Deciding on a dslr was not so tough a year back, it was either Canon or Nikon and it just happened that i chose Canon since in the beginner level series neither seemed to make a difference, at least for me. I have a Canon 550d with a set of beginner level lenses (a 18-55mm kit lens, 50mm prime and a 55-250mm telephoto zoom) and a tripod(1.3 kg ,folded height 460mm). For over an year I was using the bag that came with my dslr and decided now to upgrade to a better one, as I found it difficult to carry around the camera, lenses and tripod. I was looking for a backpack model and with lots of brands out there choosing one was really a tough thing. At first I did want to have a bag that could take a laptop too, but then decided against it as all those bags that could take a laptop tend to be a bit bulky. Carrying a laptop would be only while I travel and not when I go out for shooting, so then decided against one with a laptop. After some online research I shortlisted a couple of bags.
Deciding to drop into a store to see them was the best thing that I did, and I suggest everyone planning to buy a dslr bag to do that. What’s good for me, might not work out for you. Except the flipside one I did see everything else. For me the fastpack 250aw was a bit bulky, the Pro Runner a bit too small and lacking a quick access entry. Manfrotto was decent enough but then my tripod would not go through the tripod strap, since my tripod has all its legs connected to the centre rod. I happened to see the Vanguard Up-rise 43, which was actually a sling bag but had all the other features I was looking for. It was sleek looking, well padded,had a tripod holder(now this one had a adjustable strap to hold the tripod), a quick access,rain cover. Back home I did again a bit of research and got to see the Up-rise 45,46 and 48, which is the backpack bags in the up-rise series . Now that was what exactly I was looking for. 48 was way too big for me. Now had to choose between the 46 and 45 the only difference being the former could take a laptop too,and was not that bulky too. Also the models are also different. For Up-rise 46 the bag opening was from the front and for Up-rise 45 the opening was from the back. The Up-rise 46 had just one problem of having the tripod strap on the opening bag flap, having you to untie the tripod first(if you have used that to tie the tripod. This one also does have a elastic band to the middle of the bag through which you can slide your tripod in, as in manfrotto. But then my tripod had to tied using the strap due to the same problem mentioned above). So finally I had a choice, Vanguard Up-Rise 45, at least for now that I feel might be good for me. Just got it shipped today and planning to take it with me for the next trip. Below are some snaps of the my bag. I did find a good video on youtube which shows all the features, so I didn’t want to do one again.
In short the main things that made my choose the Vanguard Up-Rise 45
Shoulder bag with a sleek design
Quick access for the camera
tripod holder,rain cover
flipside kind of access too, since the opening was in the back
good cushion paddings(you don’t feel the weight at all)
sturdy even with the tripod attached and had no issues accessing the quick access
all straps could be nicely tucked away into appropriate slots, leaving no hanging straps
a compartment for accessories
Hope you have a good time choosing your bag !