Sunday, 31 May 2009

Kinesis Journeyman under punishment

After my previous use of the Kinesis Journeyman photopack in benign weather, here's an update under more trying circumstances during my recent trip to Cumbria.

First up - carrying stuff. Every day I carried my large format gear. The inner pouch (V090) just about carried the 5x4 field camera, 2 lightweight lenses (a 120 f/5.6 and a 210 f/5.6), small meter (The Voigtlander VC meter II), loupe and a roll film back. I also had dark cloth, film, filters stashed in the bag. The Gitzo 3540LS tripod strapped to the outside. Regular gear: waterproof jacket, lightweight fleece, lunch, small first aid kit, 1l hydration pack. That amounted to about 15kg (30lb) of gear, maybe a bit more. having the heavy stuff in the pouch meant the lighter stuff didn't get squashed - good news for my sandwiches.

The upshot is that the bag coped well. Having a proper harness system means comfortable, stable load carrying. Putting the heavy stuff at the top (all the camera gear) means better posture - it was easier to walk more upright, therefore less straining or tiring. having the load nice and close to the back and compression straps tightened meant little effect from cross winds.

Next up, weather. Whilst generally good weather, I did endure a few heavy showers, enough to test a bags waterproofing. Not a problem. The bag appears to be fully waterproof. That means no stuff sacks or rain cover needed, which makes the space more usable and keeps extra weight out.

There are a couple of weaknesses. The mesh pockets on the side have a tendency to go a bit baggy when loaded. On one side I had map case, a small bottle of drink and sometimes my lightweight raincoat rolled up. The pocket does stretch but that is a bit much for it. On the other side the mesh pocket was used for the legs of the tripod, which is probably a bit too much weight for it. The other problem with lashing the tripod was with the compression straps. The webbing used means they don't hold quite as tight. Occassionally the top strap hold the tripod would come loose, I had to be extra careful to fully cinch it before setting off (which would then mean no problem).

I won't carry that much gear in the pack that often but it's nice to know I can.

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