I’ve been doing a lot of staycations lately, which means that I’ve been out exploring my native state of California. I visited San Francisco a few weeks ago to shoot a wedding. I visited San Diego a few months ago for fun with my family, and I recently started getting back into hiking at different parks all over the place.
But, as a professional photographer, I very rarely leave my house without my camera. I think the only time I regularly leave it behind is when I’m running errands and even then I’m tempted to bring it along.
But, this renewed interest in hiking has reminded me just how difficult hiking with camera gear is. It comes with so many issues. For starters, I really don’t have that much backcountry camera gear, which means I have to double and triple check my haphazard weatherproofing. To bring another issue into the mix, I have a bad back. So, if I don’t have a camera backpack for hiking, then I’m likely going to be really sore by the end of the day.
Of course, I haven’t even mentioned the biggest problem everyone has while hiking with camera gear: actually carrying your camera. You want to be able to both protect your camera from the elements or being dropped while having immediate access to it in case you come across a scene that could be gone at a moment’s notice.
Unfortunately, there really is no best way to carry a camera while hiking. But, I strongly believe that Holdfast’s Sightseer Backpack System comes pretty close.
If you’re planning on hiking with camera gear this year, then you definitely need to check it out.
If you’ve ever been hiking with camera gear, then you know just how important having a weatherproof camera bag is. A storm can always come from out of nowhere, especially if you’re doing a lot of hiking with camera gear in the Pacific Northwest like I am. This is the number one reason why I love the Sightseer Backpack System.
This bag is made out of waxed canvas and American bison leather. As you likely already know, waxed canvas is waterproof. It’s one of the reasons why the military builds almost everything, from tents to clothing, out of it.
While bison leather isn’t waterproof, it is weatherproofed. This is to say that you would pretty much have to dunk the whole backpack into a bucket of water for an extended amount of time before anything hurt your camera gear.
Plus, since the creators of Holdfast pretty much think of everything, the Sightseer Backpack System even comes with waterproof zippers. After you buy a Sightseer backpack, you’ll never have to worry about shopping for camera bags for hiking ever again.
It Allows Immediate Access to Your Camera
One of the worst things about hiking with camera gear without the proper equipment is that your camera always has to be inside your bag. And, as a photographer, it really doesn’t do me much good there.
This is another reason why I love the Sightseer. It comes with an integrated slider that allows you to keep your camera on hand at all times. Instead of keeping your camera inside your backpack, you can keep it right at waist-level. The slider attaches directly to your shoulder strap so that you can pick it up in seconds whenever you need it.
The Sightseer Backpack System is the only camera bag in the world with this feature.
It Fits All of Your Gear
Another major issue that comes up when you are hiking with camera gear is that a lot of bags won’t fit everything you need, or they’ll fit everything you need but it will pretty much look like a disorganized mess inside.
Another major benefit of hiking with camera gear in a Sightseer is that everything stays exactly where you want it to.
The inside of the backpack is organized with adjustable compartments. And since the backpack measures 18” x 12” x 6.5” and weighs 5.5 lbs, you can fit everything you need inside of it. This includes a large DSLR camera, a laptop that measures up to 15”, all of your cables and chargers, a tripod, and even a change of clothes for overnight trips.
It Lasts Forever
I’ve been a professional photographer for a little too long. This means that I’ve gone through my fair share of camera bags and camera backpacks. The thing that I hate about almost all of them is that they get dirty really easily, they get damaged really easily, and they generally only last around a year before I have to replace them.
When I’m hiking with camera gear, a flimsy backpack just won’t cut it because I need my backpack to take the beating so my expensive equipment doesn’t.
The Sightseer Backpack System is a favorite choice of mine because waxed canvas and leather are both materials that last forever. In fact, the longer I own my Sightseer, the better it looks. I actually enjoy breaking it in every single time that I use it.
The Sightseer also comes with a lifetime guarantee. So, if any part of this bag breaks, Holdfast will send you a new one for free.
It Is Comfortable
I feel like a lot of people forget about comfort when they’re looking for camera gear. But, when you’re hiking with camera gear, comfort needs to be one of the top qualities you’re looking for.
The Sightseer provides this type of comfort. The straps on the bag are really thick and wide, so that all of the weight of the backpack and all of your gear inside of it is evenly distributed across your body. Thanks to the width of the straps, you also won’t have to worry about the backpack digging into your shoulders.
It’s not just your comfort that you need to be worried about, though. You also should be worried about the comfort of your camera. That’s why the Sightseer is lined with Aztec flannel fleece on the interior. It ensures that none of your gear gets scratched and keeps everything exactly where it should be.