Mountainsmith Aurora II lumbar camera pack

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There are still a few minimalist outdoor photographers out there who don't lug the kitchen sink (several camera bodies and lenses) into the backcountry. Minimalist means carrying one body and a couple of lenses, just enough to get the job done without weighing you down.
   
Once we heard about the Mountainsmith Aurora II lumbar camera pack, we got it in the hands of one of our testers, a veteran photographer who still spends as much time on a mountain or road bike, on the trail, or in a boat as he does behind his desk sorting images. Here is what he had to say:

"Finding a good minimalist camera bag that holds all I need, plus rides well on the back or waist hasn't been that easy. Since I prefer a lumbar pack that I can swing around quickly for easy access to the camera gear and because I prefer not to have much weight on my shoulders while riding, scrambling or hiking, the new Mountainsmith Aurora II lumbar pack looked interesting.
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After two months of testing, there's a lot to like with this pack especially since my switch to all digital gear. Prior to going digital, my 35 mm SLR film camera bodies would have taken up too much room in the medium version (they come in small and medium sizes) of the pack I tested. While small is what I was after to force me into being even more of a minimalist, the small version would have been too small I believe.
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Medium was the perfect size and the Aurora II easily holds a Canon 20D body, a 17 to 35 zoom lens and another lens (either a 50 mm or 100 mm), flash cards, batteries, wallet, dark glasses and car/house keys. That's it and that's enough.
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The pack features a fully adjustable contoured waist belt that provides a good snug ride. The padded back panel on the rear of the pack bag was very comfortable against the small of the back.
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Other key features that make the Aurora II work so well are fleece-padded insides to protect the camera body and lenses, adjustable internal dividers, zippered pockets -- two exterior and one interior -- for storage, a shoulder strap that can be used if desired, and a rubber-molded haul-handle on the top of the pack.
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All-in-all the Aurora II is a well thought-out design and proof that companies in the business of designing packs for outdoor adventurers can design better camera packs than photographic accessory suppliers if the designers are given the right specifications and direction."

SNEWS® Rating: 4 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

Suggested Retail: $59.95 (small size, not tested, is $49.95)

For more information:www.mountainsmith.com, or call 800-551-5889
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