MindShift Gear BackLight 18L Backpack from Think Tank Photo Preview

My friends from Think Tank Photo just sent me for review a MindShift Gear BackLight 18L Backpack just in time for a 10-day trip to Cody and Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming I am about ready to leave for. I’ll be sure to do a field review once I return, but in the meantime here are my first impressions.

First off, Think Tank Photo has been a favorite of mine for years. I already own four of their bags and I have a feeling my collection is about to grow. Built by photographers for photographers, I have always been impressed with their quality and attention to detail. Their bags perform great and are built to last.

Their MindShift Gear is designed for those who love to “Engage with Nature” and their BackLight series is especially geared for that. And one feature in particular that I am very interested in trying out in the field is their rear-panel compartment for photo gear, which allows you to access your gear without taking off the backpack!

While I don’t have any photos yet of that specific feature in-action, here’s a couple quick photos of just some of the gear I’m able to fit in the 18L version. (They also have 26L and 36L sizes too).


How much of that Olympus gear can I get inside of the BackLight 18L?


How about all of it minus one camera body & one lens!

Not being able to fit all of my gear into the 18L is definitely not a deal-breaker for me, as I prefer to hike with at least one camera & lens hanging from my neck or shoulder in case I come across anything I need to photograph immediately like wildlife for example.

And here is a list of all of that equipment that is inside the bag as shown:

  • Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark 2 with vertical grip
  • Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm f4 Pro lens
  • Olympus M.Zuiko 8mm Fisheye Pro lens
  • Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.2 Pro lens
  • Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm f2.8 Macro lens with two Viltrox Extension Tubes
  • Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 Pro lens
  • Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f4 Pro lens
  • Rode Wireless Go Microphone System
  • Godox V860II Flash
  • Platypod Ultra with Oben BE-117T head

Not included in the bag which I would carry around my neck or shoulder is the Olympus OM-D E-M1X with the 40-150mm f2.8 Pro lens and 1.4x teleconverter.

Not only was I able to fit all the above mentioned gear in it, but there is room still for extra batteries, extra memory cards, a small laptop and/or tablet, water bottle(s), tripod, headlamp/flashlight, snacks, and even a light windbreaker.

Normally I would not hike with all this gear, but knowing so much of it fits as well as feeling super comfortable on my back while walking around in my backyard, maybe I can take most of my gear on extended day hikes!

Initial Backyard Impressions

While I just received this review backpack from Think Tank, I already have a feeling I am going to have a hard time returning it to them. If you shoot Micro Four Thirds you will be surprised how much you can fit into this bag. Even if you still shoot full-frame – does anyone still shoot full-frame these days?? 😉 – I still think you will be able to fit enough gear for an extended day hike, which this bag seems most ideal for.

Once I return from my trip I’ll do a more formal review along with a YouTube video so keep an eye out for that! And if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below!

If you click on the link below and place your order with Think Tank, you’ll receive a free gift from them as well as Free U.S. Shipping on orders over $50.


Disclosure about product links and affiliations: Some of the links I provide are affiliate links which means I get a small commission, with no additional cost to you, if you click it and end up buying something. It helps me provide free educational resources and articles. So if you use them, thank you! My affiliations however never influence my opinions on any products/services and I am only affiliated with companies whose products/services I personally use.


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