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5/16/2018 8:23 AM

First of all, I just stumbled upon HPG and I don't know why I haven't known about them sooner- pretty much my ideal wilderness pack but I will still use Cilogear for my climbing needs and multi day trips (45L) (also an awesome company but definetly has a different use/ philosophy).

I am trying to figure out the best pack to purchase for a wilderness photogrpahy setup. My current carry setup is lacking and I am trying to revamp it. My kit includes a Canon 6D with main lens being a 16-35 f4. I also have a 24mm f1.4astro lens and a massive 70-200 f2.8 plus a full size tripod- so not the smallest kit. The tripod is the easy part, no matter which pack I get it should be easy to lash to the outside. 

The pack I really like is the connor, but I am afraid that it will be a bit too small after all my other gear is added- I was also thinking about using something like this internal camera unit,<https://fstopgear.com/products/icu/shallow-icu-small> to organize lenses. It would go at the bottom of the pack and the clamshell opening of the Connor would provide easy access.  The only concern I have about this is the width of the ICU is 5" and he width of the connor is 4" and it is also .5" wider. Does anyone with experince with the connor think I could squeeze this in still?

Then I already have an external camera holster,  <https://fstopgear.com/products/clearance/navin> that can be used to lash my actual camera to the PALS on the outside of the pack which I think will work well. 

I really just want to know if this combned with my other kit- softshell, hardshell, puffy, gloves, crampons and ice axe in winter,  survival gear, food, water - would be cutting it close on size and capacity. If carrying all my photo gear this pack would be used for day use, so no sleeping bag or shelter. I could also try and carry food on my body to keep it out of the pack- I eat mostly gus and bars so keeping a majority of them on my person shouldnt be too hard, I usually kinda do that anyways. 

The main reason I am favoring the connor over the umlindi is the clamshell opening that I think would work perfectly with the internal camera unit I linked to earlier- but I do not know if the size will be okay.

Thanks for any help or insight.   

New Post
5/16/2018 12:14 PM

Personally, with that load-out I think you're looking at the Aston House Backcountry--but I'm one of those folks who prefer to err on the side of compressing a big pack rather than strapping things onto the smallest possible platform. 

Otherwise, I know that most packs geared toward photographers are panel loaders, but I think it ultimately comes down to how you work out in the field.  For myself, I shoot mostly landscapes here in the Smokies, but despite having previously owned a number of Kifaru panel loaders, I've never felt my current HPG qui-Ya slows me down any with my Pentax 67 kit.  (FWIW, the only sticking point with HPG toploaders in this capacity might be the dimensions of the opening--even the qui-Ya is a relatively slim pack...the Porta Brace videocam bag I use to hold the camera body and a couple of lenses just fits.) 

That said, I think if you start looking closely at the AHBC, one thing you might be able to leverage is the hook-and-loop/PALs field interior for internal organization.

New Post
5/16/2018 12:37 PM

Yeah that makes total sense, I came to to a simlar realization not 10 minutes ago. I intially didn't even look at the AHBC pack because I just saw the size and was turned off becasue I thought it would be too big, but after seeing the comression capbilites it really is pretty versatile. As far as top loader vs panel loader, I have a few top loaders from Cilogear and want to try something new, and the extra potential for a travel pack in the AHBC could be very valuable in itself.

Also, thanks for the lead on Porta race, I haven't heard of them before and their stuff looks like it might be a good fit. 

Thnaks for the help.  

New Post
5/16/2018 4:53 PM

Your L-glass makes for an interesting challenge!  I have a pretty compact DSLR kit (a Pentax K-5 and manual focus lenses), so what I would do with an AHBC is hook-in my F-stop Harney bag to the PALs field at the top of the bag so that I could just unzip the host pack a bit, reach into the camera bag and be ready to shoot.  (I used the same set-up when I was running a Kifaru Marauder as my camera pack.)  You'd probably only be able to get the 70-200 by itself into the Harney, but then you could no doubt find an ICU that makes sense for your gear.  (FWIW, I like the looks of these inserts since they seem a little deeper:http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product...e_pci_m.html#sp)

And again, it depends on how you like to work, but for my purposes I found that I liked to carry my tripod in its own case while I was banging around off-trail.  I had a scabbard from Sunrise Tactical that afforded my sticks/head a bit of extra protection:





New Post
5/17/2018 2:06 PM

The 70-200 is a beast haha... But you gave me a good idea- Since I already have the Navin that fits my camera body and the 16-35 (and that's the lens that stays on the camera usually when I'm on the trail) I may just mount the navin on the top of the AHBC for easy access and then use the fstop ICU or the other organizer you listed in the bottom for carrying the other lenses and accessories. That tripod scabbard is an interesting idea to, and I'll definitely keep it in mind- its going to come down to weight I think. I have the upper section of my tripod wrapped in dense foam and some heavy tape so I am not sure if the extra protection is necessary- but a good idea nonethelss. 

I went ahead and ordered the AHBC so once I ge tmy hands on it, I'll start eperimenting with different setups. 

New Post
5/17/2018 2:41 PM
I have considered the AHBC for just this purpose. I have done well with an Umlindi and a Pals pocket on the back. I could fit a couple lenses in the pocket with other camera gear. The camera I keep on a Peak Design clip on the shoulder harness.
New Post
5/17/2018 10:21 PM

AHBC would be my suggestion. The connor is only 4" deep and may not fit big bodied DSLR cameras (especially if you have a grip attached). The AHBC also allows you to run a belt for added support and you can add bottle pockets for on the fly lens changes.

With your tripod, you can stash it in the water bottle/wand pocket. 

This cell looks intriguing. You could use the top zipper to get your DSLR in and out very quickly with the AHBC top pass through zipper.


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