry pro-bodies such as a 1DmkIII, or a 5DmkII.
[ID: W9.8” x D4.5” x H11.8” Wt: 2.5 lbs]
[ID: W11” x D4.5” x H15.3” Wt: 3.0lbs]
If want to also carry a large 15” laptop may want to consider the below, with separate laptop compartment:
However, once adding features of 15” laptop capacity, bag weight increases and when combined with the laptop weight, may make carrying any backpack uncomfortable for any length of time.
Just one more bag option/consideration… hope this may help anyone else going through the same thought process as OP DPARK did.
Bag selection… a long and winding road - it's always such an individual preference process.
Have fun, “don’t worry – be happy”!