Finally, a camera bag

I’ve been hunting for a camera bag for quite a while now. The previous beanie-in-a-rucksack system wasn’t working so well for the larger DSLR, in terms of either comfort or security. What I was looking for was one a hybrid backpack that was…

  • rainproof (100%);
  • comfortable for all day use;
  • compartmentalised, with a different section for a camera and lens, and a large section for day gear;
  • secure (locakable when travelling, so zips not clips);
  • with a breathable back (perferably sweat-resistant); and
  • suitable to use as carry-on luggage at the airport, i.e. a 115cm bag (56cm x36cm x 23cm, at Qantas)

There are plenty of specialised backpacks out there for photographers and video makers. I was looking at bags like the Tamrac Aero Speed Pack 75, the Lowepro Primus AW, Kata’s DR 466i or an 8 Million Dollar Home from Crumpler. But I could find nothing with a decent padded camera section as well as a day pack section bigger than about 10L (enough for snacks and water).

Mont Trance 34 day pack

So I got myself a big, comfortable, rugged, simple day pack with 2 compartments. A bit of padding in a ‘dry sack’, and the camera’s pretty secure, and reasonably easy to access.

The winner: the Mont Trance 32 from Mountain Equipment. This looks to be a depreciated model: the closest on their website is the Trance 34. I’ve been one one day-long trek so far and the bag has been fantastic: great hip and shoulder support, and easy enough to access the front (camera) pocket on the move. It doesn’t look bad either: no lairy straps and colouring.

One problem I had with day packs was that some are fitted for smaller people. The Deuter Futura for instance wouldn’t reach my hips and shoulders at the same time.

A word to the bag makers: I don’t think I’m the only one who needs a bag with enough space for a day’s trekking (15 – 20L ?) and a compartment to safely secure a camera and a couple of lenses.

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Posted on April 18, 2010

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