All too often these days, photography backpacks seem to simply be based around “How much gear can we shove into it?” with things like comfort and actual usability brought on as an afterthought. This is fine if you’re just shifting gear between your car and a client’s location, but what if you’re carrying it all day on a hike?
Well, Cosyspeed’s new Photohiker backpack, made in collaboration with outdoor equipment specialist Vaude, is built specifically for that kind of use. It takes its carrying system design straight from high-end hiking and trekking packs to make carrying a heavy load all day as comfortable as possible while also keeping your camera gear safe and easy for you to access.
While there are a lot of camera backpacks out there, the big advantage of Photohiker is the carrying system, which is a system normally found in higher-end hiking backpacks and not camera backpacks. It’s the reason I’d often take an actual hiking backpack with me to location shoots in the middle of nowhere because they were much more comfortable to wear for long periods of time, especially when loaded with gear and walking a fair distance.
The Photohiker backpack is available in two different capacities. The smaller is 24 litres while the larger is 44 litres and both conform to most aircraft carry on size limits (although do double-check with your airline before you fly because not all airlines are the same). Both have a padded compartment in the back, which they say can hold a 16″ MacBook quite comfortably. They also include internal removable Photocubes for keeping your gear safely packaged away, which is a very handy feature. It means that when you don’t want to carry camera gear with you, you can take them out and just use it as a regular hiking backpack.
There are also an array of smaller zip pockets on various inner flaps for storing things like memory cards, money, ID, etc. and there are pockets on both sides that can both fit a tripod. Or, you can use one for a tripod and the other for walking poles or a big water bottle, etc. There’s also a separate rain cover underneath that can pull out to cover the entire backpack in the event of a heavy downpour.
The carrying system features a well-ventilated Aeroflex 3D back system with an integrated metal frame. This is what really sets it apart from most other camera backpacks on the market. It allows you to adjust the back length to tailor the bag to suit your build – exactly the way most decent hiking backpacks do. As demonstrated in this “deep dive” video below.
Even if you’re quite comfortable with your existing camera backpack, you’ll probably be surprised how much more gear you can fit in with this system, which offers much better load distribution, if you’ve never used it before. And if it’s as good as the hiking backpacks I’ve used in the past, I could very easily see a bag like this becoming my new go-to for long treks with the camera.
As with some previous Cosyspeed products, the Photohiker is launching via Kickstarter with pledges starting at €299 and €349 for the Photohiker 24 and Photohiker 44 respectively. Head on over to the campaign to find out more.