I’ve got an old Mule (must be 03) and I’ve had:
a DSLR, spare lens (70-300mm), folding tripod, plus all my tools and spares AND an extra 2L bladder of water (we were riding in Moab and needed it!)
Admittedly it weighed a fair bit and to get anything out, most of the rest had to be unpacked but it was doable.
I still use the Mule and it still fits my 350D in with no problems, it’ll take a 40D with a bit of care. Doesn’t dig into the back at all, the bladder cushions it nicely.
I’m really struggling to imagine this, perhaps I’m doing something wrong with mine?
Yeah, if you just shove stuff in any old how then it’ll take up loads of room!
Completely empty the pack then fill the bladder and put that in. Then add your stuff into the big pocket, packing waterproofs/clothing etc up really small (use a towstrap if necessary to hold them in a roll). Slide the pump in down the side. Tools/tubes etc go in the smaller pockets, use the mesh backs/key ring holder/inner linings as much as possible. Anything delicate like sandwiches or bananas go on top. Camera goes in the main pocket or, best bet if you need to get at it quickly, is to use a chest pack like SFB does, it carabiners onto the CamelBak.
I have a 300d, it goes fine in an ’06 HAWG in it’s lowepro case. The 400d is significantly smaller than than the 300d, might be ok in a modern MULE if it isn’t ina case of it’s own – I wouldn’t trust it though
My Mule must have been the runt of the litter. Once I’ve packed a paclite jacket, a sandwich and my (minimal) tools, there’s no way on God’s green earth I could fit in my D300 (or D200) with even a small prime attatched.
I have an old mule. I’ve had a 400d in there wrapped in my jacket in there with the stock 18-50 lens no problem. Plenty of room for all the normal stuff I’d carry plus a reasonably full bladder. As above, it’s about getting the hard stuff in before putting the bladder in. And pushing the camera in body first. It wasn’t comfy though, it must be admitted.
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