Popular photography backpack company Shimoda has announced its latest generation of adventure bags in the Action X V2 series.
The first-generation Action X70 backpack was crowned as the Best Adventure Backpack for Photographers in PetaPixel’s “Best Camera Bags in 2023” guide due to the overall ruggedness, the height-adjustable shoulder straps, the internal metal frame that evenly distributes the weight of heavier loads, and the pack’s weight being on the lighter side when empty.
The new Version 2 models of the Action X series keep everything that PetaPixel loved but are upgraded with several new features based on customer requests.
New Features and Upgrades
Starting off, the new Action X V2 series of backpacks has acquired a couple of popular features from the Explore V2 series released two years ago. These include a padded luggage pass-through on the side of the pack and a handle at the base that makes it easier to lift using two hands.
There are also plenty of original upgrades too. On each side of the pack are now removable tripod pockets that can also stash water bottles and similarly-sized objects. Once removed from the sides of the pack, Shimoda gives the example of relocating the pockets onto the waist belt for easier access.
The removable waist belt now has a new trick thanks to a design change. Included with the new packs, the two sides of the hip belt are separated by an adjustable loop that can shorten or length as needed. So if a wearer has a smaller waist, the padded portion can be slimmed down more, or vice versa for larger waists.
Another design change that Shimoda is promising is the larger phone pocket on the left shoulder strap. The company says it can accommodate the iPhone 14 Pro Max — presumably that goes for similarly-sized phones. PetaPixel‘s experience with his pocket in the previous design was that it felt a bit tight with just an iPhone 12 mini on the first-generation Action X70 bag, so this should be an improvement for all, regardless of phone size.
At the front of the bag is also an added laptop sleeve. There’s still a laptop sleeve on the inside of the main compartment, too, just like with the first version. The front sleeve can hold up to a 16-inch MacBook Pro on most Action X bag sizes, according to Shimoda.
Another new finishing touch is a small AirTag pocket with a simple closure to stash away a hidden tracker. I’ve just been throwing my AirTags into otherwise-unused pockets deep within my backpacks, often forgetting exactly where they are. This little detail could save some frustration down the line.
Lastly, the Action X V2 bags now come stock with a rain cover, something that users have requested. Back when the previous bags were released, Shimoda responded by saying most people don’t use them but would still have to eat the extra cost if included. This is perhaps another instance of customers being heard by the company.
Sizes and Colors
The new bags have a new warm yellow color option in addition to the classics of black and army green, plus an exclusive teal for the “Women’s Collection.” From my understanding, the only difference in that collection is the color and the fact it comes with “Women’s Tech Straps” and a “Women’s Adjustable Belt” by default.
There are two new sizes of 25-liter (X25) and 40-liter (X40) backpacks that round out the rest of the X30, X50 and X70 Version 2 lineup. The X25 V2 has become the company’s smallest Action X series pack and pairs well with the Mirrorless Core Units, according to Shimoda. The X40 V2 is now the smallest pack that the company offers that can still fit a gripped DSLR, such as the Canon EOS R3 and Nikon Z9 with the appropriate Core Unit.
The new version of the 70-liter model, now called the X70 HD (“Heavy Duty”), also has most of the new features found in the V2 packs. According to the company, the handle is now reinforced, as well as other “critical stress points” throughout the pack. There’s also a new stiffer belt included. These changes should bring more stability to the pack when loaded down with the enormous amount of gear that can fit inside of it.
In addition to the new backpacks, Shimoda is also releasing the new Large DSLR Core Unit V3, which the company says has an increased length to accommodate longer telephoto lenses like the Sony 200-600mm. There’s also now an XXL DV Core Unit that only fits into the jumbo-sized Action X70 and DV Roller bags and can accommodate 600mm f/4 lenses mounted on a gripped camera body.
For full specs, details, and pricing on the new Action X series backpacks and accessories, visit Shimoda’s website.
Image credits: Shimoda