Suggestions for shoulder Camera Bag that can be converted to backpack for hiking?


harnamsc

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2008
725
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16
Singapore / Melbourne
#1
Greetings to all,

I'm posting this question to ask for advice: Usually carrying your gear in a shoulder bag is preferred cos when shooting we can easily access our gear or change lens. But what if you're travelling or going hiking? Carrying a heavy load on one shoulder will strain your whole body. A camera backpack on the other hand distributes the load evenly, but it also makes it harder to change lens or retrieve/keep external flashes.

Hence I'm asking if anyone has any advice for this? I'm only aware of two bags currently, Think Tank Urban Disguide 60 and Crumpler Brazillion Home, that are shoulder bags which include a harness for carrying as a backpack. But both are very expensive and the Crumpler is pretty heavy too without any loading.
 

richardb

New Member
Jun 9, 2009
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#2
Hi,

I once looked at brazillion dollar too, but it was very big and heavy.

If you have time, maybe check out the following:
1. Kata 3in1 - backpack, left sling, right sling
2. ThinkTank has a backpack that allows the camera section to be rotated in your waste for easy access.

Good luck and let us know your pick!
 

MachIII

New Member
Mar 8, 2009
143
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0
Hangar
#3
My pick will be ThinkTank Urban Disguise 60 (although this bag is rather large in size). The harness certainly does make the load seem lighter. You have to try to believe it.;)
 

harnamsc

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2008
725
0
16
Singapore / Melbourne
#4
Thanks for the suggestion richardb, but unfortunately both bags have internal compartments smaller than 15" which is the length of my tripods. I have more than one and would prefer to carry them inside than outside cos:
1) personally I find it easier to walk through crowds that way
2) when travelling overseas at least its not so obvious that you're carrying expensive camera equipment (i.e. draw less attention from potential thieves and snatch-thefts)

As for Urban Disguise 60, I'm seriously considering it although I've not tried to load with my current gear yet. Can I ask MachIII, how many kilos of equipment have you carried it in before? Also is the shoulder pad comfortable enough for carrying, for example, for half a day while walking about?
 

Numnumball

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2009
13,899
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Central
#8
As for Urban Disguise 60, I'm seriously considering it although I've not tried to load with my current gear yet. Can I ask MachIII, how many kilos of equipment have you carried it in before? Also is the shoulder pad comfortable enough for carrying, for example, for half a day while walking about?
My urban disguise 50 with harness can load up to 7KG of weight (with laptop) and its still quite comfortable to get ard :) Shoulder pad is definitely one of the best i have seen to date.
 

harnamsc

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2008
725
0
16
Singapore / Melbourne
#11
So to summarise:
1) Think Tank Urban Disguise 60 (50 too small for my gear)

2) Domke F2

Another bag would be Lowepro Magnum series. I only just found out that it can be attached to a Lowepro harness and carried like a backpack. Has anyone used it though?

Or if the Lowepro harness is not that good, can the Magnum be mounted to a Think Tank harness or another third-party harness?
 

MachIII

New Member
Mar 8, 2009
143
0
0
Hangar
#12
Thanks for the suggestion richardb, but unfortunately both bags have internal compartments smaller than 15" which is the length of my tripods. I have more than one and would prefer to carry them inside than outside cos:
1) personally I find it easier to walk through crowds that way
2) when travelling overseas at least its not so obvious that you're carrying expensive camera equipment (i.e. draw less attention from potential thieves and snatch-thefts)

As for Urban Disguise 60, I'm seriously considering it although I've not tried to load with my current gear yet. Can I ask MachIII, how many kilos of equipment have you carried it in before? Also is the shoulder pad comfortable enough for carrying, for example, for half a day while walking about?
Hi,

I have a UD50 instead of UD60.

I will usually use this bag in my business overseas trip. Here are the items that are housed in this bag.

1) 14" Notebook
2) 5DMKII (grip removed but store in the same bag)
3) EF 24-70 f2.8L
4) 580MKII
5) Markins Q3T
6) 10 Rechargeable batteries and Charger
7) Notebook power cables

This combination is a heavy load in my UD50. Carrying as shoulder mode feels good (temporary of cause) [removing the notebook and deposit in hotel, eases quite a fair bit of load]. But after 30 mins on the run, i cannot take the strain anymore and deploy the harness. Man, this make a difference. Well, this is me and may not apply to others.

If i have spare room in my luggage, i will bag in my Speed Freak. This is very handy bag when i decided to go out to take some shots. Accessing various compartments is a breeze. Not to mention that your hips and shoulders share the load well.

To quote trekking example:

In my recent trip to Mount KK, i brought my Speed Freak (instead of UD50 is because of its carry ability) with the following items up to Laban Rata and the Low Peak.

1) 5DMKII with grip and RRS L plate
2) 580MKII
3) PnS camera
4) 10 rechargeable batteries and charger
5) Camera battery charger
6) CP and UV filters

Man, this is hell training for me. Going up to Laban Rata with Speed Freak and my Deuter bag with my belongings seems forever. The Deuter backpack on the top and bottom is the Speed Feak. Trekking for the 1st 4 KM is still fine but the last 1KM++ to the lodge is rather difficult (vertical climb).

As the last climb to the Low Peak, i have never push myself so hard before. Persevere all the way and i eventually reached the peak.

Ultimately, trekking bag depends on the situation and terrain that you will be going.

My recommendation is to get something that holds just the right stuffs, the minimum amount of gears that you will use. This will not be taxing to your body. In the long run, you will stand to benefit.
 

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harnamsc

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2008
725
0
16
Singapore / Melbourne
#13
Thanks for the sharing the experience MachIII. Unfortunately for me backpack + Speed Freak is too expensive for me. So guess I'll stick with a shoulder bag like the Urban Disguise 60 or Magnum AW which can be carried like a shoulder bag or be attached to a body harness for trekking.

Are all harnesses the same btw? Or is there a difference in quality and/or weight distribution? I'm seriously looking at buying the Urban Disguise 60 or Magnum AW and both use Think Tank and Lowepro harnesses respectively. Wondering if there's any difference?
 

MachIII

New Member
Mar 8, 2009
143
0
0
Hangar
#14
Thanks for the sharing the experience MachIII. Unfortunately for me backpack + Speed Freak is too expensive for me. So guess I'll stick with a shoulder bag like the Urban Disguise 60 or Magnum AW which can be carried like a shoulder bag or be attached to a body harness for trekking.

Are all harnesses the same btw? Or is there a difference in quality and/or weight distribution? I'm seriously looking at buying the Urban Disguise 60 or Magnum AW and both use Think Tank and Lowepro harnesses respectively. Wondering if there's any difference?
Hi,

I am not sure about other harnesses. Quality wise, ThinkTank without a doubt (i have a fair share of Lowepro products in my arsenal).

My suggestion is to visit the friendly TK Photo and test both systems. They have both Lowepro and ThinkTank products. You may like to bring your gears along too, to make accurate judgement.
 

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