The thought process of a trek enthusiast who also dabbles in some serious landscape photography centers around one critical aspect while preparing for a trek “what kind and how to carry photographic gear “. I have been grappling with this thought process over the years and though u have tried few combinations, there have been pros and cons which have niggled me many a time to explore more designs that are present in the open domain.
So, in one of my researches I stumbled upon the Exposure 5000 panel loading backpack from a company known as Seek Outside. Now I am sure not many would have heard this name, well I for one had never heard, so I did some good amount of research into the company profile and realized that the brand made sense and was thoughtful about its presence and this is how I started giving a serious thought to its 5000 series backpack . to cut a long story short I finally after a research and debate period of close to 08 months finally went ahead and ordered one for myself .
In this review I would be speaking about my initial impressions on the Exposure 5000 series panel loading backpack from Seek Outside.
About Seek outside The mission statement as spoken by the company reads as follows “ to produce performance built, lightweight, all season backcountry performance products using the best materials available “
I was impressed by this clarity in thought and road map vision for the company to walk upon and hence got further interested in their products.
The Exposure 5000 series. Designed with inputs from backpacking photographers, the panel loader backpack features some innovative concepts coupled with state of the art material composition. Now panel loader backpacks I have realized are most suitable for trek photographers as these kinds of backpacks have one big zipper that work all around the backpack enabling easy access for the main compartment.
I, as a photographer enthusiast need to quick access the camera and not have to search through the entire backpack to gain access in addition to also carry my own trekking stuff. Most of the backpacks are designed for core backpacking and are just not designed for photographers however this particular model caters for both hiking as well as photography, hence it scores highly in my score card.
Following are the features provided
- Fast opening panel zip
- Dual side bottle pockets with shock chord closure.
- Three horizontal compression straps
- 7 pockets which comprise of main panel , 2 interior pockets , one exterior pocket along with a mesh pocket and two bottle pocket.
Construction. The construction of the backpack is well thought and engineered using a suspension arrangement along with an articulating frame which is designed for heavy load carrying capacity The frame is an external aluminum composed with a rugged pack that tightly coupled onto the frame. In a addition the fabric used is known as X-pac.
Few words about X-Pac : This fabric originates from the sailing industry and is a lightweight forever waterproof resistant , UV resistant with great tear m puncture and abrasion resistance capacity . Used for sails of the Sailing Yachts that participate in ocean endurance racing. The thought that this fabric is the mainstay of the backpack is a particularly confidence boosting thought indeed.
The Zippers from YKK which again is the industry standard across when it comes to Zipper design and performance.
There are compression straps provided not only on the side ( three each ) but also in the bottom and top thereby ensuring that the pack is compressed nicely from all sides and all the components within the pack are pressed against the body frame which is an incredible achievement. A bottom-heavy sagging backpack I am sure comes into everyone’s mind as I write this line.
So to summarize, if you are a backpacking photographer this is my recommendation – Seek Outside Exposure 5000 Panel Loading backpack. I guess this is going to stay with me for quite some years to come. I will be posting an update soon about the niggles that I observe as I put this backpack through the paces and rigors of a trek into the Himalaya.