Think Tank Photo, manufacturer of high-end camera bags designed for professional photographers, just spun off a dedicated outdoor camera pack business called, MindShift Gear. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “So what? I’ve already got a great camera backpack that meets all my needs.” Experienced photographers will tell you there’s no such thing as a perfect camera pack. In fact, a lot of photographers become backpack junkies. My garage is full of backpacks. I’ve got backcountry ski packs, resort ski packs, mountain bike hydration packs, packs for mountain biking with a camera, and of course I’ve got all kinds of dedicated camera backpacks. So a new camera pack company is a good thing – especially when they bring the kind of knowledge and attention to detail that the Think Tank Photo guys do. The pack that MindShift Gear is launching with, the Rotation180° Professional, has a unique design. It has a waist pack within the backpack that releases and rotates so you can quickly access your camera and lenses without taking off the pack – perfect for outdoor photographers working in the mud and snow. The Rotation180° Professional camera pack makes a strong statement about creative design and thoughtful outdoor functionality – perfect for representing the new company.
As I said, the MindShift Gear Rotation180° Professional pack has an integrated waist pack that can be rotated to the front without removing the pack. According to the press release the belt pack is designed to accommodate a full-size pro digital SLR body along with a couple of lenses or with a 70-200m f/2.8 lens attached. The upper compartment can be used to carry more camera equipment with the optional removable camera insert; or you can use it to carry other outdoor gear, like extra clothes, tools, food, etc. That’s how I’d be most likely to use it. Key for serious outdoor activities, and something that sets real outdoor camera packs apart from pretenders, the Rotation180° is designed to hold a hydration bladder. If this sounds crazy, it isn’t. Water isn’t optional and in the many years I’ve been mountain biking with my camera in a hydration pack, I’ve never had a camera damaged by water.
MindShift Gear was launched on KickStarter and hit their $30,000 target funding goal in just 12 hours (Mindshift Gear KickStarter Page). That should tell you something about the kind of loyalty the Think Tank Photo guys have earned from their customers. I expect MindShift Gear to bring the same kind of quality and innovation to the outdoor camera pack space. And increased competition is always good for the customer. We end up with better products for less money. Check out the video below to see the new MindShift Gear Rotation180° Professional camera pack in action. The video is proof that MindShift gear isn’t messing around.
Based on their KickStarter page timeline, it looks like the MindShift Gear Rotation180° Professional camera backpack will be available in
April of 2013. Retail pricing for the MindShift Gear Rotation180° Professional camera pack will be about US $ 450.
Update – I just got more specific availability and pricing information on the MindShift Gear Rotation180° Professional camera pack. It will be available to the general public in May (April delivery is for KickStarter contributors) and the suggested retail price is $389. That price is for the backpack and belt pack and also includes a rain cover and tripod cup attachment.
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