Review: Crumpler’s The Flying Duck Camera Full Backpack
If you know photographers, you know that we're always on the look out for the perfect camera backpack. Some photographers go for style over substance (and, let's face it, there are brands out there that have designed bags purely for this demographic), while others look for a backpack that's fully pragmatic and comfortable. I fall into the latter category.
I'll preface this by saying that over the past 18 months, I've started to yearn for a single backpack that can be used to store both photographic equipment as well as clothing and other necessities of travel. If you know me, I travel a lot, and I've taken up the challenge of traveling with no check-in luggage, which means that I'll need to make sure that everything plus the backpack fits within the 7kg limit set by more airlines (some airlines are more forgiving than others -- I've been allowed to take up to 12kg as carry on with some of the larger carriers). But, for the sake of this review, let's say that we're going to limit ourselves to one backpack as carry on and it needs to contain all the gear you'll use on your trip, plus clothing, toiletries, travel meds and the like.
This is where the Crumpler Flying Duck excels. The backpack comes with three main compartments:
One at the back for storing your camera gear, lenses, chargers, spare batteries, memory cards and so on. There's even a fairly large pocket here for various paraphernalia. I was able to pack two mirrorless Fujifilm camera bodies, four lenses (Fujifilm 15-66, 14mm, 50mm and 55-200mm), batteries and charger in here.
One at the top of the pack, which I've used to store all clothing (usually the equivalent of about 3-4 days change of clothes, along with toiletries and travel medication. There is also a mesh pocket here (where you can store your camera cleaning kit, or travel meds).
One at the front, which easily fits a 13 inch laptop and includes a zipped front pocket for more accessories.
Then there are the elastic mesh side pockets, perfect for water bottles, or socks and spare undies. 🙂
Straps at the base of the pack can be used to secure a tripod.
For a medium-sized backpack, it's surprisingly roomy and seems to have been designed with a very pragmatic and utilitarian eye. There's no waste of space and everything just seems to fit. The backpack sits well on your back and shoulders without feeling bulky or unbalancing.
I believe I've found my dream camera backpack!! Thanks Crumpler! And all of this for under AUD$200! (At time of writing, there's a special on the price of the Flying Duck Full backpack -- you should be able to pick one up for between AUD$150 and AUD$160.)
Full disclosure: Thanks to CR Kennedy and Team Digital for the use of the Crumpler Flying Duck for review. You can view and purchase The Flying Duck at Team Digital.