Snagging a Pre-Christmas Bargain


Yewbarrow, Read Pike and Pillar can all be seen in this panoramic. Four image stich with the Fuji X-T2 and 18-135 lens. ISO200, f/11.0, 1/60″

If there’s one thing I can never have enough of, it’s camera bags. Although I tend to use a LowePro Min Trekker (which I think turned into Pro Runner 450AW) if I am out for the day, if I am heading up to the hills, I don’t take this. Typically for a day in the hills safety is more important than camera gear, so I tend to take a backpack full of extra clothing, food and other useful things. I also want to keep it light as I’m not as young as I used to be. Gone are the days of climbing mountains with a Pentax 67 medium format outfit on my back.

When out walking I typically take a single all-purpose camera or lens such as the Sony RX10. When I was shooting more with a Micro 43 I could take the body, three lenses, batteries and filters in a small LowePro 130 shoulder bag. Now with the move to shooting mainly Fuji, the LowePro 130 isn’t large enough.

My solution had been to take the LowePro Apex AW120 which is slightly deeper and fits the Fuji with a slightly larger lens attached. There is though only room for the single lens attached to the camera, so I have tended to use the Fuji 18-135.

Despite having all these bags (and quite a few more besides) none was right for the Fuji X-T2. What I wanted was a shoulder bag that would accommodate the X-T2 body together with three lenses; the 10-24mm 16-50mm and 55-200mm. I didn’t want the bag to be too bulky because I would carry it in addition to my backpack and I wanted a weather proof cover.

Knowing bags tend to be quite cheap second hand, I had a look on e-Bay. Sure enough someone was selling a used LowePro Nova AW160 for £12 as buy it now; so I did. It arrived this morning and it’s like new. Whilst slightly bulkier than my other bag, it’s still small enough to carry as well as a backpack. It’s also the ideal size for the camera body and lenses I mentioned. What a great bargain.

If anyone has any recommendations for a mid sized backpack (slightly larger than the Mini Trekker) I would be grateful. It does need to be very comfortable though as my back still plays up a lot. I do have a Tamrac Expedition X7 backpack which carries loads, but it’s bulky and heavy.

4 thoughts on “Snagging a Pre-Christmas Bargain

  1. Hello Robin
    One never has enough bags..

    For hiking I use f-stop backpacks. One big (62l. forgot the name) and one small – it is called Guru. Both are meant to be carried to the spot on your back. Arriving at the spot you have to take them down, so it is not “run and gun”. They are really very comfortable. I have bad back too, left shoulder beeing sensitive to pressure, arm going a bit numb after prolongued period. Not with those two. I can hike for hours (Where I go an approach can take to four or five hours) without any problems.

    The bigger one takes up to large Internal Unit, which I do not need often. Usually I have Medium Unit in it, which swallows one FF-body, three zooms, filters, batteries, etc. The unit takes the lower half of the backpack, so I have plenty of room for hiking stuff too. Guru takes the medium unit too, but doesn’t have much room for other things. A rain jacket and a sandwich are ok.

    If I need a second body, I have it in my breast in a Mindshft holster, which is attached to the backpack. Very convenient, distributes the weight handily and one is not entangled in various staps. It is also easily accessed (a bit of “run and gun” is possible)

    Myself I am looking into Mindshift backpacks right now, but cannot decide – I can look at them in internet, but don’t know anybody who actually uses them. Not that I would not be satisfied with the two above, but I dream of a backpack which could be quickly turned on the side or in front of me. I do not even know, if I really need such feature, but there you have it: GAS

    For walks with my small cameras I use Thinktank fannypack. My Nikon1 has place enough in the smalles one of three. They leave you free hands and distribute weight very well.

    Happy Christmas and my well wishes to you in the New Year!

    Robert

    1. Thanks for the information Robert. I had sort of heard of these packs before but they just passed me by. I have been looking at the f-stop backpacks and they look excellent (although a little costly in the UK). I will keep my eyes open for any good deals.

  2. For over 7 years I have used a LowePro AW400 backpack. It is sturdy and very supportive with good shoulder and waist straps. I have chronic back problems and this is the best bag in its size that I have used.

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