Best backpack / rucksack for hiking photographers

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Wordfool New Member • Posts: 9
Re: Best backpack / rucksack for hiking photographers

Interesting analysis, and some useful insight into the cons of photo backpacks in the field. While I agree that photo backpacks are not (and probably never will be) as good as properly-fitted, dedicated mountaineering/hiking packs when it comes to comfort, I'm also not someone who would expect them to be as good simply because they're not "dedicated" to one task.

All photo backpacks are inherently a compromise and always will be, despite what manufacturers will claim. They're designed for multiple things -- carrying/accessing photo gear plus one (or two) of the following): outdoorsy stuff, travel, urban security, style. When anything is designed to fulfill multiple incompatible tasks it will never excel at any one of them. The best hope is that it doesn't suck too badly at any one thing.

Having tried many photo packpacks over the years I've never been under the illusion that I could comfortably use one on a multi-day backcountry camping trip, just as I've never been under the illusion that one of my EDC backpacks I use around the city or for travel could be used on 30 mile hike.

What I look for in a photo backpack (and why I asked about the new Shimoda Action X series in another thread you kindly replied to) is something that could work on, say, a 10-mile hike with relative comfort and easy access to my gear. I try to limit the size of any photo backpack I use because I know I'll more quickly notice the compromised harness system of a bigger and heavier photo backpack -- if I need to carry a lot of heavy gear over distance I'll stuff an ICU into a "proper" hiking pack.

I'm reminded of when, back in the day, I traveled all over the US with a heavy 65-liter Karrimor pack that would probably be considered dated by today's lightweight, TMP standards but nonetheless had a well designed and adjustable harness, hip belt and aluminum stays (molded to the shape of my back) and was staggeringly comfortable to carry, even when fully loaded.

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