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Compact backpack for carrying Hasselblad


New Member
I need to carry a 500 C/M body with f/2.8 Planar, a 60mm f/5.6 Distagon and a 150mm f/4 Sonnar. In addition, I use a Pentax spotmeter and I carry an extra film back and a chimney finder, plus filters, hoods and extra film. I'm in the market for a good compact backpack. The Tamrac 5273 (M.A.S.) Expedition 3 Photo Backpack looks like it might do the trick (and it is inexpensive). Does anyone have experience with this bag, or can anyone recommend an alternative.
LowePro AW trekker comes in diffrent sizes - the best photo back I have caried.

Mine is the largest available that stil goes as handlugage on an airplane - I holds one 500cm, a 120 and a 250 mm, a 553 elx, and a swcm with a biogon 38 mm + 6 filmbacks and filtres etx. With the 553 elx it is a bit heavy but without it is really good and you can walk for a day without getting tired - very good ergonomics.
I think the LowePro Mini-Trekker is more than large enough for this outfit.
I carry my Contax 645, 2 lenses (room for a third),Leica M6 and 4 lenses together with Cokin P system filters,film,power grip(C645),meter, my MT
need to carry a 500 C/M body with f/2.8 Planar, a 60mm f/5.6 Distagon and a 150mm f/4 Sonnar. In addition, I use a Pentax spotmeter and I carry an extra film back and a chimney finder, plus filters, hoods and extra film.>

I think a Billingham Rucksak 25 will work for you. I know it is easy to carry and with 1" of foam, it will protect your gear from shock. I think it will meet current carry on restrictions and is made to keep your equipment dry.


The trouble with the Billingham 25 is that it has no waist belt. The Billingham site does try to rationalise this absence, however, if you are into serious hiking, I'll think you will miss it. There has to be a reason why backpackers like sternum and waist straps on their packs. It's also quite large(externally) for its capacity. 11 inches deep doesn't cut it for the airlines for carryon. (20x14x9 max.)
I have the regular LowePro Trecker backpack. I find buying one size up from what I think will be ok is safe - things don't get too squeezed in!

With regard to brands, remember that LowePro pioneered great design of hiking gear. This seems to have successfully transferred into photo gear.

I carried my fully packed trecker through China with very very heavy EOS gear and big lenses. When I returned home my back was in better condition than it was when I left for the trip!!
As some other people I also have a LowePro Trekker (AW II) and I am absolutely happy with it. It carries all my MF-Equipment and also two 35mm bodies with optics, meter, flash and accessories.
The system to attach holders for tripod and small bags is convincing. Especially if you are in serious hiking you do not want to carry your tripod in hands.
The most important criteria for me was the belt. It should not be too high (around ribs) but fit comfortably around the hips so that the weight of the stuff is directed there instead of carrying all on the shoulders. The whole carrying system is of utmost importance and you should take your equipment with you when buying the backpack to try everything out.
As it was already pointed out: it's practical to have a bit more space than needed. Otherwise you will constantly change the organization of your backpack.
Happy hiking.
The outside dimensions of the Rucksak 25 is W13,1/4 x D9,1/4 x H15,1/4 ins = 33.75" total linier inches well under the 45" limit of American Airlines. Note some airlines may have different specifications.

Even with my horrific back problems, it carries very comfortably and I don’t miss a belt strap.


Gilbert, You're absolutely right. I had gone onto someone's site and seen the depth as 11". It is in fact 9 1/4" as you say. I fly with with numerous airlines and while the "total" maybe 45" many state that no 'one' dimension can exceed the 20x14x9. Eg. you cannot carryon a box 14x14x12(don't as me how I know!!)even though the total is only 40"
>I bought the Crumpler. The largest bag is called Brian's hottub. Crumpler is a bit eclectic and unsual but the bag is tremendous. The H1, 150, 80 and 35's fit as well as lens hoods, film and exras with lots of padding. A fairly compact fit without much extra. There is a belt loop. I've worn it for some time trekking around and it is quite comfortable. The kicker though is that my 15 year old daughter is jealous, that tells me I bought a winner
I am using a Lowe Mini Trekker bought 4 years ago. It can carry my 501CM, A12X2, 50/80/150, Mutar 2X and 905SWC, as well as 6-8 rolls of 120 film. I also add a AW25 outside to carry my L558C. The outside punch can carry a 6093T plus some filters.

I am planning to change to a Dry Zone 200. By the way, anyone has comment on Dry Zone 200?
To answer my own initial post. I shopped around and found that the Lowepro Mini Trekker seemed to work the best. It is comfortable to wear, holds all my stuff and then some, has a rain cover that unfolds from the bottom, and will even hold a tripod upright (mine is a bit large for this system, however). I tried the Micro Trekker 200 and this might have worked, but was a bit tight.
Another option is a real backpacking pack called the Deuter Futura. It has a frame to help distribute the load, and has two main compartments so the heavy gear can go higher up in the pack which helps for long hikes. My Mini Trekker gave me a backache on a long hike in Yosemite with a 501, 50, 80, 150, and a tripod last fall with out any real support.