I’ve reviewed several camera bags for Singletracks before… some of them well-suited for mountain biking, and others not so much. After testing the Dakine Reload 30L, I think I’ve found the perfect mountain bike photography bag. Although this bag is more a camera bag than anything else, it’s sturdy and provides the correct amount of support where needed.
Dakine’s Reload camera bag has an internal volume of 26L and an external dimension of 21.5in x 12.5in x 8.5in, which for a person of my height (5ft 9in) fits just right. Speaking of fit, the Reload features padded 3in shoulder straps with a sternum strap and 4in padded waist straps. The molded back panel is padded as well, and is quite comfortable. When carrying a full load of camera gear, each strap can be individually adjusted for optimum performance.
The outside shell is constructed of durable 420D Nylon, and the all-important camera compartment and laptop sleeve are padded for protection of your valuable lenses and notebook. For those not-so-nice days, a deployable rain cover further protects your gear.
Unlike some other bags, the camera compartment features a full-surround zipper. For better or worse, when it opens you can get to all your gear without muscling things out of the way. The compartment can easily hold over 8 lenses and a full-blown pro-level DSLR. On the inside of that compartment, the bag features reinforced clear zip compartments, which are perfect for lens filters and/or camera gels.
The padded laptop sleeve has enough room for most all 17in notebooks. If you have a Mac, there’s plenty of space.
Other important features of the Reload bag include two exterior compartments, capable of holding extra gear, and additional straps, which can easily secure a tripod.
Out on the Trail
As I’m sure you can tell, I was very impressed with the Reload. This bag has ample room for my camera kit. I personally tout around quite a bit of gear when taking riding shots. I never really know what kind of shot I might think up. With the Reload, I can pack my Canon 7D with my 24-70 affixed to it, a 10-20, 17-50, 70-200, two mini-tripods, two flashes, and 4 remote triggers.
That all fits in the main compartment… I think I may have a few other gadgets in the pockets, including things like batteries, cleaning kits, and light modifiers.
The bag itself feels great and doesn’t move around on my back when riding in to a shooting spot–that in itself sells me on the bag. It can be downright dangerous to have a bag shift forward on you when you’re on a steep descent. Luckily, the Reload stays nicely in place.
Having used it extensively, I was also pleased with its durability. So far, not so much as a single stitch has come loose!
The Dakine Reload 30L has plenty of storage room, is highly durable, and it stays put when riding. Basically, this is the perfect bag for mountain bike photography.
A big thanks to Dakine for sending the Reload over for review.