Step 1: Bag & Modifications
I start with the freebie backpack and cut the gasket things that keep the flap from opening all the way because, well, I want it to open all the way.
The backpack is turned inside out so I'm able to get the exact shape of the inside of the bag.
I use a piece of cardboard and trace the backpack on it. Then I cut it out to use as a template for the foam that will fit in the backpack.
Step 2: Cutting the Foam to Fit
I use 2-1/4" thick Kaizen foam to act as protective padding for my gear and hold it all in place.
The template is traced out twice because I need extra thickness. I then use a long utility knife to cut the foam to size.
Foam test fit is successful so I then determine what the final height needs to be in order to fit into the backpack. I use the long knife to cut through the perimeter and then rip the extra off.
When I get it down to the thickness I need, I spray the surface of both piece with spray adhesive, wait for it to dry, and then stick the 2 pieces of foam together.
Test fit in the bag again and it fits like a glove, a backpack glove.
Step 3: Cutting the Foam Cavities
I wanted to use one of the side drink holders to hold my small bendy tripod, but the foam pushed too tight against the inside of the bag. I used my "shop cowbell" and heated it up and used it to form an indent in the side of the foam where the tripod would fit.
I then layout all of the camera gear that I want in the foam to figure out the best layout for it. I have a camera with 3 lenses, a shotgun mic, and a small bag with my action cam and accessories.
I use a silver colored pattern marker to trace each of the items out on the black foam.
The long knife is measured up against each piece and then used to cut out each of the cavities to the appropriate depth. Heating up the knife slightly with a torch helps to cut through the foam easily.
Each of the cut outs is then dug out with the tips of my fingers to remove the excess.
Step 4: Filling Up the Backpack
Everything cut and fit into the foam!
All of my other random accessories fit perfectly up in the front compartment of the bag.
Step 5: Installing the Tripod Strap
I then needed to figure out a way to carry my larger tripod with the bag. There is another drink holder on this side of the bag so I wanted to utilize that somehow, but there are no straps built into the bag. Well I'm handy...I'll build my own!
I mark on the side of the bag where I want the straps to be located. I then install a pair of grommets in the side of the bag.
Grommets installed and ready for the strap. The strap will enter in through one and back out through the other to wrap around the tripod and inside of the bag while the bottom of the tripod fits in the drink holder.
The paracord is then fed into the inside of the bag and I continue the weave until I run out of room on the inside.
The weave is then completed through the outside of the bag to the second part of the buckle. Once I ensure that it is the proper length, I cut the paracord and melt the ends to prevent it from fraying.
Tripod all clipped in and secure!
Step 6: Outro
Backpack camera bag tripod holder thingy out for it's first adventure! It's not the most efficient use of space, but it's perfect for me because it's light weight and holds exactly what I need without getting loaded down with extra stuff.
Bonus shot from the first adventure - Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island
and Bonus Bonus drone shot too
Be sure to checkout the full build video: