Feedback on the f64 backpacks : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi, I've trawled through the archives but would still value any feedback concerning the f64 packs. I'm currently using an original Lowepro Trekker (non AW) but my needs are for something a bit bigger. A Super-Trekker would be nice but TOO expensive and TOO big! Does anyone have any feedback on the f64 especially the 10x8 version. I would be interested in any dimensions, as the DI site doesn't show these. I appreciate that the Super T is probably the ultimate in backpacks but how does the f64 compare for quality, build etc and how about the harness? Anyone with any other suggestions? Thanks in advance. Paul

-- paul owen (, November 09, 2001


The f64 pack (the bigger one) is just about perfect for carrying an 8x10 field camera, a lens or two, 4 film holders, meter, and a few small accessories. The harness, however, is far from perfect. Shoulder straps are flimsy and minimally adjustable, there's nothing even resembling a frame in/on the pack, and the waist belt was totally useless for me as it was a good 3 inches too big for me even at its smallest. Granted, I'm a small guy and the average user of this pack probably doesn't have a 29" waist, but I still find it rather disappointing in this regard, especially considering the cost of the pack. The main compartment is about 14 inches square by 6 or so inches deep. The compartment at the top is about 14x6x6. The detachable side pockes measure about 12x5x5"- just about perfect for 4x5 film holders.

-- David Munson (, November 09, 2001.

I made a trip from Central Nevada to Minneapolis just days before the 911 disaster. Flew up to pick up a car. Anyways I took my new F64 pack with my crummy Zone VI 4X5, 90mm 135mm 180mm 240mm and 300mm, filters and meter, and 23 film loads. Carried it on the plane (which I probably can't do any more) and enjoyed it all the way back home to Nevada. I'm a lot fatter than David so the belt worked great for me. One of the Zippers gave evidence that it wouldn't put up with too much more of my gross overloading, but it ultimately hung in there. I like it! But hey I'm a guy that thinks a Zone VI camera is OK so take this for what it's worth.

-- Jim Galli (, November 09, 2001.

My F64 pack (for 10x8) carries, Canham 10x8; focusing cloth (big one); 4 lenses (210, 305, 450, 600), 4-5 film holders; meter, loupe, level notebook, 8 filters, can of air, lens hoods. Im 5'8 and have carried it around for a while in Death Valley-couldnt do an all day hike though. I asked nathan congdon what he carried before I bought. Highly recommended


-- Alan Barton (, November 09, 2001.

Hi Paul,

Have you considered the Kinesis system? They have some good ideas for modular stuff, belts and pack frames, etc. They also have a backpack slightly larger than the Lowepro trekker (which I have also been using for quite a few years) and which I am seriously considering for myself. Click on the 'packs' link and have a look at 'the Journeyman pack'.

I've looked at the F64 and the other options around but the Kinesis approach looks interesting and the prices seem reasonable.

Check out their web site (it's a bit slow, but detailed) at:

Kind regards

Peter Brown

-- Peter L Brown (, November 09, 2001.

Having loked at a lot of packs, and tried the various Lowe Pros, I haven't found anything better designed for carrying 10X8/8X10 cameras than the F64 BPX (big one). The setup is too perfect to resist (main compartment just right for the camera and a few accessories, front compartment fits 4 holders, all lenses and the lightmeter go above, the side compartment holds filters, etc, and then I took off the other side compartment and added a robust tripod holder). The only downside: it is poorly made. After I lost a few straps, I had every single seam in the pack reinforced by a tailor in India. I carry 50- 60 lb of obsessive 8X10 parephernalia in it now, 4-5 major trips/yr all around the world, and have had no trouble with it. The waist belt is poorly designed and useless, and I am 6 1" and far from svelte. Nonetheles, I still think from a design point it is so much better than anything else that I put up with the comparatively weak seams, non-existent support, etc. Despite all that, I can and do carry it all day on a regular basis. Added plus: given the removable side pockets, it does actually fit in a regulation airline luggage bin. I have carried it onboard probably a hundred times w/o a problem, though all before 911. Don't know what it will be like now, but I have long trips to Latin America and Australia scheduled for March-April, so we'll find out...Until I find something smaller that can fit a real 8X10 outfit AND is better made, this is probably going to continue as my constant traveling companion.


-- Nathan Congdon (, November 09, 2001.

Thanks for the replies! The f64 seems the ideal pack BUT it appears that quality is poor. I don't fancy having to get it restitched!! Also the replies seem to hint at the packs being let down by the harness. It seems as if its going to have to be the S Trekker!! thanks again Paul

-- paul owen (, November 10, 2001.

I have tried many packs and to me the best one is the top of the line North Face pack. It is both a panel and top loader. I carry my 8x10 my 8x20 back 5x7 reducing back 6 lens and plenty of film holders and acc. I also have room for my tent sleeping bag and other backpacking supplies.

-- david distefano (, November 10, 2001.

Whoaaaa .... let me chime in here. I have a BPX that I have been using for several years. The harness system is not as good as some of the straight backpacks out there (I happento like Mountainsmith) but it is fine and way better than the harness systems of some standard packs made 20 eyars ago. I routinely pack 25-40 pounds worth of stuff in it (both 4x5 and 8x10 configurations) and hike comfortably alld ay. Recently I hve used it on a 3 day trek in Northern California and most recently had it on my back when I was going down and then back up a 7-8 ft. sheer rock face. Iit will do the job quite well.

Hint .. call the factory direct and expalin yoru concerns ont he stitching .. they will hand pick one for you and sell it direct .. if you get luck it will be a second with a blem in the fabric and you will even save money.

-- Ted Harris (, November 10, 2001.

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