I have been working on a project on the drought in the southwest and California for a year and a half now. The main schedule for this project is to travel from location to location, set up camp, and explore the river, lake, or forest suffering from extreme drought and document it. This project requires me to stay organized and lightweight, but not leave any equipment out while in the field. My two cameras, computer, backup drive, tablet, and super 8mm camera fit very snug into the configurations. This backpack has some pretty extreme padding, which definitely waterproofs the goods inside your bag. I recently got a tablet and it’s nice bringing it along. Also, your notebook fits in the same pocket so you can collect ephemera.
One problem that I have encountered over the years is back problems from constantly carrying 25lbs of gear around. It is pretty annoying and I am not looking forward to the next 20 years when it only gets worse… The shoulder straps on this bag are the most confortable and easily adjustable for distributing the weight evenly on your upper or lower back. It is also nice when riding a bike because you can adjust so your wheel doesn’t get catch the bags.
When I am shooting I am very mobile. I am typically climbing up, through, or across somewhere and have my bag ready put down and open. Whether climbing some boulders to a higher vantage point or walking through damp mud my gear was safe. I also noticed that the thick padding seemed to keep the phone, film, computer, and cameras out of the extreme heat.
One complaint that I have is the flap on how the camera bag opens. When I am shooting I tend to toss my bag down, flat on the ground. The design of the Professional Backpack 30 slowed me down here and there. After reconsideration, I think that the Professional Roller bag 70 would be a better fit… or something in between these two.
Having a zipper break is the most annoying thing that could happen while in the field. Several scenarios could result from this annoyance and they are never good. Most camera bags hold a lifetime warranty, but you are still responsible for shipping and lost time. The zippers on this bag are outstanding. It really makes a difference to me how the zippers function because I am sick of being slowed down or missing a shot because of substituting gaff tape for broken zippers.
I would recommend this backpack to people who travel for work and enjoy getting from home to airport to car to bus to location and back without tragic distractions. This bag fits under the seat in front of you, above you, and every place that I tried to stuff it into. The Professional Backpack 30 is fairly small, so I would suggest if you have more than two bodies or a few lenses to go for something larger.
Pentax 6×7 – 105mm f/2.4 – 55mm f/3.5
D700 – 35mm f/2.0
Minolta Super 8mm