Bags Most Preferred by Nature Lovers

By March 15, 2011Products

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.

Glossy Ibis

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.


About Derrick

Derrick Story is a professional photographer, writer, teacher and photography evangelist for Lowepro. He has authored several digital media books, including his latest, The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers and The Digital Photography Companion (O'Reilly Media, publisher). Derrick is a Senior Contributor for Macworld magazine where he writes a digital photography column, and he's a regular presenter on the popular training site, Online, Derrick has formed a virtual camera club called The Digital Story ( that's open to all photography enthusiasts. The site features weekly podcasts, daily posts, training videos, and reader-submitted photos. You can reach Derrick at


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  • Will Rogers says:

    I would agree with most of the article, but I would add that a decent harness on a backpack that has space to carry breakfast and lunch + coat and jumper would be good…
    the Pro Trekkers just don’t quite have enough space for all that hiking luggage!

    • Derrick says:

      Hmmm… Well, I guess this depends on the person packing the bag. I carry food in the top compartment that has plenty of room for a day’s supplies. I use the side tubes for coat on one side and ground pad on the other. And there’s still the straps on the bottom for another roll if you want.

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