An obsession with camera bags is something that only a photographer can understand. How can such a simple and practical item incite such zeal? Ever since I have been taking photos, I have been on the quest for the perfect bag. For the past 5 years, my bag of choice has been the Lowepro Rover AW II.
The top compartment is good for non photo gear, and all the photo stuff goes down below. The photo compartment will fit a 1 series body, two large lenses, and two smaller lenses. It will also accommodate a full size tripod with the clever tripod carrier. I carry a Gitzo GT2531 complete with a Kirk BH-1 head without a problem. Now, I use this bag to fit either my 4×5 camera + 2 lenses, or my Fuji GX617 panoramic camera.
For ease of access, I added two of the street and field utility cases to each side of the waist belt. The outside zipper pocket opens wide, and will fit my 4×6 grad filters. The beauty of this is that I can leave those parts open, and freely swap grads. The inner compartments of each utility case will give added storage for my grad holder, light meter, etc. I love being able to wear the backpack, but have everything easily accessible while shooting.
Unlike many photo backpacks on the market, this one is very light. The harness is excellent, and the oversize waist-belt transfers the weight of the pack to my hips. I’ve done a 14 mile day hike with this bag fully loaded, and it was very comfortable. When I finally wear out this bag, I plan on buying another one.