After my first article of this little series dealt with my preferred holster bag, I would now like to show you my photo daypack. This is my standard backpack which I use to carry all my photographic gear during normal photo tours or day hikes. This makes the carrying comfort even more important for me! Unfortunately, this point is somehow neglected by many manufacturers of camera backpacks, which makes those products often unusable for me. Of course there are also exceptions like the two American brands f-stop and MindShift Gear, which are said to offer very good and comfortable photo backpacks, admittely at high prices…
When I looked for a good (and still affordable) photo backpack a few years ago, both brands were not as common in Germany as today. Instead, the German company Deuter is specialized on backpacks and offers a wide range of backpacks for different needs of alpine sports which are – this is the most important fact – really very comfortable compared to many photo backpacks. The only drawback is that Deuter does not offer photo backpacks up to now.
Then I found an article in which someone described that he uses the Deuter Freerider Pro 30 as a camera backpack and I was immediately hooked! A great alpine backpack with a very good carrying system at a very affordable price of 130 EUR… You can find the big advantage of the Freerider compared to other alpine backpacks in the product description:
… An additional 2-way opening at the back allows access to the main compartment …
That means, you can lay this backpack with its (rubberized!) front on the ground without getting any dirt into the carrying system, open up the whole back and access your gear stored inside. Nothing special for a camera backpack, but a very rare feature for alpine backpacks! The only little drawback is that no raincover is included, but this is only a minor problem as Deuter offers suitable ones as well.
The next step was to find a good photo insert that fits into the Freerider and offers both organization and protection for my equipment. After some search, I found a photo trolley at ebay that offered a removable foto insert with the dimensions 43 cm x 33 cm x 12 cm, which should perfectly fits into the Freerider. If you are interested, just search for the product “Trolley PACK Rucksacktrolley FOTOTROLLEY Fotorucksack Fototasche XL Schwarz” at ebay, this is a permanent offer. I made a good deal and won the auction for about 40 EUR, so there’s a good chance that you do not have to pay the normal prize when you go for bidding!
The “assembly” is very easy, just remove the photo insert from the trolly and put it into the main compartment of the Freerider, that’s all! There will remain a little space above the photo insert, which I use for storing my Lowepro Filter Pouch*. On the following pictures, you can see how I use the backpack.
For me, this is really the perfect photo dayback which has the optimal size for my equipment. It is very comfortable even for long hikes of 6-8 hours with 10 kilos weight. The straps on both sides or on the front of the backpack are made for carrying skis or snowboards, so they are also solid enough to carry a tripod. For longer hikes, I also used my Deuter Source system, which is very convenient way of drinking during a tour.
As it is a little bit time-consuming to remove the backpack for every photo during a hinking tour, I often also carry my thinkTANK Digital Holster 20 V2.0* to have direct access to my camera (for a detailed description, see my last article). For this purpose, I can recommend the Think Tank Backpack Connection Kit*, which consists of different straps that allow to mount the holster directly on the shoulder straps of the backpack. For me and my neck, this is much more comfortable than carrying the bag separately…
I hope this description will be helpful for those who are looking for a comfortable, sturdy, and still affordable backpack. At least I have been using this combination for more than three years now and I am still very happy with my solution!
* This is an Amazon Affiliate Link. If you use this link to buy something, I’ll get a small commission from Amazon without any additional costs for you.
Dr. Gerhard Aust
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