EVOC Photop 16L
Camera Storage and More
Words & Photos by Sourpatch
After purchasing a fancy new Sony A6300, the EVOC Photop 16L seemed like a great investment to protect my camera’s future. Like so many other riders, I’ve recently been getting more excited about photography. The size of my new camera and its ease of use has inspired me to bring it on more rides to capture moments on the trail. Now that I had invested in a quality camera, I needed a bag that would do my gear justice. I started looking for something with good storage and protection. I also needed a bag with additional space for water, gear, tools and my favorite neon colored candies.
The Photop 16L is a roll-top bag constructed out of high quality, strong nylon with a polyurethane coating, giving the bag waterproof properties. The process EVOC uses for the PU coating allows water to run off the surface of the pack quite well. I think the most notable feature of the pack is the removable camera block that can be taken out and used alone if the backpack isn’t necessary. The camera block takes up half of the lower storage area. The side that does not house the camera block is large enough to fit a rolled up jacket.
The Photop also has a tripod attachment system and hydration bladder compartment that doubles as a notebook compartment. I’d assume the notebook option is mostly for hipsters riding their fixie to the artisanal coffee shop to edit film photos. There’s also a removeable hip belt, rain cover and an organizational pocket for pens, CF cards, etc.
On a normal ride, I typically pack my camera, a couple extra batteries, a water bottle and a hand pump in the upper storage area (with room to spare). Shortly after starting to ride on a brisk morning, my jacket will find its way into the remaining storage space. It’s certainly not heavy by any means and thanks to the ergonomic carrying set-up I tend to forget that I’m wearing the pack in the first place.
I even gave it the unintentional somersault crash test and everything came out unscathed, thankfully. I didn’t know quite what to think of the roll top on the first couple rides with the pack. I didn’t love it but I also didn’t hate it, partially because I only needed to get into that compartment a couple times a ride to grab a drink.
Recently however, I fully loaded the bag (camera, gimbal, shock pump, tools and jacket) for an asset collection and test bike video shoot and my mind was changed. We were stopping regularly and I realized just how much I hated the roll top closure system…unclip the sides, unroll, reroll, re-clip and repeat. Needless to say it got annoying real quick, so much so that it began to affect my mood– or maybe I was just hangry and out of candy. Either way, I would prefer a traditional zippered closure.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Despite my distaste for the roll-top, I’ve found myself taking this pack everywhere: to the office and day job for photoshoots, on bike rides and even on hikes. It’s comfortable to wear and easy to forget on long rides, and has a smorgasbord of features for the “light” photographer on the go. At $170 it fits right in with other models and competitors, but in my opinion the price is too high for this type of pack. That said, would I recommend this pack? It depends on if you prefer roll-tops for your environment and don’t want the size of the 18L. If so, then I’d say it’s a solid pack with good protection. It offers easy access to the camera on the lower/side compartment and is comfortable. But, for my needs and frequent storage compartment access, I would rather have EVOC’s CP 18L which has a little more camera storage and many of the same features as the Photop… and it comes in black.
Colors: Red, Slate Heather