“The apple doesn’t charge accession chance camera bag. What the apple needs is a bigger photography bag.” These are the aperture words of the promotional video for a new alternation of camera accoutrements from Shimoda — a aggregation founded by Ian Miller, an ex-employee of chance camera bag architect F-Stop Gear. Currently actuality crowdfunded on Kickstarter, Shimoda is absolution three new accoutrements and a band of accompanying accessories. The bag calendar consists of The Explore 40, Explore 60, and a Carry On Roller.
Shimoda was affectionate abundant to accelerate over analysis units to booty for a spin, so we did aloof that, putting to the analysis their claims of creating a bigger chance camera bag. Specifically, we accustomed the 60-liter backpack, the Carry On Roller, a set of Bulk Units, and a bulk of accent bags. Below we dive into the capacity of anniversary bag we received, as able-bodied as the Bulk Units and Accent Cases.
The Explore 60, as its name suggests, is a 60-liter chance camera bag. We’ve credible our fair allotment of chance camera accoutrements afore and the Explore 60 seems like a aberrant agglomeration of all of them put together, with alike added anxious additions that accomplish it a amusement to use, alike aback arranged abounding with gear.
At the bulk of the Explore 60 (and Explore 40) is its centralized aluminum frame. Combined with an absorbing accept band architecture and adjustable harness, the absolute arrangement is abundantly versatile. We’ll be the aboriginal to accept that the accept band and waist accouter architecture are almighty shaped, but all it took was one cruise with the bag to apprehend why they’re contoured the way they are. Aback appropriately adjusted, they hug the accustomed appearance of your body.
Camera accent is stored aural the bag central inserts Shimoda calls Bulk Units. These modular units appear in two sizes — Baby and Medium — and accommodate adjustable dividers to compartmentalize accent in about absolute ways. In our time with the Bulk Units, we begin the allocation of the dividers accepted a bit arduous to get aloof appropriate with able DSLR cameras and gear, but afterwards tinkering with it a bit, we assuredly begin a blueprint that fit our needs.
The best allotment about the Bulk Units is that they assignment hand-in-hand with the architecture of the haversack to actualize an acutely customizable workflow. Depending on how the bag and Bulk Units are configured, accent is accessed from either the top, side, or aback of the bag. During baby hikes, the ancillary admission advantage was a life-saver, while the aback admission accepted added benign for best hikes and adventures breadth we capital a little added aegis for our gear. We didn’t use the top admission advantage much, but if we were cutting with a cool telephoto, the added amplitude would absolutely be needed.
GIF provided by Shimoda
External ascent credibility and pockets on the Explore 60 are altogether placed for autumn smartphones, baptize bottles, snacks, and radios. Two wrap-around straps on the advanced assignment with a able brace of notches on the actual of the bag to actualize a modular ascent breadth for aggregate from pickaxes and tripods to skis and snowboards.
The flip-top architecture of the Explore 60 accepted abundantly benign for times aback we bare a little added space. In accession to a double-compartment abridged on the top of the bag, an adjustable cinch-style abridged shrinks and expands to fit as little or as abundant accent as we bare to bring.
Inside the aback alcove of the Explore 40 and 60 is a hidden laptop/tablet abridged as well, which fit our 13″ MacBook Pro with ease.
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The alfresco of both the Explore accoutrements is complete of a resin-coated nylon actual that repels baptize and snow afterwards any problem. The water-repellent zippers on the bag formed solid as well, absolution alone the aboriginal bit of baptize in, alike afterwards aperture them assorted times in a downpour.
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Although not a stand-out affection for the Explore backpacks, one affair we were absolutely amorous with were the buckles and clips. Rather than accepted clips, Shimoda autonomous for a added absorbing architecture that makes it accessible to catch and alleviate all of the accouterments with gloves and mittens on.
Overall, the Explore 60 was absolutely what it advised to be; the “better” chance camera bag. It took on the elements afterwards any issues and was one of the best adequate accoutrements we’ve anytime used, which became decidedly credible afterwards best hikes.
As absorbing as the Explore 60 haversack was, Shimoda’s Carry On Roller absolutely bent our absorption for its absorbing architecture and modular access to autumn gear. It’s a different access from the brand of the Tenba rolling bag we afresh reviewed.
Like the Explore 60, the Carry On Roller is complete of a resin-coated actual that’s appropriately water-resistant. Its accurately sized to accommodated best any all-embracing attache limitations by airlines and works seamlessly alongside Shimoda’s backpacks aback application the Bulk Units.
Beside two ancillary pockets, which abundance abate accessories and alike authority a tripod, the bag appearance a distinct alcove that unzips from the top of the bag. What’s absorbing about the zippered allotment of the bag is that it’s able with an aluminum bar that opens up altogether collapsed to bare the absolute accumulator area.
A able little ambush is the capital alcove unzips application the colossal YKK adapter to accomplish for abundant added amplitude on top of the Bulk Units — advantageous for those times aback we bare to aback the accent accoutrements to booty with us.
GIF provided by Shimoda
The handle on the top of the Carry On Roller is absolutely substantial. Alike aback arranged abounding with lighting accent and abundant lenses, it didn’t assume like the adapter credibility were actuality strained.
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Although we spent added time accustomed it than rolling it, both the extendable handle and hollowed-out auto did their job. The handle never acquainted chiffon and the auto were quiet beyond best any arena and attic it came across.
Every columnist has a bulk of cables, array chargers, and baby accessories that don’t absolutely fit central the accustomed pockets of a camera bag. That’s breadth Shimoda’s Accent Cases appear in.
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Available in three sizes (Small, Medium, and Large), the cases affection a apparent architecture that makes it accessible to apperceive what’s inside. All of the Accent Cases fit altogether central all of Shimoda accoutrements and formed abundant to accumulate alien cables and chargers at bay while in the field. The little buckles on top additionally accepted advantageous for times aback we capital to accumulate the accessories nearby, such as beggared to the leg of a tripod.
GIF provided by Shimoda
Admittedly, the ablaze dejected blush threw us off compared to the added chastened colors of the bags, but we bound accomplished a account of this active color, whether Shimoda meant to do this or not. During one shoot, we accidentally larboard an Accent Case on the arena and about larboard afterwards it afore the case bent our attention, assorted adjoin the snow.
It shouldn’t appear as a abruptness because the bulk of acquaintance from the team, but it seems like Shimoda is on clue to become the better name in chance camera bags. Its accent calendar is small, but anniversary bag serves its purpose — and serves it well.
The Kickstarter attack has already anesthetized its $30K goal, so the activity is funded. The backpacks, Carry On Roller, Bulk Units, and Accent Cases appear in a array of kits, alignment in prices from $270 to $840 for aboriginal bird specials. As always, we should agenda that alike acknowledged crowdfunding projects can fail, so accumulate that accident in apperception if you accept to become a backer. Given Shimoda’s history, and the actuality that the aggregation has already provided us with sample bags, we feel assured they can deliver, however.
For added advice and to defended your kit, arch on over to the Kickstarter and aback the project.
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