Camera/Laptop/Commuter Backpack- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Camera/Laptop/Commuter Backpack

    I've got a DSLR and some larger lenses.

    I've got a netbook.

    I've got a few notebooks and books for school.

    I don't carry these all at the same time, but it'd be nice to be able to use the same backpack for all them.


    The DSLR normally comes into the city with me, along with the netbook when I'm on an urban adventure. Usually this involves the bike as well. Protection of both is paramount, but I need to have space for a water bottle (in/on bag) and random other gear (food).

    At school, I need the bag to be able to convert into a conventional bookbag. The dividers that would normally hold the camera need to be removable or to flatten out as to allow for space for books and a laptop. I normally carry about 6 inches of books/binders.

    It'd be great if I could find something that was more simple and sturdy made. Think of something like a messenger backpack with removable dividers for my camera. I've destroyed the zippers on the last 2 bookbags I've had an i'm tired of it.

  2. #2
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    Doh.

    As usual right after posting this I discovered you can buy foam inserts for this exact purpose!

    Now I've just gotta find a waterproof heavy-duty backpack with a main storage pocket that will work with an insert.

  3. #3
    Killer of Chains
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    Anyone put a foam camera insert into the banjo brothers backpack?

  4. #4
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    I am not sure if that is exactly what you are looking for, but you might want to check the Jansport Lapstation backpack - it is sturdy, has a separate compartment for 17 inch laptop, and a water bottle pouch. It has plenty of space for books and food. You can also look at some of Targus backpacks.

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    Crumpler makes great bags. They make one called the Bazillion Dollar Home that is exactly what you describe albeit kinda pricey at $295. Most of their photo bags have configurable dividers and they have a pretty wide selection of designs, so you could probably find something that would work and wouldn't break the bank.

  7. #7
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    Crumpler is wayyyy too expensive. I feel bad looking at Ortlieb models that are over $150. Crumpler's also seem to separate compartments, making me wonder about the storage size within the main storage pocket. Tamrac does this also. Not a big deal when you've got a 8000CC main compartment, but that also is a huge bag. The Adventure 6 is about the right size, but again, because the lower photo part is separate from the main compartment, it makes me wonder what I could fit in it.

    I've been looking at the Banjo Brother's Commuter Backpack ($60) and Ortlieb Track ($160). The BanjoBros pack is small, simple and waterproof. With a padded insert I could put my camera on top of a change of clothes in the bottom of the bag. Downside? The support system is lacking. It's not designed to be worn on day hikes. It's got a simple single bucket roll top closure.

    The Ortlieb Track is a more of a hiking bag, but gets good reviews from European bike mags. It's got a very nice support system (internal frame), lots of space, and is completely waterproof. Even has a spot for a water bladder with a bag pass-thru. Downsides? It's a roll top bag with two buckles, which means it'd be a process to get into during class. Also doesn't have all those nice school bags pockets for random odds and ends.

  8. #8
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    DSLR, lenses and laptop = HEAVY. If you really need to lug heavy stuff around regularly I would seriously consider a rear rack and panniers. You will be WAY more comfortable and you can carry ALL your stuff in need. You can keep it dry and well protected.

    It will be better for your back and you will be more inclined to have that lens with you when that great shot pops up rather than having left your 70-200/2.8 at home because you couldn't bear to lug it around.

    If you really need a backpack - carry it in your pannier.

    HillBilly

  9. #9
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    Jeezus the Pannier peeps are crazy.

    Sorry man, but this backpack is being used for more than just bicycling. It'll actually spend more time being used for day hikes and general school binder/book carrying than DSLR uses.

    I wanted the DSLR abilities though because I don't have a proper way of carrying my equipment.

  10. #10
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    I am a big fan of the banjo brothers gear. However, it is what it is, and that backpack (which I own) is basically a messenger bag with two straps and a roll top. The back padding is minimal and it has zero stiffness to distribute the load. I love it for riding 6 miles to work with clothes and lunch and sometimes a laptop, but I put my thermos, water bottle, and tools in a small pannier. If I wanted to carry all of that I'd have to be very particular about how it was loaded to avoid things jabbing me in the back, and that always makes it difficult to get in and out. I'll grab my vortex day pack for hiking every time.

    I have two friends with lots of photo gear and they both use LowePro gear. The outdoorsy one has a waterproof backpack from them which is pretty sweet. I bet it was well over $200 but that's nothing compared to the camera/lenses and we do live in Oregon.

    Like anything else, there is no cheap "do-everything" option.
    Hey Butthead, are we gonna die? - Beavis

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