The backpacking backpack has evolved over the years as both the philosophy of long distance hiking and technological advancements allowed for lighter, simpler packs. Large heavy backpacks made from metal and canvas and stuffed to the brim gave way to simple frame-less bags made from ultra light materials and packed with a minimalist mindset. Backpacking is a lot more fun when you keep your pack weight down!
A backpacking landscape photographer has specialized needs that demand a blend between these two philosophies. A pack that is designed for multi day self supported backpacking with both volume and heavy loads yet maintains a minimalist weight focused design.
Current solutions for photographers are inadequate. There are hundreds of pack models available yet somehow all of them fall short.
Due to the nature of the endeavor, the pack needs to be light weight yet high volume and high load bearing capability. There are packs that meet our requirements so far, such as the Hyperlite Porter 5400.
Unfortunately, proper weight distribution requires heavy camera gear to be stored at the bottom of the pack. A photographer needs easy access to his gear.
There are some packs that have zippered access from the back, but none meet the ultralight minimalist design requirements.
Packs designed for heavier loads invariably tend to give up on the minimalist design, not only adding necessary weight for increased load support, but also adding unnecessary features and heavier fabrics. This is especially true for photo specific packs. The exceptions that meet the volume, weight, and load bearing capability do not have bottom of pack access.
There is currently no commercially produced option that is minimalist, light, large volume, high load bearing, with bottom of pack access.
Minimalist design, easy bottom of pack camera access, lightweight materials, capable of carrying the volume and weight of a self supported 7 day backpacking trip with landscape photography gear.
The user needs to carry camping gear, food for 7 days, water, and camera gear.
The pack should be 80-100L, be constructed of light weight water phobic material, and allow for a robust weight
Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UltraWeave or Dyneema)
I am currently working on a prototype.