Can You love a Camera Bag?

You sure can like it – a lot!


Think Tank’s® MindShift Gear® Backlight®18L, fits my needs possibly better than any other bag I’ve had. I spend most of my time as a travel writer and photojournalist. In the past, I’ve gravitated to bags that when loaded with all my gear, defied gravity. My back didn’t like the load after a couple of miles hiking; TSA wanted to know if I was doing a trek into the Amazon for a month. At the end of the trip or hike I felt like I’d been in an endurance event and the bag won – not me.

To my rescue, the new Backlight 18L. First, the bag is as it name states light weight but without sacrificing cushioning for the equipment or your back. A great start. Second, it is designed to carry the essentials. See the accompanying photo.  Third, its chest and waist cinches comfortably keep the load off your shoulders. Fourth - this is the big one - its novel, maybe even unique feature is how it provides easy access your gear while keeping the bag secured to your waist. Just loosen the waist strap enough to rotate the bag to your front after taking your arms out of the shoulder straps. Then open the back of the bag while it‘s suspended in front of you like a table, giving you full access to your gear. They even include a strap you can place over your neck to keep the back flap open.

Why is this a big deal? Ever been in places you didn’t want to or couldn’t put your bag down – as on a blowing-sand beach or while standing in a swamp or river. The Backlight 18L makes it possible to safely change out lenses and bodies or add a filter while keeping your precious – expensive – gear high above any nasty elements.

The $199 bag’s materials and zippers are excellent. It also includes three exterior compartments in which you can load food and a change of light clothing. The two water bottle holders are deep and large enough to securely hold modern water bottles. I carry a one-liter Nalgene® in one, a can of bear spray and insect spray in the other. There are also load straps and anchor points to meet most needs.

Is this bag perfect? It sure comes close.

Click on the triangle to see more photos and get all the details.  

© 2020 by WIndow On Photography,, ROIRG LLC and Larry Padgett