If you are using a small mirrorless or DSLR camera and want to keep your shooting kit to a minimum you need to find an appropriate backpack for the job. One solution is from MindShift Gear, who have just released the SidePath and TrailScape lightweight backpacks.
The Sidepath can hold a single large mirrorless camera body and 1-2 standard zoom or prime lenses. It can also hold one compact DSLR (such as a Rebel, 3300 or 5300 series) along with 1-2 lenses. If you are using a larger DSLR such as a 5DMIII or D750 you can also fit in one standard zoom or two prime lenses. The bag is lightweight and features a contoured back panel with lumbar support, air-channel, lightweight harness, and adjustable sternum strap. The backpack is constructed with P600D and 420D nylon, YKK zippers, 420D high-density nylon with re-enforced stress points. There is also a zippered compartment that fits a 10” tablet and still gives you space to put spare batteries etc.
At 1.5lb (680g), the SidePath looks to be a good solution for one man band run and gun crews using a very small camera set up.
The larger TrailScape backpack is designed to take a more complete camera system than the SidePath. You can fit a Sony a7mII/a7RII/a7SII with a 70-200mm f/4 attached and 5-6 additional lenses. If you use a larger DSLR such as a Canon 5DMIII/IV it will accommodate the camera body with a 24-70mm f/2.8 attached and 4-6 additional lenses.
The TrailScape also comes with multiple lash points to allow you to carry extra gear, such as a light jacket or even your lunch. The TrailScape also features a laptop and tablet slots as well as quick access pocket for storing your smartphone.
The TrailScape has a pole mounting system on the sides of the bag for inserting a lightweight tripod or monopod. It also has two large pockets for taking water bottles which is important if you are working outdoors.
Both bags look to be a good solution if you are using smaller camera set ups and want to remain light and nimble. The smaller SidePath would be a handy bag to keep with you on trips, as it takes up virtually no space and doesn’t weigh much. You could easily pull it out on location and use it if you need to venture into a remote location.
External Dimensions: 10.6” W x 19” H x 5.9” D (26 x 47 x 15 cm)
Camera Compartment: 9.1” W x 6.7” H x 5.5” D (24 x 15 x 14 cm)
Tablet Slot: 8.3” W x 9.8” H x 0.6” D (22 x 25 x 2 cm)
Total Volume: 14L
Weight: 1.6 lbs (0.7 kg) (includes rain cover)
Exterior: 9.8” W x 18.1” H x 7.1” D (25 × 46 × 18 cm)
Interior: 9.4” W x 17.3” H x 4.8” D (24 × 44 × 12 cm)
Laptop: 8.9” W x 14.2” H x 1.2” D (22.7 × 36 × 3 cm)
Tablet: 8.5” W x 9.8” H x 0.8” D (21.5 × 25 × 2 cm)
Weight: 2.8 lbs. (1.3 kg)