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MindShift Gear Backlight 36L Photo Daypack Review

We take a look at the MindShift Gear Backlight 36L Daypack which can carry a lot of kit.

|  MindShift Gear Backlight 36L in Bags, Cases and Straps
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The MindShift Gear BackLight 36L Photo Daypack is a large photo rucksack that offers fast access to gear without having to take the bag off. It's designed to handle even the largest of lenses and up to 2 DSLR bodies. There is also 11l of space for personal belongings and several attachment straps for tripods and gear expansion options. It's available in green or black with green accents and is distributed exclusively through SnapperStuff in the UK. 


MindShift Backlight 36L Photo Daypack Features

The bag has a durable water repellant coating and has a total volume of 36l. it weighs 2.2kg empty. On the front at the bottom is a tripod pouch allowing you to mount a tripod and secure it with the strap on top. There is a large zipped pocket for personal accessories and on the front of this are loops to enable you to add carrying solutions should you need them. Above this are 2 elasticated toggles for further gear carrying ability. Behind this is a larger zipped pocket which will fit personal effects such as a light coat or some lunch and also has a padded laptop compartment, tablet compartment and stationery storer. 

On top is another small zipped pocket ideal for travel documents. Behind this is a sturdy carry handle. On both the left and right sides is a mesh pocket with drawstring toggle which could be used for tripods, water bottles or other equipment that won't fit inside the bag. On the bottom are 2 elasticated chords further allowing you to carry things externally. 


The main compartment of the bag is accessed from the back panel, behind the very well padded shoulder straps. There are also padded waist straps and a chest strap to help spread the weight of the bag when full. Unzipping the padded back panel reveals the camera compartment which has movable velcro dividers to help you organise your kit accordingly. The bag will hold up to 2 DSLR bodies with lenses attached, 4-6 extra lenses and a flash unit. 

The bag is designed so that you don't have to take it off to access your kit - or for use in situations where you'll be unable to take it off and put it down due to muddy conditions or safety concerns. This is acheived by fastening the waist straps securely, removing the shoulder straps and twisting the bag around on your hips. when in position a chord on the inside of the back flap can be placed around the neck to hold this up while you ready your kit for use. The back of the flap also has 2 zipped mesh pockets for documents or maps.


Key Features

  • 36L capacity
  • Holds 2 bodies with lenses attached, 4-6 extra lenses 
  • Multiple tripod mounting options
  • 11l personal storage capacity 
  • Various attachment points 
  • Waterproof cover included 
  • Can be accessed without being put down


MindShift BackLight 36L Photo Daypack Handling & Performance

The MindShift Backlight 36L is a very large backpack that when full can be really heavy - care will need to be taken if you wish to use the bag at full capacity. 

We loaded the bag with a variety of lenses and a couple of camera bodies to test the weight and found the weight was evenly distributed when the padded waist strap was used - the bag was actually really comfy despite the weight. 


The shoulder straps are well padded and feature a breathable mesh. To access the bag, you first need to make sure that the waist strap is securely fastened. You then take off the shoulder straps and spin the bag around on your hips. The back panel can then be accessed. The straps can get in the way but this is generally a good thing as it will make it more difficult for thieves to get into it. 


Once the back panel is undone the elasticated chord makes it easy to keep the flap out of the way and around your neck. You can then select your kit and pack away accordingly. This is a handy way to be able to get to your kit when it's not practical to put the bag down. With this in mind, some side access might also be nice behind the side pockets - to offer you quicker access to a certain piece of kit. 


There is ample pocket space for flexible personal items such as coats however there's no real space to carry a lunchbox or bulkier items. The bag feels really well made and plenty of thought has been put into making it as comfy as it can be for its size and capacity. For those that hike with a lot of kit, or professionals that like a rucksack for their equipment, this will no doubt be a popular choice. 


Value For Money

The MindShift Gear Backlight 36L Photo Daypack is available for £278.26 from Snapperstuff in the UK. This is a lot of money for a bag but this model does feature lots of padding, ample space for all the professional kit you could possibly want and various options for carrying larger accessories externally or adding extra, smaller bags to the setup. 

Other similar options include the Tamrac Anvil 23 rucksack, available for £173.99. However this option doesn't feature external side pockets and tripod mounting abilities. It's also not designed for accessing without being taken off.

If you're looking for something a little smaller with the quick side access mentioned earlier then the Vanguard Alta Rise 48, for £109.95 will offer you space for 2 DSLRs and 3-4 extra lenses but it doesn't feature a padded waist strap. 

 If these aren't to your liking, then check out our bag roundups: 


MindShift BackLight 36L Photo Daypack Verdict

The MindShift Backlight 36L is a very large backpack and can be very hefty to lug around when full. But if you require the size and capacity then this is a well equipped way to carry your kit around. It's very secure with the back panel access to your kit and the ability to spin it around and access your kit without taking it off will all be great selling points to photographers who take lots of kit into the great outdoors. 

While the green colour is an acquired taste, the more subtle black model will make a more inconspicuous option. For those times when carrying lots of kit is a must, this MindShift option is a great choice due to its fantastic comfy padding and durable feel. We are happy to recommend the bag. 

MindShift BackLight 36L Photo Daypack Pros

  • Comfy for the amount of kit carried
  • Lots of kit carrying opportunities
  • Secure back entry to main compartment
  • Ability to access kit without taking bag fully off

MindShift BackLight 36L Photo Daypack Cons

  • Heavy when full
  • Bulky

Overall Verdict

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