GAS Backpack ideas

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

Hall of Famer
Location
Somerset, UK
Name
Ovi
It wouldn't be absolutely needed right now but it will soon. My needs have changed quite a bit since my Micro Four Thirds days. In the last 2 years I have managed to build a good set of photography gear but my current backpack is not keeping up well. Right now I have:
*Sony a7 Mark IV body with one spare battery and one dual USB charger.
*Sony FE 28mm f 2
*Sony FE 85mm f 1.8
*Tamron FE 28-75mm f 2.8 Di III VXD G2
*Tamron FE 70-180mm f 2.8 Di III VXD
*Tamron FE 150-500mm f 5-6.7 Di III VC VXD
*Lee Sev5n Filter Travel Pouch filled with square filters and a holder
*K&F Concept SA255C1 67"/172cm Carbon Travel Tripod

I can fit all of them in my Mindshift Rotation 180 Horizon backpack but my big Tamy zoom is at its limit of fitting and my 15 inch laptop is struggling to get in there.
Thing is, next year, I plan to upgrade (and replace my Tamy big zoom) to Sony FE 200-600mm f 5.6-6.3 G OSS because I want the extra reach and the teleconvertor compatibility. And that lens will not fit in my backpack at all.

So I am researching for a backpack that can fit that lens with 3 f 2.8 zooms and maybe a few primes with quick access for lens swapping. If it can accommodate at 15 inch laptop that would be great but not absolutely mandatory.
Other needs would be weather resilience (cover or not), support for tripod and a bit of room for clothes and/or a day of food/snacks.

Your personal experience and usage would be more helpful then specs on a Google Search, especially long term usage.
 
It wouldn't be absolutely needed right now but it will soon. My needs have changed quite a bit since my Micro Four Thirds days. In the last 2 years I have managed to build a good set of photography gear but my current backpack is not keeping up well. Right now I have:
*Sony a7 Mark IV body with one spare battery and one dual USB charger.
*Sony FE 28mm f 2
*Sony FE 85mm f 1.8
*Tamron FE 28-75mm f 2.8 Di III VXD G2
*Tamron FE 70-180mm f 2.8 Di III VXD
*Tamron FE 150-500mm f 5-6.7 Di III VC VXD
*Lee Sev5n Filter Travel Pouch filled with square filters and a holder
*K&F Concept SA255C1 67"/172cm Carbon Travel Tripod

I can fit all of them in my Mindshift Rotation 180 Horizon backpack but my big Tamy zoom is at its limit of fitting and my 15 inch laptop is struggling to get in there.
Thing is, next year, I plan to upgrade (and replace my Tamy big zoom) to Sony FE 200-600mm f 5.6-6.3 G OSS because I want the extra reach and the teleconvertor compatibility. And that lens will not fit in my backpack at all.

So I am researching for a backpack that can fit that lens with 3 f 2.8 zooms and maybe a few primes with quick access for lens swapping. If it can accommodate at 15 inch laptop that would be great but not absolutely mandatory.
Other needs would be weather resilience (cover or not), support for tripod and a bit of room for clothes and/or a day of food/snacks.

Your personal experience and usage would be more helpful then specs on a Google Search, especially long term usage.
If I tried to take all that stuff Ovi, I'd need a trailer!
 
If I tried to take all that stuff Ovi, I'd need a trailer!
It depends :p
My last travel holiday was in 2020 when I visited my mom in Sicily for 3 weeks. Back then I traveled with a smaller backpack, fitted with my Asus ZenBook Pro Duo (with a charger, SD card reader, active stylus and my Logitech trackball mouse). In terms of gear:
*Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
*Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
*Olympus M.ZD 7-14mm f 2.8 PRO
*Olympus M.ZD 12-40mm f 2.8 PRO
*Panasonic Leica 50-200mm f 2.8-4 OIS
*Panasonic 1.4x TC

It fit all in the backpack because everything was compact and light, about 3 KGs for the photography gear, 3 KGs for the post processing and storage, 1.5 KGs for the backpack itself.
It worked well and I was not lacking for anything I wanted to photograph on that trip, I've photographed interior of buildings and churches, cramp streets, long roads and serpentines, cities on top of mountains and the Mediterranean coast, some portraits and quite a lot of night shooting and astrophotography, wildlife (small and large mammals, wide variety of birds).
I did have my tripod with me but I had it stowed in my clothes suitcase and on the backpack when traveling locally.

My minimum for traveling outside of UK would be about the same in Sony terms. But traveling around Somerset and South West I would swap some lenses for others and try to keep it to 3-4 lenses. It's always difficult making the choice when I love all kinds of subjects, that's why I value the most versatility in a setup, mostly zooms, weather resistance, close-up capabilities.
 
I was about to suggest something in the 35ish liter capacity, but looked up your current bag and hey-ho, its 34 liters to go!

This brings you up into the 45 liter territory, and most likely solidly outside the possibility to run the ruck as a carry-on luggage.

Do you carry all the current gear in just the swing around bag, or have you filled the ruck entirely, IOW using both camera- and main compartment?
 
I was about to suggest something in the 35ish liter capacity, but looked up your current bag and hey-ho, its 34 liters to go!

This brings you up into the 45 liter territory, and most likely solidly outside the possibility to run the ruck as a carry-on luggage.

Do you carry all the current gear in just the swing around bag, or have you filled the ruck entirely, IOW using both camera- and main compartment?
I don't travel at all right now because of financial and work situation but I want to change that, slowly towards the end of the year and a lot better next year.
While I don't expect to carry everything I do tend to be more cautious about carrying enough. Because if my prediabetes situation I need to carry food supplies (for the day and some emergency, which usually is Beef Jerky and some sweets) and plenty of water (I have a 2 and a 3 L water hydration bladder that I used quite a bit in the past). And I have trouser and jacket rain covers and a small medical kit because I tend to be prone to bad luck and accidents.

For gear I would prefer a 2 camera but currently I own only one. For lenses my minimum and ideal is the 28mm to 180mm f 2.8 dual zooms and my big Tamy zoom for wildlife (my 75% of total images I make for the last 5 years). The primes I tend to not carry them, though I hope to get a dedicated macro lens down the road (next year seems to be a busy year). The only addition would be Tamy 17-28mm f 2.8 for the wide angle but I don't own it yet).

Even now, to me, it sounds like a 45 L rucksack might be needed for hiking/cycling.
My Mindshift Rotation 180 is usually filled with the Tamy 150-500mm in the rotation compartment when I'm focused on landscape (with the camera on the backpack strap and Tamy 28-75mm mounted and Tamy 70-180mm inside the (now replaced) Crumpler Jimmy Bo 400 which was on the side of my hip (looped around my waist).
When I am focused on wildlife I would have the Tamy 28-70mm in the Jimmy Bo and the Tamy 70-180mm in the Mindshift Rotation compartment, and the Tamy 150-500 on the camera.

I have lost some image opportunites because I didn't have the wildlife setup on the ready when I would come up to large birds, foxes and deer out in th field.

The top compartment is usually filled with food, water and clothes I might need. In the top lid compartment I keep my wallet and emergency supplies and med kit.

The last major hike I did locally was 3 years ago when I went out at 04:00 in the morning and got back at 02:00 the next morning, I walked about 120 miles through forests and hills and I ended up in Devon. I made over 8000 images that day (quite a few tracking bursts of large birds of prey). Last proper hike was when I visited my mom in Sicily. I walked up the Parco dei Nebrodi mountains for about 20 hours, I wanted to do astrophotography from an abandoned large farm mansion (I carried all the Olympus gear I mentioned in the first post as well as food for a day and the 2 L water blader, there were a few water springs along the way that I used to refill it).
 
Aha, with flights out of the immediate equation, and with that sort of load-out, I would be tempted to recommend a pack-frame, whereupon you strap down a camera bag that fits your gear needs, and a daypack for your general carry stuff. It is basically the frame and carry harness from a frame rucksack.

tatonka.jpg

Picture from Amason.uk

I have used such frames a bit, basically dismounting the bag from my Norrøna Recon Pack, and the frames work and is "easy" to pack and quick to get into the different sorts of luggage carried.
 
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