Yet another backpack thread - Osprey Stratos 36 + which camera cube?

Started Nov 4, 2019 | Discussions thread
TheBlackGrouse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,586
Re: Yet another backpack thread - Osprey Stratos 36 + which camera cube?

Malling wrote:

TheBlackGrouse wrote:

Malling wrote:

TheBlackGrouse wrote:

travelertom wrote:

I Love Furry Animals wrote:

travelertom wrote:

I Love Furry Animals wrote:

Just a side note, the f-stop ICU external dimension was
7 x 11.5 x 15 in (17.8 x 29.2 x 38.1 cm)
The Osprey Manta 34 was
14 x 14 x 22 in (36 x 36 x 56 cm).

Looking at the size spec alone, people may think other packs should fits too, but it doesn't. Every inches/centimeters matters, also the type of the opening, and the curvature of the main compartment.

Thanks for the insight. Would you be able to say if there space space for a Peak Design Medium Cube @ 12.6 x 12.6 x 6.7 (32 x 32 x 17 cm) inside the Manta as well? An inch or so wider.

Unfortunately I don't think it will fit. The width of my cube which is 29.2 cm is already at the maximum the Manta can handle. Probably can fit 1cm more, but no more than that. It's already tight.

Illuminating, thanks. I know from experience what a PITA it is to load too tight items from the top opening.

I was looking at the Gregory Zulu 35 and though it's a centimeter or two lacking in width vis-a-vis the cubes' dimensions, I was wondering if the front panel opening would be less cumbersome to work with. Any clues? Anyone?

Front panel opening, don't know how you do it but I like to have a working platform when shooting landscapes. With front panel access the back gets wet and/or dirty. Then it's better to take out the insert through the top opening, lay the pack on its front and put the insert on the backpanel.

Many times I'm glad I can use the top opening to get the insert in and out. Didn't realize that before.

I haven’t been in a situation where I could not place it upright, a fully loaded Baltoro can basically stand upright on it self if necessary and so could the Atmos I had before, but in most cases there is always a rock, a tree or something else to lean it against, but then it also have one massive belt. Rear opening can get equal dirty, if it opens up in the wrong direction it will end up in the mud as well.

But remember to have the lenses tight down with the straps, so they won’t fall out.

alternatively cover the harness with the rainfly, something I would do anyway. And lay it down that way, it takes like two seconds to do so.

Depends on your style, if you have many photo opportunities per day and need a working platform the backpanel access is much faster and better. No need to put on an addtional raincover. The more time it takes to organize the less you use your gear. Not for the ones who go out once in a while, but the heavy users know what I mean.

Lets not over exaggerate, rear access is slightly faster, like 5-10 seconds tops. Neither is particularly fast compared to side access. I can get almost into the ICU on a Baltoro and Zulu as fast as with a rear access bag. It’s a bit of a myth that it’s substantially slower.

When hiking and shooting birds there are only a few opportunities per day. Finding rare species is difficult and often the birds are gone within seconds. These 5-10 seconds are the difference between a keeper and a total miss. With raptors there is no second chance so it's all about fast access.

if you are dependent on pulling you gear out fast neither type would do a great job if you place your gear inside the pack. However with a true hiking bag you have many additional pockets where you can place lenses or attachments point where you can attach photographic equipment.

One of my walls is full with belts, harnesses, straps, chest packs, pouches etc. It is not easy to carry a heavy DSLR with a large telezoom when hiking. Chest-packs work but have a lot of disadvantages. I've tried all sorts of methods to attach the gear to the backpack. In the end, with long distance hiking, difficult terrain, the best solution is carrying it in the backpack itself.

That isn’t really the case with minimalistic ski/Alpine bags like the Mammut Trion, Gregory Targhee or Osprey Kamper, that often doesn’t even has bottle carrying capabilities. So with a hiking pack and you need to shoot handheld you can actually make it so you don’t need to remove the pack, because the bags are so versatile, I have seen several wildlife use such packs in such configuration.

Yes hiking packs have much more pockets but it's easy to use the ski-straps on both sides for a tripod, large Klean Kanteen bottles or a 4 liter dromedary bag.

For landscape work it’s really a none issue, as you need a tripod in most work anyway. It’s not exactly gun and shoot.

I cannot see that it takes longer to organise, it’s an ICU in either style. It like opening the front zipper remove the equipment you need from the ICU, set up, shoot and put it back in the ICU, zip. Where is exactly the difference, it’s not like you’re pulling all stuff out of your bag like a top loader.

When working with filters, lenses, holders etc. it's nice to have a working platform. Lay the pack down, open the backpanel and the full ICU is ready to use. Fast access is not an issue for landscape shooting, agreed. I'm not saying the backpanel is 'better' for organizing, it's more convenient at least for me.

Rear access still doesn’t work, as it means poor carrying comfort, manufacturers cannot make it so it follows the curvatures of the back, it’s basically almost impossible to make a proper lumbar support. and way to often the harness system is attached to the “door” meaning that it will pull at zippers the weakest point of any bag, with potential catastrophic consequences, the harness is also often placed in less ideal places often with no load lifters or wrongly designed load lifters, and adjusting is also often not great or weirdly designed (if that is even a thing). It also expose zippers that can not be fully covered again leading to water finding its way into the ICU.

Depends on the brand, my Mammut Trion Pro 50 is very good, brings the weight close to your back which improves carrying comfort and balance. The backpanel is attached to the pack at the bottom so the weight is not pulling at the zippers.

but you cannot walk very far with it or carrying allot of other stuff and some has absolutely no water carrying solution, at best the packs forces you to use water bladders and the mammut has noticeable pressure points.

Or you wil have a door that will add one massive flat pressure panel giving pressure points at your back and equal annoying the gear is often digging through it.

A sideways opening door is not ideal, I don't like the zipper at the bottom, it's vulnerable and has a higher risk of getting dirty. A flat backpanel is a personal choice, I like it and I don't want extreme lumbar support that really hurts my back.

You have a flat back, Gregory actually make it possible to remove the extra lumbar support for those who doesn’t need it.

Well, Gregory is one of my most preferred brands except for the lumbar support, That's why I didn't follow them anymore but I'll try this system.

Seriously I don't understand the 'pressure points' on the Mammut. This backpanel is great. The Mammut is the by far the best in bringing the weight close to the body. That makes the pack seem lighter. That's why I often choose the Mammut instead of my larger South Col 70 liter expedition pack from Mountain Hardwear.

To make matters worse weight is places in the wrong place, with a front acces bag you can place the ICU so the weight is correctly distributed so it doesn’t interfere with your centre of gravity.

No problem, just find the right ICU.

Overall, when carrying heavier loads a dedicated hiking pack wins easily.

The mountaineering packs with backpanel access have a lot of advantages when you don't have to carry things like camping gear. Especially for wildlife shooting they give you freedom of movement and fast access.

For nature photography I use 5 different packpacks, dependent on the length of the trip, the terrain, the main activity (like long distance hiking vs hiking/cycling or visiting hides), the amount of photo opportunities, wildlife vs landscape etc. There is no 'best' pack.

I agree that there is no best pack, my point is that hiking packs are quite versatile and you can make them work in most situations and where it won’t be a hassle to do so. They come in very different seizures and designs, I just happen to like Gregory for photographic trips/hikes because you have better/more access points and you have good carrying capabilities.

That said if your on a short day hike a Alpine/ski pack can be absolutely fine, it’s definitely better then 99% of all photo specific bags.

Well, I use my Mammut for multi-day trips. These mountaineering packs are great because you can hike with them, crawl with them and ride a mountain bike with them all day. Very versatile.

As soon as I'm doing a more traditional hiking trip I'll take a dedicated hiking pack because nothing beats the beefy hip belts (of the Deuters for instance). Almost all the weight on the hips.

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