If you are a “On the Go” and active photographer, the MindShift bags are definitely for you!
I have been playing with the Rotation 180 backpack from MindShift for the last few days and what is remarkable is that every single photographer that has walked into my studio, stopped next to it, and picked it up. Photographers assume it’s a camera bag, and backpackers know it is, but it is possibly one of the best “active” backpack camera bags I have come across to date!
Let me explain.
The ‘BackPack’ part is what makes it what it is. Padding is solid, straps are seriously adjustable and there are double flaps and covers on anything and everything that might get wet – one of which doubles up as a tripod pouch. The zips are not super chunky, but they do not feel finicky at all. and the best part. Internal Integral frame!
That’s right! it’s a decent and solid backpack. Not one that will start to sag once you’ve done a few hundred K’s with heavy gear!
And what’s more, it’s not a conversion of a backpack into a camera bag. It has tons of little features, like the mesh side pockets, the Rain Cover, The adjustable strap anchor points (depending on where you weight your bag) The “stash” pockets, etc, etc…
But I think the two things that will make this bag become the “go-to” bag for action and adventure photographers and videographers is the fact that it has a Hydration Reservoir space built in (unit not included, so you can use your favourite system) and that the waist belt can unclip, and the whole bottom of the backpack can slip out the side and become a padded waist belt pack! You can do this without removing the backpack from your back (and in inclement weather, you can do this without removing the rain cover either!)
The backpack is fairly light, weighing in at about 2.5kg when empty, which is a good thing. It’s a good balance between construction weight of a sturdy design and solid materials, without adding too much weight to the total load you are moving around with.
Padding is substantial and I think your gear will be able to take a pretty decent knock and not be worse for wear. The Outside material is a RipStop design, so even if worse comes to worse, it should hold its integrity. The total space of the bag is just under 40 litres, with the belt pack running about 8l – How big is that 8 litre belt pack in reality? Well, I could fit a 5DmkIII and battery pack with an attached 50mm f/2.5 macro, a 580EXII and a 17-40mm f/4L in there without a problem.
However… if you really need more, the waist band has a rail system for adding modular expansion component bags.
The Bag comes in two versions, a Deluxe Edition (the one I have here) and a Standard Edition, with the main difference being that the Deluxe edition comes with (removable) padded inserts for the main bag section (so the whole bag can be used for camera gear) and an extra top pocket and some extra straps.