Fully funded in four hours, the next generation of Rotation backpacks brings the classic outdoor series in three sizes, meaning you can always pick the right size of MindShift Rotation for your adventures.
How many times have you passed up a photo opportunity because you didn’t want to stop and take off your backpack to get your camera out? I know I have, many, many times. Until I had the original MindShift Rotation180 Pro backpack, after it was launched, in 2013. You see, that backpack has a belt pack that you can rotate to access your most used gear. It became my backpack of choice, because of its double function.
Before the MindShift Rotation180 Pro I had the Rotation 360, but I never worked as intended, as I could not fit my 100-40mm lens in the belt pack and still have space for camera and accessories. The Rotation 180 Pro answered my needs in terms of mobility and access to gear. In the Rotation 180 Pro belt pack I can fit an EOS camera body with a 17-40mm L series lens, and carry a EF 100-400mm, a 60mm Macro, a 580 EX II flash, a flash radio trigger and receiver, a radio remote shutter, a flash stand, extra batteries for camera and flash, and a few small items more.
The MindShift Rotation180 Pro backpack became my key choice for outdoor adventures and the belt pack soon became my first choice when all I need is a small bag to carry around on my shoulder or waist. In fact, I can even fit an EOS C100 with a couple of small lenses in it, with space for extra batteries and a few more things. Talk about versatility!
Finally, a smaller version of the Rotation180 Pro
One thing the original MindShift Rotation180 Pro didn’t offer: a smaller version to use when you don’t need all the space provided by its 38 Liter capacity. That’s something I’ve always dreamt about, as using any other backpack after using the MindShift Rotation180 Pro became difficult. I tended to try to move the belt pack around to pick my camera…
Think Tank Pro has introduced some other versions of the Rotation180, the Rotation180° Horizon (34 Liter) and Panorama (22 Liter), from 2015, but it was a classic backpack, the TrailScape, that attracted my attention in 2016. With a capacity of 18L, about half the capacity of my MindShift Rotation180 Pro, the TrailScape seemed an interesting solution for short trips, when the belt pack from the Rotation180 Pro becomes too small. But what I really wanted was a smaller backpack with a rotating belt pack.
If you’re looking for a similar solution, then the time is now, as Think Tank Photo launched a Kickstarter campaign that is now on its last hours and was fully funded in the first four hours. The company took to Kickstarter to guarantee that the idea of a new generation of the classic backpack was viable.
Better products at a lower cost
In fact, as the photo industry continues to contract, small companies as Think Tank Photo, have to compete “with large, well-funded companies flooding the market with cheap products at huge discounts” and a crowdfunding campaign was the solution as “by eliminating the middlemen, we can make better products at a lower cost to you” says Think Tank Photo.
Rotation180 technology, in case you didn’t know, is a patented solution that enables photographers to quickly access their camera, while on the move or in precarious situations, without taking off the backpack. The backpack incorporates a rotating belt pack that houses essential camera gear, including a DSLR or Mirrorless body, several lenses and a variety of accessories.
For this latest generation of backpacks, Think Tank designers enhanced the original Rotation180 technology by integrating a magnetic closure on the belt pack lid, enabling camera access from stowed to shooting position in less than 3 seconds.
The three new backpacks
Here is what you can fit in each of the three new MindShift Rotation backpacks that Think Tank Photo introduces through the Kickstarter campaign. One of them will, no doubt, be the right choice for your adventures.
- Rotation 22L
Belt Pack (6 Liters): One ungripped Mirrorless or DSLR camera kit with 2-3 lenses or 24-70mm f/2.8 attached to body.
Main Backpack Compartment: 16-liters of capacity for personal items
- Rotation 34L
Belt pack (8.5 Liters): One gripped Mirrorless or DSLR kit with 3-5 lenses or 70-200mm f/2.8 attached to body
Main Compartment: 25.5 liters of capacity for personal items or Stash Master Top Load photo insert (sold separately)
- Rotation 50L+
Belt Pack (10 Liters): One gripped Mirrorless or DSLR kit with 3-5 lenses or 24-70mm f/2.8 attached.
Main Compartment: 40-liters of capacity for personal items and can be expanded to 46 liters with the top collar – making the Rotation 50+ a 56-liter bag! Stash Master pro photo insert significantly expands your camera carry (sold separately).
The decision to create three different sizes of the backpack means that independently of the size chosen, the user can expect to have the same good-looking bag, what is, from my perspective, a good thing. Also, if you’re a photographer that needs different sized bags, depending on what you’re doing, you may decide to buy not one but two backpacks. If those bags are from the same series, it becomes easy, despite some layout differences, to consistently pack gear the way you prefer, in either of the bags.
For those who spend a lot of time in the wild, the Rotation 50L+ may be the best choice, but if you’ve to consider a compromise between carrying a lot and walking long distances, the Rotation 34L may be the best choice. I would bet that the Rotation 34L, considering my experience with the original MindShift Rotation180 Pro (38L) is the right choice for most people.
A backpack for day hikes
The Rotation 22L is ideal for short hikes and is the bag I would choose for one day scouting trips. While it is true that the 38L version I own or the new 34L are not much larger, the fact is that they are overkill and for casual use the 22L backpack is a welcome addition to any collection of backpacks. Photographers, in fact, tend to have more than one backpack that they use according to the needs of each specific shoot.
I am not sure if the belt pack on the Rotation 22L will fit my 100-400mm and other lenses, which I can carry on the belt pack from my actual Rotation180 Pro, but if that’s all it takes to be able to use this version, then I guess I’ll find ways to carry the lens any other way. Who knows, someone at Think Tank Photo can tell me if the belt pack can carry the EF 100-400mm plus a DSLR Canon body?
“Rotation technology helps you keep up your creative momentum,” said Doug Murdoch, “No need to stop, take off the backpack and set it down in the dirt, snow or mud to access your camera just to get The Shot,” he explains. “Simply rotate the integrated belt pack to the front of your body and your camera is at your fingertips. Snap the shot, slide the belt pack back in, and you’re on your way!”
15 years of experience
The MindShift Rotation Backpack Series is available in three sizes ranging from 22, 34 and 50+ liters of capacity. Each backpack includes a camera belt pack, a 10-point adjustable harness system and ample room for personal gear. Designed specifically for adventure photographers, the backpack series can be adapted to carry a tripod, hydration reservoir, ice/mountain axe, trekking poles and extra camera gear using a MindShift Stash Master photo cube (sold separately).
Adventure photographers also need a backpack that will stand up to the rigors of outdoor activity, including rugged terrain, inclement weather and the need for ample personal gear. Using advanced construction techniques “gained from 15-years of experience manufacturing camera bags, and using rugged materials coated with water resistant polyurethane, the MindShift Rotation Backpack Series will stand up to any adventure”, says Think Tank Photo, adding that “seam-sealed rain covers for both backpack and belt pack are available separately and are designed to work with the rotating system.”