It took nearly twenty years. Lots of purchaces; some correct choices, some total mistakes. Some were pure camerabags, some pure outdoor backpacks with inserts. Twenty years, what? To find a excellent all-rounder for daytime or over-night multipurpose backpack.
Back to the roots of my photography history when I was usually carrying camera with one lens on fishing trip or outdoor hikes. One soft pouch for photogear in among other outdoor stuff. One thing led to another and outdoor gear changed to photography. More lenses, more gear, bigger camera-oriented backpack – no room for other stuff! It`s like returning to where I started – having a big backpack with room for photogear on separate unit and other, outdoor related stuff around the backpack. Here is some thoughts based on experience of two month period in variable use.
Specs & Features
Shimoda X50 is middle model on Action-series. I didnt find any clear specs but I bet that modelnumbers x30, x50 and x70 means inner volume in liters. Weighting less than 2kg it feels light yet providing sturdy structure. Other import features meaning long lasting life are heavy duty ykk-zippers, plastic parts and locks. All parts felt tough even on extreme cold conditions, I was out several nights and days when temperature dropped below -30c. Main material is weather-proof ripstop nylon and zippers and roll-top are weatherproof.
Main theme is customization. Adjustable harness helps to choose correct position on back. Adjustable hipbelt and lots of adjustable straps around helping to mount different kinds of stuff, sleeping bad, several tripods etc. For tripods you can found external pouch (see photos).
Looking inside same them continues. Huge empty space can filled with just how you like or buy a sepate hard cover “Core Units”. You can just get one and let some room on top for other stuff or get multiple Core units and play around with them. I got “Medium DSLR v2” where I can easily fit Sony Alpha-body with 3-4 lenses and still leaving lot of space available on top for example extra clothes, snacks, drink, small sleepingbag etc.
Core units can be accessed either thru rear opening which opens lower portion of the backpack or thru “sidedoor allowing quick access for camera, lenses etc. Large rear door has room for 15” laptop.
Another useful feature is roll-top access which opens top section. Load gear, outdoor stuff and roll it close – for quick top section can also be accessed thru weatherproof zipper. Easy!
Action x50 is available on black or army green. My choice was black – It might be easier to find your black backpack both on snowy winter nature and green summer foliage 🙂
So far it has been easy to load the backpack full and find a best position how to carry it easily. All the adjustments helps finding perfect position. It is easy to say that Shimoda sits and fits like a tailor-made suit. Small pockets on front are made for small accessories, phone, flashlight etc.
If you are looking for a modular backpack for longer one-day hikes or overnight trips with light outdoor gear Shimoda action-serie might be one you are looking for. Highly recommended!