Does anyone have any experience with the mountainsmith borealis at camera backpack. I am looking for a hiking daypack for d7000 ,16-85,70-300, 100 macro lens and a few filters. The top could be for snack and rain jacket?
Ken, I can't tell you about the Borealis specifically, but, I do have several other Mountainsmith products related to backpacking. Their gear is high end stuff, very well built, rugged, durable and well engineered. They are primarily a mountaineering gear company, where equipment failure can cost lives, so reliability is paramount. If the Borealis has the features you want, I can vouch for the quality.
Ken, it does have some organizational pockets. There is a zippered pocket on one side of the waist belt, an elastic pouch on the other side. There are some sma ller zippered pockets in the upper areas of the pack as well. The top has one large compartment with a zippered pocket inside it, and a smaller, flatter area in front of the large compartment with organizational pockets in it as well. Like I said, I found it to hold a lot of equipment (probably more than I needed) and it was well padded and secure.
I have the Mountainsmith Spectrum, which is just a bit smaller than the Borealis. I use it to hike with virtually the same gear you have: a D7000, 16-85mm Nikkor, 70-300mm Nikkor, 60 f2.8 Nikkor micro and assorted filters, attachments etc. It easily accommodates the gear along with gloves, granola bars, water, maps etc. Last time out I even took my 400 f5.6 Nikkor, although i had to fit it in separately from the compartment for gear.
I find the pack to be really well-constructed, very comfortable and it balances the load well. The only complaint I have is that access to the zippered bottom compartment where the gear is protected is a bit awkward.
Fred I have read a review that the owner states he has a problem his back sweating due to not a having voids on the back of pack for air movement. Do you have that problem? I have that problem with the pack I currently have. Was hoping to get away form that with the mountainsmith? Thanks
I haven't had that problem myself but I can see where it might be possible. The back of the pack has a fairly rigid foam pad covered with vented nylon, since it is designed to hold a laptop. It's also black, which absorbs heat in the full sun.
Frankly, I have not used the Mountainsmith pack in extremely hot weather. I usually use a lighter-weight regular backpack from Eagle Creek on summer hikes since it has exterior pockets designed to carry water bottles.
This is what I use, mainly because of the ways to access items inside. A little smaller then what you are looking at but very functional. Also fit in regional and larger airplanes. I have been taking it every where.
Now I am a sucker for back packs but the clamshell way you access the inside bottom seems really inconvienent to me for camera gear. I have never had to set the pack above on the ground. I need to go find this pack somewhere to check it out.
>Fred I have read a review that the owner states he has a >problem his back sweating due to not a having voids on the >back of pack for air movement. Do you have that problem? I >have that problem with the pack I currently have. Was hoping >to get away form that with the mountainsmith? Thanks
I also have a Mountainsmith Borealis AT and I haven't noticed this too much, but I got it in the fall and haven't used it in summer conditions. There are some voids on the back, going across the back only, and they aren't very big or deep. I wouldn't say they are ideal.
That said, my Camelbak MULE and my REI hiking pack both have large voids/channels, and I still have sweat spots on my shirt if I wear them for any extended time in the heat. It's not realistic to think some channels are all it will take to prevent this, in my opinion.
I posted earlier here about having the Mountainsmith Spectrum backpack. This weekend I bought a replacement: a Tamrac 5549 Adventure. I took it out yesterday, fully loaded, for a hike at a local nature preserve and I must say it is more comfortable and far easier to access. It also has capacity for extra clothing, first-aid kit, water bottles etc., which I need when hiking.
Access to the bottom-loading clamshell of the Mountainsmith was the main problem. Otherwise, it's a decent pack.
Give it a look, John. I checked out the one you have (as well as some models by Tenba, Lowepro and a few other makes) and this one really fit the bill for me.
It easily carries my D7000, 16-85 and 70-300 VR zooms, 60 f2.8 micro Nikkor, SB400 flash, extra batteries, filters etc. as well as water bottles, with room for lunch, a jacket and laptop, which I did not have with me.
I will. My kit is a bit smaller. D3200, very small DSLR, 18-55, 55-200, 35 prime, charger, batteries, cables, card reader, SB910, wool mitten gloves, laptop, notebooks pencils, pens, glasses and sunglasses. Not much more room. I thought about stepping up to the evolution 9. What I really like is switching from left or right sling or backpack. I will literally hike 20 miles+ in a day so switching it up keeps the load balanced on my aging abused frame!
Thanks to everyone for all the info. I have finally made my mind up and bought the Tamrac 5788. I loaded it with all the gear I plan to take and I can already say it seems to put most of the weight on my hips where it should be. I am planning on buying a good waist belt made for true back packs and putting it on the bag. I believe it will then meet all my needs and carry the weight like a backpack should. Also I am hoping the thicker waist belt will hold the flat back part of the pack off of my back a little to allow air flow. Thanks
If the bigger waist belt doesn't you could try a piece of sheep skin. We use them on bikes when we are on the seat for extended periods of time. A piece added to the waist would help hold it out farther.