Callum McInerney-Riley tests a large outdoor backpack with a removable camera module
Manfrotto Off Road Hiker 30L at a glance:
- Backpack specifically designed for hiking
- Includes padded camera module and separate space for other items
- Air-mesh padding on back
- Fits DSLR kit
- Comes with waterproof rain protector
- Price: £124
- Website: www.manfrotto.co.uk
Manfrotto has a host of products aimed at the outdoor and hiking market, including the Manfrotto Off Road Hiker 30L. The bottom of the bag features a padded, removable camera module that takes up just under half the space available, with a zip on the side for easy access to your kit without needing to go through the top. I found the module was large enough to comfortably house a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS attached, as well as two large primes. Internal dividers can also be adjusted to house any kit up to that size. There’s also ample space for storing any hiking essentials above the camera module. The areas are separated by thick material, but this can be unzipped and the camera module removed.
The Off Road Hiker 30L is very large and likely to be heavy when fully packed. For this reason, there’s an adjustable padded waist belt and additional padding in the lower-back area.
Manfrotto Off Road Hiker 30L – Key features
A taut mesh allows air to flow between the wearer’s back and the rucksack. This helps keep you cool and prevents excessive sweating and dampness.
Drawstring for tripod
Adjustable, elasticated drawstrings on the back and straps of the backpack help secure walking poles or a tripod.
Camera cross strap
There’s another strap between the shoulder straps, designed to hold a camera worn around the neck and close to the body for quick access.
Manfrotto Off Road Hiker 30L – Our verdict
I used the Off Road Hiker 30L to carry some very heavy kit for a couple of miles. I found it to be very comfortable – it offered a great deal of support and didn’t cause any discomfort. While I don’t think it will replace my day-to-day kit bag, it serves its purpose well. For those who need a dual-purpose hiking bag that can be used with or without camera kit, it’s excellent.
SCORE: 4 out of 5
You may also consider:
Lowepro Photo Sport BP 300 AW II
The Photo Sport has a similar-sized camera module, with plenty of space for other items in the top sections. It also has a dedicated space for a hydration pack.
Nest Explorer 300L Backpack
The Nest Explorer is available in four colours. While it houses a smaller camera kit than the Manfrotto Off Road, it boasts a laptop pouch at the back, a tripod holder and plenty of space throughout.
Crumpler Toploader 400
If you’re only looking to house a small camera kit and already have a hiking backpack, the Toploader is perfect for carrying in your bag. It can also be worn around the waist for quick camera access.