Suggestions and which backpack do you use?

Started Jan 27, 2014 | Discussions
Roy Dane Regular Member • Posts: 393
Whcih Backpack do I use ?? FLIPSIDE 400 !!

Hi
Add another vote for the Flipside 400. Mine is currently loaded with two A77s ( one with the grip, one without ) , a Konica - Minolta 70 - 300 D, Sony 100mm Macro, Sony 16 - 50, Sony 11 - 18, HVL -58 and HVL - 43 Flash units, and I still have room for one more small lens. In a pinch ( in other words I leave a few things behind ) it can carry an A77 with either a 70 -200 f2.8 or a 300mm f2.8 ( with or without Teleconverter ) attached. Contrary to a previous post, it is a true backback. What I like about it, is that when I want to change lenses, I shrug off the shoulder straps and use the ( comfortable ) waist belt to slide the bag around to my front. I then unzip the main compartment to get whatever equipment I need, and the bag then doubles as a "changing table". My only (minor) peeve is that the waist belt is attached to the access flap instead of the sides of the backpack.
Roy

 Roy Dane's gear list:Roy Dane's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony DT 11-18mm F4.5-5.6 Sony 100mm F2.8 Macro Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM +4 more
OP nandbytes Senior Member • Posts: 5,950
Re: Suggestions and which backpack do you use?

123Mike wrote:

Dave Oddie wrote:

I use a LowePro Flipside 400 and in that I carry A77, 11-18, 16-80, 70-300G, 500mm mirror and Sigma 105 macro. I can mount any lens on the front and still fit the others in.

Awesome lenses. You value quality and don't mess with super zooms obviously (even though someone could make a reasonable case for those). I'm the same way. Now that I discovered what a good lens provides, there is no going back. I can't tolerate anything even slightly mushy.

No wonder you are so fussy about A77.

75-300's are out. It's 55-300 now - much sharper. Kit lens (18-55), out, replaced with 17-50/2.8. 35/1.8. Min 24-85RS sometimes. Fish eye. The rest is gathering dust. Oh wait, the BC is fun at times, because the bokeh is nice and it's brighter than my 55-300 (but not sharper).

Surprised you didn't go for 16-50. 16-80 is probably my fav crop lens. I also like 18-250 (don't judge me! lol). My only telephoto is beercan.

There is still a spare slot destined for a fish-eye one day!

Totally recommend the Samyang or the other names (10+?) it goes by. It's a total riot, that lens. Can be found for ~$250 new from time to time. Totally worth it.

+1 for samyang fisheyes. Really good for the price, I have only used it in shops on my camera.

No lap top compartment but I can fit a netbook down the front for travel. I attach a waterproof jacket using the straps across the top when out and about.

They now make a bigger version, the 500, which may suit you better. Or the flipside sport range which I see can carry a laptop.

Thing is these days, it might be possible to get by using a phablet these days... is a laptop even really needed anymore for on the road at least? Even cell phones have the power of a PC just about these days. Next thing you know, google glasses would do. Imagine that. You take a picture, and two seconds later you can see it in your glasses...

I need a bag I can also use regularly on public transport from work and back. I need to carry my laptop for that. On holiday I may not even take my tablet let alone a laptop. Hence I like things like f-stop kenti bag where the laptop sleeve doubles up for water/hydration bladder.

The flip side design is great because you don't have to lay the back of the pack that goes against your body down in the mud to open it!

The fastpack allows you to do that too. The thing with the flipside though, is that it puts the weight on a single shoulder. Does that not end up hurting you though?

Thats what I thought.

If you are paranoid about theft in cities the flip side stops people unzipping the camera compartment when in crowds.

I know in some European cities this might happen, but in Canada where I am, that sort of thing is completely unheard of. Even the criminals are too civilized for that here. I've seen some pretty nifty teams of crooks in action in Amsterdam though. One distracts you, the other takes your stuff. Unbelievable.

Better safe than sorry. Last place I went to that felt the safest in the world was Japan.

 nandbytes's gear list:nandbytes's gear list
Sony RX100 III Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha a7 Sony Alpha a7R II Canon EF 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 III +5 more
bngreenchev Regular Member • Posts: 111
Re: Suggestions and which backpack do you use?
 bngreenchev's gear list:bngreenchev's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 Sony SLT-A55 Sony Alpha a99 Tamron SP AF 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) +8 more
MikeInOr
MikeInOr Contributing Member • Posts: 879
Re: Suggestions and which backpack do you use?

123Mike wrote:

The fastpack allows you to do that too. The thing with the flipside though, is that it puts the weight on a single shoulder. Does that not end up hurting you though?

With my fastback 100 and fastback 250 I have never had a sore shoulder after a day of carrying and flipping it.  Maybe a loaded down larger lowepro might get to your shoulder after a while.

My max load with my 250 is A77, 16-50, 8-16, 55-300, 20mm 2.8 prime, 30mm 1.4 prime, flash and several batteries + chargers and water bottle etc.  But I usually do not carry near that much. I never carry a laptop.  The primes almost never make it along anymore.  I wouldn't want one of the single strap sling shot packs though.  That seems like that would get to my shoulder pretty quickly.

 MikeInOr's gear list:MikeInOr's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Sony SLT-A33 Sony SLT-A77 Sony DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM Sony 20mm F2.8 +6 more
PeteC21
PeteC21 Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: Suggestions and which backpack do you use?

I don't have the a99 but do have the a77 which is close in size and have 2 bags that I use.

When walking/hiking I use the Lowepro Slingshot 202 which carries my landscape kit:

a77 + 16-50 + 11-16 + 70-300

Lowepro Slingshot 202

For sports or general purpose use I prefer the Crumpler 7 Million Dollar shoulder bag

Crumpler 7 Million Dollar Shoulder Bag

The Crumpler is a little pricey but I previously had a TamRac that was about 1/3rd the cost and did the job adequately but the Crumpler just gets it right, for me at least, so much so that I use the 5 Million Dollar bag for my NEX kit.

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“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!” Ansel Adams

 PeteC21's gear list:PeteC21's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R II Sony a6300 Rokinon 8mm F2.8 UMC Aspherical Fisheye Carl Zeiss Touit 1.8/32 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +7 more
Ron Poelman
Ron Poelman Veteran Member • Posts: 5,900
This is all more complex than you would hope..

There is a big difference between carrying all your gear to the trail,
as opposed to what you carry on the trail.
The tripod reference for example,
my tripod goes over the shoulder with the cam attached.
This means the rest my lenses and stuff easily go into the Kata Sling
with space for a Netbook (if you must).
Ready for action and no need for 10 minutes of assembly for every shot,
plus I can change lenses without a major production.
My old Kata (SB-902) has top entry and feet, which means I can put it down anywhere,
a massive improvement over backpacks, which just love falling over into mud.

Food drink and other messy stuff goes into a nifty small backpack of dubious parentage.

 Ron Poelman's gear list:Ron Poelman's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Sony SLT-A57 Sony Alpha a7R Sony a77 II +17 more
WaltKnapp Forum Pro • Posts: 13,857
Re: Suggestions and which backpack do you use?

nandbytes wrote:

Well I was looking for a backpack that can fit in a A99+lens attached with a couple of other zooms. It needs to have easy access to the camera, and be able to carry some personal items (clothes, water, camera charger etc etc), 15inch laptop and a tripod. Basically something I can travel with ease when abroad.

Currently I am using this (got it for £24):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tuff-Luv-Expedition-Digitial-rucksack-backpack/dp/B0035JLT80/

Don't judge it by its price, its better than I expected. Fits in reasonable amount of personal items along with my camera and zooms. The main issue is it good for everyday use, I wouldn't take it on serious travel and it doesn't have easy access to camera. I need to set my bag down to take the camera out and put it back in. I bought this bag fully to expecting replace it as I couldn't and still haven't made up my mind. I use it everyday as I carry my work laptop in it, and its doing very well so far.

Currently my mind is split between f-stop kenti (expensive, not sure its worth that much extra but has some nice features), lowepro fastpack 250/350 and manfrotto tri pack large (don't like the looks of either but functionally seems ok).

So what do you use? any suggestions will be appreciated.

I've got a pile of bags that served well for a time and then got replaced, the fate of most any bag it seems.

Currently I use the Kiboko from Gura Gear. It's designed around safari travel, for it's size bulk is minimal and it's really adapted properly for folks carting a big long lens or two. When I got it there was only one model, but now they have several. The one I have:

http://www.guragear.com/kiboko/

I'm considering going with the Bataflae 32, which is bigger.

http://www.guragear.com/bataflae/

Some of their line are fitted for laptops and so on, look through the various models. I don't cart a laptop or if I do, not in the camera bag and generally don't even backpack the bag far, it tends to live in my 4x4 Ranger and I only generally go fairly short ways out of that.

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-Walt-

WaltKnapp Forum Pro • Posts: 13,857
Re: Suggestions and which backpack do you use?
1

nandbytes wrote:

not sure I can access the camera with the bag on. I would prefer not to take the bag off to access my camera.

I've worked with lots of bags where part of the idea was being able to access the camera with the bag on, it's an attractive idea which can be a lot less practical in real life.  I've found once you get into big lenses like for safari or world travel or with lots of lenses and bodies it just becomes much better to have a bag you can set down and easily access than trying to access while carrying.  The weight of even a few lenses just interferes too much with shooting.

The Kiboko I carry now is more one for setting down though it is possible to get a camera out while carrying.  Just takes longer than setting it down and all the effort doing it can scare wildlife. Once you get out the camera and lens you are going to use it's not hard to put the backpack back on as well.

Normally for long tele once I'm out in the field on foray I don't cart the long tele in the bag.  I set it all up on the tripod  and cart the whole setup ready to shoot over my shoulder, so do a lot of other wildlife shooters with long lenses.  And I'm using big tripods and usually for long lenses a gimbal mount as well.

Probably the best deal is to have a main bag for all your stuff and then a smaller bag to carry just a selection that you use without putting the bag down.  There are also elaborate harnesses that you attach lots of bags to that you can access while carrying.  And you can change what's hanging on them between trips.  Kata makes some bags that are in between and modular,  that works too, but it can get expensive putting that together, Kata is not cheap and you are buying a bunch of bags. I've got some Kata gear I can put together several ways like that.

In any case, to save money make sure it's going to fit what you will be carrying in your travel, even if it's a few years before you have it all.  Nothing worse than spending on a bag and then that new lens you just have to have along has no where to go.  That's how you endlessly buy bags.

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I'm Only Responsible For What I Say, Not For What You Understand.
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OP nandbytes Senior Member • Posts: 5,950
Re: This is all more complex than you would hope..

Ron Poelman wrote:

There is a big difference between carrying all your gear to the trail,
as opposed to what you carry on the trail.
The tripod reference for example,
my tripod goes over the shoulder with the cam attached.
This means the rest my lenses and stuff easily go into the Kata Sling
with space for a Netbook (if you must).
Ready for action and no need for 10 minutes of assembly for every shot,
plus I can change lenses without a major production.
My old Kata (SB-902) has top entry and feet, which means I can put it down anywhere,
a massive improvement over backpacks, which just love falling over into mud.

Food drink and other messy stuff goes into a nifty small backpack of dubious parentage.

I have no intention of carry all my gear, in fact all my gear has been cut down a lot recently. 1 body two zooms and a prime.

But I am travelling I will have a lot of personal items to carry including the crap I buy on the way.

 nandbytes's gear list:nandbytes's gear list
Sony RX100 III Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha a7 Sony Alpha a7R II Canon EF 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 III +5 more
TheVoid Senior Member • Posts: 1,635
Re: +1 for Kata

Sorry for delayed response - I"ve been offline a bit. I have the R-102 for when I don't require a laptop. It fits almost everything I've got - even two bodies and a vertical grip with 4 lenses, extra batteries, cards, etc. But you are right, not much room for jacket or anything else, just the kit.

So I also have the DR-467i which I bought brand new from a Canadian seller on eBay with free shipping to the USA. It is now my daily use backback that I carry to and from work. The laptop sleeve is great, and it has lots of space in various other compartments. It won't fit my whole kit all at once, but it's plenty of space for the stuff I travel with (one body with 2 or 3 lenses). I love the "hidden" pockets it has too. It's a great carry-on bag and has the strap to slide your roller bag handle through it for quick jogs through the terminal or at baggage claim. And it doesn't look like a camera bag - just a nice backback.

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Jeremy

 TheVoid's gear list:TheVoid's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony a77 II Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM +3 more
OP nandbytes Senior Member • Posts: 5,950
Updates and thoughts after trying a few

So I visited some shops and tried a few bags and here are thoughts:

Tamrac evolution 9:

Pro: Nice and spacious, slings, zip system with side entrance and allows for tripod.

con: too heavy (2.26 kg!), no space for water

Lowepro 250:

pro: spacious, weight (1.5kg), cheapest by far

con: no proper tripod support, no space water if I use tripod, not sure about the zip system for the camera compartment

Lowepro 250 AW:

Pro: same as 250 but better tripod support

Con: worst camera compartment support, really open for people to unzip etc.

manfrotto tripack large:

pro: spacious, light (1.29kg!) and it slings unlike lowepro, tripod support

cons: no space for water

Has slightly better zip system than 250 IMO.

f-stop kenti (not able to try):

pro: excellent ergonomics, side entrance zip system, water hydration space that doubles up as laptop space, weight (1.54 kg), tripod support

con: price, not as spacious

Kata 3-in-1 33 (not able to try):

pro: lot of camera space, light (1.29kg!) and it slings unlike lowepro, tripod support, better zip system

cons: no space for water, not sure about personal item space.

Has slightly better zip system than 250 IMO.

clik elites and others:

not able to try these but I did consider a fair few. The ones I could buy in UK didn't have ease of access/side access to camera or it had a LOT of space but not really for laptops. They seem of excellent quality for hiking etc, but since I am looking for something that will fit more than one purpose this isn't for me atm. I will probably end up buying one of these (contrejour 40 probably) down the road but not right now.

What I want:

Something weight of kata/manfrotto, space of tamrac, features of kenti at price of lowepro! Looks like I will have to make my own bag lol.

 nandbytes's gear list:nandbytes's gear list
Sony RX100 III Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha a7 Sony Alpha a7R II Canon EF 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 III +5 more
Dave Oddie Veteran Member • Posts: 4,088
Re: Suggestions and which backpack do you use?

123Mike wrote:

Dave Oddie wrote:

I use a LowePro Flipside 400 and in that I carry A77, 11-18, 16-80, 70-300G, 500mm mirror and Sigma 105 macro. I can mount any lens on the front and still fit the others in.

Awesome lenses. You value quality and don't mess with super zooms obviously (even though someone could make a reasonable case for those). I'm the same way. Now that I discovered what a good lens provides, there is no going back. I can't tolerate anything even slightly mushy. 75-300's are out. It's 55-300 now - much sharper. Kit lens (18-55), out, replaced with 17-50/2.8. 35/1.8. Min 24-85RS sometimes. Fish eye. The rest is gathering dust. Oh wait, the BC is fun at times, because the bokeh is nice and it's brighter than my 55-300 (but not sharper).

I was very lucky with the 70-300G and 500mm as I got them when a camera store was closing down for more or less half price.  I am very happy with the quality of all my lenses

There is still a spare slot destined for a fish-eye one day!

Totally recommend the Samyang or the other names (10+?) it goes by. It's a total riot, that lens. Can be found for ~$250 new from time to time. Totally worth it.

That is the one I intend to get.  I tend to end up with one new bit if kit each year if I am lucky (Christmas or birthday) as I can't just go out and buy new lenses at the drop of a hat.   It has taken me quite a while to assemble that collection.

The flip side design is great because you don't have to lay the back of the pack that goes against your body down in the mud to open it!

The fastpack allows you to do that too. The thing with the flipside though, is that it puts the weight on a single shoulder. Does that not end up hurting you though?

Mine is a rucksack, not a one shoulder strap thing.  I think the smaller flipsides are one shoulder strap packs maybe.  The 400 and 500 are rucksack types.

If you are paranoid about theft in cities the flip side stops people unzipping the camera compartment when in crowds.

I know in some European cities this might happen, but in Canada where I am, that sort of thing is completely unheard of. Even the criminals are too civilized for that here. I've seen some pretty nifty teams of crooks in action in Amsterdam though. One distracts you, the other takes your stuff. Unbelievable.

Never happened to me in places like London but I have heard of it elsewhere in Europe

 Dave Oddie's gear list:Dave Oddie's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony DT 11-18mm F4.5-5.6 Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sony 500mm F8 Reflex +5 more
enemjii Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Canvas Camera Backpack
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Sony SLT-A65 Sony a77 II Sony DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM +6 more
cosmonaut
cosmonaut Senior Member • Posts: 2,223
Re: Suggestions and which backpack do you use?

I had the hardest time finding one for the a99+grip but the Lowe Pro 300 is a nice backpack. I usually strap the tripod to the bottom as it has no place for one. But other than that I like it.

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OP nandbytes Senior Member • Posts: 5,950
Thanks, I got a bag

I found a local dealer for clik elite bags. I bought the clik elite contrejour 40. Slightly bigger to my liking but the design and features far out weight any little reservations I had about the size.

I will buy another bag smaller and lighter for local needs. Think I am going use the sony shoulder bag which I already have for quick access and keep with my lenses in another bag.

 nandbytes's gear list:nandbytes's gear list
Sony RX100 III Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha a7 Sony Alpha a7R II Canon EF 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 III +5 more
gblatchford Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: Suggestions and which backpack do you use?

Lowepro Vertex 300 AW

Holds:
A900 pro, A77 pro, 70-200 f2.8, 300mm f2.8, 12-24 zoom, 28-70 f2.8, 85 f1.4, 35 f1.8, 50 f1.7, 2x HVLF56AM, 16-50 f2.8, 1.4 TC, Quantum Turbo, Dell Precision M6600 & charger. Batteries, cables, odds n sods, Maglite, HF radio, Better Beamer, manfrotto 190/ballhead, brolly & lightstand.

It's packed heavy but wearable...god knows what weight, but who cares.

GB

Steve West Veteran Member • Posts: 5,718
Sony backpack

Thanks for this suggestion.  I looked at the backpacks in this thread, and I bought the Sony.  It's a lot of pack for the money.

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Sony Alpha a99 Sony a6000 Sony a99 II Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM +5 more
OP nandbytes Senior Member • Posts: 5,950
Re: Sony backpack

Steve West wrote:

Thanks for this suggestion. I looked at the backpacks in this thread, and I bought the Sony. It's a lot of pack for the money.

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Glad this thread helped someone, even tho its 2 months old lol.

I also found my solution from here

I bought a clik elite obscura 30.

 nandbytes's gear list:nandbytes's gear list
Sony RX100 III Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha a7 Sony Alpha a7R II Canon EF 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 III +5 more
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