Suggestions and which backpack do you use?

Started Jan 27, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP nandbytes Senior Member • Posts: 5,956
Re: Suggestions and which backpack do you use?

Kriekira wrote:

It's really as personal as what you do and how you do it. Like many things, there is no shortcut to figuring out which bag works for you — you need to try at least two over time in order to have the experience to correctly specify what you need.

I understand. I have used few setups. One being my cheap bag and other using ICU to hold my camera gear with swiss gear bags. I have also used the swiss gear sling camera bag and tried having a separate small shoulder bag just for the camera (and one extra lens) while holding the rest of my personal stuff in backpack.


- Don't like setups where I have to put down my bag to take out my camera and/or lens.

- I like having a separate small shoulder bag for camera+one extra lens. but did not like it restricting some free movement.

- I think that sling is less unhappy middle ground. I say "less unhappy" as my camera access is still not as easy as the shoulder bag but its much better than putting the bag down each time.

- But slings normally don't provide room for personal items so I would like a backpack with the ability to sling once in a while.

I use a Kata 3-in-1 33. Holds two gripped a900 bodies, one with a 70-400 mounted, two additional FF lenses (e.g.: Sony 24-70Z), my RX1R, large flash, and supporting materials. Here's what I like about it:

  • - can be carried on international flights
  • - Excellent shoulder straps and excellent available waist strap (loaded, it weights about 30 lbs., I can hike hours with it if needed.)
  • - Straps are very easy to use, and easy to store when not being used
  • - Available tripod/monopod attachment system; works well
  • - Well-built, with sufficient padding
  • - Can be locked (prob. true of all bags, but worth considering)
  • - Rain cover
  • - Holds 15" laptop (but I usually stuff my Cotton Carrier there, and put my laptop in my soft briefcase)
  • - Yellow interior (I like this a lot.)
  • Comfortable carrying handle.

Here's what I don't like about it:

  • - have to reposition the bag in order to open either the top compartment or the bottom compartment. (One accesses the top with the bag upright on its bottom, but access the bottom compartment with the bag on its back.)
  • - no long-side carry handle
  • - that's it

The bag is excellent for transporting my kit. I never hike with it while shooting (not sure I'd be successful shooting with _any_ 30 lb. bag on my back). When I hike, I use the Cotton Carrier, or a Black Rapid strap, or an Op-Tech wrist strap, or carry a monopod, and/or carry extra lenses & gear in either a Think Tank 2-lens carrier or any old small backpack pressed into use.

When I used a Micro Four Thirds kit, everything fit into a Manfrotto sling pack, which doubled for transport and hiking. With a FF kit, I've found it better to separate those two functions.

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— Make what you like. If you don't know what you like, make finding out your number one photography priority.
— Kirby Krieger

With that kata I wasn't sure about the space it gave me for personal items - clothes etc.

 nandbytes's gear list:nandbytes's gear list
Sony RX100 III Sony Alpha a7 Sony Alpha a7R II Canon EF 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 III Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM +3 more
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