Carry Your Photo Gear With Mountainsmith

Mountainsmith is known for their packs, tents, sleeping bags, and related outdoor gear. But they also have a great line of bags for taking your photo gear with you when you head outdoors. And for 2014, they got a redesign that was far more than cosmetic. Andy Mann, known for his work with National Geographic, offered his input, and the result is a range that goes from small bags for your most compact camera, up to large backpacks that can carry several pro bodies and lenses, as well as a laptop. We don’t have space to cover them all, but I’ll touch on some of my favorites, starting with those sized for the full-size DSLR cameras.

Mountainsmith Swift FX camera bag

The Zoom | Medium (image at bottom of page) and 275 cubic inch Swift FX are both suitable for one body with a zoom lens, the difference being the Zoom is primarily a shoulder bag, and the Swift FX is a waist pack. Both include shoulder and waist carry options though, along with plenty of protection, plus pockets for carrying extra batteries, memory, and all the other little bits we take with us. I’d use either for a family hike, or trip to the zoo, where traveling light and easy access were most important.


Mountainsmith Endeavor camera bag

Two pieces that should be of interest to anyone that travels with their gear are the Endeavor and Kit Cube Traveler (image at bottom of page). During the week, the 1220 cubic inch Endeavor is a soft-sided briefcase with a padded laptop compartment. It has a drop-in camera case with dividers, so you can fit one or two bodies, a pair of lenses, and even a flash. The  951 cubic inch Kit Cube Traveler is a complete bag intended to be more like the Endeavor’s insert, so you can turn any carry-on or larger luggage into a camera bag. Clever stuff, both of them.


Mountainsmith Hobo camera bag

Next up are the Hobo FX and the Descent (image at bottom of page). Like the Endeavor, the 480 cubic inch Hobo FX has an insert for your photo gear, so it can do double duty. Carry you essentials around town, and your camera when sightseeing or out hiking. It doesn’t hold a lot of gear, but is great for traveling light. Another single strap bag, the 855 cubic inch Descent is meant to be carried on one shoulder, and it slings around for access. Andy’s choice when he’s only got one hand available, you may find it useful even when not hanging off a rock face. The removable rain cover is a nice touch too.

Mountainsmith Parallax camera bag

At the top of the food chain is the Parallax. This 1880 cubic inch backpack easily manages several DSLR bodies, lots of lenses, including big and fast telephotos, plus your laptop, tablet, and all the batteries, chargers, memory, filters, flashes, and other gear you need to capture images. While it’s designed by a working pro, for the working pro, even the dedicated amateur will appreciate all the features and storage this bag has. Of course, it’s a Mountainsmith, so there’s plenty of comfort built in too.

As mentioned, this list is by no means comprehensive. You can click here to see all of Mountainsmith’s photography gear. If you’ve been using any of their products, you already know what to expect as far as quality and features. If not, it may be a pleasant surprise, as the price to value ratio makes them a great choice for protecting your cameras and lenses.

– Brian


Mountainsmith Kit Cube Traveler camera bag


Mountainsmith Zoom Medium camera bag


Mountainsmith Descent camera bag
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Add this to my Christmas List!

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