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Camera and DayPack Debate

Hello, we have already purchased neck wallets for our upcoming Europe trip....

My question is will I need a daypack? I have a nice DSLR I will be taking around with me and don't really want the bulkiness of a camera bag but thought a daypack would work for my extra lens, extra memory card, phone, etc....

Thoughts? Styles? Recommendations on a daypack that will also keep my extra lens safe?

Posted by
10344 posts

Pick pockets have an easier time stealing things that are in back of you, such as a day-type back pack.
Sometimes here it's recommended that you either 1) not use a pack that would be in back of you, or 2) if you do, only put things in the back pack that are of relatively low value to you, such as lunch, water, and so on.
Other factors to consider are: what countries you will be in; how much you will be in crowds, such as on public transport rather than rental car; etc.

Posted by
16883 posts

I personally use a cross-body shoulder bag as my day bag. It's not as ergonomic for heavy loads, but my hand is always on it, and I access it frequently without taking it off. Smaller bags that stay close to your body can often be carried into museums, while back packs that look like they will bump into the artworks often must be checked in museums.

Posted by
31 posts

Thank you both. I am debating a Crossbody/Shoulder bag. Do you have suggestions for brands?

Posted by
10344 posts

I use an older version of the Rick Steves shoulder bag; it's intended as a smaller day bag, but has room for what I need, but I travel light when walking around a locale, have a small point-and-shoot camera, am not hauling electronics, and usually return to the hotel room at least once for breaks--so I don't need a larger bag than that.

Posted by
1994 posts

For years I've used one of the teardrop-shaped bags from Ameribag. It looks/acts like a shoulder bag, so I've been allowed to take it into museums when smaller backpacks have to be checked. I've never been asked to check it at a museum. The medium size easily holds a wallet, camera, sunscreen, rolled up hat, water bottle, guidebook, maps, snacks, phone, and the miscellaneous stuff I usually carry in a purse. I initially bought it for the ergonomics because I have a repetitive-use injury in my arms and shoulders, and I'm amazed at how much I can carry in it with no pain. It comes in a variety of materials; I use the microfiber, which is the lightest. It also has great internal pockets/clips so everything doesn't get lost in a jumble. And the zipper is next to your body, which is nice for security.

Posted by
31471 posts

A couple of methods you could look at......

Use a smaller waist model camera bag such as one of these models. If you wear it in front, it would be easier to keep watch on the contents. You could also look at this line of bags which don't "look" like Camera bags.

Another option to consider would be a photo vest such as one of these models. I'd suggest a lighter model, as they could be a bit uncomfortable in hot weather.

You mentioned that you'd be taking a phone. Be sure that it's compatible with European cell networks and if a Smart phone, be VERY careful with data roaming charges. Be sure to check that the chargers for all of your gear are rated for operation on 220 VAC electrical systems.

Posted by
31 posts

Thank you all for the recommendations. The recommended Ameribag HBBevo microfiber I think is going to be perfect. I'm getting it in medium so I can fit in a Timbuk2 Snoop Camera insert (xsmall) to keep my camera and lens safe. Plus it has a place for my iPad and phone. (Great for the airport though I will be leaving the iPad in the hotel safe while out and about.) Rick Steve's forum are the best. I feel prepared for my trip based off all the posts and recommendations!

Posted by
715 posts

I would not use a back pack/daypack unless I was hiking. Touring and sightseeing around villages and cities I would use a messenger bag. I use a Patagonia mini-mass.

Posted by
1217 posts

We ran into a number of museums in Paris where backpacks had to be checked at the desk, but cross body and camera bags were just fine to take through the museum, whether the museum allowed photography or not. So if you want to keep the nice DSLR with you at all times, (we definitely do) stick with something more purse-like or cross body-like.

Posted by
1054 posts

I use a Pac-Safe messengar style bag. I don't have a full size DSLR camera, but a Sony Mirrorless camera and it fits perfect with other stuff.