Gitzo is best known for its high-quality tripods which are a firm favourite with professional landscape and wildlife photographers. The Adventury Backpacks were announced in April 2018 to appeal to a similar audience – photographers who need to take a lot of kit out in all weather. I’ve been using the 30L and 45L Backpacks to carry a range of gear for this review.
Inside each bag there’s a collection of thickly padded dividers. These are adjustable to enable you to configure the interior to suit your camera gear.
The 45L version is a whopper of a bag and can hold a twin-grip DSLR like the Nikon D5 or Canon EOS-1DX II with a 600mm f/4 lens mounted as well a second camera body and three or four other lenses and accessories.
Naturally, the 30L is a fair bit smaller than the 45L backpack, but it can still house a large twin-grip camera and a detached 400mm f/4 lens plus another lens or two. But of course, if you’re not carrying such big optics you can fit in a good collection of cameras and lenses. At one point I used the 30L backpack to carry a Panasonic Lumix G9 with 5 lenses (including the Panasonic Leica DG 100-400mm F4-6.3 and DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH) along with a large bridge camera and a few accessories.
There are mounting points to carry a tripod on both backpacks. I prefer to carry a tripod on one side of the bag but it can also be carried on the back. One of the outer side pockets of the 45L Adventury Backpack can be opened at the top and bottom to allow a large tripod to pass through for easier carrying. This means it can be used to transport a Gitzo Systematic 3, 4 or 5 Series tripod.
Gitzo has used water-resistant fabric for the bags’ shells. They also have a waterproof base and there’s a pocket with a ‘shower cap’ style waterproof cover in case of a major downpour.
Like the main compartment, all of the exterior pockets have weatherproof zip closures. These are a little tougher to open than a standard zip but I’ll take the protection over speed of opening.
Both bags have a large roll-close compartment at the top for carrying those extras like a packed-lunch. They can swallow-up quite a lot of kit and they’re perfect for soft items like a jacket or an extra warm layer because you can squash them down quite small. They’re also easy to access and open/close quickly when you’re juggling lots of kit and you want to grab your jacket.
The opening for the main compartment is at the back, under the shoulder straps. This means that nobody can help themselves to your stuff while you’re carrying the backpack, unaware of what’s going on behind you.
It also means that if you lay the bag down on wet or muddy ground while you change lens, you don’t get covered in mud when you pick it up again.
There are two flat pockets on the inside of the back-pad to hold a laptop and tablet. Thankfully, the padding is thick enough that you won’t feel a laptop as you carry it. Obviously, however, you need to be careful when you flip open the bag as the flap will be heavier because of its precious cargo.
The dividers are all contained within a separate unit with a mesh cover that closes with a zip fastening. This means you can remove the whole thing quickly and easily is you want to carry non-photographic gear.
Should and Waist Straps
One issue I’ve had with some backpacks is that the shoulder straps are too wide apart, which makes it feel like one or other is going to slip down if I don’t use the chest strap. I think Gitzo has got the spacing just right with the Adventury backpacks as they work well for me and wider-framed or taller people I tested it on.
The shoulder straps are also wide and well-padded without being very stiff.
The two bags also have an adjustable waist belt with a snap closure. Helpfully, the belt on the 45L version has a small pocket that’s useful for a wallet. You can also remove the belt from the 45L bag.
Again the belts are padded and not as stiff or as uncomfortable as on some other bags.
Naturally, if you fill a 45L backpack with photographic gear it’s going to be heavy. But the Gitzo Adventury 45L Backpack makes that weight about as comfortable to carry as it’s possible to imagine it could be.
I find the 30L Backpack more manageable and practical, but anyone with a 600mm f/4 lens is more likely to want the 45L back. A tall photographer may also find this bag more comfortable to carry. Plus it has the benefit of the removable waist belt.
Both bags are deep enough to swallow a double-gripped camera and there’s plenty of room for lenses. The padded dividers make your kit feel safe and the straps are comfortable on your shoulders. Weirdly though, I think the roll-close top section is my favourite feature after the water-resistant zips and fabric.
Should I buy a Gitzo Adventury Backpack?
I’ve got lots of camera bags but I’m now pretty sure I need the Gitzo Adventury 30L Backpack as well. I don’t think I can justify the 45L version, but I’m not a die-hard wildlife photographer. If I was I’d probably give the Gitzo Adventury 45L Backpack some serious thought.