- Buyer's Guide
Kickstarter Highlight: compagnon explorer Camera Backpacks
Crowdfunding is fast becoming the world’s go-to platform for new releases. But do you ever find it hard to cut through the noise and pin down the ones worth your hard-earned? Well, that’s where this sponsored series comes in. We’re vetting carry Kickstarters for you, digging up the facts, and shedding light on the ones we think are worth a closer look.
This week’s selection: compagnon and their explorer camera backpacks.
Zooming in on maximum comfort and versatility
compagnon are a relatively young brand based in Germany’s Black Forest region. But their dedication to creating functional, attractive and durable camera bags has seen their reputation steadily build in the carry world, with photographers across the globe enjoying their quality gear. But they wanted to take things to the next level. The goal? Create a camera backpack that pushes comfort and versatility to the max. How to go about it? By teaming up with Deuter, a fellow German carry brand with an extensive history spanning well over a century. The result? The compagnon explorer backpacks.
German engineering and efficiency
Both brands value quality and efficient design, and it shows with the compagnon explorer and explorer backpack+. The bags feature Deuter’s Alpine Back System designed to enhance carry comfort and ventilation. The system keeps the load close to the body’s center of gravity for improved stability, and includes a pivoting Vari Flex hipbelt that allows for greater freedom of movement and reduced fatigue through even load distribution. Additionally, if you’re roaming with a lighter setup the hipbelt can be removed to shed carry weight.
Quality in every part
From urban showers to abrasive rocks on your outdoor adventures, camera bags can be faced with a variety of challenges. But the compagnon packs are ready for them, combining a tough and durable water-resistant 450D Nylon shell with a rugged Hypalon base. Need to set your bag on rocky ground? No problem. Caught in an unexpected downpour? Your precious gear is safe and sound.
The quality doesn’t stop at the materials. YKK zippers provide smooth and reliable access to pockets, and a magnetic Fidlock buckle makes it easy and quick to secure the rolltop closure. Additionally, Deuter is a member of the FairWear foundation which values fair working conditions, so you can feel confident that compagnon explorer and explorer+ backpacks are crafted through socially responsible construction.
Organization on the go
The explorer and explorer+ are identical in features and functionality, just differing in volume. The explorer offers a 16L main compartment and an additional 9L of storage space in the rolltop section, while the explorer+ provides 25L of storage in the main section and an additional 12L in the rolltop section. Plenty of space to store camera gear, personal items and day-to-day or outdoor essentials all in one ruggedly handsome pack.
The main storage area is accessed through the back panel and features a range of customizable Velcro dividers to tailor organization to different gear setups. Need to get to a camera quickly? The rapid side access has you covered.
The packs also come with a range of Velcro pockets that can be positioned to best suit your needs, as well as a flat-lay padded laptop compartment that’s handy for breezing through airport security. A convenient front organizer pocket keeps small essentials tidy and within easy reach, and compression and tripod mounting straps secure your kit on the move.
Urban commuter to outdoor adventurer
The versatile design of the compagnon explorer and explorer+ allows these packs to adapt to a variety of environments. The sleek aesthetics look right at home in urban settings, while the tough and comfortable build embraces rugged outdoor terrain. Use them as daily carry bags to hold work supplies, gym gear and camera equipment for urban shoots. Then sling them over your shoulders for a weekend hike or an overnight photography trip. And for a little extra peace of mind, the packs feature a retracting anti-theft hook to secure the zipper pulls together and keep sticky fingers away from your valuable gear.
It has taken over a year to develop and thoroughly test the explorer backpack and explorer backpack+, but the effort and commitment to quality are apparent. Stylish, functional and tough, these packs are solid companions for both urban and outdoor photography. If you want a camera backpack that will go the distance, adapt to changing loads and look suave while doing so, snap up a compagnon pack now through their Kickstarter campaign which runs until 22 November 2017.
Note: this is a sponsored series, but only the best candidates are given this feature placement.
Above are the facts, but there’s always a little risk when backing a crowdfunder, so keep that in mind before you decide to back/purchase.