Sleek and durable: MindShift Gear launches two new backpacks for outdoor photographers
posted Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 3:00 PM EDT
MindShift Gear has two new backpacks aimed at outdoor photographers: The SidePath and TrailScape. The new backpacks, although quite different in terms of overall size and design, emphasize a balance between carrying capacity and compactness and include numerous features aimed at those who travel well off the beaten path with their photographic gear.
SidePath: Compact backpack with a rear-panel opening
With the increased reliance on smaller camera systems by enthusiasts and professionals, such as Sony's popular mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, photographers have been seeking a high-quality, but compact and durable backpack for their outdoor photo adventures. To this end, MindShift Gear's new SidePath outdoor photography backpack hopes to fill the void.
The SidePath has a contoured back panel with lumbar support and a lightweight harness and adjustable sternum strap system for ultimate comfort, even on extended treks. The shoulder straps utilize a three-layered design to ensure breathability and all-day comfort. The bag is constructed with durable materials such as 420D high-density nylon and YKK zippers.
The sleek design includes a rear panel gear access which is easy for you to access by slipping the bag off your shoulder, but not simple for anyone else to access, making the SidePath well-suited for travelling. The exterior of the bag is simple in design, but offers extensive functionality. There are two stretching side pockets which each have compression cords above them, allowing storage of a wide array of items including water bottles, monopods/tripods, trekking poles and more.
There is a large interior pocket which can fit a water bladder, some clothing, food items and more. There are zippered mesh pockets as well for smaller items like a smartphone or keys. If you don't want a hydration pack in the large pocket, you can store up to a 10-inch tablet instead. If you don't want to be forced to access your photo gear via the rear panel, you can also unzip the camera compartment from the top provided you don't have other items stored above the compartment.
How much camera gear can you fit in the SidePath? Despite its small size and light weight (1.6 pounds (0.7 kilograms) when empty), the SidePath can fit quite a bit of equipment in its camera compartment, which itself has dimensions of 9.1 x 6.7 x 5.5 inches (24 x 15 x 14 centimeters). For example, you can fit an Olympus E-M5 with 40-150, 14-42 and 12-50mm lenses or a Sony A7 II with 16-35mm and 55mm lenses with a second back-up body. If you're not using a mirrorless system but instead carrying an ungripped DSLR such as a Canon T6 or Canon 5D, the gear you can bring along will be limited, but you can still comfortably fit up to a 5D with a 16-35mm f/2.8 lens attached.
The MindShift Gear SidePath is produced in charcoal and cardinal red color options and is available for preorder now with a price just under US$100.
TrailScape: The outdoor photographer's go-to backpack
For photographers needing more space than the SidePath provides, the new TrailScape backpack is designed to carry and protect a complete camera system, including a DSLR with an attached 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. There is a wide array of lash points on the bag that allow you to attach extra gear as well.
Of the TrailScape, MindShift's CEO and Lead Designer Doug Murdoch says, "The TrailScape's removable webbing waistbelt helps stabilize the bag while active and its contoured back panel with lumbar support and robust harness provide for all day comfort." The removable waistbelt is one of numerous usability features included with the TrailScape. It also has a dedicated quick access smartphone/sunglasses pocket on the top, tripod/monopod/pole mounting systems on both sides, large water bottle pockets with cinch cords, an included seamless rain cover, interior zippered pockets and glove-friendly zipper pulls.
With the inside of the backpack, there is a total volume of 18 liters. The main camera gear compartment has movable padded dividers which can be arranged to best fit your kit. You can fit a DSLR with an attached 70-200mm f/2.8 lens in the shooting position in addition to a variety of standard and zoom lenses. You can fit a standard-sized DSLR with 4-6 standard zoom lenses or two large mirrorless bodies with 5-7 lenses and a flash. An example kit is a Nikon D810 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached, 14-24mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, 105mm macro lens and a charger and extra battery.
In the front pocket, which as mentioned has zippered compartments, there are also dedicated compartments for a 13" laptop and 10" tablet and up to 6 liters of additional gear. The exterior of the backpack is constructed with 420D velocity nylon, 600D poly, 320G DuraStretch mesh, 350G airmesh, nylon webbing and 3-ply bonded nylon thread and the zippers are YKK RC zippers. The water-resistant bag is coated as well.
The backpack is designed for ultimate comfort and usability in a wide array of conditions and it is available for preorder now. The bag comes in a two-tone charcoal color with green accents and will cost just under US$170.