The New Urban Series
Words & Photos by Samson “Rides With Wind” Hatae
My last review was of F-stop’s much larger Lotus 32L backpack. I was heading out for a month-long motorcycle/MTB trip and needed to carry a lot of gear for photo and video needs. I found it to be a great bag to carry everything for that journey, but it was too bulky for regular outings. I wanted something smaller, and less technical looking than the Lotus for some urban exploration.
The new Dalston caught my eye as it looked more like a regular roll top backpack than a camera bag. The Dalston has a 21L capacity with a removable padded main compartment to separate your gear. It also has a slip along the backside that can fit up to a 15” laptop. On top of the main compartment you can access the main storage area of the bag via a roll top that has a soft lining.
The bag is constructed of DWR, 420D Ripstop Nylon with TPU laminate and uses YKK Aquaguard zippers. That mouthful of tech means you have a durable bag that is water resistant. Zippers on each side of the bag access the sides of the main compartment. This is very helpful when you need to keep things organized and not rolling around.
By slipping the pack off either arm and slinging the bag over one shoulder, you can easily access the side zippers. On front, is another zippered compartment. Inside are two smaller velcro accessory areas to separate smaller bits like batteries or snacks.
I needed a discrete bag that could carry two cameras, one for video and one for stills. Yes, cameras nowadays can do both, but I prefer to have two different cameras for faster workflow.
Here is a list of a general kit I would bring. Pack-out varies depending on location, and with all F-stop gear, the bag leaves some room for modification.
- Nikon D800 with 24-70 f/2.8
- Sony A6500 with16-70 f/4
- Sony FE 50mm f1/8
- GoPro Hero 6
- Zhiyun Crane Gimbal
- Joey Gorilla Pod
- Power Castle battery bank
- 32oz Hydroflask
- Topo Designs accessory bag (various cables and batteries)
- RX bars (always have to bring snacks)
The roll top portion leaves a little room for a light jacket if needed. I would prefer if there were another smaller outside pouch or zippered section for a water bottle or to stuff a light jacket. This would leave some more room in the small roll top area.
The Wolf’s Last Word
The bag’s discreteness does come at a price. If you like to carry a tripod there are no attachments on the pack. Overall however, I think this bag will treat me well for urban travels and day trips. It is inconspicuous and does not look like a camera bag, which is beneficial when traveling on trains or in busy cities. I also dig the subtle style and look forward to bringing this pack with me on more trips around the globe.