Camera backpacks for air travel (and day hiking)
Is anyone familiar with the F-stop Kashmir and Guru? Either would hold the camera gear I take with me when I travel, but the Kashmir is 1.5” longer in the largest dimension. Kashmir: 20.5”x12.5”x11” (52x31.8x27.9 cm); Guru: 19”x12”x10.5” (48.3x30.5x26.7 cm). I would probably take a 13” laptop in the backpack, but could make do with a 10.5” tablet in a pinch. If I am checking luggage it doesn’t matter since the backpack would then fall within the carry-on bag size limits and either would work. But for trips when I am only going with carry-on the backpack would then be considered my personal item and would have to fall within those size limits. Actually, based on dimensions even the Guru would be 1” too tall to qualify as a personal item since most airlines restrict the longest dimension to 18” but I am confident that it would fit under the seat. My current backpack is also 20.5” but I don’t fill the top part all the way and it compresses enough to fit under the seat. The F-stop bags have an internal frame so I don’t know if that would work.
My current backpack is the discontinued Tamrac Adventure 9 and it holds a lot--more than I need actually. I usually travel with my D7200 with 17-50 f/2.8 attached, a 12-24 f/4, and either a 55-200 f/4-5.6 or a 70-300 f/4.5-5.6. Sometimes a 90 mm macro but usually not these days. I also take a pocket camera, filters, spare batteries, etc. There is a zippered compartment that goes along my back for a laptop. My tripod goes in my suitcase. But lately that bag, even with just my camera and two lenses has been getting kind of painful. Part of the problem is that I think this bag is not designed for a 5’5” woman. The “waist belt” is just an unpadded strap that doesn’t allow the load to be transferred to the hips. I’m not really sure what it does. It doesn’t help me so I usually don’t use it. The sternum strap is equally useless.
The F-stop bags look like they have functional hip belts. Another option is to use an actual hiking backpack as described in this PetaPixel article. The advantage of going that route is that I can probably find places to try on the bags for fit which I can't do with the F-stop bags.
I will be doing some day hikes with whatever bag I use, so I would need room for a jacket, lunch, water bottle, etc., in addition to the camera gear. But none of that would have to be in the bag when I am on the plane. I do want a way to attach my tripod, again not on the plane. I haven’t attached a tripod to my current bag so I usually just carry it when hiking. I have been known to use it as a hiking pole in a pinch. Also, I usually hike with my camera on an OP/TECH sling strap.
So, if anyone has knowledge of the F-stop bags, or other thoughts or suggestions, I would be interested. Thanks.