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Old July 3rd, 2012, 08:35 AM   #1
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The Definitive EX1r Backpack

Can anyone help me with my EX1r backpack dilemma?

I’ve read as many threads as I can find within the forum, however, still feel none the wiser!

I need the backpack for global travel / trekking with EX1r + MacBook Pro 17” + Usual Extras + Carbon Fibre Tripod + Airline Carry-on / Hand Luggage.

So far the Cinebag CB-25B Revolution seems to be a front-runner, however, still has mixed reviews.

Some of the newer Kata range sound promising, however, so far fall short on small laptop size (15.4” / Kata pro-v-410) or overall external size being ‘possibly’ too big for airline carry on (Kata pro-v-610).

Apologize in advance for dragging up a done and re-done subject, but any up-to-date guidance / experiences shared would be very much appreciated…
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 09:35 AM   #2
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Re: The Definitive EX1r Backpack

I use this (or an older version)
Lowepro Runner x450
Lowepro Pro Runner x450 Rolling AW Backpack LP36147-PEU B&H

Meets FAA regulations. The hideaway Trolly handle and wheels are a real live saver when that's more appropriate than wearing it on your back. I use 15" MBP though.

Lowepro Vertex 300AW
This will hold 17"
Lowepro Vertex 300 AW Backpack LP35020-PEU B&H Photo Video

The thing is that the trolly handle and wheels are really important to me. I also went with 15" MBP because portability was mission critical. Seems I'm not the only one with that reasoning since Apple discontinued the 17"
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 12:39 PM   #3
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Re: The Definitive EX1r Backpack

If it doesn't need to be a backpack, I really like the Kata FlyBy 76. It uses a removable trolley so you can fit a little more gear it it. (On occasion I'll travel with both an F3 and an EX1, plus some lenses and accessories, in the same case.) It also has enough room for just about any laptop out there.

For times I need to use a backpack, I ended up with an OGIO - I believe the model name was 'Stealth'. Not sure if they still make it, but it might be a bit small for the 17" laptop. I've been trying to reduce the weight I carry, so I bought a 13.3" Vaio laptop, which at 3 lbs. was just about the smallest and lightest computer I could find that had an SxS slot and would do an entire transcontinental flight on one battery. It fits with plenty of room to spare, but a larger Asus 15.6" laptop I use when I need eSata, USB3 and SxS connectivity barely squeezes in. The Ogio is fine for some walking, but I don't think it's comfortable enough for a long trek. On the plus side, it's small and compact enough that I've never been questioned getting onto a plane with it, unlike the extremely large Petrol and Kata backpacks.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 03:34 PM   #4
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Re: The Definitive EX1r Backpack

I recently purchased the Petrol PC303 backpack for hiking around with the EX1R, matte box, add-on lenses, filters, sound gear, tripod, etc. It's big, too large to take as an airline carry on, and it works very well for my purposes. In particular the backpack shoulder and waist straps are comfortable.

If I want to take the EX1R on the plane with me, then the camera goes into it's Pelican 1510 case - which will get onto the plane as a carry on (at least in the US).

The backpack has worked well for my purposes, which mostly involve landing on the beach by dinghy and then walking/hiking to places and setting up to record the animals there.

PC303 | petrolbags.com
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 04:39 PM   #5
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Re: The Definitive EX1r Backpack

There simply may not be a definitive backpack. Only one that's good for you. A 17" laptop drives the larger sizes of all the backpacks and may well not fit airline guidelines for weight and size. I can't imagine any tripod that could hold an EX1R being permitted as carry on. Hauling around the field externally, maybe, but not as carry on.

If you searched here on DVinfo, you'll know I solved this problem by using two bags; a Bum Bak Pak for the laptop and stuff that is a backpack if you want it or a messenger bag when you have another bag on your back which was, for me, a Thinktank Streetwalker pro with the EX1R and stuff. The Bum Bak Pak fits the airline regulations for a carryon and the Thinktank fits the guidelines for a personal item. YMMV
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 05:48 PM   #6
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Re: The Definitive EX1r Backpack

I use the Cinebags CB-23. It can fit a 15'' laptop and might possibly fit carry on requirements. It has plenty of room for wireless, cables, a NanoFlash, a BC-U1, Batteries, and still have room for a laptop up to 15''.

The key about the Cinebags is that you have to use it's included raincover plus the internal raincover for the main compartment to keep your equipment dry. If you don't use the internal raincover, your equipment runs the risk of getting wet, since the zipper for the main compartment is not covered by the outer raincover and the seams do leak into the bag.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 07:35 PM   #7
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Re: The Definitive EX1r Backpack

I have both the Cinebags CB-25 (the original version) and the CB-23 which is a smaller version.

As Jack said, the CB-23 will not come close to handling a 17" MacBook. (Even my 15.6" laptop will not fit, though Cinebags does say up to 15".) The CB-23 will hold everything else and allow you to carry a very lightweight tripod attached later -- though not when being used as a carry-on. My biggest complaint is that the CB-23 is simply not very comfortable when carrying a load of equipment for very far. While it works great as a carryon for the camera and a large number of accessories, it is not comfortable for very long.

I've used my EX1r with a very lightweight tripod, but it is so poor that I wouldn't trust it for overseas travel. I have used a Manfrotto 190XB with a 701HDV head while traveling in both Alaska and Yellowstone, but I wouldn't go any smaller. This doesn't take up much room in a checked bag.

The CB-25 would probably be your best bet. It does take up a lot more space and might not fit in the overhead luggage space of all airplanes, especially regional jets. (I know it works in most American Airlines planes since that's what I fly.) It is significantly more comfortable and will accommodate your laptop as well.

The CB-25 can comfortably fit my camera, two extra lenses, four BP-U60 batteries, a mic, a wireless lav system, my 15.6 laptop, and all kinds of other small stuff. I use the CB-23 when I want a smaller bag, but the CB-25 is definitely my "go to" backpack most of the time. I've used it a lot with not a single hint of anything breaking down. The built-in rain cover is nice, too, for peace of mind if I get caught in a shower, but I haven't had to use it yet. It it's raining that hard, I tend to stay inside!
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Old July 5th, 2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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Re: The Definitive EX1r Backpack

I had practically the same exact problem/question as the original poster, here's my thread and subsequent solution:
Backpack advice for International travel

I can fit all of my gear in the Kata PL-220 backpack and it definitely fits in the overhead compartment, but there's not much "comfort room". The EX1r is just stupidly cumbersome, the worst part being the shotgun mic holder on the top. In retrospect I wish I would've tested the Pro-V 410 instead simply because it offers more internal height, something which would alleviate said problem of the mic holder.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if you could shove a 17" Macbook in the laptop compartment of the Pro-V 410 even though it's only rated for a 15"; my PL-220 came with a little bumper insert in the laptop sleeve which you could remove for more space. So I would definitely take a look at the Kata products; their included rain covers always come in handy, too.

I understand the Cinebags are probably pretty good too, but I just couldn't get past how ugly they look... especially with that stupid logo embroidered on the front.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 01:05 PM   #9
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Re: The Definitive EX1r Backpack

Even though I have Cinebags backpacks, I also have 3 small Kata bags (non-backpack) that I use in different gear situations. They are very well made and I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Kata product again.

In fact, Rob now has me looking at the Pro-V 410 amd the PL-220 as a more comfortable replacement for my CB-23!
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Old July 5th, 2012, 03:43 PM   #10
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Re: The Definitive EX1r Backpack

Thanks for everyone's feedback so far.

I followed your previous thread Rob re: the 220, thanks for explaining the issues as it was on my consideration list. Just a tad too small! It's a shame, again it looks like a great pack + it fits the 17" Mac!

I'm definitely intrigued by the new Kata's though...
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Old July 5th, 2012, 03:46 PM   #11
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Re: The Definitive EX1r Backpack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Perry View Post
The EX1r is just stupidly cumbersome, the worst part being the shotgun mic holder on the top.
If the mic holder gets in the way, why not just unscrew the mic holder and set it aside?
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Old July 6th, 2012, 08:46 AM   #12
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Re: The Definitive EX1r Backpack

What I have is a Petrol Bag to carry around that works very well, but for a backpack all I did was to go to a local retailer and buy a suitable sizer inexpensive backpack and line it with cut up pieces of closed cell foam:

Stansport Pack Lite Blue Camping Pad ? Walmart.com

I defy anyone to find a difference between that and the overpriced backpacks you are looking at. Plus, it doesn't scream EXPENSIVE CAMCORDER INSIDE PLEASE STEAL.

In terms of raincovers, those are available at any camping supply.

John
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Old July 9th, 2012, 02:22 PM   #13
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Re: The Definitive EX1r Backpack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles Walker View Post
I followed your previous thread Rob re: the 220, thanks for explaining the issues as it was on my consideration list. Just a tad too small! It's a shame, again it looks like a great pack + it fits the 17" Mac!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob MacFarlane View Post
If the mic holder gets in the way, why not just unscrew the mic holder and set it aside?
I use a shotgun mic attached to the camera whenever I shoot, so unscrewing the mount from the camera every time I take it in or out of the bag is completely unrealistic.

Let me re-iterate though that the camera DOES fit in the 220 just fine and you'd be surprised at how much crap you can shove in there in addition to the camera. This is important to note since there's a fairly substantial price difference (increase) between this bag and the Pro-V series; which is why I went with the 220.
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