The MindShift Gear rotation180º Panorama backpack is a camera bag that is design specifically for outdoor use and is a fantastic camera bag for hiking. For those of you who many not know, MindShift Gear is a spinoff company from Think Tank Photo and is specifically targeted toward outdoor adventurers.
What’s great about the rotation180º Panorama is the rotating belt pack that slides out of the bottom portion of the bag and allows you to access your camera and other essential gear without removing the bag from your shoulders.
It has a unique lock that secures that belt pack in place when you want it to remain in the main bag. It is easy enough to unlock and re-lock with one hand and without looking at it. The lock is a different feature than what I was used to but it took me only a couple of tries to get the hang of it and then I had it. A very slick design.
To look at the belt pack, you wouldn’t think it could hold much. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I put a DSLR with lens attached and a spare lens, along with several smaller accessories inside. There is also room for 10″ tablet, like a full-size iPad, inside. I was able to fit my iPad Air inside a leather folio cover in the tablet slot. It is a deceivingly large belt pack.
In addition to the belt pack, there is a larger compartment in the top portion of the bag. You can use this for stowing snacks, clothing or other hiking accessories. However, MindShift Gear also makes a Photo Insert for the rotation180º Panorama with removable dividers for packing a much larger camera kit.
Using the belt pack and the Photo Insert, I was able to pack a Nikon D5500 with 18-140mm lens attached, a Sigma 10-20mm lens, a Canon 5D Mark II with EF 24-105mm lens attached, an EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, a Syrp Genie, a GoPro HERO4, memory cards, remotes, spare batteries and several other accessories. Additionally, all of it was very accessible due to the smart arrangement of the belt pack and Photo Insert.
Rain covers are available to independently protect the rotation180º Panorama and the belt pack, which means you can still access your gear without having to remove the backpack if you are in and out of rainy weather.
Additionally, other MindShift Gear accessories like the Filter Hive can securely attach to the rotation180º Panorama belt. Even if you unlatch the belt, the rigging for the Filter Hive won’t allow it to slide off. The Filter Hive provides easy access to several filters – up to six flat 4×6″ filters and six round filters up to 82mm. It only weighs 0.6 pounds, so you aren’t adding much weight to your overall kit and the convenience of having all of your filters in easy access is well worth the trade-off.
There is also room inside the Filter Hive for LensPen in the front of the pouch, which I think is worth putting in the bag to brush away debris or lint as you move your filters to and from the Filter Hive. The soft padded slots protect your filters; however, I did notice a little lint as I removed them sometimes. Additionally, the Filter Hive has great zipper pulls attached to the YKK zippers.
Overall, the zippers on the rotation180º Panorama and the rest of the accessories are great. They are all YKK zippers and all have easy-to-grab paracord zipper pulls with rubber coating.
The rotation180º Panorama also has a dedicated hydration pocket that holds up to a 3-liter reservoir. While it does not include a bladder, I was able to pull the bladder out of my Camelbak M.U.L.E. and easily insert it to the rotation180º Panorama. This is awesome to have on a hike instead of the large water bottles I usually carry.
The tripod strap on the front of the bag can accommodate a large tripod for long hikes. Additionally, I stuffed a smaller tripod on the side pouch and use the strap above it to carry it securely all day, along with the larger tripod.
For all that it offers, the rotation180º Panorama is incredibly lightweight at only 2.9 pounds. It is rigid where it needs to be and offers great padding on the back and shoulder straps. The chest strap and waist strap keep the bag in place and make for a comfortable hike with a solid load of gear.
I have used many camera backpacks over the years; however, none are as versatile for outdoor adventures as the rotation180º Panorama, especially when paired with some of the very smart accessories mentioned above. At $199.99, it is a mid-range backpack that delivers a ton of functionality and I think well worth the price.
You can find the MindShift Gear rotation180º Panorama and accessories here on MindShift Gear’s website.