Backpack; Laptop first, camera second

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by -Dan-, May 29, 2016.

  1. -Dan-

    -Dan- Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 22, 2013
    Hi everyone,

    Not trying to have another bag/backpack thread but I couldn't find what I am looking for. I'm looking for a "smaller" backpack I can use daily for the office, put laptop, charger and some files I occasionally carry around in. Additionally then ideally it also holds my cam with a lense attached and perhaps even a second lense elsewhere. Aside from the daily walk to the office, I may want to take it for quick business trips (1-2 nights) when I need to go somewhere (no expecting to pack clothes, just computer + cam & accessories)

    I tried to look online at the Lowepro and others but without a store around, it's hard to tell. Most if not all backpacks that are not the 40-50l+ variety seems to focus on cam & all accessories and may or may not have a tablet/laptop compartment.

    Any recommendations or thoughts? Thank you!
  2. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 25, 2014
    I use a couple of ThinkTank bags - not backpacks, though, but looking at the Urban Approach Backpack 15, I think it might work. It'd actually let you pack a whole lot of gear, but if you go easy on your setup, you'll even have space for some clothes and stuff ...

    Urban Approach Backpack • Think Tank Photo

  3. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI

    Seems to me that if you find a backpack that does the laptop and work stuff things well, you can just encase your camera gear in some padded pouches and stuff it in the backpack, like those from OpTech. Those will protect your gear but minimize the space they take up. If you use a padded camera insert, it'll take up more space.

    I like the Tom Bihn bags ( Their backpacks don't have laptop compartments, but they have accessory Cache cases that fit into their bags for various sized laptops, and they're very well built of first class materials. Will last a very long time. They're also good for travel. Like their Synapse 19. Synapse 19
  4. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Seoul, South Korea
    I'm in search for pretty much the same thing. I currently have a dedicated camera backpack in the Airport Essential, but the problem is that it's hard to use it for anything besides camera/lighting gear. The Perception Line from ThinkTank looks pretty interesting, but if I wanted to carry everything (2 bodies, 7 lenses, and 3 lights) would probably not be enough.

    The Fstopgear Ajna looks really interesting, as you can pick and choose how much of the bag you want to be camera vs normal... but it's a lot of money for something I can't try out in person first.
  5. ddekadt

    ddekadt Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Aug 30, 2013
    Central California
    Depends on how many lenses you want, and how big your laptop is.

    Personally I have a 13 inch laptop + EM5 + 2 lenses, and go with a smallish Petzl backpack. I then pack the laptop in an Amazon basics 13" sleeve, and the camera + lenses in a small domke bag (this could be a pouch, as suggested above). Then I can pack my camera in the backpack if I want, or use it has a shoulder bag, or just use the backpack as a backpack.
  6. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    I just did this research. Try the crumpler half photo bags and check out tamrac, they have some new ones that might fit the bill.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  7. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2012
    The size of the laptop is very important for this, what size laptop?
  8. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I have a Chrome backpack that I do this with. I put the camera in a mini case and then put that in the roll top section of the bag. Access is not quick but photography is not always a priority.
  9. -Dan-

    -Dan- Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 22, 2013
    I appreciate all the suggestion and input so far. Good point about the laptop size and should have thought of it; generally it is a 13-14", currently 15". It'll never be larger than that though.

    I did think also of a laptop backbag and get a sleeve or insert for the camera but haven't truly found what I am looking for. For the most part it seems the backpacks are rather large in size and I am not looking for a daypack but rather something I can take with me on my daily commute and in addition to my carry on when traveling
  10. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    my daily commuter bag for the last 5+ years has been a Thinktank V50 Urban Disguise. I like that my tamrac velocity 6 sling fits within the main compartment, along with chargers, a wad of cables, and a ipad mini 4. The 15" MBP fits in the laptop sleeve. If this thing ever wears out, I'm replacing it with the same one.
  11. ddekadt

    ddekadt Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Aug 30, 2013
    Central California
    If you want a small backpack I cannot recommend enough the Petzl Bug -- it's small, sturdy, weather resistant (never had anything ever get wet inside it), and can easily take a 13-14inch laptop in a case, plus a camera and two lenses in a separate case. I've had mine for 9 years of daily use, and it's going strong. But again, this is not a camera backpack.
  12. ripgriffith

    ripgriffith Mu-43 Regular

    May 28, 2015
    I'm sure there are hundreds of us facing a similar dilemma, and have spent hundreds of $$ trying to solve it, both with bags and with backpacks. My solution, ultimately, was an off-the-shelf backpack I picked up in Malta for the extravagant price of 12 Euros. It has two zippered large compartments, two smaller ones and pockets of each side. The largest compartment fits exactly the insert from my Billingham Small Hadley holding my Pannie GX7 with with 14-140 zoom, 70-300 zoom, with plenty of room left over for clothes, sweaters, light jacket, etc. The next smallest compartment easily holds my 14 inch laptop in a padded sleeve (it would hold a 15" also, I believe). The other pockets hold the various chargers and cables I might need. The outside of the backpack has a variety of straps, including two across the bottom which easily holds my small travel tripod and head. The only modifications I made on the bag was to reinforce the stitching holding the shoulder straps, always a weak point on backpacks (just read the reviews of the Domke F5 backpack). I also scavenged a rain cover from one of my not-so-useful backpacks, which fits just fine.

    I also have a somewhat larger backpack, bought from the same shop in Malta for a few Euros more, that will hold my entire Billingham bag, offering my equipment more security since the bag can be closed, which is not the case with just the insert. The only inconvenience to either of these setups is that the camera equipment is not readily available since it is at the bottom of the bag with clothes on top. It's a minor inconvenience since I generally use the backpack to get me and my gear from A to B, then I shoot from my Billingham.
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