Firstly my priorities for choosing a camera case include
- Easy access, I want to be able to get quick access to my camera without removing my pack etc.
- The case must be lightweight and tough.
- Waterproof or at least water resistant.
- Able to hold my camera, I use Micro 4/3 cameras which whilst compact, with additional lenses mean that it is not a pocket camera. My current camera is an Olympus EPL 5.
The Zpacks Multipack has met all of these requirements. I first used the multipack on my trip to Lapland in 2012 and it has accompanied me ever since, whether it be to Lapland or on the local trails in Denmark. As a result the multipack has seen more than 50 nights of use. It has survived being rained upon, left on the ground, hung in trees and it has rested for the night in many tents and has never complained. The only damage to date is the loss of the Zpacks label, though the stitching is still evident.
Initially I used it as a chest pouch as shown in the photo below, it was secured to the shoulder straps at the top with two mini biners and the lower attachments were attached to the hip belt. This setup worked well and somewhat replicated the Aarn pack front pocket design. However, in warmer weather I found it a bit warm, and have since reverted to using the case as a shoulder bag. The benefit of this set up, being, it is easy to access, and remove when stopped for a break.
I find the shoulder bag approach comfortable and in most occasions it barely moves. For those looking for alternative set ups, Ryan Jordan attached it to his hip belt and the side of his HMG Porter as shown in photo found here. I tried this arrangement but was not entirely happy with it, your mileage may vary.
The following photo shows the EPL 5, View Finder and Olympus 40 to 150 mm lens packed. In wet weather the contents are placed inside an Exped draw string bag. I have found the the Cuben material combined with a water proof zip stops most of the moisture and the Exped bag is extra insurance. In very wet conditions it is placed inside my pack.
When traveling to or from the start of the trail, the camera bag is easily packed into my Sea to Summit day pack and is also quickly deployed at the start of the walk.
The total weight of the Zpacks Multipack, padding for camera and Exped bag is 105 gms.
What is your preferred camera and case when hiking? And most importantly what do you do with your camera when it is wet, or the terrain is challenging?