- Buyer's Guide
NYA-EVO FJORD 60-C Review
Like many photographers, I am always interested in new camera bags. Especially ones that can carry all my gear. I am a commercial photographer as well as an adventure elopement photographer. For both of these situations I carry a decent amount of gear to get the job done. Most times this is two DSLR bodies with three lenses for photo, one mirrorless body with two lenses that I usually use for video and a Mavic Pro Drone for those extra shots and B roll. On top of this I need room for a tripod, water, snacks, a pouch for camera accessories, and any extra layers that I might need.
Recently I had been using the Shimoda Designs Explore 60 for my adventure bag, but had the opportunity to pick up a NYA-EVO bag. Until this time I had not heard of NYA-EVO, so I explored the company and read a bit on the bags and after talking to the owner I settled on the FJORD 60-C as it was closest to what I had been using.
First off, I love that the bag is expandable. Compressed it sits at 44L and fully expanded it is 60L. This is great because there are times I need the full 60, but others where that is just too much bag. It really felt like two bags in one.
I love that this bag is not overly heavy while feeling very solid. From first pulling it out of the box I knew that I could trust it to protect any gear that I put inside. The material is Nylon 210 Denier Rip-stop fabric with thermoplastic polyurethane film on the interior with a Hypalon® base. This is important for me as many of my shoots involve some scrambling and sliding. I took this bag on a 24-mile canyoneering trip and while nearly everything I was wearing took a beating and received holes and tears, this bag held up. About half of the trip was sliding down sandstone water chutes and rappels where the bag was being dragged and scraped. The bag is well constructed and was comfortable to wear during the entire 24-mile adventure.
Who It Suits
This bag is built for anyone who wants a well constructed bag that will get their gear through anything. If you are a creative who needs to haul expensive equipment and wants peace of mind that it will be protected, this bag is for you. You can strap skis or snowshoes on and get to the top of a mountain. You can pack an extra pair of boots on the back and cover them and hike through a canyon or rainforest. This bag will get you further and protect whatever is inside.
Who It Doesn’t
If you just need an everyday camera bag, it’s best to look elsewhere. Even compressed this bag is a lot of bag to carry around for just the everyday or day trip photographer. If all you need to carry is one camera, a few lenses, and a tripod, I would find something a little smaller.
The overall build of this bag is amazing. Everything is very sturdy and as I experienced, you can put this bag through the wringer and it will hold up. This bag has some great organization, which as most creatives know is important. With hard drives, batteries, memory cards, notebooks, and all the other things that we carry and may need in the field, pockets are key. Most of these pockets are in the main clamshell pocket. This pocket is huge and can fit a lot of goods. You can use this pocket for hydration as there is a hydration port on the side for the tube (there is also a drain port at the bottom of the pocket). You can fit a large laptop, or any other large items. If you are into backcountry excursions this pocket can separate and organize much of the safety gear you would need for your adventures.
Not only are there some great pockets, but there is some great separation between the compartments. When I was shooting my canyoneering adventure, we changed from the slot canyon section to the water section. My pants and socks were wet and muddy, but with the waterproof top compartment, I was able to segregate this and not worry about the sandstone residue mixing in with my cameras or the other accessories. This pocket would be perfect for the reverse as well. If you need to keep your gear dry until a certain point this is a great compartment. The compartment beneath allows you to separate gear as well. This is a removable internal separator that both zips in from the top and sides as well as velcros to the opposite side to keep items from falling into the main compartment.
The bag has another neat feature that allows for more room. There are two zippers on either side of the front clamshell pocket that when unzipped allows for more depth to this pocket (NYA-EVO says this allows for 7cm more depth). Another cool feature is that most of the buckles can be removed. So if you do not need the straps and do not want them hanging on the bag, you can remove them completely.
One of my favorite parts is the Hypalon® base that helps provide support for the pack to stand upright (I hate bags that tip over). I tend to drag my bag through things, or set my bag down on the ground in a variety of elements. Knowing that this part will not wear out prematurely is rad.
Personally I like that the bag has dual water bottle pockets. These pockets can fit a 32oz insulated Earthwell bottle (or Nalgene). Both sides have straps that can secure a tripod (or if you want to strap skis to the sides you could as well).
The bag comes with both a gear net and a rain cover. I thought that this was nice to include them and not require them to be separate purchases. You get everything you need with the bag.
The interior is nice and roomy and I used the large RCI (removable camera insert) during most of my testing. I like this one as it fits all the gear that I normally carry when out on a shoot. These inserts are well built so you have peace of mind for the gear inside.
The shoulder straps and waist belt are sturdy and thick so you know they will not tear. There are a few webbing hoops to attach devices and the sternum strap has an emergency whistle with which you can annoy your friends or housemates.
Not So Good
So I really don’t have that many complaints about this bag. There are a few things that I would like, as well as some things that might grow on me more as time goes on. The one part that I am not sure of but may change my mind on is the shoulder straps and the waist belt. These are both made of two-inch foam and remind me of the backpacks of old. Because of this both the shoulder and waist straps are very stiff, and at times they get in the way when you are trying to access the rear camera compartment. I am sure as the years progress the straps will break in and be more comfortable, but starting out the stiffness can be uncomfortable at times.
I also wish that there was a side handle. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to carry a large bag that way so as to not have it drag on the ground and the weight seems more distributed.
One of the teeth of the waist belt buckle broke within a few days of having the bag; it was on the ground and I stepped on it, which would happen to any buckle. But I have another bag where the teeth are reinforced which has saved me many times.
You can tell that this bag is very well thought out. From the pocketing to the gear separation, you know that someone who is an adventurous creative dreamed up this pack. There are little hints of adventure throughout, from the climbing stopper nuts on the zipper pulls to the emergency whistle, and with Hypalon reinforcements you know that this bag was built to be used and abused.
The bag’s frame helps it sit well and the waist belt helps distribute the load so even when on long treks you can carry the load without undue stress on specific areas. The fabrics are perfectly suited for someone who will be out in the elements and even without the rain cover the materials would provide some great protection. If you are the type who needs to have your pack clean after every adventure, you will be able to clean any mud or dirt off this pack no problem.
Matt Ritscher is a Colorado-based adventure and wedding photographer. Check out his work here.