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Looking for a good hiking/camera bag that isn't too big

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by dmcgrew, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. dmcgrew

    dmcgrew Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 1, 2016
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I am looking for a hiking/travel/do it all camera bag that can fit about 5 lenses and an EM1.2. I love the Lowepro Photo Sport but the camera compartment is very small. I love the fact that it can hold a hydration reservoir. I also looked at the Mindshift Gear BackLight 26L but it looks like the camera compartment is a lot taller than my lenses.. just seems like they'd flop around a lot in there.. but I could be wrong. I currently have the Lowepro Hatchback 150.. the height of the camera compartment is perfect.. but I'm just out of room now.

    In a nutshell here's what I want..
    • Has to hold my EM1.2 and 5 lenses (25mm, 45mm, 40-150mm, Rokinon 7.5mm, 9-18mm)
    • Would be nice to have a compartment for a hydration reservoir
    • Need some straps on the outside to carry a tripod
    • Need room for a light jacket, food, other small misc things.
    • Don't want the camera compartment to be so tall that its basically triple the height of my lenses.. most of my lenses are very small.
  2. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    With all that gear I suggest something like this....

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    • Funny Funny x 20
  3. dmcgrew

    dmcgrew Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 1, 2016
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Its not that much.. the lenses are tiny. A bag about the same size as either of the Lowepro Photo Sports would work.. but the camera compartments are too small with not enough dividers.
  4. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Look at Fstop bags......................I love the two that I have.
  5. Why not a Tenba BYOB insert to your favourite backpack or bag?
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Y2K

    Y2K Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    I use Kata DR-467i backpack to carry very similar kit and have traveled with it for a few years now and have done plenty of hiking with it. It has a space for a laptop or tablet as well that could be used for other things if needed.
  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Use inserts or neoprene foam bags in a tactical type pack. This approach gives you literally hundreds of options. These guys have a good assortment: Backpacks I have an inexpensive 3-section Condor pack from them, now apparently discontinued, that has a large number of interior mesh pockets that are perfect for bagged lenses and bodies. Look for something like that. Maybe call LAPG and ask.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    For real walking either an insert or lens pouches I think are best. Most camera packs are good for light walking only where you do not need much other gear. There are exceptions but they are very expensive.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  9. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
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    I have a high quality 30L hiking pack and just throw my gear in it. Plenty of protection without adding extra weight and bulk. But I would never even consider carrying as much gear as you list. One body and an extra tiny lens. Obviously YMMV.
  10. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Have you considered the Hatchback 250?

    • Like Like x 1
  11. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    You might consider the Mindshift Gear PhotoCross 10 - it is a sling bag but very comfortable. I just used it over the course of ten days and it fit the needs well.

    It can easily hold of your lenses, has straps for a tripod and then could add another set up straps for a jacket or the like or use some elastic cord to go though the another set of strap mounts.

    It is not design for a hydration bladder but will easily hold a large water bottle and I had room for some packaged food.

    More at Looking for a good hiking/camera bag that isn't too big
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    I love my DR-467 which I use as a daily commuter bag. The lower camera portion should fit the kit described by the OP and the laptop section would certainly accomodate a 2L hydration reservoir (obviously without the laptop). That said, I wouldn't really consider it a good option for hiking due to the lack of a padded belt.

    My personal choice would be a good general purpose backpack either with or without inserts as suggested by @BosseBe@BosseBe , @oldracer@oldracer , @retiredfromlife@retiredfromlife and @PacNWMike@PacNWMike . Unfortunately, there just don't seem to be a lot of bags on the market built for photo equipment AND hydration packs.
  13. Y2K

    Y2K Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Well, I can tell you that I hiked for days with my DR-467 in Iceland and I went there 2 years in a row. It didn't bother me at all that it didn't have a padded belt, so I am not sure if it is an issue - but it may bother some, sure. I have several bags (too many to be honest) but for travel/hiking that's the only one I go with. As others mentioned though - getting a good backpack and camera insert for it is a great option as well. After all, that's all that DR-467 is really.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    I don’t have one but saw this review recently.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Another option you might consider is Mindshift packs. I don't have any personal experience with them, but I've been impressed with the quality of ThinkTank products (their sister brand). Their "Rotation 180º" line with the belt pack which can be rotated to the front looks interesting. Has anyone used one of these?
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Schwert

    Schwert Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 2, 2016
    Pacific NW
    I have found the Mindshift Horizon to be a near perfect backpack for day walks. Enough room for basic needs and the rotation beltpack ideally designed for getting to my lenses. I carry my 7.5, 40-150, and 300mm in the beltpack, with my EM1 and 12-40 carried on a thinktank backpack harness strap or mounted on my tripod carried extended on my shoulder. I can easily exchange lenses quickly and efficiently.

    Camera does not ever carry in beltpack with this lens setup though.
    • Like Like x 3
  17. Indianpeaksjoe

    Indianpeaksjoe Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2012
    The MindShift Horizon would hold everything you want, allow you very quick access to the camera and work well for hiking. Although you may want to look at the MindShift ultralight series as well.
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    Personally I have used a MindShift Trail Rotation 180 almost daily for 4 or 5 years now. It is simply an amazing pack. The quick access to the camera is a game changer for me.

    But sometimes I use a regular pack if it is going to be technical or super high intensity and then I use the MindShift multimount holster.

    • Like Like x 1
  18. hias

    hias Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 6, 2016
    Just camera packs here, I'd focus on hiking and use a insert. Most hiking dedicated packs are much more comfortable than any camera pack. I usually use this: ACT Trail 36 EL - Hiking - Deuter and a small F-Stop insert, access from the top and from the front, more than enough room for bladder/drinks, clothes, food, etc.

    I also have a F-Stop Ajna, which is fantastic, but still, the Deuter is much more comfortable to carry around the whole day.

    Just go to an Outdoor store and check what fit's you best.
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  19. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    If you are doing serious hikes where the comfort of the bag is important I would suggest getting a really good comfortable back pack and doing as others have mentioned; an insert or pouches. My reasoning being that ideally you want the bag to cause as little physical stress as possible, Im not sure if any camera bag will meet this criteria and should you get a bag that fits your frame?
    • Agree Agree x 2
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