We took our youngest granddaughter home to Alexandria on the Amtrak train that connects Lynchburg (VA/USA) to DC , NY, and Boston. It's an easy ride and was Madeline's first train ride. Lots of fun and, fortunately, this little two-year old kept very busy in her seat, on the floor, and in the aisle for the 3+ hour trip. After lunch with our son and daughter-in-law, Mary Ann and I boarded the southbound train and, only because of weather delays, we're back home by 10 PM.
This occasion was, however, a perfect opportunity to try out using my Lowepro Streamline 250 as a day bag for camera gear and some other necessities, which, at our age, also includes our daily pills! I wanted to see (a) if I could fit everything I think I need on a day outing in the bag without over-filling it and (b) if it was small enough to not be a burden and be comfortable to carry. Having a little toddler, her car seat, a large bag with her clothes and accessories for her week long stay with us, a bag of snacks and 'entertainment' resources, along with helping my wife definitely put my plan to the test! Thank goodness Madeline can walk and, more importantly, wanted to! This particular use of the 250 is, actually, a bit different than on future trips we will take, as then I will use it for simple day outings from a vacation hotel or apartment. In yesterday's trip, there was a chance that we would have to spend the night in Alexandria because of the worsening winter storm outside the train window. Turns out we did not, but we wanted to be prepared.
Inside this relatively small but roomy bag I had inserted a short Ape Case container into main cavity. In this i stored my E-M1 with the 12-40mm attached. Outside the Ape Case in the main cavity I put my 75-300mm wrapped in a Domke wrap. On top of my camera ther is room to store my little red Eagle Creek accessories bag with personal things and extra memory cards in an old film canister. Into the inside, padded sleeve of the main cavity, I was able to fit my small Kindle as well as my full-size iPad 3 (my new iPad Mini 3 will definitely fit perfectly!). Tight fit, but it all,zippered up easily.
On outside of this bag (http://www.infotor.com/blog/change-of-mind-the-lowepro-streamline-250/) there is another zippered, padded, two-pocket space. In one of the pockets I store two of my smallest lenses - the 25mm and Panasonic 35-100mm - wrapped together in another Domke wrap. These wraps, as I've noted before, are great to have! In the other pocket I stuffed a small ZipLoc bag containing cords and plugs for mobile devices, something I wouldn't need on a simple day-outing. Since the bag at this point was pretty stuffed, I really couldn't use the flapped pocket below the outside zippered compartment. I could, though, slide a map our skinny guidebook in it probably. I, actually, did slide the collapsed X-Shot camera holder in one end.
At this point, there is really no more room in the bag, but I did have everything I needed. To make this work I had to unzipper the expansion zipper that, when closed, does, in fact, make the 250 "streamlined." I got some great little roll up bags from Vanquest to use with my VSlinger bag. I attached one of these to the hang loop on the 250 using a small carabiner hook. My idea for this bag is two fold: (1) to hold a water bottle as pictured, but also (2) to use as a temporary holder for one of my lenses when I swap out lenses. I cleverly forgot my water bottle yesterday!
Process needs some work but I am thinking right now that my empty 250 will go in my checked luggage on our next trip abroad. That experience will be the real test to decide whether this is to be my "every trip" day bag, for example, when I go to the Out of Chicago conference in June. How do you handle/carry your gear when out on day trips on an extended vacation? Chime in with a description on Facebook or G+ - links below!
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