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Finally found "the" backpack for my IQ4 and Hassy system...

peterm1

Active member
This is not a paid or sponsored ad or anything. I have a closet full of all kinds of bags, with none of them really having everything I wanted in a bag....until I found the Compagnon Element backpack.

If you haven't checked it out and are looking for a backpack with around 30L of space, it's amazing. It's not that large or heavy, has a large side access panel (where I can easily take in and out the IQ4 with my Cambo tech cam and lens on it), rolltop bag on top for clothes if needed, fits a 16" MacBook, has a removable waist belt (which has it's own pocket for an iPhone Max), pockets all over the place, removable rain cover (although the pack is waterproof I believe), removable pad for kneeling on hard ground, tripod/water bottle holders on both sides, interior dividers that have stretchable pockets built in, removable velcro storage containers for small things like memory cards, great front storage pockets, and there's even a storage pocket on the side behind one of the bottle holders where I put three different filters. It's so good I want to get a second one so I have one ready to go with my Phase One system and one ready to go with my Hasselblad system (but it's pricey). Plus it's small enough that air travel shouldn't be an issue.

Anyway, if you are looking for a backpack in the 30L size range (without the rolltop storage part), check out reviews on YouTube, include the Compagnon channel which has a good walk through with tips.

This may not be "the" bag for you but I am really glad I found it. Anyone want to buy my Mindshift 26L I recently bought? :)
 

ThdeDude

Active member
Photos
none of them really having everything I wanted in a bag....until I found the Compagnon Element backpack. ... Anyone want to buy my Mindshift 26L I recently bought? :)
Photos would be nice! How do these two backpack compare?

I generally modify front/back/waistpacks down a much simpler configuration but obviously need a backpack to start this.
 

peterm1

Active member
Sure - will post as soon as I can. The Mindshift is missing the side panel access, its waist belt is non removable, it's narrower, and it doesn't have nearly as many accessible pockets on the outside. I do like the interior see through pockets on the Mindshift though...
 

Hasslebad

Member
This is not a paid or sponsored ad or anything. I have a closet full of all kinds of bags, with none of them really having everything I wanted in a bag....until I found the Compagnon Element backpack.

If you haven't checked it out and are looking for a backpack with around 30L of space, it's amazing. It's not that large or heavy, has a large side access panel (where I can easily take in and out the IQ4 with my Cambo tech cam and lens on it), rolltop bag on top for clothes if needed, fits a 16" MacBook, has a removable waist belt (which has it's own pocket for an iPhone Max), pockets all over the place, removable rain cover (although the pack is waterproof I believe), removable pad for kneeling on hard ground, tripod/water bottle holders on both sides, interior dividers that have stretchable pockets built in, removable velcro storage containers for small things like memory cards, great front storage pockets, and there's even a storage pocket on the side behind one of the bottle holders where I put three different filters. It's so good I want to get a second one so I have one ready to go with my Phase One system and one ready to go with my Hasselblad system (but it's pricey). Plus it's small enough that air travel shouldn't be an issue.

Anyway, if you are looking for a backpack in the 30L size range (without the rolltop storage part), check out reviews on YouTube, include the Compagnon channel which has a good walk through with tips.

This may not be "the" bag for you but I am really glad I found it. Anyone want to buy my Mindshift 26L I recently bought? :)
Good to know. I’m looking for a backpack and will look at the Compagnon. Did you compare to Lowepro or Shimoda? Curious what aspects gave the Compagnon an edge. The removable pad seems unique to the Compagnon
 

peterm1

Active member
I did watch various YouTube reviews comparing backpacks including the Lowepro and Shimoda ones, and it seemed the Compagnon offered the best features for what I was looking for, including external pockets, side panel access and a few other things not always offered by competitors. Of course what works for me may not be best for others but since I don’t think the Compagnon is as well known as others I’d thought I’d mention it.
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
It looks great. Side access is problematic in cities, so I tend to go with more inaccessible designs - F-stop and Atlas
 

peterm1

Active member
Actually they even thought of that - there are built in carabiniers in the water bottle pocket that can attach to the side access zippers to keep it more secure. I will attach photos of that. Also shown is how easily the IQ4 fits in via the side, and how my pack is currently packed with the IQ4 and 70mm Rodenstock, 32mm Rodenstock, 180mm Rodenstock packed vertically (the bag is nice and deep), and several other accessories with room to spare.
Here is a good video overview:
 

peterm1

Active member
If you look at the photo of the fully packed backpack, you can see there is a stretchy pocket that's part of the divider where inserted an extra battery (not all dividers have this feature - I think there are 3 of them that do), and put a retaining strap over one of my lenses (they provide a whole bunch of these to keep things from shifting around too much if you want to use them.
 

drevil

Well-known member
Staff member
looks like a great backpack, i also dislike side access, and the top roll compartment is also not my thing, but i will have a more thorough look at the backpack.
i also wish for a backpack that can hold my C645 properly.
 

Geoff

Well-known member
Been looking for a long time to find a back with side access and easy pull-out of the tech camera, lens and back.
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
So I lasted about a week. Sigh. It's a keeper.

Good: It's really comfortable. Feels easier to carry with a body and 4 lenses than my usual bag with only two. The tan looks very nice - I'm tired of black bags.

Ok: The side pocket isn't the easiest thing in the world to use. Maybe I'll get better at it. Usually, if I'm not changing lenses, I would keep the camera and lens above the main ICU. That made it comparable difficulty to access without putting the bag down. We're talking X2D here, so not the largest camera in the world, either. Yes, I'll certainly get better at it.

Ahem: Nowhere in the reviews or website does it mention that you have to unbuckle the tops of the straps in order to access the main compartment. I mean, it's not a huge pain, but the available photos seem to go to some lengths to hide this annoyance.

What were they thinking?: Unless you have a really short torso, the waist belt is far enough above your waist that it has its own zip code. Lower the pack enough to use the waist belt and the sternum strap goes across your neck. I took the waist belt off and the pack is still comfortable. I'm 5'8", BTW.
 

richardman

Well-known member
...
What were they thinking?: Unless you have a really short torso, the waist belt is far enough above your waist that it has its own zip code. Lower the pack enough to use the waist belt and the sternum strap goes across your neck. I took the waist belt off and the pack is still comfortable. I'm 5'8", BTW.
I'm 5'4" Sounds perfect for me. I have been using the Think Tank StreetWalker Pro for 10-15 years? Need a bigger pack for my 4x5 and Hassy kits. This just might do it.
 

kdphotography

Well-known member
It's always good to see other new options available for backpacks. I'm still quite happy with my Mindshift 26L. Good padded shoulder straps and hip belt make it a winner. I'm considering the Mindshift 36L to get a bit more room for those times when I travel with both Cambo and Fuji. Also considering Atlas Athlete/Adventure again. Good padded shoulder and hip support, along with being able to fit under an airplane seat (if needed) for those times when other travelers hog all the overhead bins is a priority consideration
 
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