The 35L camera pack by Nomadic McKinnon is a fully-featured, lightweight backpack that’s ideal for adventures in the backcountry. It features an integrated rain cover and padded dividers to keep your gear safe while you’re on the move.

Professionals and fans are always looking for customized equipment to meet their demands. However, carrying all of the equipment needed to capture an award-winning wild-life shot or a couple’s happiest moments is a test of stamina as much as anything else for a professional photographer on the fly. At an airport, it’s not unusual to see people with more than two suitcases.

Why not bring everything you’ll need in a backpack? NOMATIC has collaborated with YouTuber Peter McKinnon to produce a photographer’s gear based on this concept. The McKinnon Camera Pack is the culmination of this collaboration, and it combines your travel backpack with your camera bag. But is it the ideal fit for most photographers, or is it a bit excessive, with a capacity of 35 liters (42 liters when completely expanded)?

Aesthetics & Materials

The McKinnon Camera Pack features a simple design that aligns with NOMATIC’s ethos. With the chamfered lines at the border of the front pocket and significant usage of the tarp, you can tell this is a distant cousin of their NAVIGATOR series if you squint a little. Yes, this Camera Pack has many more seams, lines, and garnishings than the previous one, but we can still notice the similarities.

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | All-black tarpaulin gives the monolithic backpack a near-impenetrable lookNOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | The monolithic backpack has an almost impenetrable appearance because of its all-black tarpaulin. We believe that the bag’s size, more than its appearance, draws attention to it. The first thing you’ll notice about the fit photographs below is how this bag is the size of a medium-built torso rather than the design itself. When you draw glances, at least they’ll be congratulating you on your backpack’s elegant and sharp appearance. When they inquire about the metal emblem on the front of the pack and the Petes Pirate Life skull on the rear panel, make sure you know Peter McKinnon.

The black tarpaulin material dominates the body, which is, by the way, the only colorway available. We’ve worked with tarpaulin before, and we’ve found it susceptible to scratches and mark-ups. On the other hand, the McKinnon Camera Pack has yet to sustain any significant damage. Because this is such a large item, the backpack had several opportunities to become scuffed throughout our testing. But thus far, we’ve just had a little blemish on the water bottle pocket, and it’s a minor one at that. The tarpaulin is a water-resistant material that doesn’t need extra coating, so it’s worry-free when it gets a spill or light rain.

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | The hardware may take some break-in but otherwise works properly without issueMcKinnon Camera Pack 35L | NOMATIC The hardware may need break-in time, but it generally functions flawlessly. Zoom zippers are used for the zippers, while Duraflex buckles and adjusters are used for the pins and adjusters. A pair of detachable straps with an adjustment and locking tab mechanism is included. This is an excellent idea since it offers a layer of protection when strapping items down.

On the other hand, the zippers may become caught in certain places along with the zipper components, especially around the corners. Considering the backpack’s size, they’ll have to go quite far. They also break in and become smoother to use with time. We’re guessing some of the hardcore photographers reading this right now have some lubricant on hand, which you can use to keep the zippers moving smoothly.

Components from Outside

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | Male/Female Fit PhotosYou’ve undoubtedly picked up on a reoccurring theme by this point in the review: this is one massive backpack. It’s hardly the most oversized backpack we’ve ever carried, but there’s something about huge bags that makes us want to get out and make the most of them. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves; the point is that anytime we see a large backpack, the first thing we want to know is how comfortable it is to carry.

And a harness system that lives up to its name. Shoulder straps, sternum straps, and hip belts are all included. We noted how thick the shoulder straps were even before strapping ourselves in. Rightfully so, for reasons you are undoubtedly aware of. The top layer is made of the same tarpaulin material as the rest of the body, providing weather protection, while the bottom layer is made of breathable foam mesh that rests pleasantly on your shoulders.

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | You’ll need a comprehensive harness system like this if you’re going to load it upNOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | If you’re going to load it up, you’ll need a robust harness system like this. There’s also a sternum strap to keep everything in place. Each shoulder strap has five points of adjustment from top to bottom, providing you with flexibility. They clip in on both sides so that you won’t have any trouble fine-tuning things to your satisfaction.

The hip belt has almost as much padding as the shoulder straps. You can nearly fool the amusement park employees into thinking you’ve packed your roller coaster harness with a hip belt. Apart from the jokes, this belt is strong enough to handle a significant portion of the burden, unlike most hip belts on other travel backpacks just for balance.

The well-padded back panel completes a well-built harness system. We never noticed any uneven bulk coming from the inner of the back since it’s thick enough. However, we did discover that the relatively shallow air channels are too shallow for our taste. With such a big surface area to deal with, some deeper air passages would have improved the carrying experience even more. There’s also a rolling baggage pass-through here, but make sure the handle can carry the weight since this is a huge and hefty bag once loaded.

The harness mechanism on the Mckinnon Camera Pack has truly pleased us. Despite its size (35-42 liters), the backpack never seemed cumbersome to carry, and we felt confidence using it to transport thousands of dollars worth of photographic gear. In a nutshell, it’s dependable and comfortable—exactly what we want from a harness system.

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | A bottom handle to grab on to in case things go upside-downNOMATIC McKinnon 35L Camera Pack | A bottom handle to hold onto if things go wrong. Apart from when you’re carrying the McKinnon Camera Pack on your shoulders, you’ll like the fact that it has thick handles on all four sides of the body. At the top, there’s a big cushioned one, as well as the standard loop between shoulder straps and two flanking ones on the top left and right. Although we would want the side handles to be located higher down the body for better weight distribution, they are enough for dragging the bag across the floor. A bottom handle is also included, which is likely a blessing for baggage handlers who can use it to properly grasp the Camera Pack while lifting it out of the plane’s luggage compartment.

When it comes to side handles, the right-hand side handle may undo a portion of the camera compartment’s internal velcroed partition if you pull on it hard enough. When you put the handle down, the velcro gradually re-attaches itself, so it didn’t give us any problems.

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | The side pocket also doubles as a tripod holderThe side pocket also serves as a tripod holder in the NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L. The water bottle side pocket is the last but not least. It’s likely that you’ll miss it at first sight, but it’s on the left-hand side, folded flat. The outside tarpaulin conceals it effectively, but once the magnetic edge is undone, it unfolds into a single large bottle compartment. When we put our customary 21-ounce Hydro Flask in there for scale, it suddenly appears small.

However, since this is a photography backpack, one might argue that this pouch is just as useful for carrying a tripod as it is for storing liquids. It certainly does, and that’s where those additional straps come in helpful. They function as compression straps by hooking into the front of the backpack and towards the side, but they’re really there to keep your tripod in place.

The Inside of the Pack

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | The well-padded laptop compartment easily swallows our 16-inch laptopMcKinnon Camera Pack 35L | NOMATIC Our 16-inch laptop fits comfortably into the well-padded laptop area. It’s now time to get down to business, beginning with the laptop compartment. Why? Because it’s time for a reminder of how huge this bag is on a regular basis. It opens on the right-hand side, and we slid our 16-inch MacBook Pro in and were pleasantly impressed by the amount of buffer on all sides. You get your typical fake bottom, but you also get an extra inch or two on the other sides. That’s in addition to the ample cushioning in this container. It can also accommodate a 17-inch laptop, however larger gaming laptops may not fit. Whatever laptop size you manage to fit in here, you can be certain that it will be carefully cared for.

From the rear to the front, we arrive to the front pocket, which has its own party trick. It’s large enough to fit your wallet, keys (with a built-in key clip), a bottle of hand sanitizer, and sunglasses, but it also features a hidden section for your passport. It’s hidden behind the front panel, with its opening sealed by a magnet, so it’s not visible to the untrained eye. It’s a nice addition, but the fact that this front pocket will carry a lot of weight when the other compartments are opened is alarming. If you must store anything delicate in this front pocket, use a hard case for your sunglasses or use a hard case for your sunglasses.

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | The front pocket has a built-in key leash to keep house keys within reachThe front pocket of the NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L includes a built-in key leash to keep home keys within reach. Photographers must also dress appropriately. Although it may seem counterintuitive, carrying enough gear for an off-site shoot is just as critical as bringing enough equipment to catch the right moment. Mr. McKinnon and NOMATIC agree, thus the Camera Pack’s clothing section has received similar attention and consideration.

The clamshell-style clothing section opens completely. Two zipped mesh pockets on the front-most side are ideal for delicates and undergarments. But there’s more: a third zipper wraps around both mesh pockets. There’s more room behind this zipper if you undo it! You may stuff some rolled-up shirts in here to provide additional padding on this side of the bag.

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | Plenty of space for clothes, not just for camera gearThe NOMATIC McKinnon Photography Pack 35L has enough room for clothing as well as camera gear. However, as the hold-down straps suggest, the majority of your items will go on the opposite side. This site has a lot of depth because of the extending nature of this compartment, which increases the Camera Pack’s 35-liter capacity to 42 liters. Anyway, throw a couple of packing cubes in there, and you’ll be set to go for a multi-day shoot. But watch out for the four mesh pockets on this side. These are great for toiletries, but don’t put anything leaky in them since they may spill if crushed under your clothing.

Finally, we get to the heart of the matter: the camera chamber. Like the clothing compartment, this portion unfolds clamshell-style to display all of your photography gear. The brown inside nearly gives the impression that you’re staring into a cabinet full of cutting-edge technology. But, unlike your home’s rugged cabinet, this one has all the modularity a camera bag could desire.

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | You can adjust the dividers to your needs or take them out altogetherNOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | The dividers may be adjusted or removed entirely according to your requirements. There are four long dividers running parallel crosswise along the inside in its default form. Five smaller walls are also included, ensuring that each of the five sections in the typical layout has precisely one small divider. You may arrange anything as you wish; however, we recommend leaving the bottom right side free to accommodate your on-hand camera.

What is the explanation behind this? There’s a hatch on the bottom right side of the backpack for easy access to your camera. It’s a beautiful touch to remember that this bag was co-created with a professional photographer who understands how important it is to have easy access to your gear. Of course, if you wish to exchange convenience for more security, you can shut this hatch with one of the included dividers.

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | A quick-access hatch has your camera at the ready in case of a “perfect shot” opportunityNOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | A quick-access hatch keeps your camera close at hand in case a “great picture” chance presents itself. Apart from the flexibility, the amount of space makes this backpack so unique. Even though we have an extensive collection of camera equipment in our studio, we had problems filling the camera compartment. Fortunately, space is space, and if you have any leftovers, you may always use them for anything else, such as additional clothing. Professional photographers who utilize two or three camera bodies and a few lenses, on the other hand, would be quite at home here.

You’ll need a lot of cables and accessories to go along with your shooters when it comes to ingesting photographs and video. There are two zipped mesh pockets on the opposite side of the camera parts. Any USB cords you’ll need to transmit your treasured stills to your computer will be swallowed by them. Because you never know when you’ll need to output to an external display, thick HDMI cables may also fit there. Behind these mesh pockets, there’s even a dedicated tablet pocket. It’s well-padded for your safety, but it may also serve as a document sleeve or a supplementary thin and light laptop.

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | Anything too small can be secured within these mesh pocketsMcKinnon Camera Pack 35L | NOMATIC These mesh pockets may be used to store anything that is too tiny.

Wrap Up

It took a long time to unpack all of it. After all, it’s a massive 35-liter beast—42-liter if we go all out—and that much capacity demands a long list of features. So what are we to say? The McKinnon Camera Pack 35L is well made and pretty pleasant to carry. It has enough gadget protection that we’d have no reservations entrusting it with all the camera gear it can handle.

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | Professional photographers need to bring the tools to succeedNOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L | Professional photographers require the right gear. The only thing you have to be concerned about is overcrowding the clothing section to the point that you won’t be able to balance the bag while taking photographic gear out. On that topic, you should avoid placing delicate objects in the front pocket since they may be crushed by the weight of your camera equipment when you unpack.

The NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L will be a little too much for most casual digital travelers and hobbyist photographers. But what about on-the-go photographers who live and breathe photography? They may discover this to be a perfect match.

NOMATIC is a company that has been in the camera market for quite some time. They have released many products, including the “McKinnon Camera Pack 35L.” The pack includes a camera bag, tripod, and an assortment of lenses and filters.

Related Tags

  • 35l camera bag
  • nomadic camera bag
  • peter mckinnon camera bag
  • nomatic Europe
  • mckinnon camera pack 25l
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