Best backpack / rucksack for hiking photographers

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Chris 222 Contributing Member • Posts: 909
Re: Best backpack / rucksack for hiking photographers

Swift One wrote:

Been there done that! To this day, If I am on the trail or in an abandoned building, my best "camera pack" is a Kelty Redwing 50L with on or two Peak Design Travel Cubes inserted in the pack- depending on what I am taking for gear.

1. It doesn't look like a camera bag full of expensive gear- especially when I have room to put my tripod inside the pack.

Indeed, and that's what I alluded to in my post. So many people out there hanker for a pack that "keeps their gear safe" (read: rear panel access with its huge pitfalls) and yet buy a super expensive bag whose branding states or even screams EXPENSIVE GEAR INSIDE. Makes no sense when a less expensive and far more comfortable bag really keeps your gear safe.

2. It's a true hiking pack with thought and design put into a comfortable strap system. Most designated camera packs seem to put more though into the gear area and not the shoulder straps. I will say the the Lowepro Whistler series, seems to have a pretty comfortable strap system.

3. If packed with some thought, you have plenty of room left over for carrying non camera related gear.

4. The travel cube system turns my pack modular- configure the pack for the mission at hand.

To the OP, nice write up.

Thanks, and I'm glad your brought up Kelty, a brand that always has solid and sometimes original products. This Summer I had an opportunity to test their new Zyp 48, the only bag I know with a back panel that is sort of half PP, half TMP. There's a roughly 7 inch open gap in the middle of the panel (but shoulders and lower back still get sweat-soaked in hot weather) and a clever length adjustment that works easy and quick just like the Deuter Vario. That big space in the middle of your back area also makes it super easy to use the nanny pack zip-around option I described in the OP.

Unfortunately the hip/lumbar belt design and padding are nowhere near the quality and comfort of a Vario or an Osprey Atmos. There is a side zipper on the back but it's short so I think getting an ICU in and out might be tough. I don't recall seeing a rain cover but maybe Kelty sells it separately.

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