F-Stop Gear holds a unique position in the world of backpacks. Whereas most other manufacturers produce either camera bags or hiking bags, F-Stop Gear aims to do both — they make hiking-style backpacks with swappable internal compartments for camera equipment. Just this morning, F-Stop Gear announced the addition of four new bags to their Mountain Series lineup: the Ajna, Tilopa, Sukha, and Shinn. These bags are sized at 40, 50, 70, and 80 liters, and they bring along some exciting changes from the old Mountain Series.
The main improvement, at least for me, is that the new bags are made of a new waterproof fabric. Although I would consider the older bags to be extremely water resistant (I have owned the Loka UL since it was announced), I am excited to hear that the new backpacks take waterproofing one step further.
It is also exciting to see that the Sukha and Shinn (70 and 80 liters respectively) are now the two largest bags in the F-Stop Gear lineup. Previously, that title was held by the 62-liter Satori EXP. If you are planning to use your bag for overnight camping or hauling massive amounts of equipment, this increase in size is a huge improvement.
In addition to those major changes are a couple other refinements: the addition of side pockets (always welcome), as well as an improved harness system on the shoulder straps. Plus, the old Tilopa has increased its capacity from 48 liters to 50 liters, presumably because 50 is a rounder number than 48.
Alongside the introduction of these new bags are two new ICUs (Internal Camera Units): the Master-Cine ICU and the Tele-Master ICU. These are designed to give you more ways to arrange your camera gear within the bags and still have room for extra clothing or food.
In all, it seems like these new backpacks are a welcome step forward from a well-respected bag manufacturer. You can expect the team at Photography Life to review some of these new bags within the next couple months, as they become available on the market.
Official Press Release
Saint Louis, MO: Today, f-stop, a leading provider of adventure packs and accessories specializing in camera packs and transport systems, announced a completely new lineup for their world renowned Mountain Series. The new lineup introduces three brand new packs, the Ajna, Sukha, and Shinn, alongside an upgrade to a current customer favorite, the Tilopa.
The 2015 Mountain Series has received a major upgrade in the main body textile, significantly improving the weather and abrasion resistance of each pack. f-stop’s market-leading innovation in design offers improved usability, ergonomics and capacity for those shooting in the harshest conditions.
Highlights of the 2015 Mountain Series:
- The Shinn is the largest pack in the range and was developed in conjunction with a new Master-Cine ICU designed to carry rigged video setups into the field.
- Increased durability and outstanding weather-proofing is provided by a ripstop Nylon shell and a secondary polyurethane film.
- Hypalon base to withstand wear-and-tear from the harshest environments.
- Newly integrated, expandable side panel pockets with full-length zippers.
- Updated range of colors to include Malibu (Blue), Nasturtium (Orange), Aloe (Green/Tan) and Anthracite (Matte Black).
“If you are serious about the pursuit of all things amazing, the new Mountain Series lineup might just be your best companion. The new Mountain Series is aggressive, durable, efficient and very attractive with a timeless style. The new f-stop Mountain Series is the standard in adventure driven photography,” said f-stop Product Development Director, Ian Millar.
Falk Hicke, f-stop VP of Sales added: “The new Mountain Series line-up will allow us to answer the needs of our photographers through the continued implementation of their existing ICU’s, but at the same time also provide a product that will appeal to a whole new generation of photographers and videographers.”
The development of the new Mountain Series products has been achieved through the implementation of the latest material technology and significant field-testing with members of f-stop’s Global Icon’s program. Mike Owen, VP of Communications stated: “This is a massive evolutionary step for our products. Our goals were to set the bar as high as possible for adventure camera packs and I think we’ve done just that.”
The bags ship in early July, but they are available for preorder today. F-Stop Gear bags run out of stock quickly, so it is best to buy yours through the Mountain Series page as soon as possible if you want it to arrive before August.