I’ve lost track of how many camera bags I’ve owned over the years. Probably well over a dozen, maybe two? Unfortunately, I’ve also lost count of how many of these bags were extremely uncomfortable, or just not well-suited to what I needed.
Squarely aimed at the outdoor community, F-Stop Gear is a company that has been at the forefront of what we now generally refer to as adventure photography. Photographers who rock climb, canyoneer, mountain bike, ski, and basically go on any kind of extended backpacking trips in the wilderness, will find F-Stop Gear bags can go anywhere.
The new 2015 lineup of Mountain Series backpacks from F-Stop Gear has just been announced, and the four bags (including three all-new models) expand on the capacity, versatility, and durability that has been their reputation since the company’s birth.
The 2015 F-Stop Gear Mountain Series Lineup
Saint Louis, MO: Today, f-stop, a leading provider of adventure packs and accessories specializing in camera packs and transport systems, announced a completely new lineup for their world renowned Mountain Series. The new lineup introduces three brand new packs, the Ajna, Sukha, and Shinn, alongside an upgrade to a current customer favorite, the Tilopa.
The 2015 Mountain Series has received a major upgrade in the main body textile, significantly improving the weather and abrasion resistance of each pack. f-stop’s market-leading innovation in design offers improved usability, ergonomics and capacity for those shooting in the harshest conditions.
Highlights of the 2015 Mountain Series:
• The Shinn is the largest pack in the range and was developed in conjunction with a new Master-Cine ICU designed to carry rigged video setups into the field.
• Increased durability and outstanding weather-proofing is provided by a ripstop Nylon shell and a secondary polyurethane film.
• Hypalon base to withstand wear-and-tear from the harshest environments.
• Newly integrated, expandable side panel pockets with full-length zippers.
• Updated range of colors to include Malibu (Blue), Nasturtium (Orange), Aloe (Green/Tan) and Anthracite (Matte Black).
The Ajna – 40 Liters
The smallest of F-Stop Gear’s Mountain Series bags, at 40L, can probably still hold more lenses and bodies than the average outdoor/nature photographer even owns. Don’t tell your day-hiking companions, though! Otherwise, they might offer to trade your lightweight jacket for their 70-200. I’d advise organizing the internal compartments to accommodate the gear you want to bring, and leave the remaining space available for your lunch and other stuff. No more strapping your nice fleece jacket to the outside of your backpack while you scramble over rocks and through the sage brush!
The Tilopa – 50 Liters
The new Tilopa’s internal capacity has been increased to 50L from the previous generation which was 48 liters, and yet apparently it is the same external size as before. (Which fits in most or all airline carry-on requirements.) Sounds like Nikon dynamic range witchcraft, and I like that kind of witchcraft! With a bag this size, you could easily squeeze out an overnight trip if you convince your friends to carry your bear canister/tent. Or, a professional photographer/videographer should be able to get any on-location job done with this one pack. I counted sixteen main internal compartments?
The Sukha – 70 Liters
At 70L, the Sukha is well into traditional internal frame backpack territory. In fact, there are plenty of regular 60L / 70L backpacks that cost well over $300 and yet the Sukha offers its capacity with camera gear compartments too for a starting price of $299. Very impressive! According to comments from F-Stop Gear, this bag can also fit into airline overhead compartments as long as you don’t overstuff the external pockets. Or, worst-case scenario, you can remove the ICU that contains all your expensive stuff, let that be your under-seat carry-on personal item, and fit the backpack into an overhead bin with ease.
The Shinn – 80 Liters
At 80L, the Shinn is matching or surpassing what many traditional internal frame backpacks offer and venturing into the territory of truly enormous, cavernous capacity. This backpack is designed for extended adventures and/or various types of large camera setups, including full cinema video gear. You could probably fit a drone or two in there.
Additional Inserts (ICUs)
If you’re the type of photographer who likes to lug gigantic telephoto lenses or cinder-block strobe packs into the wilderness, F-Stop Gear offers separate, completely adaptable ICUs (internal camera units) for carrying such specialized gear. These ICUs are removable and interchangeable, so if you own more than one, you can in theory just leave your different gear setups packed into each ICU, and swap them out depending on the job/trip. An awesome convenience for anyone who travels a lot for multiple types of image-making!
More Adventures Coming Soon From SLR Lounge!
What am I excited about, personally? Until now, whenever I go on a trip I’ve always had to decide between a dedicated camera bag and a serious backpacking backpack. It’s a decision of sheer capacity versus equipment protection.
I have a stereotypical REI internal frame backpack that can carry the kitchen sink, but like most internal frame backpacks, it is about as organized and protective as a worn out gunny sack. When going on multi-day backpacking trips, my companions and I always wind up doing silly things like putting lenses inside socks or wrapping spare camera bodies in T-shirts, etc. This works well at the beginning of a trip when our spare clothes are nice and clean, but towards the end of the trip when our socks are, well, never mind…
I’ll be getting my hands on one of their larger backpacks as well as some of their internal/ external accessories, so I’m excited to get out and into the wilderness for some adventures. I will finally be able to carry my gear safely in padded compartments that are easy-access while still having room for traditional backpacking necessities (Such as a bear canister?)
I think my co-adventurers are also excited for me to carry some of their spare astro-landscape photography lenses and bodies, too, but we’ll see about that. I might have to charge a lens sherpa fee.
Take care, and may the light and weather be ever in your favor,