This quick review is very much from a landscape photographers point of view as I spent a long time reading reviews, watching YouTube and ultimately searching for best option for me to carry all my kit in.
I wanted something that leaned more towards the outdoor activities that I love but would also accommodate my camera, lenses, tripod, etc.
I didn’t want any of the usual photography backpacks that come up in search results on the net. It had to be more of a traditional hiking backpack for me.
Not an easy decision to make as the backpack manufacturers don’t often tell you how much camera kit you will fit in and if indeed you will still fit your other things in on top!
A couple of trips to my local outdoors shops, with some of my photography kit I hasten to add. These things have to be tested, even if you do get a few funny looks strapping a tripod onto various bags.
So, the conclusion of all this testing and researching was the Osprey Kestrel 48. I have had a couple of Kestrel bags over the years and they have lasted extremely well, so this made the choice a little easier.
The 48 litres of the Kestrel means I have ample room for all of my photography equipment and additional room to fit my wild camping kit too.
Below is a shot of my usual day trip kit for landscape photography, so I guess this is a bit of a ‘whats in my bag’…
Canon 6D with 16-35mm Lens
Canon 24-70mm Lens
Canon 50mm Lens (don’t always take this)
(All camera kit packed into a waterproof camera/lens bag, see below for more info on this)
Manfrotto MT055 XPRO3 Tripod with ball head
Camera rain cover
All my photography accessories (cable shutter release, cleaning kit, spirit level, etc)
Head torch plus back up head torch (for those early morning starts for sunrise!)
Beanie hats and gloves
First aid kit
I would also pack a water bottle, flask and some food for a day trip.
With all this packed, I find I still have plenty of room for more kit. As you can see below, this bag swallows this kit up and the tripod fits neatly to the side of the bag using the backpack’s compression straps around two of the legs. With the tripod in this position, it does not interfere when walking at all.
With all in place and even with the tripod on the side, the rain cover still fits perfectly and again with lots of room for the bag to grow and for me to strap on my tent, etc.
It really is proving to be a great backpack for a photographer who does a lot of hiking and needs to get a lot of kit in without overdoing it on size. It is extremely comfortable with loads of adjustment and even with a heavy load and a long days walk, there were still no complaints from my shoulders.
The quality of the Osprey packs is superb and well worth the money (£119.00, from Ellis Brigham). If like me, you hike a lot to your photography locations in all conditions and need to be able to comfortably carry all your kit plus extra then you won’t go far wrong with the Osprey Kestrel 48. You can pay lots more for a dedicated DSLR backpack but for me, I can’t see the point in spending all that extra money when this does it perfectly.
Finally, as a tag on to this quick review, I also recently bought this very inexpensive camera/lens bag from Amazon.
It is the Duragadget 14inch padded camera rucksack which cost me only £14.99. I didn’t want to spend much on this as I knew I would only be putting it in my backpack. But it is great for keeping all my kit together in one handy bag that I can pull out when I get to location and it offers further protection to my kit when it is on my back.
It is shown here with the 6D + 16-35mm lens in place, sat snugly and well protected.
Many thanks for reading and I hope it has been helpful.
Please take a look at my photography at http://dave9490.wix.com/outdoorswithalens