To see my video review of this camera bag, just click play below. If you’re at work or somewhere you can’t really watch a video, feel free to skip the video and read on below!
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MindShift Backlight 26L Review
I recently got a chance to test out the new MindShift Backlight 26L camera backpack. After traveling exclusively with the F-Stop Tilopa bag for the past few years, I had run into several hangups with it, mainly in the way I like to use it on planes. I don’t like to let my gear out of my site if at all possible. I also carry my laptop in my camera bag so I don’t have to carry a separate shoulder bag. The Tilopa was just a little too long to fit under most airplane seats and I got in trouble a few times by flight attendants. Luckily none of them ever made me hand the bag over, but they certainly could if they were in a bad enough mood. So I had it on my mind to start looking for a smaller (ie: shorter) bag when my buddy Brian Matiash told me about this new Backlight bag from MindShift.
Before I used the F-Stop bag, I had a MindShift Rotation 180. It was nice, but I really didn’t care for the rotation feature, because it split my gear into two different places that you have to access two different ways. So essentially it doubled the time it took to access my gear in many occasions, which is the exact opposite of what it was meant to do.
The Backlight was intriguing to me because it’s significantly shorter than the F-Stop bag (nearly 4 inches) so it instantly solved the problem of fitting beneath a seat on an airplane. The only question then was how well it would do on the road. At the time of writing this post I’ve taken it on extended trips to Maine and California and I’ll be leaving on my third trip with the bag to Portland here in a week or so. So far the bag has done great and I’ve been nothing but impressed. Any time I can cut down on size and weight while maintaining performance I’m game. Now let’s take a look inside.
What Fits Inside the MindShift Backlight 26L?
Well, just about the same amount as the F-Stop Tilopa! The internal compartment for camera gear is more or less the same size as the large ICU I had in the F-Stop. Here’s a list of what I keep inside…
- Sony a7RII
- Sony a7s
- Sony 16-35 f/4
- Sony 70-200 f/4
- Sony 55 f/1.8
- Sony 90 f/2.8
- Peak Design Slide camera strap
- MindShift Filter Hive
- Formatt-Hitech filters and holder
- Garmin Oregon 600 Handheld GPS
- Battery case for camera batteries, AA’s, AAA’s, an IR remote for the Sony’s and various other small items.
That’s really all the gear I need for any trip I take. But of course that’s just the internal compartment. Here’s what else fits in/on the bag…
- Really Right Stuff TVC-24L Tripod with BH-40 LR Ballhead
- Apple Macbook Pro 13″ Laptop
- Apple iPad Mini 4
- Mindshift rain cover
- Misc chargers
- Bose QC 20 Noise Cancelling In-Ear Headphones (these fit perfectly in their case in the little pouch up top)
I love the MindShift Backlight 26L. The search for the perfect camera bag is a never-ending one for sure, but it’s always a great feeling to know you got a little bit closer. This bag does everything I need a camera backpack to do and it does it with an exceptionally well thought out design and superior build quality. I’ll be using this bag for quite a while, at least until MindShift releases something better 😉
If you’re interested in purchasing this bag for yourself, but have some questions or hesitations, feel free to leave a comment below. I’ll answer as soon as I can. Cheers!