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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am leaving for a trip to AZ, UT, and CO in a few weeks for riding and want to be able to take my camera along on the rides. Does anyone have a suggestion on what hydration packs have the proper storage for a SLR?

I have a small camel back but im afraid it wont have enough water for me let alone enough room for a camera and extras.

I ride pretty hard so the possibility of me eating it at some point is pretty good.

Any input is appreciated.
 

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Keeping a slur camera in a hydration pack while biking seems like a receive for a wrecked camera.....would it not be better to purchase a small digital camera that can fit easily anywhere?
 

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Most larger hydration packs (think 3 liter bladders) can do the job, but you need to think about the risks:

  • What happens if the bladder leaks?
  • Will the camera bang against other gear in your pack?
  • What happens to your body if you crash and land on the camera?

You have to weigh those risks for yourself, especially the last one. I hate broken ribs, so even though the chances of landing on a camera that's on my back aren't that great I've decided to carry a high end point and shoot instead. (The sort that's shaped like a deck of cards when it's turned off, not the sort that's shaped like a little SLR.) But I can understand somebody with a little less money and a little more risk tolerance making a different decision.

If you do decide to carry an SLR, you still need to worry about leaks and banging around. What you want to do is keep the camera as far up as possible, definitely off the bottom of the bag, and on top of something soft. Throw your toolkit, first aid kit, pump, and all that crap in the bottom of the pack. Then add a folded-up windbreaker and put the camera on top.

Obviously all that's not going to fit in a small bag, and you definitely don't want to skimp on water to make room for your camera. Look for something that'll hold plenty of water *and* the gear you need. I like the Camelback 3 liter packs, but other manufacturers offer the same kind of thing.
 

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I ride pretty hard so the possibility of me eating it at some point is pretty good.
Well.... if you "ride pretty hard" while carrying your DSLR, you pretty much answered your own question; don't do it.

I have one of these: https://peakdesignltd.com/store/capturepro
Very well made. Attaches to the should strap. Easy and quick to release the camera. But, I only take this when my main goal is to take some pics. Which is once in a great while. If I'm going to ride hard, I would never take the DSLR.
 

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If riding hard the SLR stays home and take a "disposable" point and shoot instead but if I do take it I just wrap it in bubble wrap inside my camel back.
 

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I sometimes ride with a Lowepro Flipside 200. But this is not a hydration pack but just a camera backpack that fits tightly against the body. It has space for the camera and 3-4 lenses including a very long lens if mounted on the camera. You could of course fit an extra bottle in the space where the long lens goes which is below the camera when it is on your back (less chance of leakage into the camera). If you are very motivated you could try to integrate a bladder into the 200 or 300 version of that backpack. Since the dividers are movable this could work with a bit of effort.

Personally I wouldn't carry my SLR in a hydration pack because I want dedicated padded compartments for camera and lenses and I want to carry at least 2 but preferably 3 lenses. I don't mind carrying 2 bottles on my frame and one extra in the jersey for longer rides.
 

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I'm with everyone else that cameras and other electronics just seem to have a way of getting destroyed if taken in iffy situations. However, you did give me a good idea if your DSLR is fairly compact. My Nikon D40 is only 3.5" tall, and could fit in a frame triangle bag like the bike packers use fairly well. There would also be room for extra lenses and even a small tripod, and it could be well padded and likely well protected by the frame in the event of a hard crash. It's also a bonus that the weight is off your back.
 

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My "every ride carry" is a Canon S95 in a small clamshell case that goes on my shoulder. For a more casual ride with the dSLR I'll use the Capture Pro clip that johnb mentioned instead. If I'm mixing it up, I'm very happy with the Lowepro Photo Sport 200.

Photo Sport Series | Lowepro
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thanks for the input everyone. I am going to try and find a hard waterproof box similar to an otterbox and cut my own foam insert. In the end if it doesnt look like it could stand up to a crash ill just take the point and shoot.
 

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Ask the guys in the "chest pouches for firearms" thread

http://forums.mtbr.com/general-discussion/chest-pouches-firearms-905456.html

and the "does anyone conceal carry thread"

http://forums.mtbr.com/general-discussion/does-anyone-conceal-carry-when-they-ride-893840.html

These guys are masters at carrying an item, having quick access to shoot - all of which is valuable for photography!


I have carried my DSLR in my dakine nomad pack and a few of my deuter packs many times - Never had any concern about leaking as the bladder is stored in a separate compartment - and unless it was a flash flood it wouldnt be an issue. Biggest thing is to get the weight of the camera down as low into the pack as possible - I found it more comfortable / less weight shift that way.
 
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