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My favorite travel photo backpack

Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L

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#1 photog

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 03:19 PM

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A great backpack that I found recently and wanted to share with other Fuji shooters is the Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L AW. Like many photographers, I am always on the hunt for the perfect bag, and not just one perfect bag, but the perfect bag for a variety of different shooting scenarios, each deserving of their own bag.

 

One area I always found lacking was the photo backpack. Not the giant pack every lens and body and tripod I own style bag, but the more mirrorless, a body and a few lenses, lunch, a jacket and a bottle of water and maybe an iPad or 11" Macbook Air type bag. 

 

Over the years I have tried quite a few... most recently I ended up with a standard backpack and used inserts for photo gear... it was bulkier that I wanted, but it worked. Then, by accident, I came across the Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L AW bag at an REI store. It was perfect. It can hold an X-T1 and four prime lenses effortlessly. 

 

The things that make this a great bag are:

 

1. The camera gear is accessed through a zipped door that sits against your back when wearing the backpack. To access the gear, you can easily remove one arm from the strap, slide it to the side, and unzip and grab what you need. When you are wearing it, there is no way to access the camera equipment except for the nicely padded door which is resting against your back. There is no way a thief can get to your gear if you have it on. 

 

2. The backpack has an upper compartment that is roomy enough for lunch, a jacket, and a 50-140 zoom (if you are so inclined). It also has a stretch pocket on both sides that will accommodate 32oz water bottles. The top area also has smaller elastic and zippered pockets inside. Great for carrying other small backpack stuff. Most camera backpacks seem to be made to carry ONLY camera gear... if you want a drink, a snack or a jacket, you have to find some other way to carry them. 

 

3. The bag also has a separate pocket for an iPad (regular sized or mini) or an 11" Macbook air... of course the Android or Windows equivalent devices should also fit fine. 

 

4. It has a built in rain cover that sits in a small pocket on the bottom of the bag. This protects the bag if you ever set it down somewhere that is wet (prevents water from getting into the bag) and also serves as extra padding for the camera compartment (which is in the bottom of the bag) and is especially handy if it starts raining because you can just stretch it up over the bag. 

 

5. It looks like a nice generic travel backpack and does not look like a camera backpack at all. Many people have been surprised to see me take it off, open up the back and see cameras. It does not attract any attention at all. 

 

6. The photo module is secured with velcro, so if you ever just need a larger backpack without the camera gear, you can easily pull it out. 

 

7. It is only $99!! I can't remember the last time I was able to find a quality bag designed for camera gear that sold for under $100. As soon as the word camera gets put in the description of the bag, it seems to raise the price of the bag quite a bit. 

 

The only thing that I would have liked to be different is for the straps to be a little more padded, but it is only noticeable if you really have the bag loaded down and are carrying it for a long time. This complaint might just be me, however, because another photographer I know who carries around heavier DSLR gear with the bag said the straps don't bother him at all. 

 

 

 

Attached File  bag-underside.jpg   254.79KB   76 downloads


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#2 papedo

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 03:54 PM

nice review, thanks. maybe a few more images to get a better sense for the actual size?


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#3 photog

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 05:20 PM

Here are a bunch of images at the Lowepro website.

 

http://store.lowepro...atchback-22l-aw


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#4 CRAusmus

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 05:33 PM

The quality of the Lowepro products I have experience with is phenomenal in my opinion.  My walk around pack is the Photo Sport Sling 100 AW.  I love the fact that you don't have to take the pack off to get to the camera.  For this reason alone I'm seriously considering the Flipside series of packs once I outgrow the sling.  Currently I only have the kit lens (18-55), but my next two purchases will be the 10-24 and 55-200.

 

It is nice to see how much you are getting into this pack, as I thought it was smaller than that.  Glad you are happy with your purchase.

 

If you're on the fence about Lowepro, don't be.  Great quality, forward thinking, excellent attention to details.


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X70  •  X-Pro1  •  X-T1  •  14  •  27  •  35  •  60  •  55-200
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#5 nelsonmartins

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 09:35 PM

I like my bags discrete and of fast access backpacks ar not an option for me. 3 lenses are more than enough for me... im not a body builder...I use the lowepro classified 160 and its nice and discrete the 140 version would also be a great bag.
On the 160 i can fit the xe1,35, 50-230,18-55 flash triggers a mini tripod batteries and cards theres room left for a tablet if necessary.

#6 StevenVW

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 08:41 AM

I have this backpack also. Normally not a huge fan of LowePro, but this one is top notch!



#7 Trenton Talbot

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 08:59 AM

I like my bags discrete and of fast access backpacks ar not an option for me. 3 lenses are more than enough for me...

 

That might be just the backpack for you then  :D



#8 Patrick FR

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 10:40 AM

I once wrote a series of "Bags for you X" articles, with a wide selection of mostly vintage bags, but also backpacks. Some include also polls where you can vote your favorite bag.

 

http://www.fujirumor...ags-for-your-x/

http://www.fujirumor...your-x-part-ii/

http://www.fujirumor...on180-panorama/

http://www.fujirumor...rorless-heroes/



#9 milandro

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 10:18 AM

I think this has to be one of the best and certainly most convenient backpack that I’ve ever seen.

 

If one wants a backpack, one can’t go wrong with this one.

 

It is very clear that we all have different needs, likes and dislikes, about how we like to carry our equipment around.

 

The backpack thing is one that I’ve never really grew to understand or want but I suppose that that is because I’ve never done any trekking where you need to carry things around ( not only a camera and lenses) for extended periods of time and wanting to have your hands as free as possible to do all the things one needs to do while trekking and not shooting pictures.

 

I suppose that if you are doing this in some impervious location you certainly need your hands to be free and a bag hanging on one side wouldn’t be the best way to go around and about while crossing a narrow mountain pass or in thick forest or while riding a horse or any other animal. 

 

In my case ( nice pun :)  ) I haven’t ever had the need ( or wanted) to do any of that and I have always assumed that a backpack wouldn’t give me quick or easy access to the equipment since, I suppose, to use the content of the backpack you need to stop, take your back-pack off your shoulders, open the flap ( what if it rains or there is a lot of wind?) select the camera and possibly change the lens according to the needs or whims of the moment.

 

Also, but I wrote that on the more specific camera bag thread, using one of those compact messenger bags, unless a body and a couple of lenses would suffice, you need to layer your equipment and chances would be ( Murphy’s law and all of that...)  that if you have a camera with one lens on it, the lens that you need is the one that you chose to put in the lower of the two layered compartments, so before you know it you are fiddling with a body and two or three lenses while the shot is gone.

 

But I am a slow photographer anyway and little of what I do requires a state of permanent readiness.

 

Of course, I understand that there would be plenty of illustrious colleagues here and elsewhere objecting to my objections and having great and proven reasons to use either a backpack or a small messenger bag with lenses in two layers. I am not disputing any of this and by all means please continue doing so. I am not arguing but simply wondering.  ;)


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#10 citral

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 02:24 PM

To OP : have you actually tried it in pouring rain? I have quite a lot of backpacking experience, and me and my friends all ditched the rain-cover on our non-photo backpacks, because at some point water gets through and it always gets between your back and the pack anyway, so we put our stuff in waterproof bags inside the backpack and let the pack get wet to solve it.

#11 sgmcenroe

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 01:29 AM

I love Thinktank products, both their bags and backpacks.  They have a new backpack, the Urban Approach 15 which is designed for mirrorless cameras.  I personally have the Streetwalker which I used for my Nikon equipment, but having sold most of it, it now contains my X-T1, XE2, 14mm, 27mm, 18-55 zoom, 56mm, 55-200 and my new 50-140, along with my 3 Legged Thing Brian.  It can also carry a laptop and has pockets for various accessories and a tripod carrier.

Here is a link to the Urban Approach:  http://www.thinktank...5-backpack.aspx



#12 vman

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:39 PM

I am a big Think Tank fan so I use a lot of their bags except for the Kiboko 22L.  I currently am using a Urban Approach 15 as a backpack.  I also have the Street Walker pro but found it too deep for mirrorless.  My bags double as storage.  :-)

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#13 GambaJo

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 10:32 AM

This is mine PHOTO HATCHBACK 22L AW


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#14 kielinski

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 06:28 PM

I have a Gura Gear Kiboko 30L (discontinued, current similar model is the Bataflae 32) that's never let me down for years now.  I've packed my dslr + 3 lenses, speedlights, two Q-Flashes w/ Turbo batteries, compact stands, umbrellas, Pocket Wizards, small accessories and a tripod in it and hit the road/trail/public transit many times.  It is definitely heavy at that point, but carrying a "portable studio" on your back is fun - while I'm still relatively young!

 

Otherwise, I've found the Timbuk 2 camera bag insert to be handy.  Just drop it into any old bag and your X and a few lenses are good to go.


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#15 deluxetothecrux

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 05:18 PM

booq bags are nice. expensive but super well made and attention to detail is awesome. check this one out.

 

http://www.booqbags....ckpacks/PSP-GRR


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#16 Palomid

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 07:50 PM

I have Lowepro Hatchvack 22L also, bought it earier for Canon gear, bur now I use it with my Fuji sometimes. Big pros of this bag is that it can store not only camera gear - also food/clothes, water bottles, and tablet. But it also has 2 cons: camera compartment is too small to store a lot of gear, so some lenses have to go to upper compartment, and second one - you should remove bag from your shoulders to change lenses.

Nowadays I mostly use Thinktank Turnstyle 20 sling bag. It also has raincover, pockets for tablet and documents, but no space for clothes and water bottle.
Although there is a lot of space for camera gear - it stores my X-T1 with 10-24, 18-55, 35/1.4, 60/2.4, 55-200 and EF-20 flash. And spare batteries + cleaning kit + cards and stuff in small side compartment.

#17 Palomid

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 07:52 PM

http://www.thinktank...late-sling.aspx

#18 bonnyw

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:36 PM

I have used a variety of camera bags and backpacks - still haven't found one that I love - but I will  give this Lowepro a serious look - maybe one size down, the 16 rather than the 22.  I like to cycle with my camera, so the sling bags don't work in that situation at all.  One item I have found that I really love is the Clik camera wrap - they come in multiple sizes and shapes, are entirely velcro, so close to any shape and fit.  I can wrap my camera+lens in one, and toss it into any bag that I'm carrying that day, and know that it is well-protected from normal wear and tear.  For long distance travel, I wrap each lens and camera body in its Clik wrap, then put it into my camera backpack - extra protection while moving around planes, trains, and autos. 



#19 marcelo_valente

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 02:50 PM

Nowadays I mostly use Thinktank Turnstyle 20 sling bag. It also has raincover, pockets for tablet and documents, but no space for clothes and water bottle.
Although there is a lot of space for camera gear - it stores my X-T1 with 10-24, 18-55, 35/1.4, 60/2.4, 55-200 and EF-20 flash. And spare batteries + cleaning kit + cards and stuff in small side compartment.

 

Palomid, Lowepro has a similar sling bag.  I'm wondering if the fact that it is a sling and will hang only from one shoulder, if it will hurt by the end of the day, carrying all that gear.  I use a messenger bag, it also hangs from one shoulder, but you can switch to the other side to even out the strain.

 

I'm thinking that the Hatchback is a cool bag, but very bad access to the camera and gear, and if you are on the streets you would need to stop, take it off, to get the camera out or change lenses. So the slings/messengers would be better in that sense while traveling.

 

I'm about to buy a bigger bag for my vacation in september and can't decide on a sling type or a bigger messenger bag Lowepro Event Messenger 150 (I have the 100 but it won't fit all I want to take).


My flickr; Flickr Sets; My instagram . I shoot with a X-E2 and XF 27mm, XF 35mm, XF 60mm, XF 18-55m, XC 50-230mm, and soon also with the XF 18mm


#20 marcelo_valente

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 01:39 AM

A great backpack that I found recently and wanted to share with other Fuji shooters is the Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L AW. Like many photographers, I am always on the hunt for the perfect bag, and not just one perfect bag, but the perfect bag for a variety of different shooting scenarios, each deserving of their own bag.

One area I always found lacking was the photo backpack. Not the giant pack every lens and body and tripod I own style bag, but the more mirrorless, a body and a few lenses, lunch, a jacket and a bottle of water and maybe an iPad or 11" Macbook Air type bag.

Over the years I have tried quite a few... most recently I ended up with a standard backpack and used inserts for photo gear... it was bulkier that I wanted, but it worked. Then, by accident, I came across the Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L AW bag at an REI store. It was perfect. It can hold an X-T1 and four prime lenses effortlessly.

The things that make this a great bag are:

1. The camera gear is accessed through a zipped door that sits against your back when wearing the backpack. To access the gear, you can easily remove one arm from the strap, slide it to the side, and unzip and grab what you need. When you are wearing it, there is no way to access the camera equipment except for the nicely padded door which is resting against your back. There is no way a thief can get to your gear if you have it on.

2. The backpack has an upper compartment that is roomy enough for lunch, a jacket, and a 50-140 zoom (if you are so inclined). It also has a stretch pocket on both sides that will accommodate 32oz water bottles. The top area also has smaller elastic and zippered pockets inside. Great for carrying other small backpack stuff. Most camera backpacks seem to be made to carry ONLY camera gear... if you want a drink, a snack or a jacket, you have to find some other way to carry them.

3. The bag also has a separate pocket for an iPad (regular sized or mini) or an 11" Macbook air... of course the Android or Windows equivalent devices should also fit fine.

4. It has a built in rain cover that sits in a small pocket on the bottom of the bag. This protects the bag if you ever set it down somewhere that is wet (prevents water from getting into the bag) and also serves as extra padding for the camera compartment (which is in the bottom of the bag) and is especially handy if it starts raining because you can just stretch it up over the bag.

5. It looks like a nice generic travel backpack and does not look like a camera backpack at all. Many people have been surprised to see me take it off, open up the back and see cameras. It does not attract any attention at all.

6. The photo module is secured with velcro, so if you ever just need a larger backpack without the camera gear, you can easily pull it out.

7. It is only $99!! I can't remember the last time I was able to find a quality bag designed for camera gear that sold for under $100. As soon as the word camera gets put in the description of the bag, it seems to raise the price of the bag quite a bit.

The only thing that I would have liked to be different is for the straps to be a little more padded, but it is only noticeable if you really have the bag loaded down and are carrying it for a long time. This complaint might just be me, however, because another photographer I know who carries around heavier DSLR gear with the bag said the straps don't bother him at all.



attachicon.gifbag-underside.jpg

Hi, do you think it would fit an X-E2, the xc 50-230 (about as big as the xf 55-200), the samyang 12mm, the 35mm and the 18-55 on the camera?

Also, do you usually need to take the backpack completely off and sit it somewhere to take the camera out?

I guess when traveling you would keep the camera on your neck most of the time, right? Just when changing lenses you would need to go through the routine of taking the bag off, changing lenses, putting it back on, take a couple of shots, do it once again....does this become tiresome after some time?

Sent from my SM-N910C using Tapatalk

My flickr; Flickr Sets; My instagram . I shoot with a X-E2 and XF 27mm, XF 35mm, XF 60mm, XF 18-55m, XC 50-230mm, and soon also with the XF 18mm



 
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