As Bob Keenan’s cameras evolved and his collection of gear got larger, so did his camera bags. One day he loaded all his camera gear into his backpack and hiked to three waterfalls . . . or at least that was his intent. Here’s what happened:
I died at the first one and had to turn back. I weighed the pack when I got home and it was 38 lbs. When I was 30 that was doable but at 60 it was a different matter. So I started paying attention to weight. The bag itself was over 5lbs!!!
He figured out that carrying all his gear on his back wasn’t an option and he needed a way to pack smarter. He started looking for something that would meet his photography needs instead of just holding his gear. He tried a Crumpler 6 Million Dollar Home Bag and a Think Tank Retrospective 20 and decided they were both fine shoulder bags, but after taking up biking he really needed a backpack. First, he decided what he really wanted in his ideal bag:
I am smart enough, from my previous experience, I hope, to know what I really want.
1. It has to be light
3. It has to fit a least the camera and a couple lenses and my filters
4. It has to be as small as possible
5. It has to allow for easy lens replacement
6. It needs to have the ability to carry my tripod
Then he started shopping. He finally settled on a Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L AW as his perfect bag, which allows him to easily pack his essential gear on his bike:
So that’s my perfect bag now. If I go on a bike ride I put the RS-4 strap on the camera and then put all of that in the backpack. My camera will usually have a Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC lens mounted on it. Then I will also pack my Canon 70-200mm f2.8 lens for distant shots and my Sigma 70mm macro for really close work. I will also load up some graduated ND and polarizing filters. The pack is not too heavy. I can shoot from the bike.
Read Bob’s entire article: Bags, Bags, Bags, My Journey to the best DSLR Camera Bag
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