The Only Backpack for Photographers Trying to Shed Weight

ultralight_sprint16lI should have written this sooner, and I’m not sure how it’s been so long without this being published. But it’s here now and I’m glad to finally have you reading it.

If you’ve been in my community, or just a reader of my blog for some time then you know I like camera bags. But it’s not easy to find the “perfect” bag.

A big trend in photography these days is shedding weight by means of doing two things:

  1. Switching to mirrorless
  2. Switching from f/2.8 zoom lenses to f/4 zoom lenses.

I have done the switch to f/4 for my telephoto lenses, but I’m still waiting for Nikon to make their full frame mirrorless.

Another way to lose some gear weight is to change bags. I don’t like messenger style bags, and can barely stand slings. So I usually lean towards backpacks.

My go-to companies for camera bags are Think Tank Photo and Mindshift Gear, who are sister companies.

Over the summer I got my hands on the UltraLight Spring 16L from Mindshift Gear. It’s extremely compact and can just fit my Nikon Df with a prime lens attached, and 1 additional prime lens. That’s at the bottom in the camera compartment. The top compartment is completely open to fit accessories, a sweatshirt, hat or whatever. It’s my new favorite daily bag.

It’s light. Very light. Compare it to my favorite larger bag, the BackLight 26L from MindShift Gear.  That bag is just shy of 4 pounds when empty.

In fact, it weighs under 2 pounds when empty.  And even with it’s minimal weight and size, it can still hold a lot, has a waist belt, chest strap and can hold my Really Right Stuff travel tripod with no problems.

I also love the blue color I picked as it doesn’t look like any other camera bags I currently or previously owned.

UltraLight from Mindshift Gear - The Only Backpack for Photographers Trying to Shed Weight

With all this said, the 16L is quite small. So I would not recommend it for anyone with a full-size DSLR, or a mid-sized DSLR if you don’t have prime lenses. The bag is actually ideal for mirrorless cameras.  The 16L can also store my iPad which is great, as I am starting to use the iPad for in-person classes I teach. No laptop means less weight.

Now, if you like the idea of a lightweight bag, but one that can hold more then don’t fret. Mindshift Gear has two additional sizes available in the UltraLight series.  The 25L can hold a mid-size or mirrorless camera with larger lenses, as well as a small laptop. The 36L can hold a professional sized DSLR and large lenses and a laptop. All three are extremely light.

So if you are like me, and like your current equipment, consider an UltraLight bag as a means to shed some weight.

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