Stirring the fire here a bit as I just hiked 12 miles up a mountain with my Peak Design pack.
A few salient quotes and my thoughts - curious for what others think.
This. So much of this. Slick as Peak Design's waist belt is, it sucked. Did **** all while hiking and now it bothers me as it's an extra dangly thing if it comes out of the hide-away.The “waist belt”—a piece of bare 2-inch nylon webbing with a buckle—does more harm than good, and executes exactly zero of the functions that a waist belt is supposed to offer.
I don't know if I agree with this - the Peak bag is great at this and makes camera access dead simple all the while.They’re also typically not very good at carrying things other than cameras.
This I disagree with. The side access of the Peak bag is ****ing awesome and I used it all the time. I kept my A6000 on a shoulder strap with a Peak capture clip (this works with "outdoor" packs as well, of course) but having access to my A7R without taking the bag off or futzing with sliding waist straps around was awesome.For the most part, hiking packs are one big, open compartment with absolutely no padding, and dumping a bunch of loose camera gear inside to let it bounce around like it’s inside a rock tumbler won’t work. So I got a camera insert/organizer, the Tenba BYOB 13, which slides inside...I thought having to remove the insert was going to be a pain but in reality, it worked fine as I either have the camera away and am focused on hiking, or it’s on a strap at my side and the rest of the gear is stowed away.
I've never tried an F-Stop Bag or anything that claims to do both but I've heard from others that they have all the same problems as putting the insert into a regular pack.