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Steve Lane
28th November 2008, 04:08 PM
'Afternoon folks,

No doubt I am not the only person in this situation, but I seem to be on an eternal search for the perfect camera bag. Over the twenty something years I have been into photography, I have amassed many different bags, cases and rucksacks. LowePro, Tamrac, Billingham and others are hanging in sheds, loft and various cupboads. They all seem to do the job reasonable well, but all have their shortfalls.

So, after much trawling about on the web, and looking in many shops, I came across this;

http://www.vanguardgb.com/details.php?id=514

For my needs, it appears to be perfect. Howevere, the cost is quite high, so I thought I would see if any of you have experience of this range of products. Vanguard's customer service seems spot on, and they have answered all of my questions very promptly indeed. I get a good feeling about the product, but thought I would canvas opinions of forum members before taking the plunge and adding another bag to my growing family.

Cheers, Steve.

DekHog
28th November 2008, 04:47 PM
I've never heard of them before, but wondered what you think makes this so different from any of your other bags?

I'm of the opionion that bags can be a bit akin to lens lust... there is no 'perfect fit,' unless you had one made to measure specifically for your needs... the next one you look at always appears better than the one (or more) you already have.

I'd never spend that much without actually seeing it either...

Invicta
28th November 2008, 06:17 PM
'Afternoon folks,

No doubt I am not the only person in this situation, but I seem to be on an eternal search for the perfect camera bag. Over the twenty something years I have been into photography, I have amassed many different bags, cases and rucksacks. LowePro, Tamrac, Billingham and others are hanging in sheds, loft and various cupboads. They all seem to do the job reasonable well, but all have their shortfalls.

So, after much trawling about on the web, and looking in many shops, I came across this;

http://www.vanguardgb.com/details.php?id=514

For my needs, it appears to be perfect. Howevere, the cost is quite high, so I thought I would see if any of you have experience of this range of products. Vanguard's customer service seems spot on, and they have answered all of my questions very promptly indeed. I get a good feeling about the product, but thought I would canvas opinions of forum members before taking the plunge and adding another bag to my growing family.

Cheers, Steve.

Is the ability to split photo gear from other items like walking gear a high requirement? If so also have a look at the Lowepro Dryzone Rover.

I have one of these so I can post my thoughts on it if of interest.

Ian
28th November 2008, 06:44 PM
I have used Kata R103s for the last few years. These are superbly made and the older of the two I have looks almost new despite having travelled with me all over the world. BUT the next bag I want to try is a 'sling' type, which means I don't have to remove it completely to get kit in and out of the bag.

LowePro has pioneered this style of bag and earlier this year launched bigger versions, which I would need, that can also accommodate a laptop:

http://dpnow.com/4676.html

Ian

Paulpp
29th November 2008, 08:36 AM
I bought one of the Fastpack range recently and have been pleased with it. However I tend to feel I will never find the prefect bag - which needs to fit into a pocket, carry an entire DSLR outfit and weigh (loaded) only a few grams. That Tardis thing I have heard about seems the way to go.

Steve Lane
1st December 2008, 09:36 AM
Hi Folks, thanks for your comments.

It is indeed the fact that I wish to keep walking gear separate from a small amount of camera gear.

I tend to do a lot of walking in the Derbyshire Dales and High Peak, so a good weatherproof rucksack is important. I have several such packs, ranging from 15 to 90 litres. None are 'proper' photo rucksacks, but of course I can throw lots of camera gear into them. I also have rucksacks such as the Tamrac Adventure 7 which provides storage for some camera gear, but is not really rugged enough to serve as a general backpack. Then there are the waist packs I have such as the Lowepro off-trail range that are useful for keeping a camera body and a couple of lenses in. These are useful to take out in conjunction with a small pack.

What I am looking for is a pack small enough to be comfortable for several hours walking each day, large enough to store a flask and wet weather gear and of course, provide good enough protection for a camera and a couple of lenses. I want the camera gear to be stored flat in the lower section of the pack, not stacked up one on top of the other like many other bags. The ablility to carry a tripod either underneath or attached to the side is another 'must'. No laptop storage pocket is required, or side compression pockets either. I was also looking for more traditional materials than the usual offerings. I still like the look and feel of the canvas Billingham range. I have bags such as the 335 which I purchased 16 or so years ago and they are still in superb condition, even after much travelling. The Arlen range are made of similar material, which is what first peaked my interest. Closer inspection reavealed that the '59' has most of the features I am looking for. The dimensions appear close to what I need. The only thing it seems to be lacking is a carabina stiched in an inside pocket, so that I can attach keys and knives safely.

Cheers, Steve.

Xpres
1st December 2008, 10:48 AM
What I am looking for is a pack small enough to be comfortable for several hours walking each day, large enough to store a flask and wet weather gear and of course, provide good enough protection for a camera and a couple of lenses. I want the camera gear to be stored flat in the lower section of the pack, not stacked up one on top of the other like many other bags. The ablility to carry a tripod either underneath or attached to the side is another 'must'. No laptop storage pocket is required, or side compression pockets either. I was also looking f.....



Although I mostly use one of those Kata bags Ian mentioned, or a small billingham, I do have an old Oyster 3000 backpack which I used to put my mamiya in when tramping Snowdonia. I think it ticks all your boxes - except it's green. Camera goes at the bottom with the top as space for whatever plus space for keys and stuff.

Steve Lane
1st December 2008, 11:06 AM
"Although I mostly use one of those Kata bags Ian mentioned, or a small billingham, I do have an old Oyster 3000 backpack which I used to put my mamiya in when tramping Snowdonia. I think it ticks all your boxes - except it's green. "

No problem - green or khaki are my favorite colors!

Cheers, Steve.

Jim Ford
1st December 2008, 11:44 AM
I've been using one of these for a 100% waterproof daysack:

http://www.alpkit.com/shop/cart.php?target=product&product_id=16269&category_id=251

Check out the price!

They do smaller sizes as well.

Jim

Gwyver
1st December 2008, 06:20 PM
Is the ability to split photo gear from other items like walking gear a high requirement? If so also have a look at the Lowepro Dryzone Rover.

I have one of these so I can post my thoughts on it if of interest.

Hi Invicta,
Yes this is high on my requirements. LowePro website doesn't seem very helpful on specifying the internal dimensions of each compartment. For example on a full day walk the top compartment needs to contain the 1.5L water + anorak, lunch, towel, maps & usual clutter, while the camera compartment contains (at minimum) E3 + 12~60, 3 or 4 filters, spare cards & battery + when I'm feeling really strong a 50~200.
Is this feasible?
Is the bag worth the money?