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Looking for a discreet, non-camera bag looking backpack...suggestions welcome

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by sjducks, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. sjducks

    sjducks Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Apr 29, 2012
    chicago, il
    Hello. I will be doing some traveling soon and am looking for a new backpack that will accommodate my G5 and GX1 with a few lenses, 13" macbook air, and some other miscellaneous items. I currently own a TT Retro7 and an Incase Ari Marcopoulous bag...both of which I love, however neither can fit my laptop.

    Ideally I'm looking for something that doesn't scream "camera bag" and that is pretty subtle in looks. A few that interested me are the Incase DSLR Pro backpack and the Lowepro Transit 350 AW. The check off in the looks department and both hold the camera gear I will be carrying as well as my 13" MBA.

    Anyone with experience with either of these bags or have suggestions for any others to look at? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013
    In Case Designs has backpacks that are inconspicuous and trim. They're not camera specific, but you can add a camera insert available elsewhere. I have an older model that had only one small exterior slash pocket; all other access is from the top. Although safer from prying hands with its limited access, the bag will require stacking in some instances; therefore svelte appearance and top access comes at a price. Conservative and simple. I still use it from time to time when navigating about in New York City.
     
  3. sjducks

    sjducks Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Apr 29, 2012
    chicago, il
    Thanks for the suggestions guys. Still looking for some more. Have a great weekend!
     
  4. sjducks

    sjducks Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Apr 29, 2012
    chicago, il
    Anyone have any experience with the Chrome Niko backpack? Looks a bit rugged/utilitarian...definitely not like a typical camera pack.
     
  5. I use an insulated regular grammar school lunch bag. Holds my EP-2 and several lens with ease. Even carry a sandwhich in the side pocket. I like it because cost = 10 dollars and loocks like a cheap lunch bag which it is.
     
  6. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Get an old military pack :smile:
     
  7. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    Is a 50 yr.old with a school lunch bag conspicuous?:biggrin:
     
  8. BigdaddyT

    BigdaddyT Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Aug 23, 2013
    I'm really liking my think tank retrospective 10. Plenty of room, but If you are wanting larger for the laptop look at the retrospective 30.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  9. A 78 year old with lunch bag. Nope, carry a water bottle in the side expansion pocket. They have rather nice selections, you can even color coordinate if into that. Or if both hungry and a photographer do an OMD Bento lunch.

    Actually works well.
     
  10. TetonTom

    TetonTom Mu-43 Regular

    I got a Burton brand skateboard-style backpack (cool plaid design) on clearance at a sporting goods store for $20. It has a padded sleeve for a laptop, lots of exterior pockets, and the dividers out of my 6Million$Home slid right in. Bonus: the skateboard Velcro straps hold a travel tripod perfectly.
     
  11. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    350
    Dec 8, 2012
    get your typical school kid backpack that doesn't look to hold anything valuable, like a JanSport
    jansport-superbreak-backpack-profile.

    then add a padded camera insert and a padded laptop sleeve
     

    Attached Files:

  12. daveDmax

    daveDmax New to Mu-43

    1
    Aug 24, 2013
    stealth camera bag

    I don't have a suggestion, just a solution that worked for me. I was in NYC and riding the subways. I had a Nikon Ftn with 50mm Nikkor lens. No camera bag.
    I used a good old wrinkled brown paper bag. Camera strap was wrapped around my wrist. It worked for me. One camera may be the limit.
    Circa 1979.
     
  13. Stephen Geis

    Stephen Geis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    538
    May 13, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    This is my favorite backpack.

    Kit: One Year with the GORUCK GR1 « Gear Patrol

    Works perfectly for all types of kits from mu-43 up to medium format carry.

    I did the GORUCK challenge back in February of this year, and then earlier this month I spent 12 hours following 53 friends who did another GORUCK challenge as one of the team's photographers (Shadow Crew). Carried aa E-PL5, an E-PL2 and a Canon A1 along with various FD and native mu-43 lenses throughout the night and the following morning. Likely 20 pounds of gear / film, food in total.

    Here is an example of a photo from the event. Note - the people carrying this ridiculously long log (it took 16 fit, in shape guys to carry it) are also wearing GORUCK GR1's

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/eb5gxC4pEt1PTD1sCGq32dMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"> 64820006. "330" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/StephenAGeis/707BB?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">707 BB</a></td></tr></table>

    Another shot from that event. They look great covered in sand, mud and dirt, if you are so inclined to roll around in that ...

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/s9m9F1dK5CxEiuK_MUN2jtMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"> 64760010. "489" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/StephenAGeis/707BB?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">707 BB</a></td></tr></table>

    That evening and morning, I used two Billingham inserts which kept everything secure (one from a Hadley Pro, and another from a smaller bag). But you can configure with whatever insert you have or want. Better yet, it doubles as an overnight bag when not (or even if) carrying camera equipment.

    This backpack is not cheap. In fact it will set you back more than most. But if you want something tough, comfortable and that will last a lifetime, this is it.

    EXTREMELY comfortable, the bag is nondescript in a serious, no-nonsense kind of way. I will use mine for MANY. MANY years to come.

    You can buy them here - www.GORUCK.com and no, I am not affiliated with the company in any way, just a serious fan of their product.

    P.S.

    Sign-up for a GORUCK challenge and they'll offer you the gear at a discounted price. Its not easy - at all - but worth the experience!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Stephen Geis

    Stephen Geis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    538
    May 13, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    I had to follow-up.

    Normally I make a comment and go on, but since the OP is looking for a bag that can discretely handle gear and be versatile, I wanted to show one configuration of this kit.

    Yesterday I picked up a vintage Nikon F along with four lenses - a 20/3.5, 35/2, 50/1.4 and a 105/2.5 and a Sekonic L-398 light meter. The following photos show this kit along with an E-PL2 an 15/8 body lens cap and a ton of film.

    Exterior
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/cEWr-RojB4eHdVt6CBRZFdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite">https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-mG0BYHw-pjg/UhosSFFPtWI/AAAAAAAAMug/37KjYimSG7A/s800/P1650671.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/StephenAGeis/Gear?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Gear</a></td></tr></table>

    New toys
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/FHu_BR8S9kxGx08teNTxU9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-K6y2jt42U7I/UhosuZJJz5I/AAAAAAAAMuw/USkFkDdKUtc/s800/P1650689.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/StephenAGeis/Gear?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Gear</a></td></tr></table>

    Gear with Billingham Hadley Pro insert
    (E-PL2 laying flat at left, 105, 50 and 20 poking out of bag, F with 35/2 on tip of insert)
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/QzqA8iHObmGexF7WWkkTe9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-m7q5qjSiCOI/UhotWx7Rw-I/AAAAAAAAMvI/BHQkX3h1Hww/s800/P1650680.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/StephenAGeis/Gear?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Gear</a></td></tr></table>

    Camera gear tucked nicely away
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6eOblO-7VJscsa1TPXu8atMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-AVyA9LduTgU/Uhotx9zg8GI/AAAAAAAAMvY/aNLrrprKeyY/s800/P1650692.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/StephenAGeis/Gear?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Gear</a></td></tr></table>

    Room for loafers, jeans, socks, Dopp kit, shirt, cotton sweater in addition to te kit described and illustrated above.
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/fIbJKklnE3gL5zP2dHn3kdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2I4zv-e5BH0/UhovcsxOslI/AAAAAAAAMvs/gNVmNQe-sL8/s800/P1650702.JPG" height="800" width="600" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/StephenAGeis/Gear?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Gear</a></td></tr></table>

    Packing it in
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/BCsRKv9me2XUo-VY7ryT_tMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-0oUUAksezxA/UhovqUvR9cI/AAAAAAAAMv0/sWp_uocssmg/s800/P1650704.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/StephenAGeis/Gear?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Gear</a></td></tr></table>

    Ready to head out
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/SCDC02U9cjNt171PTA2-mdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-GEdCGM5CfcU/Uhot-OKNDHI/AAAAAAAAMvg/6LZDgmFysg8/s800/P1650701.JPG" height="800" width="600" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/StephenAGeis/Gear?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Gear</a></td></tr></table>

    And yes - there is a separate padded, zippered compartment between the main compartment and the back that can accommodate a full sized laptop.

    These were designed by ex-special forces soldiers to be used either in combat or for civilian uses. They are incredibly comfortable and built to last.

    Again - no affiliation with the company - I just really appreciate the great design, and think this is in line with what the OP sought.
     
  15. sjducks

    sjducks Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Apr 29, 2012
    chicago, il
    Update...

    I ended up buying an Incase DSLR Pro backpack. I had a 20% off code and it was too good of a deal to pass up for such a simple but stylish looking travel/photo backpack. Overall I am very happy with this purchase.

    It is a larger pack, but for traveling with everything that I would want to carry it is perfect. Simple good looks. I ended up putting the rain cover for my Incase Ari shoulder bag on it and although its a bit snug, it provides some rain protection that this bag would not have otherwise.

    Stephen G: I love the GR1 and will be buying one as a daily use backpack at some point.