Able to carry a 10 or 13 inch laptop respectively, the new sling bags from MindShift Gear offer protection and comfort, two concepts that are often in conflict in outdoor gear design.
Adventure photographers need a camera bag that’s as tough as they are. Whether you’re hiking or mountain biking, you need a bag built to withstand the elements, yet comfortable enough to wear on long days in the field. MindShift Gear thinks they have found the right compromise in terms of design, and that’s the reason why they announced their first sling bags designed for outdoor photographers.
“The PhotoCross sling bags are significant because they meld two concepts that are often in conflict in outdoor gear design: protection and comfort. An example is how we’ve integrated the waterproof Tarpaulin bottom panel with a body-conforming design, wide shoulder strap, and stability wing for superior comfort,” said Doug Murdoch, MindShift Gear’s CEO and Lead Designer.
With its rugged materials and faceted design, MindShift Gear’s new PhotoCross sling bags protect a photographer’s gear from punishing trips into the wild. The PhotoCross is built to withstand the elements, yet comfortable enough to wear on long days in the field. These sling bags stay out of the way when scrambling but offer quick camera access when ready to take the shot. They feature weatherproof zippers and abrasion-resistant materials, plus a carrying system for tripods or jackets.
The PhotoCross comes in two sizes and colors, Orange Ember and Carbon Grey. The PhotoCross 10 fits an ungripped DSLR and one to two lenses, plus a 10” tablet, or a Mirrorless body and three to five lenses, plus a 10” tablet. The PhotoCross 13 fits an ungripped DSLR, two to four lenses, including a 70–200mm f/2.8, and some 13” laptops.
Although I am not very keen on sling bags for day long walks, having tried some, I must admit I was impressed by the demonstration video of the PhotoCross products, especially the PhotoCross 13, which is able to take a DSLR camera with 24-70mm and 70-200, a DJI Mavic drone, a 13 inch laptop and other accessories. Even the PhotoCross 100 can carry a DJI Mavic and controller, if you go for a smaller camera kit, like the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with 12–100mm f/4 attached.
Sling bags are designed to be easily accessible on the move, but sometimes that accessibility means they are not ideal for using long periods of time, especially with the load some photographers tend to carry, even on these small bags. From the images and video available, one feels that MindShift Gear tried to find a solution to the problem, through a wide shoulder strap with a stability wing, the 3-point harness for stabilization with tuck-away waist belt, and a body-conforming design.
Easy rotation for rapid access to gear and accessories is to be expected, and internal zippered pockets for batteries, memory cards or other small accessories make it easy to organize your gear. Easily accessible front pocket for filters, snacks, or a light layer is also present and you’ve the padded laptop compartment as well. While I would probably not dream of taking a laptop with me, as I see no use of it, the space can be used for other stuff, meaning the bag, with its internal dividers, can be adapted to different needs.
Despite the slim profile, the bags do carry a lot of gear, and MindShift Gear even found ways to include straps to carry a – small – tripod. To access the bag contents, zipper pulls that can be easily opened while wearing gloves are present.
The bag offers a water bottle pocket able to accept and lock in most 1 liter bottles and features a waterproof Tarpaulin bottom panel. It is also water resistant enough for light showers, but MindShift Gear also provides a seam-sealed rain cover included for downpour conditions. One detail I appreciated is the presence of top and side carry handles.
The PhotoCross 10 and 13 are available now, with a price of $129.99 and $114.99 , respectively.