I seem to be constantly in a never ending search for the perfect bag to carry my photo gear in. So far this search has cost me a small fortune and resulted in a room full of camera bags that seem to be ill suited to general usage but have a specific use. I had given up the ghost of ever finding my perfect solution but for now I seem to have found a nice solution for my hiking trips and journies into the Thai forest and jungles as well as about town.
My saviour has come in the shape of the Lowpro Rover AW II
Lowepro's, updated two-compartment backpack now comes with an adjustable, padded, built-in backpack harness that includes shaped shoulder straps, a sternum strap, waistbelt, and load-adjustment straps. This is great because the system actually works like a good backpack now. My experiences with Lowepro's old system always ended up in severe back ache and pain for me.
There are attachment loops for optional SlipLock add-ons on the harness and waistbelt but to be honest the packed rucksac is as large as I like to go because trekking in Thailand means hiking in humidity and heat and too much gear and load is going to cause too much stress on the body and push you towards heat exhaustion pretty quickly.
You can stow camera gear safely in the bottom compartment, in the partitioned and padded section. Extras like spare dry tee shirts, a towel and snacks can go in the top compartment, or you can remove the padded camera insert and use Rover AW II as a traditional backpack. The center divider folds away to create a single compartment which is a neat idea especially if you are only carrying minimum camera gear on some trips.
There is an inbuilt all weather cover gives your gear extra protection from humidity, rain and foul weather. There is also a pull-out tripod holder which actually works and mesh side pockets for you to keep water at hand.
Altogether this is one of the best camera bags I have bought and definitely the best camera rucksac bag I have purchased and can be worn all day with out any twinges or pain of anykind.
UPDATE: As my venturing into the forest with camera equipment as changed somewhat since writing this article I thought I would just add a little addendum, and the deatails of what carrying gear I current use:
Day photography in the field - I use a Cabelalla's monster fanny pack, It can carry all the gear I need sans tripod for my macro outings and when trolling the forest for mammals my 80-400 fits neatly in the pack and my stool slips into the top section.
Camera trapping - when we are camera trapping we are carrying a huge amount of off size gear including the traps - for this I have only found an old American Military ALICE pack has the volume and shape to take the gear.
Hiking - for the last few years I have used nothing but Deuter day packs - amazingly strong and amazingly light.