10 things to watch out for
A few things soon come to light when you head out on the road with a photo backpack
Conventional backpacks need to be laid down so that you can remove kit, say if you need to change lenses. In wet or dirty environments, the side that gets covered in muck is the same one that rests against your back when you put it back on.
Quick-access side flaps can be convenient for quickly grabbing your camera and attached lens, but in busy, insecure environments there can be a slight worry that somebody else might help themselves to your camera.
Full photo backpacks are usually the best bet if you only want to carry camera kit, but the Lowepro Transit split photo/ daypack does particularly well if you need to carry other things like a coat, food or books too.
Whatever the weather
An all-weather cover is always good to have, removing the worry of rain seeping in through zip fasteners and seams. Some backpacks have rain waterproof covers built in.
A tripod fastening system on the outside of the backpack enables you to carry your tripod hands-free, along with all your other kit.
An additional strap that fastens the main shoulder straps across your chest reduces the risk of either of the straps slipping off your shoulders.
A waist strap helps to keep a backpack or sling bag in place when you’re crossing tricky terrain or climbing over obstacles. It also helps spread the weight to your lower back, making the bag more comfortable to carry.
Even if the size is within limits, a fully loaded backpack can weigh upwards of 15kg, making it too heavy for the carry-on restrictions of several airlines.
A little time and effort spent adjusting the straps so the backpack best fits your body shape results in much more comfortable carrying.
Some backpacks include an organiser section for memory cards, which can be useful to have as you can keep track of which ones are full and which are empty. See our comparison table on page 98 for details.