MindShift Gear is the sister company to Think Tank, who makes my favorite bag, so you can probably guess I am a big fan of Mindshift. This bag, however, was not my favorite bag. Not because there was anything wrong with it, it just was not ideal for how I use a bag. That being said, I think it would be a perfect fit for some people and it is definitely a high-quality backpack.
I opted for the smaller 25L bag in bright blue. The smaller size did not make this an ideal travel bag, but it was great for day hikes. It really is ultra light, which is ideal for hiking. The laptop compartment was good and my 15.6 inch laptop fit fine, although it was a little tough to pull in and out at the airport. Like all the bags from MindShift and Think Tank, this bag has great zippers and high-quality materials and construction.
The bag has a large top compartment that is great for hiking or traveling as it can fit quite a lot. There is no zipper on the top part; rather, it has a cover with straps that you undue to reveal a cinch top. There is a small pocket on top with a zipper for easy access. I was able to store smaller gear, like filters and batteries in that pocket, which was really nice.
The second part of the bag (the bottom) is for your camera. Inside this second pocket is actually a separate bag. The separate bag comes out and can act as a holster bag so you can use it separately if you want. You would also then have a full backpack you could use for anything else. The holster bag was very nice, but I found it a little too deep for most effective use. I ended up mainly just stacking an extra lens and gear I wouldn’t need often underneath my camera so I could get that out most quickly. The holster did have an extra zipper pocket on top that I used for batteries, memory cars and a pancake lens. With this set up, access to your camera is not super quick while the holster remains in your bag, but it does offer some extra uses to maximize the usefulness of the bag.
I really liked the tripod attachment on this bag. Although it would not be great with a large tripod, it worked great with my smaller Oben. It was on the front of the bag, but did not cover up any of the zippers. There was a great sidepocket that was perfect for a water bottle. There were not a lot of other pockets so I had to put some gear, like my rain cover and L bracket in the big top compartment. That being said, I really liked the small pocket on the waist strap that was perfect for a spare battery. I wish more backpacks made use of the space on the waist strap.
Overall, I thought this bag was very comfortable and would be great for a day full of hiking. The straps were more heavy duty and helped keep it comfortable, even with a lot of weight. In the end, this bag wasn’t ideal for me because I didn’t like having to use the holster bag in the camera bag and I wanted more space for camera gear, but this is a really nice bag that would be perfect for someone who really likes to hike and doesn’t want to carry a lot of camera gear. it is also perfect for someone that wants to be able to use a holster bag when they don’t want to carry a full backpack (and doesn’t want to have to buy a separate high-quality holster bag). If you are an outdoor junky that wants a light bag and only want to take one body, a couple lenses and a tripod, you will likely love this bag.
You can currently get yourself this bag at Amazon or MindShift Gear for just over $100. If you use the above link for the Mindshift site, they are offering our readers a free gift with any purchase.
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