Is This the Perfect Camera Backpack for Hiking and Travel?


About two years ago, my long search for a new camera backpack ended as I stumbled upon a company called NYA-EVO. In this article, I review their biggest backpack, the Fjord 60-C. After two years of heavy use for traveling and hiking, I feel competent enough to share why I think it’s the perfect camera backpack.

As my previous camera backpack, the f-stop Satori, had begun falling apart after five years of use, my search for a replacement began. I looked at several backpacks and even ordered a few, including one of the newer f-stop packs. But none of them fit all my requirements, which I detail below. Just as I had nearly given up and started applying glue to my Satori in various places to extend its lifespan, I found the Fjord 60-C and never looked back.

Requirements for a Camera Backpack

Let’s start with a list of minimum requirements I have for a camera bag:

  • It has to be sturdy and protect my gear against minor impacts. The material and zippers of the pack should withstand shorter rain showers. The bottom of the bag should be reinforced with thicker, waterproof material.

  • The carrying system should allow me to carry loads up to 18 kilograms comfortably.

  • Nowadays, many brands make the camera compartment in their packs accessible from the back, which is the right way to go. But to achieve this, good padding and ventilation are often sacrificed. While I don’t expect a carrying system rivaling a Deuter Aircontact, I still want comfort.

  • It should be possible to attach a tripod to the front of the backpack for proper weight distribution.

  • The size of the pack should be adaptable. In its compact form, it should comply with the carry-on luggage restrictions of all major airlines. In its extended form, it should fit around 50 liters of gear, ideally with the option to strap additional equipment to the outside of the pack.

  • I’m a big fan of removable camera units because they bring a lot of versatility. Depending on the hike or photo tour, I can pack more or less gear and adapt the camera compartment accordingly. In addition to that, being able to remove the internal camera unit is critical for flights in smaller planes where carry-on luggage is further restricted.

  • Many of the newer camera backpacks lack open side pockets, which can fit water bottles. Those are a necessity for me.

In addition to those requirements, there are other things that would be nice to have. But the list above contains what I deem essential. Your list might be different, but I’m sure there will be overlap.

NYA-EVO Fjord 60-C

In the feature video, I share my first impressions of the Fjord 60-C one week after purchasing it. After now using this 60-liter backpack for more than two years, I’m still excited. I use it with a medium RCI, which is what NYA-EVO calls the internal camera units. In it, I can comfortably fit my Canon R5 with the Canon RF 15-35mm lens, a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 lens with an RF adapter, my filter pouch, the DJI Mic, and some small stuff. This configuration leaves a lot of space in the top compartment, where I can put food and clothes, for example.

What I Like

The Fjord 60-C is the most comfortable camera backpack I’ve used. It’s a huge improvement over my Satori, and I have no problems wearing it for hours straight. There will be sweat building on my back since there’s not much room for ventilation with this back-opening pack. But it’s a compromise I can live with.

The back and the adaptable shoulder straps are very well padded. I’m 6’1″, and with the shoulder straps in their upper setting, the pack fits great. If you’re smaller, you can switch to one of the two lower attachment points.

As mentioned above, I bought the Fjord with a medium RCI. It can be easily added to and removed from the pack through the back opening — no need to slide it in from the top. The opening is large, and all gear is accessible without problems.

A great feature is a removable fabric dividing the top compartment from the bottom. With my Satori, I often had small things falling out when opening it at the back. It doesn’t happen with the Fjord.

An important feature of the pack are the strong, adjustable straps that go all around. They allow me to attach my tripod to both of its sides and to its front. This flexibility is great. For hikes, I have the tripod sit in the center, and if I carry my laptop, I put it on one side.

It brings me to another feature: My Dell XPS 15” fits neatly into the large front pocket, even with the padded Inateck case I use. It means a 16” MacBook should also fit.

The front pocket can be extended. It enables a little travel hack, which I share in the following video.

It’s also worth mentioning that I’ve now had this pack on several flights, and there never was an issue fitting it into the overhead compartment. With its length of 56 centimeters in compressed form, there is usually some room to spare.

In the photo above, you also see the thick rubberized material, which comprises the lower part of the Fjord. It extends around its sides for a few centimeters and allows me to put the pack down on wet surfaces without worrying about my gear getting wet. It also prevents the bag from falling over.

Side pockets are also present. Although they are a little restricted, I can fit up to 1.5-liter bottles.

A game-changer is the roll-up pocket at the top. It is large enough to fit a sleeping bag and comes with a water-resistant coating. That’s why I often use it at the coast to store wet clothes or my water shoes. Those will not soak through to the main compartment.

There’s even more hidden storage available with this pack. It comes with a net that can be attached to its bottom, front, or top to hold even more gear. I have a dedicated video in which I show how I make use of all this storage capacity for multi-day hikes.

What Could Be Improved

One of my requirements was open side pockets. While I can fit up to 1.5-liter bottles into these pockets on the Fjord 60-C, it wouldn’t hurt for them to be a bit more flexible. As it is, bottles with a large diameter don’t sit very firm.

Since I started using the one-liter bottles from Vapor, that’s no problem anymore. They are the perfect fit for the Fjord 60-C. Once they are empty, I can roll them up, and they take up no additional space until I refill. That’s great for traveling.

A second improvement would be making the waist belt removal. It would make traveling even more comfortable, and it seems that NYA-EVO have been thinking the same. They added this feature to an updated version of the pack, which they just announced.

Conclusion

The NYA-EVO Fjord 60-C is a feature-packed camera backpack, perfect for traveling and hiking. It protects the camera gear while keeping it easily accessible. It is small enough to fit into carry-on, while its extension features turn it into a proper adventure pack holding up to 60 liters of equipment. With a weight of 2,400 grams, it’s not lightweight. But considering the high-quality materials and the padded back, this is nothing out of the ordinary and similar to other backpacks in this league.

So, back to the initial question: is this the perfect camera backpack for hiking and travel? For me, it’s very close.





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