Mindshift Gear Introduces the FirstLight Backpack Series

The FirstLight backpack series addresses the needs of traveling outdoor photographers. Featuring a contoured, adjustable torso harness with 11 adjustment points it accommodates most men and women. These packs are a tour-de-force of backpack design for outdoor photography. Ballistic nylon bottoms for durability, hydration reservoir compatible and long lens capacity with room for a laptop and personal gear. Designed with the needs of outdoor photographers in mind, (who travel by plane, train and automobile, before they head out to remote locations), these are trail packs that travel well. Carry on compatible, these comfortable high capacity backpacks are built for extended days of travel or a long day on the trail.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable torso length fits small to large body types
Robust, comfortable, and contoured harness system with 11 adjustment points
Sized for domestic or international travel (Check with your airline for their current carry-on requirements)
  • Dedicated 3L hydration pocket on side (30L & 40L only)
  • Tablet or laptop fits into front pocket (20L & 30L = up to 15” laptop; 40L = up to 17” laptop)
  • Includes tripod/monopod mounting system on front or side
  • Better weight distribution for a more comfortable load enables easier all day use on the trail
  • Seamless rain cover (included) doubles as a ground cloth
  • When attached, rain cover allows small to medium tripods to be carried on front or side positions
  • 2 front stuff pockets for travel or trail essentials; extra layers, a light jacket, headlamp, gloves, chargers
Adjustable high-density closed-cell foam dividers for large telephoto lenses,traditional photo gear, or personal items
  • Large water bottle or accessory pocket with drains and cinch cord for security
  • Top zippered pocket for quick access to essentials
  • Ballistic nylon bottom panel for durability in harsh environments
  • Shaped aluminum torso stay for additional support
  • Grab handles on 3 sides make it easy to hoist into an overhead bin, car, or trunk (2 handles on 20L)
  • Interior mesh pockets for storing filters, batteries, cables, etc.
  • Side compression straps with locking SR buckles for additional lash points
  • Shoulder straps and waist belt wrap to front for compact storage in overhead compartment
  • Whistle integrated into sternum strap buckle
  • Compatible with MindShift Tripod Suspension Kit, Lens Switch Case, and the filter cases

Gear Profile

FirstLight 20L: 
Holds 1 standard-size DSLR and 4–6 standard zoom lenses. Holds 2 large Mirrorless DSLRs and 5–7 lenses plus a flash. Maximum lens size: 200–400mm f/4 detached or 300 f/2.8 attached.

FirstLight 30L: 
Holds 1 gripped DSLR and 4–6 standard zoom lenses, and 1 flash. Maximum lens size: 500mm f/4 lens detached or 400 f/2.8 attached.

FirstLight 40L: 
Holds 2 gripped DSLRs with 6–8 standard zoom lenses and 1–2 flashes. Maximum lens size: 600mm f/4 lens detached or a 500mm f/4 attached.

FirstLight 20L – $229.99
FirstLight 30L – $279.99
FirstLight 40L – $329.99

Available later this month. Order yours today!

A Camera Bag Too Good to Resist

You’ve probably heard the term ‘hoarder’. It refers to people who cannot throw out or give away their possessions and end up with a mess of a cluttered house. Well, I have a confession to make. I’m a camera bag hoarder.

I have them all : backpacks, roller bags, shoulder bags, sling bags, waist bags, bags for tripods, bags for light stands, bags for laptops, bags for lenses and even, bags for bags. And not just one of each. I have a garage full and cannot get myself to part with any of them. Sometimes I’ll run across a long lost bag that I forgot I had and in a moment of temporary sanity, think to myself “Why did I ever buy this?” But can I throw it out? Nope. A true sickness.

That said, I found myself a bag I can’t resist! Almost the perfect bag for me because the designers at Tenba did this one right. Every detail of this bag was developed with the input of working videographers and filmmakers across a broad range of styles and pursuits to ensure that this bag could adapt to meet a wide variety of needs.

Photos by Michael Maloney

The Roadie II HDSLR/Video Backpack was designed from the ground up with video gear in mind but don’t let that discourage you if you don’t shoot video. This is still the bag for you. This backpack will fit the latest DSLR systems from Canon (5D Mark III, EOS-1D X) and Nikon (D4, D800), and larger video cameras from RED (Epic, Scarlet), Canon (C300) and Sony, along with a full assortment of accessories including a padded sleeve for a 17″ laptop computer. Video-specific features are found throughout, such as side shotgun mic pockets, a quick to reach top audio compartment and versatile dividers inside that can adjust to fit everything from DSLRs to full-size video cameras.

Your gear is well protected with ample padded dividers

The quick access top is a great place to put those items you need to grab quickly

What I like best about this backpack however is the way you access your gear. No more muddy shoulder straps and back when I’m out shooting landscapes in inclement weather. I set the bag down and zip it open on the harness side, keeping the shoulder straps and waist belt mud free. Who cares if the other side gets muddy, at least that mud stays off my shoulders and back. Another added benefit of this is that you are secure knowing that your expensive gear cannot be unzipped and stolen while wearing the backpack – something to consider in questionable areas.

No more muddy shoulder straps and back thanks to the harness side access to the main compartment

Another plus is that the bag will stand upright on its reinforced waterproof bottom. It can stand this way all day in the rain and your equipment will stay dry with the included custom rain cover.

There is no provision to attach a big tripod however I found a solution. Two deep pockets on the side hold my tripod perfectly fine. My only other wish is that there were tie down bungy cords on the back. I find these are handy to secure extra clothing.

A nice touch : heavy duty YKK zipper pulls are extra long to help when wearing gloves.

The Roadie II Backpack is made of a rugged, foam laminated, weather-proofed ballistic nylon exterior which along with the YKK zippers, rip-stop nylon interior, stress point reinforcements and infinitely-configurable photo/video gear compartments will keep your expensive gear well protected. Not only that, but most importantly it feels like a real backpack, meaning it is designed so that you can wear it all day, fully packed in comfort. The harness system is top notch and I’m able to adjust the well padded waist belt so that my hips carry most of the load helping with comfort and balance while out on the trail.

The Roadie II meets the strictest international carry-on standards. A stationary clip on the right side of the waist belt allows the belt to be compressed against the bag, making it easier to stow the bag in an overhead compartment.

Here are some specs for you :

  • Capacity: 2 DSLRs, 6-8 lenses (up to 300mm f2.8), monopod and shotgun mic, headphones, recorder
  • Weight : 5.5 lbs
  • Exterior Dimensions : 15.5W X 20H X 9.5D in.
  • Interior Dimensions : 11W X 19H X 6.5D in.
  • Laptop Compartment : 11W X 16H X 1D in. Fits most laptops up to 17 inches

The Roadie II HDSLR/Video Backpack is $299.95, and in stock at Camera West.