Camping/hiking bags are in vogue. Callum McInerney-Riley tests a new entrant
MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 25L at a glance:
- Separate internal camera module
- Designed for trekking and hiking
- Space for a medium-sized DSLR kit
- Compact and lightweight
- Water resistant with waterproof cover supplied
- Price: around £120
- Website: www.mindshiftgear.com
Manfrotto, Nest and Lowepro have recently released new camping/hiking bags, and MindShift Gear has now released its UltraLight Dual 25L bag. Very lightweight, the bag is water resistant thanks to an external repellent coating and a polyurethane coating on the inside. A waterproof cover is included too, while the bag features ‘ripstop’ fabric that is designed to stop the bag ripping further if it gets snagged.
Inside is a camera module that can be accessed via a zip on the side of the bag. I was able to pack in a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 attached, plus another large lens. This module can be removed and used separately thanks to its shoulder strap.
The main compartment is large and is for other possessions aside from camera kit. The top is fastened with a drawstring and clips over to offer a very flexible storage space. Another compartment can house a 15in laptop, a tablet or a 2.5L hydration reservoir.
MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 25L – key features
Range of colours
Our review sample is black magma. There’s a twilight-blue version available as well, which is particularly useful for making you more visible in treacherous conditions.
The back of the bag is nicely padded and features air-mesh material that improves air circulation to prevent the user sweating.
Tripod mount on the front
Beneath two small flaps at the front are clips that allow users to fasten and transport a tripod or monopod.
The belt strap goes around the waist to give users extra support when carrying heavy loads.
MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 25L – Our verdict
Having reviewed a fair few of these bags, this is my favourite. It measures 26×49.5x17cm and weighs only 1.3kg. There are a variety of materials used and you get a feeling that each one has been meticulously thought through. This bag functions well, looks rather smart, the quality is excellent and it provides sufficient protection for your precious camera kit.
SCORE: 5 out of 5
You may also consider
Lowepro Photo Sport BP 300 AW II
Price: around £140
This Lowepro has a slightly larger camera section than the MindShift Gear bag with a lot of space for other items in the top sections. It’s also one of the few that offers space for a hydration reservoir.
Nest Explorer 300L
Price: around £129.99
This bag has a similar amount of space for camera kit as the MindShift Gear bag and a section for a laptop. It looks more like a traditional hiking bag and is available in four colours.
Manfrotto Off Road Hiker 20L Backpack
Price: around £120
The Manfrotto Off Road bags come in 20L and 30L options. They are designed to be lightweight and comfortable, and are capable of housing a decent amount of kit.