The ProblemI wondered, why would ThinkTankPhoto mess with a winning formula? They make bags that are brilliant for travel and rough and tumble photojournalist, so what’s there to improve upon? X20 (or a camera I’m reviewing like the X100s) because I don’t want to be bogged down with a heavy bag and gear. However, some of the best photo opportunities happen on those hikes so often I really wish I had my 5D Mark III or a camera like the D600. Given the conditions under the forest canopy, a tripod like my Gitzo GT1541 is handy to have too, but things add up quick so who wants to do that? Well, from what I hear from my friends – pretty much everybody wants to! This leads to people doing silly things like putting their gear in their hiking backpack where stuff bangs against each other and gets scratched, and finding what you need can be a mess. This has caused me to get asked NUMEROUS times if there was a good hiking backpack that could also hold camera gear, but still hold things like water, a change of clothes, food, etc… that you’d typically want on a long hike.
BlackRapid RS-Sport, then you can carry even more like up to 5 standard size lenses as shown above. For me the configuration on the far right most accurately represents how I plan to use this bag.
Camera and a 70-200mm? – No problem
Yeah, but what about my other stuff?example), so sometimes the extra stuff in the bag can literally save your life. The photo above shows that this bag is designed with serious outdoor hiking in mind. Of course, MindShift Gear realizes that there will be other times where you just want a camera bag and ideally you want one investment that can serve both needs. This is where this handy insert comes in to make your big compartment a full-on camera bag like you are used to from Think Tank Photo:
that includes a tube pass-through where you see the water drop graphic Long hikes require water and typical hiking bags keep this in mind by having a place to store your water bladder. This bag was designed this this in mind, so there’s a dedicated compartment just for your water that also works to hold things like your Rogue XL Pro Lighting Kit when you aren’t scaling mountains.
Store up to a 3 liter water bladder in a dedicated hydration pocket
What about that darn tripod?One of the most frustrating things when you are hiking is trying to carry a tripod because do-it-yourself solutions end up beating you to death with the tripod, and holding it in your hand gets old QUICK. As a result, many people leave the tripod at home for an activity where the tripod is often needed the most (for long exposure landscape shots). BH-55 head with a Gitzo GT1541 combo. However, there’s also times when you have the tripod already out and you need to trek around the trail a bit for some additional shots. This scenario was covered to in this awesome tripod extended configuration:
But wait, there’s more… (sorry, no Ginsu knives included)
Video WalkthroughThis bag has so much to show that a video is really helpful to appreciate it all. Even though I didn’t go into all the details I still ended up with two videos that are over 8 minutes long each! My bag has all of the accessories on it when I start the video so you can see how they work. I start with my video review which just goes over the bag itself with no gear inside: Next up I have a video with a bunch of stuff inside including clothes, keys, flashlight, and more... Hopefully my videos give you a better idea of what this bag has to offer. It's my understanding that MindShift Gear will stand behind these bags the same as Think Tank Photo, so if you are dissatisfied for any reason just contact them so they can make things right or issue a refund.
ConclusionWhen I read about this bag I knew I wanted one, but more than anything I knew A LOT of my readers would want one too. As a result, I contributed $500 to the Kickstarter Campaign with the no gift option because I wanted to see this bag happen. I never imagined that so many people would give away their money to see this product happen, but they did (many receiving nice gifts for their donation). Of course this prompted some people to say “hey, what the heck does Think Tank Photo need donations for – those guys are probably super loaded and driving Ferrari’s!”. Well the reality is that Think Tank Photo is still only a small 30 person company that reinvests heavily in itself, so Kickstarter donations were the only way to make this new bag and company happen. They were also generous enough to send me a bag to review so I could bring this article to you. I’m really loving what I see with this bag and I can’t wait to put it to heavy use this summer. I’ll report back if I see any issues that give me cause for concern.
Where to order & SPECIAL OFFERClick here to order today and enter the discount coupon code RONMART to get FREE SHIPPING.
Other articles you may enjoyIf you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these reviews:
- Think Tank Photo Reviews & Special Offer
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- Things You Need AFTER You Buy Your New Camera - Must Have Photography Accessories