Is This the Perfect Camera Backpack for Hiking and Travel?

About two years ago, my long search for a new camera backpack ended when I came across a company called NYA-EVO. In this article, I review their largest backpack, the Fjord 60-C. After two years of heavy use for travel and hiking, I feel competent enough to share why I think this is the perfect camera backpack.

As my previous camera backpack, the f-stop Satori, had started to fall 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 new f-stop packs. But none of them met all my requirements, which I detail below. Just when I had almost given up and started applying glue to my Satori in various places to extend its life, I found the Fjord 60-C and never looked back.

Requirements for a camera backpack

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

  • It should be strong and protect my gear from minor knocks. The material and zippers of the bag should withstand shorter rain showers. The bottom of the bag should be reinforced with thicker, waterproof material.

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

  • Many brands these days make the camera compartment of their packs accessible from the back, which is the correct way to go. But to achieve this, good padding and ventilation are often sacrificed. Even though I don’t expect a carrying system to rival 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 must be adaptable. In its compact form, it should comply with the hand luggage restrictions of all major airlines. In its expanded form it should hold around 50 liters of gear, ideally with the ability to attach additional gear to the outside of the bag.

  • I’m a big fan of detachable cameras because they bring a lot of versatility. Depending on the hike or the photo tour, I can pack more or less gear and adapt the camera compartment accordingly. On top of that, being able to remove the internal camera unit is essential for flights in smaller planes where carry-on luggage is even more limited.

  • Most newer camera backpacks don’t have open side pockets, which can hold water bottles. These are a necessity for me.

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

NYA-EVO Fjord 60-C

In the presentation video, I share my first impressions of the Fjord 60-C a week after buying it. After using this 60 liter backpack for over two years, I’m still excited. I use it with medium RCI, this is what NYA-EVO calls internal camera units. Inside, 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 a few little things. This configuration leaves a lot of space in the upper 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 problem wearing it for hours on end. There will be sweat on my back as there is not much room for ventilation with this backpack. 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 highest setting, the bag fits perfectly. If you’re shorter, you can switch to one of the two lower attachment points.

As mentioned above, I bought the Fjord with an average ROI. It can be easily added and removed from the bag through the rear opening – no need to slide it over the top. The opening is wide, and all the gear is easily accessible.

A great feature is a removable fabric dividing the top compartment from the bottom. With my Satori, I often had little things falling out when opening it at the back. This does not happen with the Fjord.

An important feature of the bag is the strong, adjustable straps that go all the way around. They allow me to attach my tripod both to its sides and to the front. This flexibility is great. For hikes, I have the tripod sitting in the middle, and if I’m carrying my laptop, I put it to one side.

This brings me to another feature: my Dell XPS 15” fits perfectly in the large front pocket, even with the Inateck padded case I use. That means a 16-inch MacBook should also fit.

The front pocket can be lengthened. This allows for a small travel hack, which I share in the following video.

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

In the photo above you can also see the thick rubberized material, which is the lower part of the Fjord. It extends out its sides a few inches and allows me to lay the bag down on wet surfaces without worrying about my gear getting wet. It also prevents the bag from falling.

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’s big enough to hold 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. These will not enter the main compartment.

There is even more hidden storage available with this pack. It comes with a net that can be attached at the bottom, front or top to hold even more gear. I have a dedicated video where I show how I use all that storage capacity for multi-day rides.

What could be improved

One of my requirements was open side pockets. Although I can fit up to 1.5 liters of bottles in these pockets on the Fjord 60-C, it wouldn’t hurt if they were a bit more flexible. As it stands, large diameter bottles are not very firm.

Since I’ve been using the one liter bottles of Vapor, that’s no longer a problem. They are perfectly adapted to the Fjord 60-C. Once they are empty I can roll them up and they don’t take up extra space until I fill them. It’s great for travelling.

A second improvement would be to make the belt removable. It would make travel even more comfortable, and it looks like NYA-EVO thought 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 travel and hiking. It protects camera equipment while keeping it easily accessible. It’s small enough to fit in a carry-on, while its expandability features make it a true adventure pack that can hold up to 60 liters of gear. With a weight of 2,400 grams, it is not light. But considering the high quality materials and padded back, it’s nothing fancy and similar to other backpacks in this league.

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

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