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Thread: current options for backpacks that will carry up to 5x7

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Between the mountains and the sea, somewhere in the Antipodes
    Posts
    86

    Re: current options for backpacks that will carry up to 5x7

    Have you considered a large hiking pack that is front loading? In my experience, the harnesses on a good hiking packs are much more suitable for carrying a decent load than those found on "photographic backpacks". The camera and lenses etc can go into padded inserts. For example, the are some fishing reel cases available which are pretty similar to the old Gnass gear and Photobackpacker lens cases.

  2. #12

    Re: current options for backpacks that will carry up to 5x7


  3. #13

    Re: current options for backpacks that will carry up to 5x7

    Bruce at photo backpacker was selling leftover interior cases on here last week. I got one and no complaints at all on the build quality or protection but the orange no name camera case I got from Hong Kong actually fits my 5x7 better.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    135

    Re: current options for backpacks that will carry up to 5x7

    Update.

    I was talking with my wife about my predicament yesterday and how frustrating it was to not be able to hike with my big cameras, She started acting weird. The poor girl can't lie or keep a secret. She got on the computer and asked if she and my sons chose well. They ordered me a Manfrotto Pro Light 3N1-36 for my birthday which is next week. Cyber Monday deal at Adorama.


    Why did she buy this one? Apparently because it has lots of access points, holds a bunch of stuff, and three of my tripods are made by Manfrotto so I must like them.

    My family is awesome.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    8,982

    Re: current options for backpacks that will carry up to 5x7

    An old Jansport Equinox easily digests my 5x7 Speeder, film holders & other gear
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis Minnesota USA
    Posts
    198

    Re: current options for backpacks that will carry up to 5x7

    When Drew uses the term "real backpacks" he is referring to true "technical backpacks." These backpacks have frame sheets (the load bearing spine of the pack) that have been engineered, re-engineered and refined to achieve a custom fit for the wearer, be light weight, and, most importantly, have an outstanding ability to transfer the weight of the payload to the shelf of the wearer's hips.

    Unfortunately, finding a true technical pack in an oyster opening or full panel opening style is rare to non-existent. (Thus the reason for my starting Photobackpacker) The closest I can find on the market today is a pack with a narrow front panel access. Made by Granite Gear, the Nimbus Trace Access 60 has one of the best frame sheets available anywhere. I personally tested one of these during my collaboration with Granite Gear and it sets the standard for technical packs. It was, unfortunately, too expensive to incorporate into the Photobackpacker P3 line. Even though the 60 is larger than needed, I would choose it in a heartbeat over any camera backpack if I didn't have my P3 pack.

    Kelty makes an external frame with no bag called the Cache Hauler. I would also consider this as a backbone to attach a panel loader pack or have a simple full panel bag custom sewn. This Cache Hauler is used to cart quartered elk out of remote hunting regions and is first rate for heavy loads.

    Some caveats:
    If you are significantly overweight, the belt will not be able to tie in with the shelf of the hips and the advantage provided by the frame sheet will be lost.
    If you want in a rear opening pack, you need to be the perfect size for the pack that offers it. You cannot have an adjustable torso length feature AND rear opening feature.
    There are no one-size-fits-all technical packs where one size truly fits all.
    The Kelty Redwing has a lower-end technical frame system and panel opening but your body needs to fit the backpack. It has no adjustment for torso length.
    Bruce

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    San Clemente, California
    Posts
    3,396

    Re: current options for backpacks that will carry up to 5x7

    Quote Originally Posted by Photobackpacker View Post
    ...Kelty makes an external frame with no bag called the Cache Hauler. I would also consider this as a backbone to attach a panel loader pack or have a simple full panel bag custom sewn. This Cache Hauler is used to cart quartered elk out of remote hunting regions and is first rate for heavy loads...
    I have one of those and use it with several photo packs that are well designed for camera equipment but not for humans. Unfortunately, the Kelty has hinged supports for its shelf that limit the width of what fit on it. After more than a year of trying to find a dealer that would ship to the U.S., amazon UK finally added this hauler


    to its offerings. Despite high shipping cost, I ordered one which arrived a few days ago. It not only doesn't limit load width (enabling me to lash my Zone VI field camera case or my Think Tank Airport Accelerator containing an 8x10 system to it), it also stands up straight when set on the ground.

    I've tried many different camera carrying approaches, including Bruce's Photobackpacker system. None of them can compare with an external frame that transfers substantially all load to the hips and keeps its back away from the user's back.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis Minnesota USA
    Posts
    198

    Re: current options for backpacks that will carry up to 5x7

    You are correct. The frame pack is the freight hauler. It is not compact, elegant, easily stowed nor airline carry-on compatible. It is like comparing a SUV to a Mack Truck. Internal frame packs need to make too many rigidity sacrifices to keep the pack comfortable for the user.

    Bruce
    Bruce

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    13

    Re: current options for backpacks that will carry up to 5x7

    I got an old tubular aluminum frame backpack from Craigslist for 40.00 from a guy that backpacked across Europe with it. It's great. Photo backpacks are designed so you can open up and pull out just what you want. When you're taking LF gear, you are going to take out 1/2 the contents every time you stop to shoot so who cares if it's top loading. The frame pack's primary goal is keeping heavy loads on your hips and not your back. In my view this is most important and not how many pockets or access points the pack has.
    Ian

  10. #20
    David Schaller
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Williamstown, MA
    Posts
    628

    Re: current options for backpacks that will carry up to 5x7

    Quote Originally Posted by Photobackpacker View Post
    When Drew uses the term "real backpacks" he is referring to true "technical backpacks." These backpacks have frame sheets (the load bearing spine of the pack) that have been engineered, re-engineered and refined to achieve a custom fit for the wearer, be light weight, and, most importantly, have an outstanding ability to transfer the weight of the payload to the shelf of the wearer's hips.

    Unfortunately, finding a true technical pack in an oyster opening or full panel opening style is rare to non-existent. (Thus the reason for my starting Photobackpacker) The closest I can find on the market today is a pack with a narrow front panel access. Made by Granite Gear, the Nimbus Trace Access 60 has one of the best frame sheets available anywhere. I personally tested one of these during my collaboration with Granite Gear and it sets the standard for technical packs. It was, unfortunately, too expensive to incorporate into the Photobackpacker P3 line. Even though the 60 is larger than needed, I would choose it in a heartbeat over any camera backpack if I didn't have my P3 pack.

    Kelty makes an external frame with no bag called the Cache Hauler. I would also consider this as a backbone to attach a panel loader pack or have a simple full panel bag custom sewn. This Cache Hauler is used to cart quartered elk out of remote hunting regions and is first rate for heavy loads.

    Some caveats:
    If you are significantly overweight, the belt will not be able to tie in with the shelf of the hips and the advantage provided by the frame sheet will be lost.
    If you want in a rear opening pack, you need to be the perfect size for the pack that offers it. You cannot have an adjustable torso length feature AND rear opening feature.
    There are no one-size-fits-all technical packs where one size truly fits all.
    The Kelty Redwing has a lower-end technical frame system and panel opening but your body needs to fit the backpack. It has no adjustment for torso length.
    Take a look at Mystery Ranch packs, Dana Gleason’s company, which you can get at a number of online retailers. They are not light, or inexpensive, but they are the best at hauling weight in my experience. There are many models that have an excellent full Y zip design. I’m still using my older Dana Design Bomb Pack for 4x5, even though it’s a top loader.

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