Photopack or photo bag? Photographic transportation from a hike to the mountains in Asia

I finally managed to find a way to transportphotographic equipment that suits me 100%. How many options I have already tried and scrolled in my head, do not count, but it turned out everything is trivially simple. It’s not a fact that it will suit you, but I will still share my reflections, although I, of course, will not discover America. The most important thing is that this option is budget, very compact, and is suitable for any type of travel, be it a hike, a walk around the city or a trip to Asia.

The content of the article

My universal and banal set

The tasks that I needed to solve

  • Always need quick access to the camera and interchangeable lenses.
  • On one shoulder should not hang anything, or that hanging should be light (on two shoulders, you can).
  • The versatility of the solution is suitable for a city walk, a hike, and a trip to Asia, that is, it does not require separate means of transportation depending on the format of the trip.
  • Budget.

As you understand, these requirements are unrealistic to be realized only with one backpack (overview of the backpack Kata 3N1-33), or one photo bag (Think Tank Bag Review). You need something intermediate, or all at once, which is sometimes quite problematic to take with you due to their total volume. And instant access is only when the camera is hanging ready on the neck, or at the very least a photo bag, because as experience has shown, the slingo backpack bag is not very suitable for this, but generally keep quiet about ordinary backpack bags.

The important point is that I assume that on a trip I only need a carcass with 2-3 lenses (how to choose a lens), and accessories to it. Therefore, for wedding photographers or even pros who have a whole line of photo equipment, my option is not suitable.

Do I need a photo backpack?

Honestly, I almost stopped using them,for I have no need for quick access to a multitude of accessories. In fact, the standard lens is already wound, the second lens hangs on the belt and you can quickly change it (you can also hang a third one there), a polarizer or an extra battery is rarely needed and can be removed from a regular backpack. Besides, you can’t drag you to Asia (I'm in Thailand now), and you’ll have a city backpack and a photo backpack, it’s going to be overkill ...

Why the backpack, if the bird is on the neck, and the lens is on the belt

Why the backpack, if the bird is on the neck, and the lens is on the belt

But for some travel formats, it still fits well. For example, when you go close for a couple of days, as I traveled to Kharkov. And besides the photo scrap, which is ideally necessary for alltake almost nothing with you. In general, such a backpack is convenient for transporting equipment from one point to another or for storage, as well as those who need constant access to a variety of devices and lenses (wedding photographers and others like them).

My set for 8500 rubles

My set of 4 things consists:

  • ThinkTank photo bag (3000r)
  • ThinkTank Lens Case (1500r)
  • city ​​backpack Arpenaz 27 from Decathlon (3000r)
  • Decathlon travel bag (960r)

Life hacking - when ordering online on the website of Decathlon,but through Letyshop cashback service, there will be a 2.5-5% return for all goods. If you do not know, they have a delivery, so you can order everything home. By the way, there is not only Decathlon in the list, you can return cashback from a heap of other stores.

The total cost is about 8,500 rubles, as perusual photo backpack. However, functionally, this scheme is much more versatile than the usual photo backpack. And the most convenient thing is that when traveling, and in Moscow too, I use the Arpenaz backpack, as an urban one, so it could even not be taken into account in the sum of this, as I still had it. By and large, anybody can do at all (but I always need an office for a laptop). And other things, such as a small photo bag, a case for a lens and a travel bag, can be found two times cheaper on the same Alyexpress, which makes this option even more budget.

Life hacking - when shopping for Aliexpress, you can receive cashback up to 11% through the EPN service (they have a browser plugin, an application for phones). I wrote everything in great detail in my instructionswhat it is and how to use it.

Universal set for all occasions

Universal set for all occasions

Examples of using

Just in case, I will describe examples of use, although everything seems to be understood. I tried everywhere, I did not notice the minuses for myself.


Since I almost always have a backpack on my shoulders (how to choose a hiking backpack), and I want to take pictures in the process of walking,then the most convenient option is a photo bag around your neck, instant access to it. And it should not be heavy, which means that there should be only a camera in it (what camera to choose) and one wound lens. And when you do not need to shoot anything, the photo bag simply goes inside the marching backpack. The camera should be exactly in the case, because it can rain, around stones, branches, it is dangerous to leave it unprotected.

When it is supposed to removewith the second lens, it is hung either on the photo bag (although it is already heavy), or right there on the waist belt or on some kind of strap, since the backpacker has a lot to attach to.

Hiking: a photo bag is hanging around your neck, the rest is inside a hiking backpack

Hiking: a photo bag is hanging around your neck, the rest is inside a hiking backpack

City walk

I always and everywhere go around the city with the citya backpack (even to the store, or when I go by car), so it’s not difficult for me (and its volume allows) to put in it a photo bag and a case with a lens. You can even immediately put the carcass, without a bag, so it takes up even less space. And as soon as I arrive at the place where I will take a lot of pictures, I just hang the camera around my neck, so it will be in full combat readiness. Case with the lens hang on the belt.

If filming is not scheduled on this day, and I takefotik just in case, he lies in my backpack in a photo bag or without it. Backpacks and so good that plus or minus a couple of pounds on the shoulders are not felt. It is also convenient that at any moment I can hang a photo bag on my shoulder, if I need to suddenly free up space in my backpack. For example, I went to buy products in the supermarket.

What else is good for a big city backpack (butcompact visually), so it is because you can stuff additional things into it at any time: a tripod, accessories, clothes, a bottle of water. In photo backpacks, usually the compartment for such things is quite small; there the whole volume is occupied by soft partitions.

A walk through the city: a backpack on the back, a fotik on the neck, a lens on a belt

A walk through the city: a backpack on the back, a fotik on the neck, a lens on a belt

Travel to Asia

Despite the visually small size, Arpenaz27 allows you to shove quite a lot into it. It is therefore well suited for hand luggage on the plane. A laptop, a photo bag, a case with a lens, two travel bags with valuable accessories, a fleece and all trifles calmly fit into it. I am sure that such models of backpacks on the market now abound and there is a choice. I just want to note that Arpenaz is very light, because it has thickening only in the compartment for a laptop.

Upon arrival in a new country, I clean Arpenaz (hesoft enough inside of my hiking backpack along with the rest of the junk, but I leave a photo bag around my neck, which allows me to take pictures while traveling with all things and with a hiking backpack on my shoulders. In fact, we get a "hiking option." By the way, the photographic backpack, due to its rigid construction, is pushed into the marching all is so problematic, as well as in a small suitcase.

At the airport: urban cleaned for hiking, photo bag outside

At the airport: urban cleaned for hiking, photo bag outside

After things are left in the hotel (always lookingthrough the RoomGuru super service, I use the variant I described during my walks: city backpack + photo bag + case or city backpack + carcass without a bag + case, that is, the “city option”. And if I’m not going to take anything off, or if we allow food to the supermarket for groceries, then I take only my city backpack.

On Asian ruins: backpack on the back, fotik on the neck, lens on the belt

On Asian ruins: backpack on the back, fotik on the neck, lens on the belt

P.S. Trite, but it took three years to realize that the best is the simplest. :) By the way, there are some good photo backpacks for Dakin, which look like ordinary ones, but there is a photo bag inside which you can take out if necessary. The solution is more universal than the usual photo backpack.

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