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Thread: The most comfortable backpacks for LF

  1. #1

    The most comfortable backpacks for LF

    I'm in the process of doing research and to purchase a new backpack for my LF ca mera and my main concern would be comfort of the pack while on my back with it l oaded down.I hate to spend alot of money on a pack and find out it is uncomforta ble and hard to carry. Does anyone have any suggestions on a good quality brand name that will hold up with regular use and that you would highly recommend. Tha nk you in advance for your responses.Robert C.Warner

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2000

    The most comfortable backpacks for LF

    LowePro's the way to go. I find that the Trekker series packs are excellent.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 1999

    The most comfortable backpacks for LF

    I found myself in a similar position a few months ago. I went for a Lowepro Super Trekker. Some might say overkill, but when loaded it feels much lighter than expected - superb harness system and fully adjustable for different torso lengths. The Pro Trekker is smaller and has the same harness.

  4. #4

    The most comfortable backpacks for LF

    I'm with the others in their praise of Lowepro - very sturdy, and an excellent harness system. My only complaint is the way they open fron the front - it makes it difficult to lay it down on wet or muddy ground, as it eventually ends up on your back.

  5. #5

    The most comfortable backpacks for LF

    I think your LF camera is a folding one, the Lowepro is really the best, but it's too expensive fo a rucksack. I have done one by myself, it's a Jansport, made originally for a portable computer(very cheap and well done). I modified it by sewing cloth and foam, at the end, it costs only 50 USD. My Gandolfi(almost 4 kg) fits very well in it, and I feel very comfortable with that equipment. regards.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2000

    The most comfortable backpacks for LF

    The Tamrac X-Pack was also designed for a notebook computer, but works well for a large format camera. See my Review of the X-Pack. My 8x10 Deardorff fits perfectly in it. I've since made some mods (not shown) that enable me to use it with a 4x5 as well. Price: $129.00.

  7. #7

    The most comfortable backpacks for LF

    i have used several Lowe packs, but this winter i bought a Burton F-stop pack that i am thrilled with. Burton makes snowboard equipment and accessories. it is so confortable fully loaded. the problem is finding the packs. use your search engine. they also make a smalller pack called the zoom. the pack is designed for carrying a large format outfit AND a snowboard. the list on the pack is about $250. "those who can't ride, shoot". it says in the catalogue.

  8. #8

    The most comfortable backpacks for LF

    Maybe I am old fashioned, but paying God knows how much for these specialized backpacks is overkill. I grew up out West with external frame packs that would handle anything from firewood and cameras to large water jugs and elk quarters. Right now I have two Kelty standard external frame packs for long trips and one smaller one for day stuff. Inside they have webbing to segregate fragile components and they also have a bottom metal ledge that works for lashing a tripod and head and/or a sleeping bag. I tried to strap the tripod to the back and the side and it was unsatisfactory for me. I put each lens in a wrap and then put them in a small box I got at an arts and craft store to keep them from being unintentionally damaged and knocked around. I would recommend going to a mountaineering store and try each on for fit, balance and flexibility. Another trick. After you find out the brand and model you are interested in, find out where they have a seconds store and call them. If the stitching is off a bit that caused them to sell it as a second, you can save 30 % or more depending upon the time of year and the popularity of that model. I got two packs for the price of one and also found my tent the same way.

    Good luck.

  9. #9

    The most comfortable backpacks for LF

    Robert, how tall are you? Tall (> 5'-11") may find many of the traditional photo packs too short when using the pack for many hours at a time. A taller frame enables the user to have a pair of shoulder lifter straps, which is standard in taller mountaineering internal frame packs. The problem now is the airline restr ictions, which keeps many popular packs to a height of 22" max. We (Kinesis) make the Journeyman pack. It is 22" tall & is primarily designed for 35mm gear. An optional taller pack frame ca n be added if needed for taller people or for overnight trips.

  10. #10

    The most comfortable backpacks for LF

    I am quite new to LF but now have a backpack that works well for my 35mm equipment as well as my 4x5. As many others I tried several backpacks. First started with a Tamrac which I found heavy in relation to the offered internal space. It was solid but the dividers were very thick and taking a lot of space. I quickly moved to a LowePro Trekker AW. This one was great with a good compromise between weight and space. I especially liked the big, wide front outside pocket were I could store collapsible reflectors, a lunch, a jacket... I sold this one to go larger, may be I should I kept it as it has been redesigned and lost the front pocket. Anyway I sold it for the newly designed LowePro Pro Trekker AW, a very solid and well constructed bag, however heavy. The ProTrekker is deeper, taller but, again, very heavy. It barely fit into airplanes overhead compartment, you have to press it a bit to fit but it works as lond as the bag is not over loaded. Anyway I sold that one as well because it had the same inconvenience as most other backpacks: the bag needs to be laid down before you open it and reach for something. I wanted a bag from which I could grab just a lens very quickly without exposing my whole equipment. I also wanted to get a smaller and lighter pack and still wanted space. I also liked the idea of having several distinct compartments for storing items such as snacks, clothing... I ended up buying a used Domke Outpack. So far, after a year of usuage, it has been a pretty good choice. If you are familiar with Domke shoulder bags you probably know that they are renowed for very thin, yet effective dividers, and able to store a huge amount of gear in a rather small bag. The Outpack fit the same idea. It is much lighter and thinner than the LowePros yet fiis an amazing amount of gear. Its harness is not as thick as the LowePros either but I still find it comfortable to wear. I kind load it with my 4x5 with 4-5 lenses, 10-15 film holders, spotmeter, loupe, and darkcloth, and still have room for a 35mm and some lenses. The design of the Outpack is completely different than other backpacks in such that it has multiple opening doors instead on one large one. So, as long as you are organized and remember where each piece of equipment is stored, you only expose the wanted item(s). That's a plus if you shoot in the desert. One of the doors is larger than the others and perfectly fit my 4x5 with darkcloth, and spotmeter. Another long door perfectly fit my lenses with a flexible separator, it can also fit a lens pouch such as the ones from Gnass Gear. All in all this bag is extremely versatile. It won't fit an 8x10 or a monorail 4x5. But if you have a foldable 4x5 field camera it is worth looking at. And as a bonus you can usually get them for less than $150 on e-bay in perfect condition.

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