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Photo packs have come a long way in the past decade, especially those that are targeted toward outdoor and adventure photographers. Alaska-based adventure photographer Dan Bailey takes a closer look...

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Best waist pack

Tim Brazelton , Oct 22, 2006; 10:09 p.m.

I know a bit off topic but, after many repairs, my 15 yr old old Galen Rowell waist pack finally was put to rest. After several attempts I've been unable to find a satisfactory replacement. Has anyone found a waist camera pack that works well for medium format? One of the great things about the Rowell packs was that the size was determined by compression straps so it would tightly hold anything from point-and-shoot digital to a Mamiya 7 w/ 150 mm.

My ideal bag will have 3 features:

1. Modifiable size:

I frequently run with this bag and so it needs to snugly fit whatever is in it. The most common items that will be in it will be either an M7, a large format lens, or a Nikon D200 w/ MB-D200. I actually use it to hold whatever I'm actively working with at the time while the other stuff stays in the car or rides in a backback so my ideal bag is modifiable in size.

2. Top flips toward me

The other main feature is a top that flips up toward you. Most of the major bag makers seem to have gone toward a top that that flips away from you (easier to see gear). However, this prevents me from closing it quickly enough. I've already had several close call with a Lowepro Mini Orion (great pack but not for me: slightly too small and top opens wrong way).

3. Integrated waistband

I also tried some of the Tamrac holster bags but when I start running they violently bounce around. I think the key is that the belt needs to have a wide interface with the bag to hold it flat against the user, even when running.

I'm really looking for just a waist bag. Don't need any pockets. Just something simple.

Thanks for any suggestions, Tim

Responses

D N , Oct 22, 2006; 10:54 p.m.

You run while wearing the Galen Rowell waist pack????

Just a suggestion ... have you looked at waist packs outside the realm of camera packs? REI has some nice ones. Some that I could even wear while running!

Robert Budding , Oct 23, 2006; 05:58 a.m.

Have you looked at the Moutainsmith bags? I use one of their fanny packes for day hikes with my kids - compression straps and many nice features.

David Carson , Oct 23, 2006; 12:56 p.m.

Photo runner by Lowepro

http://lowepro.com/Products/Beltpacks/classic/Photo_Runner.aspx

The top opens with two connected zippers to the side, however.

Doug Harhai , Oct 23, 2006; 02:20 p.m.

I love the PhotoRunner but since I moved up to an EOS 3 with PB-E2, the pack is slightly too small. The sideline shooter by Lowepro may be a good replacement for me (and for you).

Erie Patsellis , Oct 25, 2006; 10:25 a.m.

I bought a backpack at Wally world to modify to use as a photo backpack. It's a detachable design, basically a good sized backpack that zippers to a pretty good sized waist pack, all for $30. I use the waist pack alone more than I do the backpack, it's fairly easy to make some padded dividers up to put in and the modular design with several pouches you can buy to attach works well. WalMart carries a small and large pouch that attaches, other hunting/sorting goods suppliers have compatible attachments.

erie

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