MindShift Gear Announces New Travel And Outdoor Camera Backpacks

MindShift Gear Announces New Travel And Outdoor Camera Backpacks

MindShift Gear used the excitement of Photokina to announce two brand new backpacks that will feature the companies award winning technology in a lighter and more compact photography pack. With travel photographers in mind, MindShift Gear has released these new backpacks, entitled the rotation 180º travel away, and the slightly smaller rotation 180º trail.

I have had the original MindShift Gear Rotation 180 for over a year, and I can tell you that it is indeed the best photography travel backpack I have ever had. Being able to comfortably carry all of my heavy Canon gear while roaming the world was great, but the feature I loved most about this break through backpack is that I could store 3-7 lenses in the beltpack. While never taking the backpack off, you could quickly change lenses on the go by rotating out the beltpack. It was easy to get the hang of, and in no time I was like a NASCAR pit crew and had lens changing times down to 10 seconds, all without ever having to stop walking to take my backpack off. 

But as I have been making the transition from the bigger Canon Mark III to the much smaller and lighter Sony A7r, I have been finding myself using the pack less and less, because it was simply too big. Luckily, MindShift Gear listened to the requests of their customers and have announced not one, but two smaller backpacks that not only utilize their revolutionary rotating technology, but improve on it. 

rotation 180º Travel Away

The first pack announced this morning is the rotation 180º Travel Away. MindShift seems to have had the common traveler in mind when they designed this pack, and not necessarily a traveling photographer. This is great to see as a useful and practical travel backpacks aren't the easiest to find. One of the coolest aspects of this pack is the beltpack that is designed to carry a number of important and invaluable items, such as a small camera, passports, tablet, currency, guidebooks and other important travel essentials. According to MindShift, "When traveling in unfamiliar places, knowing where critical items are and protecting them from prying eyes are very important. Travelers will enjoy peace of mind, knowing that their critical and most valuable items are stowed away securely and are inaccessible to others due to the rotation180° Travel Away's innovative design."

The MindShift Gear rotation180° Travel Away

Weighing in at just two and a half pounds, this pack should be a valuable addition to any traveler's arsenal. From MindShift Gear's press release, here is a list of the key features and gear profile for the rotation 180° Travel Away. 

Key Features

  • Rotating beltpack for accessing travel essentials: 8” tablet (iPad mini), large point and shoot,  maps, passport, currency, etc.
  • Backpack has dedicated pockets to conceal up to a 15” laptop and a 10” tablet.
  • 2 bags in 1: Removable beltpack can be worn on its own for traveling light.
  • Size qualifies as a personal carry-on item for air travel.
  • Side compression straps enable carrying of trekking poles, a small tripod, or jacket.
  • Locking sliders on the main compartment secures valuables with a travel lock (not included).
  • Backpack rear pocket provides quick access to a camera, AC adapters, large sunglasses, books or other large items.
  • Additional room for books, jacket, extra clothing, hat, gloves, food, etc.
  • Ultra-Stretch pocket for water bottle.
  • Durable materials hold up in harsh conditions.
  • Breathable padded airflow harness with adjustable sternum strap and attachment points.
  • Curved back panel with single aluminum stay for pack stability.
  • Optional seam-sealed rain cover functions with rotation technology (sold separately).


Gear Profile

  • Beltpack: 8” tablet (iPad mini), large point and shoot camera, small electronics, guide books, maps, passport, tickets, currency, ID, food and more.
  • Backpack: 15” laptop, 10” tablet, AC adapters, outlet converters, noise-canceling headphones, a jacket, extra clothes, books, hat, gloves, travel pillow, water bottle, food and more.
  • Beltpack Camera Profile: Nikon 7800, Canon G16, Sony RX100 and Sony a5000 with pancake lens, or similar sized cameras.


The MindShift Gear rotation180° Travel Away beltpack

Top down view of the MindShift Gear rotation180° Travel Away


rotation 180º Trail

The second pack announced this morning is the one I am most excited about. I travel the world as much as possible, and while the 180º Trail is designed for outdoor adventures, I can easily see this as my go to travel backpack. Where the rotation 180º Travel Away has a more volume in the backpack (18.5 Liters compared to 11.5 Liters in the rotation 180º Trail), this pack has a bigger beltpack, which should easily fit my Sony A7r and the newly announced 16-35mm f/4 lens as well as my 55mm f/1.8, although I can almost guarantee I will cram the 70-200mm f/4 in there as well. 

“The rotation180º Trail ends the tiresome on-and-off again of other backpacks and lets enthusiasts enjoy the outdoors more,” said MindShift Gear CEO and lead designer Doug Murdoch.  “It is another example of our commitment to reinventing backpack access.  It employs the same patented technology that recently won two of Europe’s top design awards, the Red Dot Award and the Outdoor Industry Award 2014.”

The MindShift Gear rotation180° Trail

The full list of Key Features released by MindShift Gear for the rotation 180º Trail.

 Key Features 

  • Rotating beltpack for accessing trail essentials: compact DSLR or mirrorless camera system, 8” tablet (iPad mini), binoculars, maps, guide book, energy bars, food, and more.
  • Dedicated zippered hydration compartment fits any 1.5 liter reservoir or a 2 liter Camelback reservoir 
  • 2 bags in 1: Removable beltpack can be worn on its own for traveling light
  • Backpack holds jacket, layers, hat, gloves, lunch and more
  • Front stretch pocket provides flexible carrying options for quick access
  • Small tripod carries easily on the side panel
  • Top pocket for quick access to small items
  • Mesh stretch pocket fits a water bottle
  • Bike-light attachment
  • Beltpack compression straps
  • Lightweight materials 
  • Breathable padded airflow harness with adjustable sternum strap
  • Optional rain cover (sold separately) functions with rotation technology 


Beltpack Gear Profiles 

  • Hiker: Mirrorless camera, iPad, GPS device, smartphone, radio, head lamp, knife
  • Bird Watcher: Binoculars, iPad, bird watching book, map, bird list, voice recorder.
  • Mountain Biker: GPS, GoPro, cell phone, map, energy bars, bike tools, banana, sunglasses
  • Skier: Energy bar, flask, lip balm, trail map, hand-warmers, liner gloves, sunglasses


Beltpack Camera Profiles

  • Sony a7 with 28–70mm kit lens attached + 55mm f/1.8 + iPad mini
  • Nikon D5300 with 18–55mm kit lens attached + 75–300mm + iPad mini
  • Canon Rebel t5i with 18–55mm kit lens attached + 75–300mm + iPad mini
  • 1-3 GoPro cameras, LCD back, remote, batteries, SD cards, various mounts and adapters


The MindShift Gear rotation180° Trail Beltpack

Top down view of the MindShift Gear rotation 180º Trail

Michael Bonocore's picture

Michael is a full time photographer, traveler and workshop teacher based out of San Francisco, California. Michael's passion lies in international photojournalism, which has brought him to lead photography workshops around the globe. Michael has written guest articles for companies such as Matador Networks, SmugMug, and Borrow Lenses.

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Beautiful bags. I want one. Great review.

Yeah, I can't wait to get my hands on one Juan!