The Lowepro Versapack 200 All-Weather backpack is available right now for the pain-free price of less than $50 from B&H, marked down from $120—that's more or less $70 off, as I guess you know if you are capable of doing simple arithmetic in your head.
It has a lightly padded upper compartment for personal items and a more heavily padded lower compartment for camera gear, and can be configured in several different ways so you can access it in different ways and to accommodate different camera outfits.
Yr. Hmbl. Ed. doesn't use backpacks, and TOP has never once published a post about camera bags (that I can recall, anyway), but my friends at B&H tell me this is a popular backpack among photographers and is selling briskly at the sale price. More pics at the link.
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Kalli: "I don't particularly care for backpacks for camera gear, but sometimes I seem to need one (less so after I went Micro 4/3). I've had a the Versapack for probably over three years and I like it very much. First off, it's light. The bag itself is no more than a kilo, I think. Second, it's made for a photographer who's actually also a human being. By that I mean that it's not made for just carrying camera gear, but also the stuff a human might want to carry around for a long day's outing. As a bonus you can collapse it so that it becomes quite compact. Handy if you need to pack it into your suitcase, for example. So, yeah, this bag nut, who hates camera bags and dislikes backpacks, likes this one."
James Ullrich: "It would be nice if the backpack had the camera space on top and other on the bottom. Water bottles sometimes leak and it is better to have that on the bottom. Additionally, if a pack is set down hard, it is better that the camera stuff is on top."