Roll Like A Pro Photog With the EVOC CP 18L Camera Backpack [Review]

The Evoc CP 18L is tailored to the needs of ambitious mountain bike photographers and videographers who want to venture deep in the woods with the right gear for great shots.
evoc cp camera hydration backpack mountain biking greece
Photo: Manfred Stromberg

You can pack all the funky prime lenses plus a footlong sandwich in EVOC’s new CP 18L camera backpack. The bag is tailored to the needs of ambitious photographers and videographers who want to venture deep in the woods with the right gear for great shots. There are slots and secure pockets to keep all of your equipment safe, and an external hydration pouch to keep the fluids topped. This ain’t your grade school Jansport knapsack.

I am a writer at heart, slowly learning the art of photography, and all of the costly camera gear I have acquired over the past few years needs to last as long as possible. That means I need a secure way to carry it on the trail. The EVOC CP backpack keeps my lenses protected and rattle-free between thick layers of foam. All of my SD cards, shutter remotes, batteries, and other accouterments have their own unique homes and are well organized and easily accessible.

Over the past several months I have migrated all of my photography gear to the EVOC CP pack, making it a storage locker and trail companion combined. Get the fine details on this fantastic gear packer below.

EVOC CP Standout features

evoc cp 18L camera backpack review

Like all EVOC packs, the CP starts off with a sturdy nylon shell and a water-resistant PU coating. The bag’s shell will certainly outlast the equipment inside, and it may outlive me. For wetter rides, a rain cover unfolds from the base, allowing you to keep all of your goods dry and clean. The sturdy exterior includes straps for hiking or ski poles, a second set of gear straps, and a strap/pouch system to support your tripod. That’s all in addition to the shoulder, hip, and sternum straps that buckle the pack to your body.

Accessing a camera and other equipment couldn’t be simpler. There is a side door to slide the camera out that can be opened with one hand, so the wearer can fetch gear without taking the bag off. All of the other compartments in the lower 60% of the CP backpack can be accessed via a zippered hatch at the lower backside. Placing the opening here allows photographers to lay the bag in the dirt without soiling the side touches the back. Pretty smart, eh?

Inside the lower bay, a set of foam dividers that can be relocated to optimize the space for your specific gear requirements. The dividers are held in place by some tenacious velcro. I have managed to fit two cameras that I have set up for different styles of shooting, two extra lenses, a GoPro, and some other random gear. The small pockets in the flap work well for thin items like memory cards and remotes, and the thicker padding between you and the gear compartment keeps all of that from poking into sensitive skin.

The upper 40% of the CP backpack is accessible through a large half-moon shaped zipper flap. It opens up to a cavernous compartment that easily fits a larger telephoto lens, jacket, laptop, some food, and keys or other small items in the inner mesh pouch. Another pocket, zippered on the front of the main top section, is soft and loose. EVOC markets this as the perfect stash spot for a pair of goggles.

Price€/$ 250 (from EVOC and other retailers)
Capacity18 liters
Colorsblack, heather gold (pictured)
MaterialPU-coated nylon
ExtraTwo sets of external gear mounting loops, tripod lash and pocket, hydration pouch, rain cover
The rain cover is large enough to encompass any gear that may be strapped to the bag.

On the trail

Photo: Manfred Stromberg

At first glance, the CP camera backpack looks like it could get heavy, and if you pack every internal inch of it with camera gear, it is. Fortunately, the folks at EVOC have engineered a set of straps to properly distribute that weight between your hips and shoulders. They didn’t redefine physics, and you can still put too much gear on your back if you try. For my gear and back muscle needs, their strap system has made riding with several kilos of photo equipment far more pleasant.

The shoulder, sternum, and waist belt bands are fully adjustable, and the porous material of the waist belt is flexible to allow the rider to breathe naturally while belted in. Hip pockets on either side of the waist belt are large enough for a phone and some food, accessible with one hand while pedaling. Finally, the sternum strap can be raised or lowered to suit your chest circumference, and the integrated emergency whistle pairs well with the emergency procedure plan sewn inside the top bay.

I have carried the CP camera backpack on several long adventures, including a daylong outing at EVOC’s press camp in Greece, and I have been pleased with its performance. The internal organization is better than other camera bags I have tested, and the bag’s overall fit and feel leave everyone else to eat dust. It’s a durable carryall made by folks who clearly use the products they design, and I have yet to find anything I would change about it.

When the EVOC CP first arrived I thought that I wouldn’t like the light gold colored exterior, but it has grown on me. I typically choose black bags that show every spec of mud and dirt they collect, but this shade mixes well with the natural elements I manage to grind into it. Over time it is looking better and better. Maybe I’ll even wash it off someday. Or not.