Good laptop and camera backpack for carry-on?
June 22, 2008 11:43 PM   Subscribe

I need to get a backpack that fits a 17" MacBook Pro (with neoprene sleeve on), as well as some sort of separate (i.e. removable and wearable) camera shoulder bag, holding itself a canon 40D and a few lenses. Oh, and it has to get through airport security as carry-on luggage, obviously...

My favorites, which I've tested, are the STM Large Rogue, STM Loop and some Crumpler bags with weird names. The STM bags seems to have a too small compartment to cram down a separate camera bag, though. And I've yet to find a Crumpler bag with an inner compartment large enough. The camera bags I've looked at are the Tamrac Explorer 2 and Express 7, and the Canon 2400 gadget bag.

And yes, I've been looking at the Tamrac Adventure 9 and the Lowepro Compurover, which are laptop-bags with a special compartment for the camera. But I really don't want to waste all that space when I don't need luggin my camera around.
posted by avocade to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've got a crumpler shoulder bag, but the laptop compartment isn't big enough for a 17" macbook. However, the thing I like with the crumpler is that the camera divider section can be removed making it into a normal shoulder bag. I'd keep looking at Crumpler if I were you, they have a lot of random models and you might find something that fits.
posted by MrC at 12:28 AM on June 23, 2008

The camera portion isn't removable but I just got the lowepro fastback 350 (,2087.htm) and adore it. The laptop pocket is so unobtrusive so as to be almost invisible. It also does duty as a place to put documents - that might sound awfully well duh but none of our other camera bags had a good way to put papers in them without folding and crumpling.

I don't know for sure it'll make it through security and into a carryon until next week, but have no expectations that it won't.

In the camera pocket, I can get the 40d (what a great camera) in there with the attached 70-200 (hood off). If I do that, there's also room for my 10-22, my 24-70, and my 50mm. That'd leave me room for a battery charger and maybe a few cleaning things.

In addition to the camera pocket, there's a good sized pocket where I can put daypack stuff - it looks like it's going to be exactly the right size.

The divider between the upper daypack pocket and the lower camera pocket isn't removable but of course the foam inserts in the lower pocket are so that you can just use it as a regular backpack if you like.

The bag balances the weight out beautifully. My husband has the lowepro slingshot and I hate carrying it - the same gear weighs a ton in his bag and hardly weighs anything in mine.

Right now it *feels* big for me, but I measured it compared to some other traditional backpacks and it's about the same size. The foam padding makes it stiffer than a regular book bag and so you're more aware of it. I think once it breaks in a little, it'll feel less stiff. I'm also not yet sure that I like the waist band but ask me again after a day long hike. It really does spread out the weight.

Bonus, it's the only backpack I know of that you can get into without setting on the ground.
posted by arabelladragon at 4:49 AM on June 23, 2008

I bought this cheap ($40) Dakine bag when I was last in Miami, brilliant little bag. Not designed specifically for camera, but then it doesn't have the look of a 'HEY, IM CARRYING 4 GRAND WORTH OF EQUIPMENT'.

Cool feature for the laptop is that the storage access is a totally separate compartment (own zip etc) thats hidden against your back, so it's so quick to get it in and out, even if the bag is crammed. Fits my big Thinkpad with extra-life battery, so would imagine it would fit a Apple. It's actually designed to store your wetsuit in it, so is water-proof/resistant (never tested) which is a bonus.

Main compartment is big enough to fit my 40D with 17-55mm lens, which I keep in a Canon carry holster. It also fits my 70-200mm lens which is kept in a Lowepro LC3. I also have a smaller Lowepro to keep the 55mm lens in when it's not on.

Having all your equipment separately packaged has always made sense to me. I can just pull out the holster for shoulder usage, and clip the lowepros to my belt or to the holster itself if need be.
posted by Static Vagabond at 6:16 AM on June 23, 2008

I should point out that doesn't fully fill the bag, if you send me some more nice lenses and a 580EX II flash, I'll let you know how nicely it fits in :)
posted by Static Vagabond at 6:20 AM on June 23, 2008

You might want to look at the backpacks and bags offered by Tenba They have the shooter and the professional in mind. The bags are discrete enough to not yell, "I've got too much money, here."
posted by jadepearl at 6:49 AM on June 23, 2008

It definitely looks like a bag that might contain a $3000 laptop and nice set of camera equipment, but you may want to look at the Brenthaven 15/17" laptop backpack:
posted by thewalrus at 8:40 AM on June 23, 2008

Think Tank Photo - Urban Disguise 60

This will hold more gear than you ever imagined, and a 17” laptop! (Check dimensions for exact size of the compartment). It is very similar to the Urban Disguise 30 except it is designed to hold a 17” laptop. The front compartment will hold a wide angle with a hood attached, a 24-70 2.8 with the hood, a 70 -200 2.8 with the hood reversed, AND two pro-size SLR’s in the expandable front pockets (without the lenses attached). A regular size SLR with a lens attached can also be put straight down inside of the bag. Strobes fit into the side stretch pockets, as well.
posted by junesix at 8:44 AM on June 23, 2008

I was looking for something exactly like you describe earlier this year - I needed a bag that could hold my dSLR and some lenses with a MacBook Pro while flying, and I didn't want it to be a some huge bulky backpack that I would only use under those specific circumstances.

While I ultimately didn't end up needing the bag anyway (didn't fly with my dSLR), I came to the conclusion that my best option would be essentially make my own bag. I planned to find a bag I liked that would fit the MacBook, then add additional padding / inserts for the camera equipment that would be removable. Something like a Shootsac or some Domke padded inserts.

Hope that helps.
posted by geeky at 9:55 AM on June 23, 2008

« Older What are these maternity doctors and nurses...   |   How does an adult develop rhythm? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.