Day Backpack/Sling suggestions?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by jcm5, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. jcm5

    jcm5 Mu-43 Veteran

    212
    May 12, 2014
    USA
    Looking for a light backpack or sling (no messenger) that has the following details:

    - Preferably light/small-ish that works in outdoor/hiking environment
    - Hold EM10 or EM5 + 12-40 and maybe 1 more lens
    - Tripod
    - Water bottle
    - Other little small things (batteries, filters, cloth, etc.)

    I've looked at various reviews online, though many "hiking" backpacks seem unnecessarily huge to me (that's not what I need), likely made for intense hiking or multiple day trips. And the sling bags I've seen seem a bit too cutesy and can't really do the job that I'm looking for...

    Any suggestions welcome.
     
  2. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I have gone with this http://shop.fstopgear.com/us/product/guru.html and really love it so far. I got it with the small pro ICU and I can fit my gripped EM1 with my 50-200 SWD or 150 ƒ2 in it along with my EM5 w/ 17 ƒ2.8 and another small lens like the 60 macro. If you have a gripped camera you will need the pro ICU or one of the slope ICU's, the others are not deep enough. If you don't have a gripped camera they have other ICU's that will work for you.

    I really can not say enough about this bag, I really love the versatility of the bags and intend on getting other ICU's and bags in the future. Right now I have it loaded up with my EM1 w/ 50-200, EM5 w/ 17 2.8, plus batteries and few other things in the ICU. The area above it I have my 150 ƒ2 in it's case along with my 12-50, 7.5, and EC-14. Everything I think I will need for the concerts and fireworks tomorrow. Oh, also have my tripod and rain gear in it.

    You could also go with this one http://shop.fstopgear.com/us/product/kenti.html
     
  3. Mercurio

    Mercurio Mu-43 Veteran

    253
    Jul 17, 2012
    Bogotá, Colombia
    Mauricio
    Last year I got the following sling pack that is perfect for what you need, even though I discovered that to have all the equipment weight in just one shoulder can be painful at the end of the day... On the other hand, the great advantage of sling design is that it "allows quick access to camera and gear without removing pack".

    https://www.goincase.com/shop/camera-bags/incase-dslr-pro-sling-pack/


     
  4. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Obviously one person's "great pack" is another's " annoying pack. For me being around 6 feet tall I find that many "small" packs are also "short" packs and sit awkwardly. These "short" packs also don't handle carrying a tripod vertically well, most having straps for horizontal carry which is annoying in brush and whacks your elbows too.

    So far I've had the best luck with tall/thin packs when trying to stay compact. One that I have and like though to be honest don't have too much trail time on yet is the Lowepro Flipside Sport 10L AW. You should be able to find a fair number of reviews online about it, most people like it a lot. It is a bit of an unusual design though fairly effective in my experience. It is more space than you need for a m43 setup, but the remaining space while still padded it of course great for other day hiking stuff like your food and basic emergency supplies.

    http://store.lowepro.com/flipside-sport-10l-aw

    Going more minimal than that I find the best option is to not go with a dedicated photo pack but instead a regular day pack of some form which you put a smaller padded insert or bag inside for the camera gear. This of course restricts the ease of access a bit, but depending on your style of photography that might not be a big deal. In that category my favorite is the REI Stoke 19.

    http://www.rei.com/product/865280/rei-stoke-19-pack-special-buy

    Currently on sale actually.

    Another big decision is whether you like water bottles or a hydration bag/bladder.

    Many to choose from, but I guess my main point is consider how you want to carry a tripod (vertical vs. horizontal) and similarly do you want a narrow aspect but taller bag or short and wide.

    Last, I've found carry a tripod on a waist belt to be far more preferable to carrying it horizontally on the bottom of a day pack. Weight on your hips is usually better than on your shoulders.
     
  5. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    The problem with the Lowepro is what you emphasize in your last sentence, all the weight in that pack is carried on the shoulders. That is the problem with just about every photo backpack out there. That is why I like the Fstop gear, nice belts that put the weight on your hips and not your shoulders. While the Guru is not as effective as their other bags, it is only one of two smaller options that they provide. It also allows you to carry the tripod on the side or the back of the pack if you get the optional gate keepers. The only other option I have found is getting a pack designed for backpacking (there are lots of smaller ones like the one you linked) and just used padded bags for your gear, but stupid hard to get to quickly.
     
  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    My current setup is a ThinkTank Turnstyle 5, carried inside one of several small or medium backpacks, depending on the situation. In the Turnstyle I can carry a GX7 with a 9-18mm or a 14-140mm mounted plus a 100-300mm lens and whichever of the other two lenses is not mounted. I also have room for a couple of spare batteries and some other doo-dads.

    There are many small camera bags that could be used and carried like this. ThinkTank's Speed Demon is another. Once you have separated the camera-carrying need from the backpack need, your options increase. And there is also always the option of carrying the small camera bag on its own.
     
  7. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    For hiking and backpacking I just don't like any pack that I've seen branded specifically for photo. Too uncomfortable, expensive and more of the "Ed Weston type" (nothing more than 500yds from the car is photogenic). Carrying a sling any where but to the coffee shop is painful to contemplate. I have several different sizes of day packs to multi-day packs. I carry my camera up front with a harness to keep it from bouncing around. Everything else goes in back. But then I would never carry a 12-40 more than 500yds from the car either. :) YMMV
     
  8. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Yes, that is something that annoys me to no end as well. Many of them (the Lowepro included) do include waist straps but they are only meant to stabilize the pack and not bear any load on the hips. I'm not sure who decided that no one should bother putting weight on the hips until we hit 35lbs or so - it is a good idea no matter what the weight, even less than 10.

    I've actually found the most useful setup for longer day hikes with a fair bit of m43 gear (body + three zooms) and tripod is actually to use a belt for the photo gear and perhaps water bottles and then a very small day pack for non-photo related items. Using a holster bag for the body plus one lens along with two other lens pouches and horizontally mounting the tripod on a wide belt like backpacks use puts almost all the weight onto the hips while the day pack containing lunch, jacket and whatever is very light and can now also be carried on a single shoulder from time to time to keep the back cool.

    This shows the concept, though I don't have the tripod on in this case. Yeah, you look like a dork but function over form at all times in my book:

    i-bp235dT-L.
     
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  9. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    You should look,at the Panorama line of backpacks. Take a look at this also:
     
  10. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Thanks for that video, showed me some bags I had never heard of and now want to check out. I have way to many bags and still searching for that perfect one.
     
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  11. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    +1 on the Turnstyles. I don't have one, but seriously considered getting a Turnstyle 10 as a travel camera bag. I used a Case Logic DSLR Sling CPL-107 on a trip to Japan. Good for a light kit and it has a waterproof cover, which came in very handy. Will fit the EM1 w/12-40 plus two small lenses or one lens and a flash. Compact and light. Pretty reasonable on http://amzn.com/B009HPC228.

    I was thinking of getting Think Tank's new Trifecta 8 backpack because it would fit my Zuiko 50-200 SWD mounted to my EM1, plus other lenses. That's still up there on my wish list. :)
     
  12. Indianpeaksjoe

    Indianpeaksjoe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    841
    Oct 1, 2012
    Colorado
    I have 3 suggestions for you. The first being my favorite.

    For super quick access to your camera you can't beat the Mindshift Gear Trail Rotation Pack. Their unique way of storing the camera is amazing. This is my favorite camera bag because of how much more I grab the camera when I have it on. I would not ever use another pack, but I got the 40-150 Pro and it is a bit too long for the Trail pack.
    http://robonza.blogspot.com/2015/01/review-mindshift-gear-rotation-180-trail.html This bag has done more for my photography than any other piece of gear I own. Why? Because I take more photos since the camera is so accessible.
    P1230076.
    P3200076.

    Another pack I like and use for day hikes with the OMD & 12-40 plus some other stuff like a water bottle and maybe an extra layer is the Dakine Trail Photo.
    http://robonza.blogspot.com/2015/05/review-dakine-trail-photo.html
    P5140101.
    P6150059.
    And last I carry my camera for 1-2 hour dog walks in a Mountain Smith lumbar pack. http://robonza.blogspot.com/2013/09/review-mountainsmith-tour-tls-lumbar.html . This is my least favorite for a long hike, the waist belt does take a ton of weight off, but it still is all on one shoulder. It's also a nice bag for taking your camera out on the town and not looking like you have a camera bag.
    P9080129.

    Have fun hiking with your camera.

    -Joe
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
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  13. maritan

    maritan Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Oct 30, 2014
    Mindshift Gear Rotation backpacks all the way. Started out with the Panorama, which my wife now uses and I now use the Horizon: http://www.mindshiftgear.com/

    Love them and their versatility.
     
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  14. NoSeconds

    NoSeconds Mu-43 All-Pro

  15. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Hadn't seen the Mindshift Rotation packs before, those are really cool! Doesn't quite fit my shooting style, but looks like a brilliant idea and well executed.
     
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  16. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Very slick. I remember reading about them when ThinkTank launched the company but never really looked at the designs. Basically they are doing what I have been doing, a separable bag within a bag, but much more elegantly. I think I'll try one.
     
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  17. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    $£€¥ :eek:
     
  18. maritan

    maritan Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Oct 30, 2014
    Does that mean they're really f%$&ing expensive? :biggrin: Yes, they are, but they are quality.
     
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  19. derelict

    derelict Mu-43 Regular

    129
    May 5, 2015
    I use a Flipside 200 and love it. The design allows you to easily use the bag as a changing area for your lenses without sitting down. Very useful. uploadfromtaptalk1436101405650.

    Here is my go bag set up. Pentax ZX5 with 135/ 2.8, EM10, 14, 30, 45, kit zoom, filters wallet, spare battery, rocket blower, and a couple of hoods all fit easily inside (and no, the bag is not very heavy at all and fits my 6'3" very comfortably). Nalgene fits in the side pockets and the tripod straps to the outside in a strap/ sling arrangement.
     
  20. jcm5

    jcm5 Mu-43 Veteran

    212
    May 12, 2014
    USA
    Thanks everyone for the input! It was very helpful not to mention all the links you provided so I can get a quick look at some of the bags noted.

    I'm very intrigued by the Mindshift Rotation 180... maybe I'll try to find it on sale somewhere. Thanks again!