The backpack you select will be your travel companion, so it’s important that everything you need will fit securely in the bag and be easily accessible. One of the easiest ways to start is to assemble your gear on a table, laying out your cameras, lenses, flash and accessories on a table or a clean floor the way you would like to access it when you’re in the field. This is an opportunity to evaluate whether you really need everything you’ve laid out, or perhaps there’s something that is missing. You may want to create a checklist to make certain you have everything that you need when it comes time to pack your backpack.
After you’ve given your gear a good long look you can begin to evaluate what size bag you need. The objective is to get a backpack that’s big enough for your camera system, but not one that is excessively oversized. Buying a larger backpack than you need adds to the weight you’re carrying. There’s also an unwritten rule that photographers will often fill any space with equipment, so the more space, the more equipment, and the more weight.
When you begin to think about purchasing a cameras and lenses, consider the bag you’ll need to move that gear around. If you’re a wildlife photographer you’ll want quick access so you can grab the shot. Nature photography may take you far off the beaten path and require lots of walking. Landscape photography may require special equipment for panoramas or other special situations. Supertelephoto lenses (like for birding) require bags with adequate height and depth to carry such oversized glass.
If you plan to purchase at your local camera shop you will have the added advantage of bringing your gear with you and trying out backpacks until you find the right bag for your needs. You can use our dealer locator here to find your closest Tenba dealer.