1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Need advice on a back pack

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by will_f, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. will_f

    will_f Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 2, 2013

    I'm about to embark on a walking tour of Scotland and I need a camera pack suitable for carrying the following for 8-10 hrs a day:

    Oly EP5
    M.zuiko 12-40 f2.8 (I think that's the range)
    M.zuiko 9-18 f4-5.6
    M.zuiko 40-150

    Light fleece jacket
    Rain jacket

    Any recommendations?

  2. Kaiser

    Kaiser Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 27, 2014
    I use an F-Stop Loka backpack- both for general travelling, plane hopping and for hiking (1-3 day hikes).
    I dont use an internal camera storage unit (ICU), I simply have loose lens wrapped in some clothing while in transit. If I need to have the pack while taking photos I have the camera on a neck strap and spare lenses can go in a pants pocket or the side pouches. It has an internal frame and a proper hip belt to disperse weight evenly. My last hike I only travelled with a Fuji X100s, GoPro 3, filters and tripod- along with two sets of clothing, wet weather gear, food and water. Before that I used it with a D700 and 4 lenses.

    It is slightly heavier than just a hiking specific pack which is what Id get if I was t start over. i never check my bag on flights, always carry on, so I need to minimise as much weight as possible- this also makes my holidays and hikes mich more enjoyable with the reduced weight.

    For what you describe it sounds like you're wanting more of a day pack, in which case you could get away with something smaller than the Loka. For 8-10hrs of carry and lots of walking Id stick with a backpack as opposed to a shoulder style bag. Get one with a raincover too ;) 
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Dewi

    Dewi Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2014
    Lancashire, England
    I always use backpacks for toting my camera gear but I think they're quite a personal thing, what is comfortable for one person may be grossly uncomfortable for another so you really need to go try some for size. Personally, I rarely use a dedicated camera bag or rucksack, mainly for two reasons. Firstly I don't like to advertise the fact that I'm carrying camera gear in it, and secondly I've never found an affordable dedicated camera backpack yet. I'd go the local outdoor shops and try out several backpacks for size and comfort etc, far more choice and a lot cheaper. My present Berghaus is a good few years old now but still going strong, I used a few compartment dividers from an old camera bag to section off the inside, it works well and is all day comfy - but looking a bit tatty now.

    It's actually a bit large for my M4/3 kit as it was bought to house my Canon DSLR gear, so I'm using a smaller plan black Tamrac rucksack which is a few years old for our road trip when we go next week. It's quite a good little bag for a dedicated camera one but I wouldn't want to walk miles with it.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    I use the LowePro Flipside Sport 10L AW. I have used this for many 8+ hour days on foot or on a bike. I usually take my EP-5 with view finder, the 12-35 lens, the 75,, the 40-150, and some other prime. Leaves room for a little food and some thing else. It has room to tie things to the outside like a tripod or umbrella.

    Zippers are up against your back to avoid pick pockets. I undo the shoulder strap, and leave the waist strap and bring it around to my front side and it opens up to reveal the gear. Its a nice idea and I have learned to use it walking or on my bike.

    My description is poor. Better to check it out for yourself on the website.

    Also includes a pull out weather cover in case it rains or gets misty. Overall a great backpack for cameras. They can be found larger too. I have the 10L AW.

    • Like Like x 1
  5. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    That camera kit will fit into something quite small, such as the Think Tank Hubba Hubba Hiney. That in turn can be carried as a shoulder bag, on a belt, or inside a non-photo backpack.

    If you need a pack for your gear and want easy access to the camera and lenses without going into it:
    - carry something like the HHH as a shoulder bag or on your belt
    - put the camera in a holster on your belt, lenses in a small pouch
    - if the walking is on easy terrain or pavement, consider something like the Capture Clip or Sider Black Widow
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I'd go for a good mountain backpack, with a air-mesh on the back and a couple of big side/front/top pockets to store the camera stuff for easy access. The camera and those three lenses are small, and could fit anywhere. I'd use some small neoprene lens cases to wrap the lenses individually.

    I expect that you are going to keep the camera with one lens outside the backpack all day long. So you'll need a comfortable camera strap, maybe a sling one or something like this:


    something small enough to be placed inside the backpack when rains comes.

    A spare battery could help.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. greenboy

    greenboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    1) standard daypack or hydration daypack
    2) some kind of a frontpack/holster for the camera stuff so you can instantly shoot, swap lenses without removing anything, etc.

    For cycling (manual or motor), skiing, hiking, etc this really works out great, and for backpacking, it sure distributes the weight better for comfort
    • Like Like x 1
  8. greenboy

    greenboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    the Lowe Toploader series is one example that opens the top in the right direction to easily use and do lense swaps, and has a chest harness available (or the pack can be adapted to hook into a daypack's straps:

    • Like Like x 1
  9. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    For a kit that small, I'd probably go with a camera insert like the smaller Crumpler Haven or Timbuk2 Snoop and get a comfortable and light hiking/mountain/daypack instead of a camera backpack. Or even go with neoprene lens pouches instead. If you're hiking 8-10 hours a day, comfort is key and you're probably best off trying various backpacks at your local camping/hiking/sports store first and then finding a camera insert or pouch solution to fit the bag.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I've discovered that camera backpacks seem to be a compromise over hiking and lightweight backpacks in terms of a design that is ideal for carrying items on your back. Furthermore, a backpack makes it difficult to access equipment. It forces you to stop. Remove the backpack each time you want to switch lenses or access something.

    What has worked for me, is a small shoulderbag that has been packed into a backpack. It gives you the option of leaving the shoulder back inside or take it out and throw it over the shoulder when I arrive at photo-ops. Others I have seen prefer to use a very simple 1 camera 1 lens held in a holster case attached to the chest or waist.

    When I was in college, I would wrap my camera in a towel and pack it towards the top of the frame. That worked too.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    • Like Like x 1
  12. greenboy

    greenboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I hike and cycle a lot with camera. Even if you discount wildlife opportunities where a couple seconds can make the difference between getting the shot or not, I find that having it right in front of me but not swinging on a strap -- instead of in back -- makes it a lot more likely that i will really shoot a lot without disrupting the flow of the hike or trip. There have been many times I am still moving as I get the camera ready...

    Under normal conditions you don't even need to use a clasp or zipper to access the camera and at least a couple lenses.

    I think the meme of ready access is coming over from photojournalism and backpacking and flyfishing for that matter.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


    • Like Like x 1
  13. greenboy

    greenboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    The other advantage to the camera front/chestpack is it allows you to use it alone -- or with whatever daypack or backpack you want. Lately I've preferred hydration daypacks that have easy carry netting and bungee arrangements for easy shedding or donning of a layer, and if you don't want to use the bladder you can always use them for a insulated water bottle or whatever. you can get by with a very small daypack then, with a nice breathable back, and expand the system to suit. Both of mine were really cheap and even have easy ways to attach tripods if your style of photography benefits from one.

    The extensibility and weight distribution are very nice, making balance on goat trails or skiis better, and your back will like that too.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Natureman

    Natureman Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 3, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  15. will_f

    will_f Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 2, 2013
    Thanks for all the great responses guys. Taking your input I checked out what was available at REI and Best Buy. I found a couple that would work (the best was a Lowepro at Best Buy). I almost bought it (it was on sale) but accessing the camera was a pain.

    I then googled I think "camera backpack" and found this:


    I couldn't find a bad review and it solved the problem of how to provide weather protection and access the camera without taking off the pack. I ordered the smaller one because (a) the big one is WAY outside my budget, and (b) the small one at 22L was about the size of the ones would work. I'll Post a review when it arrives. .

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  16. will_f

    will_f Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 2, 2013
    Re shoulder bag: I figured that wouldn't work after a 2-1/2 hr hike had my shoulder aching. For short distances a shoulder bag works pretty well for me. More than that sucks.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  17. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 17, 2012
    You'll like the panaroma 180, I was just about to suggest it.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. will_f

    will_f Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 2, 2013
    I liked the flip sides, but they seemed to work best as a dedicated camera bag. No separate compartment for food, water, etc. I've got a Lowepro slingshot I use for short walks that works fantastically for the amount of gear I usually carry.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  19. will_f

    will_f Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 2, 2013
    Thought about a small mountaineering day pack which would work well from a comfort standpoint, but the problem with where I'm going is that it tends to rain a slow drizzle heavy mist all day long. It's the kind of weather where you can pull a camera out and take a couple shots, but you don't want to have your non weather sealed camera out all day.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  20. will_f

    will_f Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 2, 2013
    Excellent advice re access. I've found that if you're camera is hard to get to, you're likely to stand there debating whether it's worth it to take your camera out while the shot flies away.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
    • Like Like x 1
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.