Camera backpack for hiking all day?

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Mark
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Hi All,

Just looking for recommendations on a durable bag that people use when they are out hiking/shooting all day?

I currently have a Lowerpro bag that I bought years ago. In the bottom part it has room for the camera and 3-4 lenses, and the top section holds my filters, but I have no where I could store tea/coffee, water or food. I'm just wondering what bags do you guys use that you can take out all day hiking and taking photos?

Thanks,
 
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Jason
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I use this. Food and other stuff goes in the top and drinks in the mesh pocket on the side.

 
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Lee
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Usually an Osprey Kamber 42 or sometimes Manfrotto Off Road 32.

Body, few lenses, filters, accessories, head torch, flask, water bladder, waterproofs, hat, gloves, sunglasses, coat, etc depending on the weather and time of year.
 
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6,274
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Rob
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It depends what you mean by hiking all day. If its up and down mountains then specialist hiking bag will be better than a camera bag. I often use my Osprey Stratos 24 for walking in the lakes. Its far more comfortable than my F stop Lotus bag that I generally use for photography. I just stick a small or micro ICU inside it. I love my F stop bags (I have the smaller guru bag for general use) but specialist hiking bag are much better when hiking. If not hiking and its a general photography trip then photography bags are better. Just a case of right tool for the right job.
 
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Ian
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Atlas Adventure. Loads of space for butties/flasks/waterproofs and loads of space for camera gear, with a divider you can fold up or down to have more room for cameras and less for supplies or vice versa. Extremely comfortable to carry over the course of a day and straps for a tripod too. Never looked at another daypack since.
 
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I have this style of Crumpler backpack, which used to be available in various sizes, but I don't think they make this style any more. There's a relatively larger upper compartment on mine, certainly enough for a drink, lunch and the usual junk, and a lower compartment with dividers that can hold a D800, 24-70 f/2.8, and a couple of smaller lenses.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=UEXHS1pzaAc
 
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Andrew
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I currently use two options for 'out all day'.

If travelling light I use an ancient LowePro Orion trekker in combination with a smaller Kata (now Manfrotto) shoulder bag. The Trekker takes my less used gear - usually a body and couple of lenses in the botom part and food and other bits and pieces in the soft top compartment. The shoulder bag holds a camera and lens - or three compacts plus some batteries and a couple of filters. I can attach a travel small carbon fibre tripod to the backpack. I like the shoulder bag as it's easy to keep stuff close to hand. I don't tend to leave either bag on the ground much once I've selected what is kept in the shoulder bag - I find this quite a mobile solution.

If travelling heavy then I have a LowePro Whistler 350. This is substantially larger and heavier than the Orion Trekker. I can attach a Manfrotto 055 CF tripod to it. It can carry the same gear as the other two (plus a laptop - officially rated as capable of carrying a 13.3in but it just takes my Dell XPS15 as a very snug fit). I regard this backpack as being significantly better in bad weather than my lightweight combination. It's comfortable to walk with - but is heavy. In use it tends to be left on the ground more and I'm much more static in terms of how I use it.
 
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The thing all photography specific ones have on common is there actually a bit rubbish at being a rucksack. The insert idea is better, I use an old camera shoulder back inside my Osprey rucksack.
 
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James
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camera rucksacks are soo heavy compared to a hiking one plus an insert. I have an Osprey 35lt rucksack and the vanguard insert for camera and 3 lens. takes filters, bits and bobs bag, small first aid kit, waterproof coat and trousers, water plus a filter if heading far and food
 
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The Flipside trek looks interesting so does THIS My issue with rucksacks is that there is no padding protection (unless you add it) and only one access point.

Jason, have you ever been in a torrential downpour with that bag?
 
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Rob
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This was the blog post that made me think of the Stratos 24 as a photography bag. At the time I was looking for hiking bag that could potentially double as a photography bag if needed. It was to be used as a hiking bag first.


I carried this bag up Scafell Pike in September. I didn’t have photography kit in the bag but it was comfortable for 8hrs and 900m ascent. That’s far more than my usual photography trips so I wouldn’t think twice about using it for photography trips.

I should say the large 36l my friend has has a side access zip along with the draw cord top access. I’m not sure if the 34l has the side zip as like the 24l it has a zip top access rather than draw cord.
 
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dja

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Dave
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I gave up on camera backpacks a long time ago due to their general unsuitability for day-long hikes and use one of a collection of inserts in either an Osprey Talon 22 or Deuter Futura 28 hiking backpack.
 
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Chris
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Jack Wolfskin Moab Jam 24 for me. Hiked 70+ miles around Hong Kong islands, sweating my butt off and it never once got remotely uncomfortable. Peak Design Capture Clip on the front with a body and my most used lens, and the rest in the main backpack.

Probably done 1000 miles with it on now, love it.
 
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Rob
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As photography bags they are ok. The OP said:

I'm just wondering what bags do you guys use that you can take out all day hiking and taking photos?
It all depending on what your idea of ‘all day hiking and taking photos’ is. Personally for the kit I take out into the mountains I’m looking at reducing my photography kit to the bare minimum (camera, single lens, filters and tripod) as I have other hiking kit that I need to carry (first aid kit etc). Gone are the days when I take everything I own with me. If you’re doing proper hiking up mountains to a single location a hiking specific bag with small insert with be the best option. If you’re out all day but walking multiple short distances from a parked car and need to constantly access the camera in the bag photography bags are the best option.
 
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Jeremy Moore
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I can quite honestly say that I have at last found the camera bag of my dreams. It's a daypack, with a well-padded compartment at the bottom for camera gear, above that a separate section for clothes, bits and bobs, sandwiches and assorted stuff. It has all the pockets you could possibly need, a waist strap, is REALLY comfortable, and costs £350.

Shall I go on any further......?

Shimoda Action X30

https://www.dalephotographic.co.uk/...action-x30-starter-kitblack-816779022040.html

For me it was definitely worth the money.
 
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Lewis
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If you are using a smaller mirrorless system, I thoroughly recommend the Evoc Stage Capture, it is mountain biking, rather than hiking, but it has the best carrying system of any rucksack I have ever used, not just camera bags. There's an air channel, which does a good job of preventing a sweaty back. You can see the difference between the FStop Guru, which it is stacked on top of.
C25BED7C-DA44-42FD-A5C0-AE6ACBA9EF51.jpg
 
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Dayle
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I had a trip out recently with the camera, food water extra layers etc - I found the best thing to do was use an insert inside a 65L berghaus camping bag - obviously theres lots of different types of these rucksacks but I couldn't choose between sacrificing the admin kit or the camera kit. So this was my way of taking both.
I'n the end I intentionally over packed (few extra litres of water, and items of clothing) and turned it into a bit of a tabbing work out too.

I think you'd be really hard pressed to find a camera bag solution which would accomodate everything you'd need especially in colder weather so I would lean towards the inserts too.
Good luck I hope you find something. :)
 
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I've just spent a night in a field photographing stars. I put my camera bag/ thermos etc in a good rucksack. When I got there, out came the bag and the rucksack became my recliner for meteor spotting. I personally wouldn't bother with a dedicated camera rucksack. I prefer a more versatile option.
 
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Michael
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To be honest, I've yet to see a camera rucksack that I would use. I've come to photography via mountaineering rather than the other way round and a comfortable day bag was always a priority. I have relatively small kit (m43) and find that an Osprey Stratos 36 l does the job nicely. Good back support, plus a big side zip for access. My lenses are in neoprene bags and I just take the ones I need. I also have a Hama insert for all the little bits. Plus regular rucksacks are so much more reasonable than the camera ones.
 
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Jeremy Moore
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Shimoda Action X30 . Is the main aperture zip waterproof?

Presumably you mean the one facing your back? If so I can't say I've tested it to that extent, but they seem to have thought about everything so I'd be surprised if it wasn't. But if you delve into the Shimoda website you may be able to find out for sure.
 
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Presumably you mean the one facing your back? If so I can't say I've tested it to that extent, but they seem to have thought about everything so I'd be surprised if it wasn't. But if you delve into the Shimoda website you may be able to find out for sure.
Yes I thought the same until I saw that zip? I'm not sure if the manufacturers waterproof the rear section, as It cant even be protected with a cover.
 
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Helen
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I have an fstop Kashmir which is specifically designed for those with a shorter torso (i.e. most women). The ICU can be customised according to your kit and changed when necessary or removed when not required. However, the best thing for me is the very generous hip/waist strap which takes most of the weight off shoulders and onto the hips which is much more comfortable and helps centre of gravity when walking etc. It's definitely an improvement on other camera bags I've owned.


fstop_kashmir_ul_black__malibu_blue_fstopmu16045fdbc85f68f1dd5b3e2bd927423df7e87a02f4c_2.jpg
 
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Graham
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I share the opinion that a proper hiking rucksack and insert is a better solution. When I'm out with the camera, the kit I take a can vary greatly depending on where I'm going, what I expect to see, weight to be carried etc. Same with hiking kit, requirements vary hugely with type of trip, time of year, overnight vs day hike. So I have two huge variables and if I tried to cover all permutations with dedicated bags I'd end up with an awful lot of them and a very poor bank account!

So I have two or three hiking backpacks and a couple of inserts. It covers almost all eventualities. Downside is convenience for getting camera gear out when you need it but you can also look at having a belt loop case or something like a Peak clip so you can keep the camera and one lens handy. Works for me.
 
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Jeremy Moore
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I have an fstop Kashmir which is specifically designed for those with a shorter torso (i.e. most women). The ICU can be customised according to your kit and changed when necessary or removed when not required. However, the best thing for me is the very generous hip/waist strap which takes most of the weight off shoulders and onto the hips which is much more comfortable and helps centre of gravity when walking etc. It's definitely an improvement on other camera bags I've owned.


View attachment 301898

I used an f-stop Guru ( a day-pack) for about 5 years and it was/is a good bag. It holds an amazing amount of gear considering its size! Pockets galore, etc, etc. It's main disadvantage for me is that the ICU section was not completely separate from the general equipment section, and bits and bobs fall down from the top (gear) to the bottom (photo) sections and potentially out of the bag altogether when you unzip it.

But the Shimoda Active X30 is an altogether different league. They do an X50 and X70 as well, and I'd expect them to be of a similar quality.
 
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Ian
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and bits and bobs fall down from the top (gear) to the bottom (photo) sections and potentially out of the bag altogether when you unzip it.
This was my issue with backpack + ICU. That and the faff of having 2 things to open to get at my stuff (Backpack + ICU). I looked at Shimoda bags when I was researching and they did look pretty nice. I sent emails to Shimoda, Atlas and F-Stop to find out if their bags would hold my Tomiyama and Atlas were the only ones to respond.
 
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Jeremy Moore
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This was my issue with backpack + ICU. That and the faff of having 2 things to open to get at my stuff (Backpack + ICU). I looked at Shimoda bags when I was researching and they did look pretty nice. I sent emails to Shimoda, Atlas and F-Stop to find out if their bags would hold my Tomiyama and Atlas were the only ones to respond.

And I considered the Atlas a s well. At the time I had FF gear and it didn't look like it would fit in the Atlas. The Shimoda Active series is brand new and I must have got one of the first in the UK, in August IIRC. It looks like a real improvement on the previous (Explore?) series.
 
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David
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When allowed to travel I use THIS 550aw II
Just checked the price o_O I paid under £200


it holds all of my camera gear with room to spare. A flask goes into the side pocket opposite the tripod side, there’s room for a bladder. The removable top section is full of food, stove and other day equipment I may need. A tent etc can be strapped to the outside. I had a whistler and sold it, good for camera gear but not room for stoves, food or water. Itcomes with a gear insert too that holds batteries, charger bits and cables.

It’s really comfy loaded. I know when I travel and camp everything is attached to me and not left in a vehicle etc..
 
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The Shimoda Action series is very good. I recently changed from an F-Stop Anja to the Action X50 and the difference is night and day. Much more comfortable and can happily walk/hike all day with a 5D4, 70-200, 16-35 and 24-105 plus other bits and bobs.

Not cheap, but should last many years.

I tried a ICU in a normal osprey backpack but found it was a real pain in the arse getting to my camera or lenses when needed. I found my self walking past shots because I just couldn't be arsed digging out my camera.
 
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Lewis
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This was my issue with backpack + ICU. That and the faff of having 2 things to open to get at my stuff (Backpack + ICU). I looked at Shimoda bags when I was researching and they did look pretty nice. I sent emails to Shimoda, Atlas and F-Stop to find out if their bags would hold my Tomiyama and Atlas were the only ones to respond.
I never bothered zipping up the ICU when it was in the bag. With the small ICU I just tucked the flap underneath.
 
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T
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This is a subjective situation as a backpack / camera bag is a personal to the individual as I have pondered on issue for years. Some trips I need more camera bag than back pack and some other trips the reverse.
So now I use this;

or


All i do now is take the bag I need for my trip / day out etc and just pack my camera gear in the Insert padded case.
 
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I'm guessing that the ideal photography hiking back pack for ease of access requires a rear panel opening i.e. the side next to your back so you can lay the pack down and get to your gear easily.

I would imagine a top opening means you've got to ferret through all your gear both camera and other stuff to get to what you need ? Or have I got this wrong ??
 
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Ian
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I'm guessing that the ideal photography hiking back pack for ease of access requires a rear panel opening i.e. the side next to your back
Yes. For me. A toploader would drive me round the bend.
 
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