Camera + Backpack, together at last
November 12, 2009 10:06 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a backpack to carry my camera?

I have a Nikon D70 with one additional lens. I'm looking for a backpack, not a messenger style bag, that will carry my camera and assorted other things that you'd carry in a day pack while holidaying/touring through Singapore, Vietnam and Japan.

I've looked at Crumpler whose style/design I admire, the issue being that their bags are a touch to big for me and everyday use. I've also looked at the Lowepro Fastpack 200, which I've only seen on the web and don't mind, but kinda screams I have a camera in here (maybe just because I'm really familiar with Lowepro?)

Any reviews on the Lowepro or other suggestions? I'm all ears, or eyes as the case may be.
posted by WayOutWest to Shopping (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have this in the "medium" it seems like its pretty close to what you want, its discreet and compact. In the medium I found the non camera storage compartment to be very small and the bag itself to be compact. I took mine to Laos and Thailand, and packed VERY light and even that it was a tight fit. You might want to go with the large size if you want to use it for travel and the camera. Also check around the web for better prices.
posted by Scientifik at 12:39 AM on November 13, 2009

My Crumpler Sinking Barge has been all over the place with a DSLR kit and frequently also with a Macbook. It's been in torrential rain, dropped, sat on and more without drama. The top compartment can fit a surprising amount of stuff. It works for me.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 1:13 AM on November 13, 2009

I'm not a backpack kind of guy, but several months ago a large NYC camera dealer had a 50% off sale on the Lowe Mini Trekker AW.

After I got mine and realized how well designed it is, I showed it to two other photographer buddies and they both one.

We are all very happy with them.
posted by imjustsaying at 4:00 AM on November 13, 2009

Best answer: Seconding Lowepro backpacks. Well-designed and built to last. If you don't plan to take too much, consider an over the shoulder bag.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:13 AM on November 13, 2009

Many people really swear by the Think Tank bags--though I've never used them myself.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:52 AM on November 13, 2009

Best answer: Not sure where you live, but by far the best thing you can do is go to a well stocked camera store and try out a bunch of bags. Bring everything with you that you'll want on the trip.

People can give you good recommendations about brands, but until you put your hands on the right bag, you won't really know.

Also, think very clearly about what you are going to bring with you before you pick your bag. Are you going with a laptop or not. What are the assorted things you'll be carrying? How many cards? Batteries? Charger? In the bag or in your luggage? Those questions make a difference in choosing a bag.
posted by sully75 at 5:59 AM on November 13, 2009

The NYT just had an article the other day.
posted by JJ86 at 6:24 AM on November 13, 2009

Seconding any recommendations for Crumpler bags. Of all the camera bags I've seen they're the ones that look the least like camera bags. To get into them they generally have to be taken off. All this combines to reduce the threat of theft, and they're also very robust.
posted by vbfg at 8:23 AM on November 13, 2009

I'll vouch for Crumpler as well. This won't be useful for the original poster, but Crumpler's bags sold in the EU are entirely different, and the photo backpacks are what I consider to be normal sized. I picked one up in London to replace my previous Crumpler camera bag which had been done in by a little too much 3rd world grime and sweat.
posted by MillMan at 11:06 AM on November 13, 2009

I came across, in a search for an all-purpose backpack, the Burton Zoom, which looked like the most modular/customizable backpack EVER. You have to see it to believe it. While trying to refind it on the Burton site now, I saw the Aperture which looks boxier but may look less "I have a camera in here".
posted by knile at 5:33 PM on November 13, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks so much for all the responses so far, I'm going to check out the suggestions. Prior to asking this question I'd checked out Crumpler - as much as I love their stuff, their current range of bags isn't doing it for me, the sinking barge is just too large for my small frame.

I won't be carrying a laptop - at least not for the next 5 or so years, so I don't need that option.
posted by WayOutWest at 10:31 PM on November 13, 2009

Tamrac offers two bags that might be of interest: The Adventure 7 and the Speedpack 75.
posted by inviolable at 11:36 PM on November 13, 2009

I have a Kata 3-n-1 20 sling pack. It's technically a sling, but it comes with straps that allow you to use it as a backpack or slingpack. I love it because I can swap into either form very easily, and a sling is very convenient for stowing your camera and taking it out quickly by swinging out your camera, while in backpack form, it's sturdy and comfortable to wear while hiking. There're 3 sizes (10, 20, 30) and I wish I got the 30, only because I seem to be acquiring more and more gear, but the 20 is enough to hold my camera, three lenses and a flash.
posted by liquoredonlife at 5:12 PM on November 15, 2009

Response by poster: The search continues. Over the weekend I tried on the Lowepro Fastpack 200 (linked above in original post). It was a pretty good size, had a small pocket on the side for a water bottle and gave good side access. The cons were that it was not comfortable on my back at all and it didn't have a chest strap.

I also tried the Lowepro Versapack 200. I liked the look of this better, it had more compartments for more stuff - think phone, pens etc. It was a better size. Had a chest strap, and waterproof cover. It was really comfy on my back. The major con was while it was set up for side access, the velco points were wrong and you couldn't really position the camera properly for easy access. Also there was no external water bottle holder.

I've decided I really like the idea of being able to swing the back pack around/to the side and have access to the camera that way.

Again I appreciate all your responses.
posted by WayOutWest at 4:46 PM on November 23, 2009

Response by poster: In the end I went for comfort and got the Lowepro Versapack 200. It did the job while I was OS.
posted by WayOutWest at 6:25 PM on February 28, 2010

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