Hector Javkin , Jul 09, 2011; 03:24 a.m.
Calumet, a chain of pro-oriented stores, reports a branch in San Diego: 830 W. Valley Pkwy, Suite 330 Escondido, CA 92025, 760.737.6002 . In the past, it's been excellent, but I haven't had experience with them since they closed their Santa Barbara branch a couple of years ago. It is possible that the economic problems that forced them to close that branch may have caused them to reduce their inventories in other branches.
If you're willing to dive some ninety miles, Samy's, another excellent chain, has a branch in Santa Ana. Samy's main store, in Los Angeles, is the best place I know of in Southern California, but of course that's a longer drive.
As to a backpack, I suggest looking at Lowepro, which has a huge variety. For the needs you describe, the Lowepro CompuRover AW might be ideal