After spending a week working with photographers at the Nature Photography Summit in Texas, I have a good feel for the features that interest these adventurers the most.
Our most active table in the booth was where we displayed the Pro Trekker and Vertex series. You would have thought these bags were loaded with magnets. Typically, visitors would start with a midsize Vertex, because in part I think they were attracted to their sleek design and weatherproof zippers. The Vertex series is also fairly efficient in terms of storage space vs bag size. And for many photographers, the shopping stopped right there.
But those interesting-looking Pro Trekker backpacks were hard to overlook. The feature set for the Trekkers is a bit different. You can remove the belly band and shoulder straps, making it easier to fit a Trekker in tight storage. All of the Trekkers are hydration ready. Also, the top lid removes and can be used as a fanny pack once you’re in camp. Plus, the larger Trekkers hold more gear than the large Vertexs.
By discussing the differences between these two models, I got a feel for the priorities of serious nature shooters. Each bag has to hold a long zoom on camera. It needs to hold-up in challenging weather conditions. The bag has to fit on airplanes. And it’s important that the photographer can wear the bag all day without over-tiring the back and shoulders.
At the end of the day, the preferred bag depended on the specific type of shooting engaged most often by the photographer. I’m glad that we have two distinct backpack options to offer the nature photographer who works in very demanding conditions. Personally, I like the Trekkers a bit better. But I tell you, those Vertex models look sharp.
Derrick Story is the Photography Evangelist for Lowepro.