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Thread: a bigger backpack

  1. #1
    grumpy & miserable Joseph O'Neil's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    a bigger backpack

    For about 7- 8 years I have been using a Lowepro classic trekker backpack. Here's a link to the new version, which is the same size as what i have:

    http://www.lowepro.com/Products/Back...r_Classic.aspx

    Well with the addition of a new 90mm lens i just bought, my backpack is a wee bit too small now. I carry my 4x5 Tachihara, about 6 lenses, spot meter, loupe, about 6 film plates and a variety of filters, and a couple first aid items (like band aids and iodine).

    A lot of photo stores in the local area have Lowepro backpacks, bigger ones, but man - they are huge! Alomost too big, and most of the larger ones I see around here have these waterproof zippers that probally do a good job, but man, what a PITA to open and close.

    What do people suggest, if anything, that is a step larger than the Lowepro I have now? I would be happy to look at other brands, but around here, there are no other photo backpacks in stock.

    Here's another question - those padded dividers you see inside camera cases and photo backpacks - can you buy those seperately? One store near me has some excellent hiking backpacks in stock, and I could adapt one of those to use if I had the padded divider I think.

    That's another problem I find - buying backpacks is a bit like buying a pair of shoes - you almost have to try one on to see if it is comfortable or not. That's what I found with the larger Lowepro backpacks, just too larger, too much for me

    thanks
    joe
    eta gosha maaba, aaniish gaa zhiwebiziyin ?

  2. #2

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    Re: a bigger backpack

    When I get my act together I'm going down to MEC to grab one of

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1175106165765

    Those. It's not a "photo" back but then that's okay with me. They also have the bigger Gregory which might be too big.

    If you aren't a MEC member you need to buy a membership. $5 lifetime?

  3. #3

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    Mar 2007
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    100

    Re: a bigger backpack

    hello Joseph, you might want to look into www.photobackpacker.com, they are excellent and have different sizes to fit your needs plus the padded compartments for your multiple lenses, they have individual and multi-compartmented, plus it will be lighter than any of the other photo pack on the market as they are modified Kelty packs. I just got mine in for 8x10 and its great! Plus I know this probably doesn't mean much to some but it did for me, when I opened the box there was a hand written thank you from the owner thanking me for my purchase. Now thats customer relations!
    Just my 2-cents
    Phillip

  4. #4

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    Re: a bigger backpack

    Nick,

    That looks to be a top-loader. I used a top-loader for my 4x5 and 5x7 and it worked fine -- the camera was on the bottom and I had to empty the pack to photograph. I only had one lens and a minimum of stuff that were in two small stuff-sacks.

    But since then, I have found a pack for my 8x10 with a front panel that zips off to be much easier all around. I don't have to find a dry piece of ground to set everything on, etc. I cut a piece of closed-cell foam (backpacking sleeping pad) that goes over the equipment before I zip the pack up -- I use it to set equipment on instead of the ground, and use it to sit on while waiting for the light (instead of trying to sit on snow or rough rocks!)

    Joe, the pack I got is not a "photo" pack -- I made my own dividers using more of that same closed-cell foam sleeping pad and glue.

    Vaughn

  5. #5
    Jack Flesher's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    Re: a bigger backpack

    I use a Dana Designs panel loader -- in fact I own two of them, depending on the duration and amount of gear I need to schlep. Not even sure they're still made, but the models are the Swiftcurrent and Stillwater.
    Jack Flesher

    www.getdpi.com

  6. #6

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    Re: a bigger backpack

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Nick,

    That looks to be a top-loader. I used a top-loader for my 4x5 and 5x7 and it worked fine -- the camera was on the bottom and I had to empty the pack to photograph. I only had one lens and a minimum of stuff that were in two small stuff-sacks.

    I think it has a side access to but basically a top loader. They have a bigger one with full access but it seems over kill for anything less then 8x10.

  7. #7
    Terence
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    Feb 2002
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    393

    Re: a bigger backpack

    I have the Z55 Gregory. It's the most comfortable pack I've ever worn, but only so-so for photography. It has a "shelf" pocket inside which inhibits pulling big, bulky items out, especially if you have anything in the pocket.

    My other pet peeves with it are that it is just a bit too small as a good weekend pack, especially with camera gear, and at least last year's version was not hydration bladder compatible.

  8. #8

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    Re: a bigger backpack

    What fits one person well may be a disaster on your back. If it's feasible, drive to Ann Arbor MI on a day that Randy or Roger is scheduled to work at The Bivouac on State Street - they have the finest selection of packs anywhere and these two gentlemen have been fitting packs for years. Spend the day - Ann Arbor is a great town!

    Ann Arbor Bivouac
    336 S. State Street
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104
    (734) 761-6207

  9. #9

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    Re: a bigger backpack

    Quote Originally Posted by Terence McDonagh View Post
    I have the Z55 Gregory. It's the most comfortable pack I've ever worn, but only so-so for photography. It has a "shelf" pocket inside which inhibits pulling big, bulky items out, especially if you have anything in the pocket.

    My other pet peeves with it are that it is just a bit too small as a good weekend pack, especially with camera gear, and at least last year's version was not hydration bladder compatible.
    I thought the Z55 was brand new this year?

  10. #10

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    Re: a bigger backpack

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_3536 View Post
    I think it has a side access to but basically a top loader. They have a bigger one with full access but it seems over kill for anything less then 8x10.
    I have a full-size pack (Gregory, bought in ~1981) that is a top loader with side access. Side access is not that convienent for regular use (you can't see what you want to grab).

    But it was a nice pack...huge. I use to put the pack I had my 4x5 in down inside the Gregory for 11 day backpack trips down into the Grand Canyon -- back in the days when I could carry 85 pounds (and I wonder why I have knee problems, LOL!)

    Vaughn

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