The aptly named DSLR Backpack is the flagship bag in HEX’s camera backpack range, and promises the perfect balance of space and ruggedness one needs to carry a complete set of gear on one’s back for a long period of time.
The HEX DSLR Backpack is constructed of Nylon with a water-resistant coating, along with water-repellant zippers to keep your gear safe during long shoots in inclement weather.
Inside the back is a fleece-lined main compartment with adjustable partitions for your gear, as well as three mesh and Velcro pockets on the facing side for additional accessories.
HEX says the DSLR Backpack holds up to two pro DSLR cameras with attached lenses, plus up to four additional lenses and two flash units. You can also store up to a 17-inch MacBook Pro, plus there’s a tablet pocket.
The HEX DSLR Backpack measures 20″L x 12″w x 8”H. Other features include a quick access flap to the main compartment on the top of the backpack, a sternum strap, tripod holder, side lens cap and memory card pockets, ID pocket and a non-skid, solid base so that the bag can sit upright.
The HEX DSLR Backpack looks and feels luxurious. It has a modern design, with great attention to detail from the size and customisation of its compartments down to the waterproof zippers.
It really is water-repellant, too. A lot of bags I’ve used repel water, but slowly absorb rainfall and remain damp on longer outings. You can see the water bead and roll off the HEX DSLR Backpack.
Another feature I like about the bag is that it stands upright, no matter how heavy the load. Its solid centre of gravity keeps your bag secure just as you leave it.
Overall, this is one of the finer photo backpacks on the market in terms of build quality and available space. The material is strong, the stitching secure, the clips and pulls are all rigid and the fleece-lined interiors is a nice touch.
The HEX DSLR Backpack a well-made beast that can support everything you’ll need to take with you for most shoots, and keep it safe and dry.
As you can see in the photo above, I packed a lot of gear into the HEX DSLR Backpack and I still had room to add a few more items. My kit above consisted of:
- Panasonic GH5 + 12-60mm lens attached
- GH5 charger
- 20mm pancake lens
- GoPro Fusion + mini tripod
- Vuze 360 Camera + mini tripod
- DJI Mavic Air + handset + phone
- Rode mic
- 3 Legged Thing Iggy mini tripod
- EE 4GEE WiFi hotspot
- ADATA external hard drive
- 13-inch MacBook Pro
- Spare memory cards
- Benro Slim video tripod
It was great to have this flexibility in a bag and carry everything I needed comfortably and without having to overfill and get creative with the dividers like I’ve had to do with some past bags.
When I really loaded up the HEX DSLR Backpack to its full potential I found the sternum strap helped relieve some of the pressure on my shoulders. But after a while I did begin to feel the weight. I think a waist strap would help relieve some of that pressure. Perhaps in the next version.
That said, I was really pushing the bag to its max. I had it full with that kit listed above and was walking around for about eight hours or more with it on my back. So if you’re using anything but a pack mule you’re going to feel it after that amount of time.
And the HEX DSLR Backpack does have some nice hidden comforts. The AirMesh back, which offers access to the main compartment, is made of a thick, spongy padding that fits the form of your back and helps deflect the pressure of the weight of the bag.
The undersides of the shoulder straps are made of this same material, and it’s very comfortable.
A couple smaller features that I found really handy… first is the small ID pocket on the outside of the bag. I never put any ID in here but found it was a really convenient spot to stash my spare memory cards, even spare batteries.
And second are the hidden organisers in the laptop and tablet compartments. This was a really convenient place to store cables and chargers and external hard drives without having to dip into the main compartment of the bag and mix my gear together.
I also appreciate that the DSLR Backpack sits upright. So many don’t. Its solid centre of gravity gives you that extra reassurance that your gear is safe inside.
Overall, the HEX DSLR Backpack fulfils all of my needs: plenty of storage space that’s easily accessible, comfortable, nicely designed. It’s incredibly versatile in terms of what you can pack and where you can take it.
At a price tag of $240, it’s by no means cheap, but it might very well be the only camera backpack you’ll ever have to buy.