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Need a small backpack for city use
Old 05-09-2018   #1
stompyq
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Need a small backpack for city use

Why is it so difficult to find one? I'm looking to find a small backpack that I can use as a daily driver in the city. I currently have and really like the thinktank turnstyle 20. However its a sling bag and I want the weight more evenly distributed across the shoulders. Side access would be nice but I'm thinking I might be better off adapting a regular backpack. The bag will need to be able to hold a small mirror less camera and may be 1 extra lens. Any ideas?
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Old 05-09-2018   #2
wjlapier
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My got to backpack is a Osprey Escapist 25. I use either a Domke BYOB 10 or Crumpler padded case to carry my cameras in it. Pockets on the side for water bottles or a space for a water bladder if you want. Most importantly is how the bag feels on my back. The shoulder straps don't dig in nor do that slip. I don't use the waist band but it's there if I chose to--and they have small zippered pockets too. Same for one of the shoulder straps. Plenty of room. Very well made bag, IMO. Oh, I consider it small too, but not too small.
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Old 05-09-2018   #3
lukx
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For this purpose I (6'2, 175 pounds) happily use the 20L Peak Design Everyday Backpack for my Fuji and/or Leica gear. It is not perfect, but very good. Comfortable to wear over long stretches, compact, side access, durable, rain resistant (not proof, thoug), well crafted, flexible inner layout depending on purpose. I also like the style, though that is highly subjective.

The waist and chest straps are not ideal, which is my main point of criticism. And the price. You may find a good deal on a used one.
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Old 05-09-2018   #4
stompyq
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjlapier View Post
My got to backpack is a Osprey Escapist 25. I use either a Domke BYOB 10 or Crumpler padded case to carry my cameras in it. Pockets on the side for water bottles or a space for a water bladder if you want. Most importantly is how the bag feels on my back. The shoulder straps don't dig in nor do that slip. I don't use the waist band but it's there if I chose to--and they have small zippered pockets too. Same for one of the shoulder straps. Plenty of room. Very well made bag, IMO. Oh, I consider it small too, but not too small.
Hmm that's a neat idea. Any chance you can post a pic of the setup? Why did you go with the Osprey in particular?
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Old 05-09-2018   #5
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Go to B&H, get one of the many inserts they sell, Domke, etc. Throw it into whatever backpack you want. tada..
At least that's what I do..` When I only have one camera, I use one of the Domke wraps (diapers) and throw it into the bag when not in use.
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Old 05-09-2018   #6
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I find whenever I look for a new camera bag of any sort, I never find what I want and go back to an insert put in a regular bag. For someone who has one Leica body with one lens attached and perhaps a second lens and a Ricoh GR almost any "camera bag" is overkill.

The Crumpler inserts are much better built and durable than Domkes but don't collapse as well when not in use.

Oops, looks like they don't have those anymore, Crumpler Haven inserts, if you can find somewhere they are great.
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Old 05-09-2018   #7
wjlapier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stompyq View Post
Hmm that's a neat idea. Any chance you can post a pic of the setup? Why did you go with the Osprey in particular?
My third Osprey backpack. Previous one was too small so gave it to one of my kids--kinda like a Camelbak backpack. Second in our storage for now. I like Osprey backpacks.



With Sony A6000 to show it's size.

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Old 05-09-2018   #8
kxl
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Lowepro Compuday - about the same height as the TT Turnstyle 20. The Compuday is no longer part of the current product line, but still available on ebay for around $40. I actually have 2 of these bags and use them for exactly your intended use.

Check out the photos on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Lowepro-LP362.../dp/B004M9AS3Y
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Old 05-09-2018   #9
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I have been using a very small camera backback by KIPLING.
Someone here once described it as being "for cheerleaders".
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Old 05-09-2018   #10
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After seeing Ted Forbes' review on it, I backed the Next-Gen Everyday Carry Bag 'Commuterpak' on Kickstarter. Hope to receive it any time soon.

Kickstarter project: link
Ted Forbes' review on YouTube: link
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Old 05-09-2018   #11
taemo
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Go to an outdoor store and check one that you like, then just buy inserts for your camera gear.
I find that having a belt and chest strap helps with even weight distribution.
I'm using a Jansport Agave backpack (32L)

I like it because it doesn't really indicate to others that I'm a tourist or carrying expensive camera gears.
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Old 05-09-2018   #12
B-9
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Ive been looking at backpacks as well.

My criteria has devolved to weight.

I do not often use my camera bags for cameras... so Ive decided I would rather have a very light bag that can be folded up and stuffed in the glove box or in the pocket of another bag over a compartmentalized dedicated photo offering.

90% of the crap in my bag at any time is extra clothing Ive shed through the day.

Ive chosen to go with Hyperlite Mountain Gear's 1800 Series Stuff Pack.

https://www.hyperlitemountaingear.com/stuff-pack.html

at only 4.5oz its a glorified shopping bag made of expensive Dyneema/Cuben Fiber.

Its roughly a 30L pack and is capable of holding around 10lbs
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Old 05-09-2018   #13
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While I understand your desire to have a small backpack and distribute the weight evenly, for light loads I find a well-designed sling bag is much easier to get into and out of on the go, and no less stable or secure on your back. The term "well-designed" is the hard part ... I went through several sling-bags and returned them or sold them pretty quickly.

After much disappointment like that, I decided to try the Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L and 5L bags because a regular backpack wasn't working for me and a shoulder bag didn't fit the need I have (bicycling and/or motorcycling, with quick access to the contents of the bag). I need both because there are times when I have only a little bit of stuff to carry and the 10L size bag is an awful lot of bag to have flopping about when you only need a little bit of space.

I haven't used the 10L bag yet, but it's larger than what it sounds like you need anyway.

The 5L bag has surprised me and proven to be very handy and useful. It's ideally sized for a small ML camera and up to three lenses; it works well for a Leica M and two lenses. I can carry it with the following gear:



That's an iPad Pro 9x7, Leica M-D, Summilux 35, Summicron 50, glasses, AirPods, wallet, keys, and iPhone 8 Plus; all up weight is 6 lb 7 oz. A bit more than I usually carry, but useful to explore the capacity and weight.

My more usual carry kit these days is with the Light L16 or Polaroid SX-70, which cuts the bulk down and reduces the weight to about 4.6-5.1 lbs, about the same as with the Oly E-PL7 and two zoom lenses. Drop the iPad pro with any of these three cameras and all up weight goes down to 3.25.

The Everyday Sling 5L proves a very handy bag, the design is right. I've now ridden the bicycle with it for 400-600 miles with the iPad and Light kit, and even a spare jersey and gloves jammed into it in case the weather got overly cool, with no undue effects to my shoulders or back. It doesn't move around if you have it snugged up onto your back properly, and the slide equipped strap lets you open up the strap to a longer length easily to be handy for access when shooting or you need your wallet, etc.

It's worth thinking about.

(I do use a photo backpack, albeit infrequently: A Think Tank Photo Trifecta 10 fits the Leica SL + SL24-90, SL90-250, and Super-Elmar-R 15mm f/3.5 beautifully, along with plenty of stowage for other incidentals. But that's a bulky, 18lb total weight kit; I really hate schlepping it around for very long, no matter how good a bag it goes in!)

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Old 05-09-2018   #14
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I’ve been finding the Topo Designs Commuter briefcase ( 13L ) very versatile.
I can be carried as a briefcase, backpack or shoulder bag.
In backpack wear, it can be slung round on one strap to access the content without taking the bag off.



http://https://topodesigns.com/collections/bags/products/commuter-briefcase
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Old 05-09-2018   #15
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I also use one of these if I need to pack non-camera stuff -- a little bigger than the CompuDay but a lot more versatile.

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...amera+backpack
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Old 05-09-2018   #16
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I just use an old backpack with a few old t-shirts inside to cushion the cameras. I don't want to carry around anything that could draw people's attention.
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