Cycling DSLR Backpack (or insert)

Started Jul 19, 2017 | Questions
JRM PT Regular Member • Posts: 180
Cycling DSLR Backpack (or insert)
1

Hi,

I've decided to loose some weight (being over 40 sucks;-)) and a nice way to do it is by cycling. I leave in 10-15 minutes distance of a nice woods that is often called "Lisbon's lung" as it is its biggest green area. It's also home of several birds, plants, flowers, etc. Many things to take nice pictures. I've decided that I'll get only the D5300 with the 70-300 and the micro 105 just in case. A flash only if I'm able to squeeze it in (my i40 is quite small and has its own (lightly) padded nylon bag.

It doesn't need to be too big (camera and lenses fit in a 240x200x100mm space) but it must protect my gear in case I fall from my bike. Comfort (riding) and low weight will be a plus factor.

I can use one of my casual backpacks if I find a proper shockproof insert.

Any experience or suggestion?

 JRM PT's gear list:JRM PT's gear list
Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon D5300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR +11 more
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Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon D5300
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Adrian Tung
Adrian Tung Veteran Member • Posts: 3,889
Re: Cycling DSLR Backpack (or insert)
1

JRM PT wrote:

Hi,

I've decided to loose some weight (being over 40 sucks;-)) and a nice way to do it is by cycling. I leave in 10-15 minutes distance of a nice woods that is often called "Lisbon's lung" as it is its biggest green area. It's also home of several birds, plants, flowers, etc. Many things to take nice pictures. I've decided that I'll get only the D5300 with the 70-300 and the micro 105 just in case. A flash only if I'm able to squeeze it in (my i40 is quite small and has its own (lightly) padded nylon bag.

It doesn't need to be too big (camera and lenses fit in a 240x200x100mm space) but it must protect my gear in case I fall from my bike. Comfort (riding) and low weight will be a plus factor.

I can use one of my casual backpacks if I find a proper shockproof insert.

Any experience or suggestion?

I occasionally use a MindShift Gear Ultralight Sprint 16L if I want to carry my m4/3 gear with me. While my gear isn't as big as your Nikon setup, but I've managed to cram a Canon 5D Mark III with 24-70/4 lens in as well, so it should fit your smaller DLSR.

However, that being said, I do not really recommend carrying that much weight on your back while cycling. Even my Canon camera experiment was just an experiment to see if it would fit -- but I wouldn't want that sort of hard and heavy equipment on my back for any sort of moderate to long distance on a bike.

These days, unless I really wanted higher IQ of my other cameras, I typically just stash a Sony RX100 Mark III in a Topeak Fuel Tank top tube bag.

 Adrian Tung's gear list:Adrian Tung's gear list
Sony RX100 III Olympus Stylus Tough TG-870 Sony RX100 VI Sony ZV-1 Olympus PEN-F +22 more
HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 6,063
Re: Cycling DSLR Backpack (or insert)

If you're cycling to lose weight I would suggest sticking to cycling. It sounds like you don't really want to cycle.

I cycled for many years. Wearing a backpack while cycling is not good for the back. I suspect you may already have back issues (due to weight). A backpack will make them worse.

Also, there is not likely a backpack that will 100% protect your gear if you fall, especially if you fall while moving.

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 HRC2016's gear list:HRC2016's gear list
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C Olympus 12-100mm F4.0 +2 more
OP JRM PT Regular Member • Posts: 180
Re: Cycling DSLR Backpack (or insert)

First I don't need to loose a lot of weight, just 3-4kg to get back in fit. I really don't love exercise that much and adding the goal of taking some pictures would help to keep faithful to go out and move at least that 8-10km every weekend (that's not long either).

I have seen the options you pointed out and they look good but expensive and I am not sure about the protection in case I fall (isn't common as I'm careful but it might happen when one goes xc).

 JRM PT's gear list:JRM PT's gear list
Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon D5300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR +11 more
hikerdoc Senior Member • Posts: 2,781
Re: Cycling DSLR Backpack (or insert)
1

We do a lot of biking on the carriage roads (packed gravel) in Acadia Nat'l Park, US. I have a light rack on back with rail and detachable bag from Topeak which is secured on that rail. I can carry a camera, an extra lens, a few essential tools/tube, snacks, and a light jacket. It does add 1-2 kg to the weight, but, so does a DSLR and lenses if weight were the deciding factor. I have one of those Domke neoprene wraps around the body for a little added protection.

https://www.topeak.com/global/en/products/rear-rack-bags/859-mtx-trunkbag-ex

Best wishes on the weight loss. Moderation and perseverance. I am 60 and still out running, hiking, and cycling with wife of 36 years essentially at our wedding weights!

D

 hikerdoc's gear list:hikerdoc's gear list
Apple iPhone 8
Jiffy Forum Member • Posts: 76
Re: Cycling DSLR Backpack (or insert)
1

I'm also cycling to help with fitness and have been carrying my D5500 and 3 Nikon lenses around with me in a Tenba DNA 11 messenger bag. It has a strap to stop it swinging round in front of you. I did over 30 miles with it on a few days ago and had no problem with comfort. I am used to carrying big backpacks for multi-day trips in Scottish winters though.

 Jiffy's gear list:Jiffy's gear list
Nikon D5500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Tokina 11-20mm F2.8 Nikon AF-P 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-P 70-300mm F4.5-6.3G VR
TheBlackGrouse
TheBlackGrouse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,465
Re: Cycling DSLR Backpack (or insert)
1

No problem, I did 80 miles today with my Clik Elite Escape, a bag that's built for cycling, also suitable for racing bikes.

My gear today: Canon 7DII with 100-400 L II, 100 mm 2.8 Macro and binoculars (heavy 10x42). This is a lightweight setup without the wide angle lens and the Lee filter set.

The thing is, standard backpacks don't work while cycling, you need a curved backpanel with a small waist belt. The downside, those packs are not for hiking with heavy gear.

I fully understand the point of cycling to a place and - as a reward - shoot there. That's the way I combine my workout with photography.

There is another reward, you can follow paths that are inaccessible to cars.

It is hard work but will give you some unique images in the end.

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Active Outdoor Photographer

zuestman New Member • Posts: 9
Re: Cycling DSLR Backpack (or insert)
1

While not cheap, the F-stop Guru UL works with their ICU system, is small, light (for a camera pack) and carries really well.

Otherwise the EVOC camera packs (18l works great) also has a side hyrdation, and a side access so you aren't fully removing the pack to pull the camera with attached lens off.

For an insert some of the Tenba inserts (BYOB series) are solid, but still a little softer. They will slide into a pack that you already have.

Neither will fully protect the camera in a fall, but are some of the best.

And having been a mtn biker for the past 20years, and many of that riding with a hydration pack, and also commuting with backpacks...don't listen to the naysayers. It is hotter, it will make your back a little sore at first, but it also strengthens your back and if the load is low and handled mostly by the waistbelt you will be fine.  If I have to carry something i always prefer to do it with a back pack.  Also, for protecting your gear, your body will act as suspension and stop a lot of the vibration from going into your gear.

Hope that helps a bit more than some of the other messages.

TheBlackGrouse
TheBlackGrouse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,465
Re: Cycling DSLR Backpack (or insert)
2

zuestman wrote:

Agree with your post, just adding.

While not cheap, the F-stop Guru UL works with their ICU system, is small, light (for a camera pack) and carries really well.

The F-Stop Kenti is also very good. It's a different design with an 'in-built' ICU. Would have bought it but we never seem to receive version 2 over here.

Otherwise the EVOC camera packs (18l works great) also has a side hyrdation, and a side access so you aren't fully removing the pack to pull the camera with attached lens off.

EVOC is great. Fast access is very important for wildlife shooters. It happens that you see something while cycling. Then you have to shoot from the saddle. You can't leave the bike, put the pack on the ground etc. All animals will be long gone. You need a pack that can be turned in front of your body or one with side access.

For an insert some of the Tenba inserts (BYOB series) are solid, but still a little softer. They will slide into a pack that you already have.

Neither will fully protect the camera in a fall, but are some of the best.

No pack can do this, but you have other things to worry about when you fall, your own health.

And having been a mtn biker for the past 20years, and many of that riding with a hydration pack, and also commuting with backpacks...don't listen to the naysayers. It is hotter, it will make your back a little sore at first, but it also strengthens your back and if the load is low and handled mostly by the waistbelt you will be fine. If I have to carry something i always prefer to do it with a back pack. Also, for protecting your gear, your body will act as suspension and stop a lot of the vibration from going into your gear.

Know what you mean, I'm a mountainbiker too for decades. The waistbelt is only needed to secure the pack, so that is does not move on your back.

Contrary to hiking packs the weight has to be low, definitely not at shoulder height or higher. Therefore you can't hike very well with cycling backpacks. But that's not a problem as cycling is the main activity.

Totally agree, you body is the best suspension system.

With 6 kg on your back, you don't feel anything, at 8 it starts to get a bit difficult, 10 kg or more is not recommended, also because of balance issues.

Hope that helps a bit more than some of the other messages.

Well, we are talking about mountain/racing bikes, high speed and long distances, others may think about short trips on city bikes. As long as they are cycling and contribute to clean air I'm fine with it

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TheBlackGrouse
Active Outdoor Photographer

cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 5,624
Re: Cycling DSLR Backpack (or insert)

HRC2016 wrote:

If you're cycling to lose weight I would suggest sticking to cycling. It sounds like you don't really want to cycle.

I cycled for many years. Wearing a backpack while cycling is not good for the back. I suspect you may already have back issues (due to weight). A backpack will make them worse.

Also, there is not likely a backpack that will 100% protect your gear if you fall, especially if you fall while moving.

I agree here , its bad if you go over the bars and land on the backpack, been there done that many years ago. I have a Altura cycle bag that fits to the seat post, big enough for a large body with medium sizes zoom, mine is a much older version of this. I pack the camera with a little foam for extra protection.

http://road.cc/content/review/20892-altura-aero-post-pack

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 cosmicnode's gear list:cosmicnode's gear list
Nikon D1 Nikon D1X Nikon D1H Nikon D2H Nikon D2X +16 more
isks Forum Member • Posts: 63
Re: Cycling DSLR Backpack (or insert)

I don't use a backpack but a messenger bag (a large Timbuk2 like so: http://www.timbuk2.com/classic-messenger-tres-colores/1974.html?dwvar_1974_color=6370&dwvar_1974_size=8 ) with an insert (the Tenba BYOB series are OK but IMO the padding is too thin).

This is surprisingly comfortable while riding a bike. I sometimes carry >10kg of groceries in the same messenger bag: that's less comfortable but mostly because it's hard to pack groceries so that nothing pokes into my back.

It also allows me to carry a tripod over my shoulder on top of the messenger bag using a sling strap.

I could easily carry this for longer rides (40+km) but I have a relatively long cycling commute every weekday, so I'm used to it.

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