Do-it-all camera backpack

Started Oct 22, 2019 | Discussions thread
koweb Contributing Member • Posts: 524
Re: Do-it-all camera backpack

gurraglaa wrote:

I'm looking to buy a new do-it-all backpack that I can use to carry my camera with lenses, laptop, tripod, water bottle and miscellaneous other gear such as clothes, snacks, chargers etc. I am looking for a bag in the 20-30 liter range, that is a good compromize for travel, edc, daytrips and hopefully everything else I can come up with. I am prepared to chose a slightly larger bag that might be slightly overkill for every-day-carry in order for it to be adequate for when I need to fit more gear.

Ideally I want a configurable and versitile bag with easy access to the camera gear and the laptop. I have looked around quite a bit and found that there is a quite wide selection, but in my eyes many of them don't utilize their space very well when it comes to organisation. I have however found three bags that look interesting:

1. Tenba Axis 24L

+ Love that it has top, side and rear access and flexible organisation. To be it also looks better than the Lowepro

- Not available for sale in Sweden, but can be imported. Albeit with increased cost.

2. Lowepro Protactic 450 aw II

+ Love that it has top, side and rear access and flexible organisation.

- Quite expensive in Sweden and to me it looks slightly worse than the Tenba.

3. Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop

+ Cheapest of these three and the best looking to my eyes. Looks is however not a major priority.

- Acceptable, but worse organisation and acceccability than the other two. I feel like it falls behind when it comes to storage for smaller items and the fact that the top compartment is basically just one big hole with no possibility for organisation.

What is your opinion and experience with these bags if you have any? Or do you have any other suggestions that I might have missed?I would love your feedback.

For reference:

  • My camera is a Fujifilm X-T30 and I usually carry 3 fujinon lenses (10-24, 18-55 and 55-200), but room to grow is a plus.
  • My laptop is a 15" thin and light.
  • My tripod is a Vanguard VEO 2 235AB, i.e a normal size travel-tripod.

For years, I resisted paying the price for a Peak Design Everyday backpack; but finally got a 20L model for a month in Europe this summer. The best backpack I've ever had, and I've had at least a dozen.

Truly unique organization options, can expand and contract from 12L to 20L, really useful. It has ingenious outer features like handles on all sides! expansion pockets, and very useful straps on the outside with loop hooks that allow for attaching many things in many ways. Even has cool anti-theft loops on the zippers (have to check it out, too hard to describe)

Here's what I can fit if I just have electronics, no clothes:

-X-T3 and X-E3

-4 prime lenses (Rok 12, 23/2, 35/1.4, 60/2.4). 4 zooms (10-24, 16-55, 55-200, 15-45)

-13" Macbook Pro and iPad

-chargers for all of the above, external hard drive, dozen memory cards, 4 batteries and dual charger, headphones, sunglasses, etc, etc.

Heavy with all of the above but it all fits and actually has room for a couple more small primes.

The quality of construction is impeccable. It seems like it will last a long time; others have had great long term experiences, but I'll see.

For what you want to carry, you would fill about half of the space with plenty for clothes. The only concern is that a 15" laptop might be tight in thickness; you've said yours is thin so probably ok but I would check it out to make sure. There is also a 30L model as well; but my experience with larger backpacks is that they get too heavy when loaded, and they just feel a bit more awkward in crowds. The PD 20L is very streamlined, and feels smaller than it's size; easy to manage in a crowd.

I do have a Tenba shoulder bag; very well made. I've looked at LowePro and felt they were good but Tenba just seemed a bit better. Sorry that I don't have experience with their backpacks.


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