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Songyun
11-May-2008, 17:50
Sorry, another backpack question.
Since my 8X10 arrived, I am in the market for a new backpack. Here is what I want,
1. good suspension. (I really like the suspension on osprey atmos 35, but the inside is not flat, it works good with my 4X5 system, but may not work well with my 8X10)
2. front zip. (That will probably cross out a lot of good backpacks, also I have to cross out kelty 3100, coz it doesn't fit my back very well. I have a granite nimbus, I think it is a little bit narrow for 8X10)
My local outdoor stores doesn't have many backpacks.

My project is to have a custom made tray directly fit the backpack.

Ron Marshall
11-May-2008, 20:43
Try an outfitter such as REI, see if you can find a Kelty 4750, which is what I have. The 3100 didn't fit me either. Also, the 4750 has a better suspension than the 3100. It is also a better size for an 8x10.

Songyun
11-May-2008, 21:00
Try an outfitter such as REI, see if you can find a Kelty 4750, which is what I have. The 3100 didn't fit me either. Also, the 4750 has a better suspension than the 3100. It is also a better size for an 8x10.
No REI local store.:(
All I have is two local outdoor stores, one of them is more of trailer/RV kind of store. The other one has a few Osprey Gregory backpacks.
I will go to Dick sports to see if they carry 4750.

Ron Marshall
11-May-2008, 21:09
REI allows returns and their shipping is $9.99, so if other options fail.

The closest REI to you is in Ann Arbour, 150 mi.

BarryS
11-May-2008, 21:59
Backpacks are highly personal--you *have* to try them out. Get in the car and haul off to Ann Arbor because REI rules. Plan B--go to the Denver REI because it's one of the flagship stores, get your pack, and do some shooting in the high desert of western CO for a few days. Cars rent cheap in Denver and it's worth the ticket.

Songyun
11-May-2008, 22:34
Backpacks are highly personal--you *have* to try them out. Get in the car and haul off the Ann Arbor because REI rules. Plan B--go to the Denver REI because it's one of the flagship stores, get your pack, and do some shooting in the high desert of western CO for a few days. Cars rent cheap in Denver and it's worth the ticket.
I am moving to NJ next month, I wouldn't be able to go anywhere now, as I have to finish up final draft of my dissertation.

BarryS
11-May-2008, 22:38
Ahhh, in that case, just wait till you get to NJ and get the pack there. You should be writing, not shooting. You can take the Cham out every so often and fondle it. :)

Songyun
11-May-2008, 22:40
Ahhh, in that case, just wait till you get to NJ and get the pack there. You should be writing, not shooting. You can take the Cham out every so often and fondle it. :)
I shot 4 sheets 8X10 yesterday. :)

Vaughn
11-May-2008, 22:53
I have the MEI Trekker II

http://www.meipacks.com/TravelPacks01.html

I find it very comfortable and works great for 8x10. The detachable daypack holds 5 8x10 film holders. The pack in a panel-loader. You would be able to design an insert to fit right in (I used closed cell foam to make it a camera pack.)

The next size up (China Clipper) is used by an 11x14 camera owner.

vaughn

This should be a photo of my pack opened with 8x10 gear

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7964&d=1197389961

And closed -- with attached daypack

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7963&d=1197389905

Songyun
12-May-2008, 09:21
I have the MEI Trekker II

http://www.meipacks.com/TravelPacks01.html

I find it very comfortable and works great for 8x10. The detachable daypack holds 5 8x10 film holders. The pack in a panel-loader. You would be able to design an insert to fit right in (I used closed cell foam to make it a camera pack.)

The next size up (China Clipper) is used by an 11x14 camera owner.

vaughn

This should be a photo of my pack opened with 8x10 gear

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7964&d=1197389961

And closed -- with attached daypack

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7963&d=1197389905

Are the Trekker packs padded or not?

Jorge Gasteazoro
12-May-2008, 11:05
Have you talked to Bruce at photobackpaker? I am sure he can accomodate you and find you the right backpack and fit. I really like what he did for me, the system is great.

Vaughn
12-May-2008, 12:29
Are the Trekker packs padded or not?

Not the inside. The inside is just one big compartment, with the zipper going down to within two inches of the bottom of the pack (so everything is easily accessible.) The padding one sees in the photo was all added by me.

Where the camera is kept, I have two layers of closed cell foam against the the back of the pack -- inbetween these two layers is a stiff layer of paper board -- about the thickness of 8-ply matboard. Its purpose is to keep sharp pointy things from applying uneven pressure against the GG of the camera when I lay the pack down. (the suspension padding and padded shoulder staps also help pad the equipment when the pack is laid down on its back.) Notice I put the camera in with the GG towards the back of the pack.

I have one layer of the same foam that goes all around the sides and top (inside) of the pack as well as another layer that forms sort of a tray around the camera...then an extra layer on the bottom of the pack for extra padding for when I set the pack down.

The extra piece of foam seen next to the pack goes on top of the camera (actually the bottom of the camera where the tripod connects). It pads the holders in the daypack that otherwise would be againt the camera with only the packcloth for padding. I can toss in two or three more holders inside, too. The extra piece of padding also serves as a padded waterproof place to set equipment on on-site...or for me to sit on on wet ground, on snow, or on rough rocks.

Probably as clear as mud, but the photo of the pack should help!:eek:

Vaughn

PS...I have been very happy with this set-up. I occasionally have lower back problens and find that once stapped in to my pack, the hip suspension actually helps my lower back and keeps it from hurting.

PS #2 I have had this pack for 10 years or so...one trip by plane and 100's of miles by foot -- a lot of those miles off-trail. It has held up very well (no repairs needed). I do not know what improvement/changes the company may have made since I bought mine. Hopefully they have improved the buckle for the hip belt -- that does loosen up while hiking and I have to re-tighten it as I go.

Songyun
12-May-2008, 15:41
Have you talked to Bruce at photobackpaker? I am sure he can accomodate you and find you the right backpack and fit. I really like what he did for me, the system is great.

I did, The kelty 3100 backpack doesn't fit my back very well. I might check these MEI packs out.
Thanks everyone! :)

Vaughn
12-May-2008, 18:03
I did, The kelty 3100 backpack doesn't fit my back very well. I might check these MEI packs out.
Thanks everyone! :)

I bought my MEI at a local camping/sporting goods store -- I have no idea how well they are distributed across the country. Good luck!

Vaughn

Songyun
12-May-2008, 22:21
I bought my MEI at a local camping/sporting goods store -- I have no idea how well they are distributed across the country. Good luck!

Vaughn

Vaughn,
After spending some time reading all the information I gathered about this pack, I think this is exactly what I need, as long as the suspension fits me well. I will probably call them to find out the nearest local store in OH or NJ (moving there next month) that has their packs.
Songyun

P.S. How about Voyageur vs Trekker? It looks like Trekker is Voyageur+ daypack + side pocket, am I right?

Vaughn
12-May-2008, 23:41
Vaughn,
After spending some time reading all the information I gathered about this pack, I think this is exactly what I need, as long as the suspension fits me well. I will probably call them to find out the nearest local store in OH or NJ (moving there next month) that has their packs.
Songyun

P.S. How about Voyageur vs Trekker? It looks like Trekker is Voyageur+ daypack + side pocket, am I right?

You might be right -- it looks like the Voyageur has some sort of shallow front pocket.

The daypack of the Trekker is what makes the pack so handy -- being able to fit 5 to 6 (six is a tight fit) 8x10 holders, plus another pocket for odds and ends, is great. I do not use the side pockets very often, but on all day hikes away from the car one can stash a bunch of food, a water bottle and a water filter easily in them. The side pockets are permanently attached, but disappear into their own zippered flaps when not in use.

I am 6'4" (well, now 6'3" with age), and the Trekker II fits me fine -- it is 3" longer than the Trekker I and the Voyager. Space-wise I could get away with the Trekker I, though I might have to leave a lens behind. I carry the Zone VI 8x10, 4 to 5 lenses (some are pretty small), spot meter and darkcloth in it...and still have room for 3 more 8x10 holders in the main compartment (plus the 5 in the attached daypack). And if I am returning from a all-day photographing adventure and am out of film or it has gotten dark on me, I will also put my Ries A250 tripod head in the pack rather than carry it on the pod.

Vaughn

Photobackpacker
14-May-2008, 07:28
I did, The kelty 3100 backpack doesn't fit my back very well. I might check these MEI packs out.
Thanks everyone! :)

Hi Songyun:

I just want to insert a point of clarification. I no longer sell the 3100.

I have 2 new packs built to my design by Kelty. They have been built to to accommodate everything from 4X5 to 8X10. I think you may find the P2 to be what you are looking for. It features Kelty's top-of-the line suspension.

Bruce

Songyun
14-May-2008, 17:38
Hi Songyun:

I just want to insert a point of clarification. I no longer sell the 3100.

I have 2 new packs built to my design by Kelty. They have been built to to accommodate everything from 4X5 to 8X10. I think you may find the P2 to be what you are looking for. It features Kelty's top-of-the line suspension.

Bruce

Thanks, Bruce. Can you tell me which Kelty pack is using this kind of suspension? I just want to try it out at local store. :)

srbphoto
15-May-2008, 10:11
A couple of tips:

Go to a shop that will size you (if you want to see a video on the proper sizing of a backpack check out Backpacker magazine's website). Also the person helping should be able to get all the adjustments set up for you. There is a REI in Marlton NJ, also Eastern Mountain Sports might be near you.

If you can, bring your camera equipment! The sand bags are ok but putting your stuff (especially when it is something strange like an 8x10:D ) will allow you to truly know how it fits and distibutes the weight.

Osprey does make the Atmos in a 50. Remember they are designed to be lightweight, very breathable packs. The sacrifice is in the suspension. If you want something with a nicer suspension and waistbelt (that is moldable to you) try the Aether. The drawback is the smallest is a 60.

I just switched out my Lowepro Photo Trekker for the Osprey Stratos 40. For long trips I use my regular, fullsize pack. Of course, I shoot with a small camera (4x5):)

I am a big fan of Osprey's packs.

It sounds like Photobackpacker may have something nice.

Good luck

Scott

Vaughn
15-May-2008, 12:47
Bruce, if my MEI ever dies, I will definitely look into your new line of Keltys. They look great at a great price. But I have feeling that by the time it does die, I'll probably be more likely be looking for a used baby-jogger sort of thing!

Vaughn

Jimmy Peguet
15-May-2008, 13:12
I received two weeks ago a new P2 from Bruce at Photobackpacker to replace my 8x10" F64 bag. I can only compare it to the F64 and to a Mountainsmith used to carry a 7x17". I have used the F64 for several years, it was well crafted, but I was often tired at the end of the day. The MS was nice, it was my first ergonomic backpack. The Photobackpacker is wonderful. It took some time to fine tune the harness and to set it to my torso, but once done, it's incredibly comfortable, I almost forget the backpack - not too heavily loaded - on my first short hikings, 3-4 miles. I had never used something like that before, I'm really impressed. Camera, lenses, small stuff are well protected in the closed cases.

I have to say that Bruce has been very helpful : first for the choice of the bag and cases and two to help to set the bag (actually it was easier than I thought first, it took just a day and many trials :-)) I thought his system was good but I was not sure that it would be a good thing to buy a backpack overseas without trying it on my back. No problem, it's the best bag I've ever used.

Photobackpacker
20-May-2008, 18:11
Thanks, Bruce. Can you tell me which Kelty pack is using this kind of suspension? I just want to try it out at local store. :)

Sorry for the delay, the Coyote also uses the CloudLock suspension.

Photobackpacker
20-May-2008, 18:13
Bruce, if my MEI ever dies, I will definitely look into your new line of Keltys. They look great at a great price. But I have feeling that by the time it does die, I'll probably be more likely be looking for a used baby-jogger sort of thing!

Vaughn

I also do baby joggers ;)