Thread: Best Hiking/Trekking Backpack for RED Travel Kit

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  1. #1 Best Hiking/Trekking Backpack for RED Travel Kit 
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    I would like to start this thread as a way for REDUSERS to share opinions on their experiences and preferences on their favorite backcountry / travel backpack as over the last few years technology and manufacturers have evolved a lot and there a quite a few new options on the market. I am looking for suggestions on what the best option is for a backcountry oriented backpack capable of carrying your typical RED travel production kit both through the airport and on long hauls overland.

    Currently I am using a Cinebags CB35 Stryker as my everyday production bag which I love as a "throw over your shoulder" option to walk my kit into a gig for everyday use. When traveling I currently use a Cinebags CB25 backpack which I fly with but it's really bulky and it gets extremely heavy and hard on the shoulders when fully loaded (which is to be expected) but it's very wide which means it doesn't fit in an airline overhead compartment (or under the seat) so I end up keeping it between my legs which can get extremely uncomfortable on long flights. It also sits very far off the shoulders and in combination with its average to mediocre at best suspension system I have quickly found out it is not ideal for hiking up a mountain on backcountry trips. A few years back Cinebags were the "cats meow" as there weren't many other options that could fit a RED camera kit, but now that it is 2020 and there are a lot of other options out there (F-stop, Peak Design, Lowe-pro, etc.) and with a few upcoming backcountry trips this year I am re-assessing my options for a more backcountry oriented backpack with proper suspension that can haul my RED Gemini kit.

    My typical travel kit consists of the following: RED Gemini, 4.7" monitor, 4 gold mounts, 2 x d-tap chargers, 2 mini mags (1 on the camera), mag reader, 4 x Leica Cine-Mod lenses, 2 x Tilta Nucleus-M motors w/ at least 1 handgrip (I pull focus with this) rather than by hand, basic 3.5mm mic for audio, laptop / charger, and DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone, etc.

    I also usually take my mix-pre 6ii, travel boom pole, rode ntg3 / sanken cs-3e shotgun mics, 2 x sennheiser wireless system w/ sanken lavs, travel tripod, gold mount 2-bay charger, Tilta modular shoulder rig that breaks down, and sometimes my Letus Helix or Ronin 1, but all of that stuff usually gets checked in a check bag as it's not as essential if it shows up late or gets lost and obviously is not practical for carry on. If I could fit any of these additional gear items though that would be an added bonus.

    To start off the thread, here are a few of what I believe to be the top contenders for best backpack in 2020:

    F-Stop Tilopa w/ extra large pro ICU / smaller ICU combo
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...xpedition.html

    Shimoda Designs Action X50 - Not out yet but coming soon
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...arter_kit.html

    Lowepro Powder 500 AW
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ck_500_aw.html
    Last edited by Andrew Reese; 06-03-2020 at 10:24 AM.
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  2. #2  
    Check out the Atlas adventure pack.

    https://atlaspacks.com/products/atla...amera-backpack

    Iíve have used a bunch of packs in the past and this thing is by far the best.

    See if this photo works: https://share.icloud.com/photos/0Y2W...kud-GZg#Ottawa


    Keep in mind thatís the 7Ē monitor and underneath it is all audio cables.

    This still leaves a huge portion of the pack for other stuff ( I put in the Mavic drone + matte box + power supply) and there is still the front pockets... basically Iíve never been able to fully fill this pack.


    The bonus is that Alan, the owner, is incredibly legit and provides amazing support and customer service.
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  3. #3  
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    I have that Atlas Adventure Pack and its by far the best one! BY FAR.

    I usually have my camera with a lens attached and 2 extra ones plus the batteries.

    I have signature primes so they are pretty big. but its amazing what you can fit in there.
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  4. #4  
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    I use the F stop Shinn with the master cine ICU and I donít think I could do anything smaller. I shoot mostly skiing and when youíre active having a bigger backpack tends to be more stable than a smaller one crammed with gear. More info on how I travel with it here. http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthr...ighlight=Shinn
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  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Reese View Post
    A few years back Cinebags were the "cats meow" as there weren't many other options that could fit a RED camera kit, but now that it is 2020 and there are a lot of other options out there (F-stop, Peak Design, Lowe-pro, etc.)....
    A few years? ...time flies, huh? Cinebags exists since 2003, f-stop since 2005, so...

    Anyway, let's have a look at your list:

    Forget the Lowepro. The "access door" is way too small for your needs. (and btw the "icu", too)

    Shimoda Designs - Looks similar to the f-stop backpacks, but Shimoda has a major flaw IMO - the roll on top access is absolutely nonsense and makes top access very slow, compared to zippers. So, just because of this, I'd say stay away from this backpack.

    Jorden's and Rodrigo's suggestion - Atlas Adventure Pack
    Looks like a practical solution, I admit. A lot of space for all your stuff, but I would miss additional attachment possibilities or straps compared to f-stop's. Another thing to consider is, this backpack is made for cameras + accessories only, meaning, you always have the padding inside which makes the backpack heavier than f-stops, where you can pull out the ICU and use it as a normal backpack for hiking. Another thing I don't like about the adventure pack is its round shaped bottom. (Sure, it might be more practical at times, e.g. when sliding down a slope, sitting on your butt, compared to the straight bottom of the f-stop backpacks)

    So, and here's my recommendation - I guess you already know it: f-stop! yeaahh! *applause*
    No, seriously, in the end you have to decide, not me, but I think they're still the best.
    I own the Tilopa and the Sukha whereas the Tilopa is my favourite, just because it has more straps and loops to easily attach other stuff like snow shoes, a snowboard or a pair of skis, sliders, tripods, and what not. The Tilopa is my carry-on baggage, never had trouble getting it into the hand luggage rack, even if it's probably the maximum size you can take with you as a carry-on baggage on a flight.
    The Sukha is missing these two wide straps on the back, but there are loops where you can attach things with additional straps, no problem at all, but Tilopa's design is more practical. I guess that's why they used a similar design on their latest release, the Shinn, which probably is the way to go if you like to transport a fully rigged dsmc2 + a lot of accessories (80L - no carry on bag!). The Shinn is the only backpack which can be used with the Cine Master ICU, which provides some extra depth for rigged cameras, whereas the X Large/Large ICU might be on the neccessary minimum for a dsmc2 regarding internal depth of the ICU. You should measure your minimal rigged camera first and then look for the right solution.
    In terms of quality, the f-stops are top notch. The shoulder straps keep their shape which is comfortable when putting on the backpack, and their padding is also comfortable and durable. Sure, if a backpack is loaded with all your stuff you mentioned above, you're shoulders gonna hurt the next day anyway, no matter which backpack you choose.

    I haven't tried this yet, it's still in development until I get my Komodo, but maybe this idea works for your needs, too: I'll try to mount two of the following shoulder pads underneath the backpacks shoulder straps, so the weight is dispensed over a larger area. (btw, these are the most comfortable shoulder pads I know)

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ulder_pad.html
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Russ Fill's Avatar
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    I own 4 F stop bags. The big one for the camera and a emergency go to lens, and the others have the lens package in with extras then my stills packages in on and the other for camera support rods, matt box, batts charger and just about any other leftover I think I may need. Obviously I cant carry them all but you can configure your kit in one that will take you though the day with a few lenses. From the biggest one they make to the Tilopa with their ICU's in side and I cant recommend them enough. I do a lot of remote top of mountain and deep rain forest stuff so these bags have worked supper well for me and my use.
    One of the best deals is that they fit perfectly in side the Pelican cases that they travel on the plane in so thats a plus. That they have this ICU in side which makes me not worried about just dropping them in the Pelican and sending it off as checked baggage. Then when you land you just open the case and off you go. OR if your working in crazy rain forest situation and you don't need to pack gear in a back pack you can just work with the bag in the pelican and just open and unzip and all your gear is there.
    I have over years and years used just about every back pack and bag made and when I found the F stops they ticked most of the boxes I needed for the type of work I do.
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  7. #7  
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    I have been using the Mindshift Backlight Elite 45, works really well so far. Put some mods to it by cutting some plexi and threading that plexi between the ICU and the bags exterior making it into semi hard case.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member vincent kardasik's Avatar
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    I've been using F-Stop gear since 2014, same backpack, same ICU, hiked in snow, in sand, in mud, traveled by boat, on moto and whatever other transportation need... it happened sometimes that I had to check it in with my pelican cases on long courriers and trust me, bag is still the same, zippers still work perfectly and it's still confortable to carry.
    I'd say they are really expensive, I don't like their customer service but their bags are for me the best in the business.
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  9. #9  
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    Thanks for all the info. I will definitely check out the atlas adventure pack but I have already been leaning towards an F-Stop Tilopa. Great to know so many Redusers recommend them and that they are reliable. What combination of ICU's do you recommend? Large ICU w/ medium slope combo?
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Josh Birch's Avatar
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    I use the Evoc 35L camera bag and it's great for travelling, fitting with most (if not all) airline carry ons. I normally have

    - RED Dragon
    - 4.7" Touch Display
    - 4 x IDX batteries
    - Sigma Art 18-35mm and 50-100mm
    - 2 mini mags
    - Shoulder rig parts
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