Sadly, my Quicksilver backpack did not survive near constant use. The zippers started to break and the fabric was so worn that it was no longer water resistant. By 2012, I needed a replacement and discovered that my Quicksilver bag had long since been discontinued by the manufacturer. I will point out that while it was a good bag, it was by no means well padded and it never offered the kind of protection you get from a camera bag maker.
I subsequently visited BH Photo in NYC and spent hours testing all the camera backpacks they had in stock. To my surprise I could not find a mid-sized backpack with a decent side pocket that allowed me to easily swap lenses without taking the bag off. The few bags that I could find with a good side pocket, were of the type that were so big that they appeared more appropriate for mountaineering and not for my documentary photography work.
Later I saw on Tenba’s website they had a new product called “Messenger Photo Daypack” and in the photo I could see it had side pockets that looked similar to the ones on my old Quicksilver backpack. So I ordered it for about $160, but sadly it did not workout as well as I had hoped. Tenba had put all sorts of pouches and SD card holders in the side pockets which made it hard to put in and remove lenses. Also the side pockets were smaller than on my Quicksilver bag. Which became a problem when I was using one of my favorite wides: a vintage Canon FD 24mm f/1.4 L lens (the very first aspherical lens made by Canon) along with its large saucer shaped lens hood. I had many ideas on how such a backpack could be made with side pockets to hold lenses larger than Leica primes. On November 21, 2012 I sent a detailed email to Tenba outlining the need for such a bag, but they never responded.
In the summer of 2013, I was attending an event in Virginia and I met a photographer named Bob Tobias. I showed him my Tenba bag and I explained to him the way I used to be able to swap lenses without fully removing the bag. He was sympathetic to my plight and told me that he knew somebody at the Think Tank camera bag company and said he would relay my suggestion to them. For the next 2 years I lumbered along with the imperfect Tenba bag until recently I got an email from Bob Tobias informing me that Think Tank had actually made the type of bag I requested.