A good camera rucksack is an important accessory for any landscape or wildlife photographer. You have to be able to carry a camera, a couple of lenses, a tripod and several other bits and pieces of photographic kit, possibly over several miles of rough terrain, and a rucksack is definitely the best way to do this. However, if you’re going out in the wilderness you will also want to take some other things with you, such as a waterproof coat, map and compass, a packed meal and something to drink. Oddly there are very few camera rucksacks that include any space for these items, but I’ve managed to find five examples, so let’s check them out and see which one is the best choice for a day in the countryside.
First, let’s take a look at the sort of kit that I would normally take with me for a day shooting landscapes. As you can see (above), it’s nothing too extreme; a digital SLR and a couple of lenses, a sturdy lightweight tripod, a gradient filter kit, a couple of polarising filters, cleaning kit, a spare battery and a few memory cards.
I’ve also included a flashgun, because you never know when it’ll come in handy. As well as these items I have a waterproof jacket, a warm hat and gloves, a map and compass, a simple first aid kit, a torch, a pocket knife, a packed lunch and a flask of coffee.
What I’m looking for is a rucksack that can take all of this lot, keep it safe but accessible, and be comfortable to carry over long distances.
You’ll notice that I don’t include a laptop computer in this list, although several of the bags in this round-up do include room to carry one. There are some more expensive camera rucksacks on the market, as well as a few cheaper ones, but I’ve deliberately kept to a sensible price bracket. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the contenders. From left back to front right we have the:
Tamrac Adventure 10 (£144.95)
Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW (£169.95)
National Geographic Earth Explorer NG 5160 (£169.95)
Kata 3N1-22 DL (£124.95)
Tenba Discovery Large Photo/Laptop Daypack (£119)