Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Gadget Bag: Super Sized Backpacks
When you want to carry a lot of gear into the field, consider the three Cs: capacity, comfort and convenience
Famous for fit and comfort, Lowepro offers the Pro Trekker 600 AW to haul everything but the kitchen sink. The main section holds two or three pro DSLRs with grips (one with a lens up to 600mm attached), plus five or six additional lenses, a 15-inch notebook and other accessories. Not one, but three, integrated tripod sleeves located at the front and sides provide space to secure tripods, monopods, and trekking or ski poles. Two spacious side pockets hold large accessories; one includes a seam-sealed pouch that can hold a bladder containing up to 70 ounces of liquid (doesn’t include a hydration reservoir). An ingenious removable waistpack can be used either as a backpack lid (providing extra security and weather protection) or as a traditional waistpack. The Pro Trekker 600 is durable and finely made, and comes with Lowepro’s patented AW (All Weather) Cover. Estimated Street Price: $399.
Mountainsmith Parallax Pro
The Mountainsmith Parallax Pro daypack is constructed from 100% recycled 450d ReDura PET for the body fabric, YKK zippers and other high-quality components. The main compartment is fleece-lined, featuring padded adjustable dividers and an organization panel. Refinements include a laminated mesh interior zippered pocket, a pair of mesh side pockets that hold the larger 22-ounce water bottles and a front accessory pocket with key clip. To make the load feel lighter, Mountainsmith has included comfortable contoured shoulder straps, an adjustable sternum strap, a molded back panel and a molded rubber haul handle. The Parallax Pro accommodates up to a 17-inch laptop and comes with a padded, tuck-away waistbelt, tripod strap and removable storm cover. Estimated Street Price: $189.
Tamrac’s Adventure 10 Model 5550 easily stows a professional-sized DSLR (like a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV or Nikon D3X) with a 70-200mm zoom attached, plus at least four more lenses, a flash, a meter, filters and more in the nicely padded lower compartment. In the upper part, there’s room for foul weather gear, food or other items. A separate, completely foam-padded compartment provides safe storage for a 17-inch MacBook Pro or smaller notebook. Water bottles, loose lens caps or trail snacks can be slipped into large mesh pockets located on either side. The storage space is well organized and supported by a padded backpack harness with a sternum strap that’s contoured for even weight distribution. Estimated Street Price: $179.
The Tenba Shootout Backpack (Large) can be loaded with two DSLRs, seven lenses and a 17-inch notebook. It has a padded main section that’s nicely divided for photo equipment and a removable padded, reinforced laptop compartment. Additional items can be stowed in the padded side pockets and plasticized mesh pockets. It also features web loops to hold accessories, plus a removable media wallet and pouch for a phone or MP3 player. The fully adjustable harness features a waist belt and is studded with multiple clip-on points for pouches and accessories. Handles on the top and on both sides allow you to take hold from any direction. Tenba’s exclusive MSTC (Multi-Stage Tripod Carrying) system is provided for easy tripod access, and the WeatherWrap rain hood will keep out the elements. Estimated Street Price: $249.
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