Mindshift BackLight 26L Review and Post Trip Thoughts

Hey there IDP members, I wanted to make a quick post today in conjunction with my video review of the Mindshift BackLight 26L in Charcoal.

Backlight 36L, 26L, 18L

It is no secret that we are all on a mission to find a camera bag that suits all of your needs. There is no single bag that does everything you want it to. This Mindshift BackLight 26L is pretty close to being a home run for me.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Mindshift was a sister brand to Think Tank Photo, one of my favorites. The Mindshift brand was developed more towards the outdoor photographer. They have recently merged with the Think Tank brand. In my opinion, they make the best camera bags on the market. They are designed with the photographer in mind, made with the highest quality materials, and has the best customer service I have seen in the photography community.

Think Tank sent me this Bag for review towards the end of last year and I have been holding off making my video because I wanted to run it through its paces at Walt Disney World before sharing my thoughts on it. I have liked the Mindshift BackLight 26L so much, that I went ahead and purchased the smaller 18L and the larger 36L. I have used it on 3 trips already and it is safe to say that the BackLight 26L is my new favorite bag. It fits right under the seat of an Airbus A320 or a Boeing 737.

BackLight 26L under Airbus A320 Seat

Some of the key features that I love about the BackLight series is that there are multiple places to mount your tripod. I like to mount mine in the side waterbottle holder so that I can lay the bag down flat for security to inspect. I also like that the shoulder straps are well padded like every other bag they have to offer. The rear access to the main compartment is also a nice security feature, which will prevent gear theft.

BackLight 26L with Z7 and D850 Body, tripod strapped to side.

Another great feature on this bag is probably the front storage area. While this may not be designed to hold gear, there are designated areas for a Laptop and Tablet. I can fit my MacBook Pro 13 and my 9″ iPad pro in there easily. The front storage area also expands to allow you to store things you may use during the day.

The waist straps really do help distribute the weight, especially if you’re loading up the bag with a lot of gear.

If there was one thing I would improve on with the bag, its that I wished it were a little bit deeper. There are times I like to shoot with a battery grip. The only way I can fit my D5 or my D850 with a grip is by going one size up with the BackLight 36L. I find the 36L is just a little bit too big, and with all that extra space, the temptation to overpack really starts to hurt my back. I do want to mention that the BackLight 18L is a perfect size if you are shooting with a mirrorless setup with a few lens. You can even fit a DSLR with a few lens as well.  The 26L is the perfect in-between bag that gives you a little more space than the 18L. Since I have been using the Nikon Z7 more often lately, the 26 is one of my go-to bags. If I really need to bring a camera with a grip, the I will choose between the Backlight 36L or the Think Tank Street Walker Hard Drive.

BackLight 26L vs BackLight 18L

As always, a big thank you to my friends over at Think Tank Photo for sending this awesome Mindshift BackLight for me to review.

BackLight 26L at Animal Kingdom

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