[QUOTE=Jon;1384]Don't forget all the outside pockets (if they're like mine) contain "buffer" material, like filter packs, card carriers, lens tissue, flash units, pens, paper, screwdrivers, . . . that will dissipate any impact.[/QUOTE]
i too load the side pockets and front pocket with all the stuff that i dont mind taking a hit, knowing they will absorb some impact .
just be creative, you would be supprised how much stuff you normally pack in a very well paded bag.
in shoulder bags, 99% of the times they take an external hit, its on the side that is facing foward, so there , put the rocket blower.
on the front of the bag, you hand is always there.
at the rear of the bag, choose from above