Today it should be very easy to find a suitable camera backpack. But where to start looking? Of course, Google and Amazon will be the first choice for most. But the selection is nearly endless!
Because I am going on many long one-day hikes or also multiple-day hikes, I found the classical camera backpacks not suitable for me. I was looking for a backpack that combines a daypack with a camera backpack because for my trips I need enough space for my camera gear but also for other stuff like clothes and food. And suddenly the selection was rather limited! It took me quite a while to find a backpack that fulfils my requirements. In the end, I decided on the MindShift UltraLight™ Dual 36L Twilight Blue.
The MindShift UltraLight™ Dual 36L has one feature that was of particular importance to me, a pocket on the outside of a water bottle, so that I don’t have to take of the backpack whenever I want to drink something. If you need even more beverages to store for your trip then you can use the hydration compartment (10.4” x 19.3”). But I use this compartment mainly for my notebook.
The special feature of this backpack is the removable camera bag. The camera bag has a size of 9.8” x 9.8” x 6.5”. This enough space to store one DSLR with lens as well as two additional lenses. Furthermore, there is a net compartment on the inside of the camera bag lid, where I store my batteries and memory cards. When the camera bag is removed from the backpack, it is possible to attach a belt to the camera bag, so it can be carried comfortable as well. This is a very practical feature when you don’t need the whole backpack but would like to bring a bag along where you can store your camera in. I used this quite a lot during our Thailand trip when we went on short day trips. When the camera bag is inserted into the backpack it is theoretical possible to take the camera out of the camera without putting the whole backpack to the ground. It really is possible but when the camera bag is filled with gear one might risk that something will fall out.
Another important feature for a camera backpack is a tripod mounting system, which is also given for the MindShift UltraLight™ Dual 36L. For my taste, the mounting system is a little bit too low attached at the backpack, which can be cumbersome from time to time.
As an additional feature the backpack has a small pocket attached to the waist belt where it is very handy to store a mobile phone, flash light or knife.
The MindShift UltraLight™ Dual 36L is very comfortable to carry, even when it is fully packed and heavy. The reason for this is mainly the nice weight distribution of the backpack by the very wide waist belt and the chest belt.
One negative aspect of the backpack is that when the daypack is completely filled it is no longer possible to cover the whole backpack completely with the lid. The reason for this is that the lid itself is not adjustable in height. Here there are clearly some improvement potential to make the performance of the backpack even better.
The MindShift UltraLight™ is available in two colours (Twilight Blue and Black Magma) as well as in three different sizes (16L, 25L and 36L). The cost of the 16L version are about 135€, for the 25L version about 190€ and for the large 36L version 225€.
Even though the MindShift UltraLight™ Dual 36L isn’t cheap, it is well worth the money, as it is a very good combination of daypack and camera bag and can be used for long hiking trips or other trips.