Reviews |Shimoda Women’s Series Action X v2 Review

Shimoda Women’s Series Action X v2 Review

Shimoda Womens Series Action X25 v2

Price when reviewed


$465 / £385 / $480 / £425 / $530

Our Verdict

Once they are set-up to suit your height and shape, Shimoda’s Women’s Series Action X v2 backpacks are very comfortable to carry. They also provide plenty of opportunity to organise your gear, so it’s protected yet quick to access. Having a side opening means you can swap lenses quickly if you need to while the main compartment’s contents are kept relatively safe.


  • Available in 3 sizes, 25, 30 and 40L
  • Female-specific and very comfortable
  • Durable materials and tough build


  • You may want to by a larger Core Unit
  • Fairly expensive

What is the Shimoda Women’s Series Action X v2?

The Action X v2 backpacks are part of two lines of packs from Shimoda that are designed for women. They are joined by the Shimoda Women’s Series Explore v2.

Shimoda makes three versions of the Women’s Series Action X v2, the Action X25, Action X30 and the Action X40. The numbers denote their capacity in litres. I’ve been testing the Shimoda Women’s Series Action X25 v2.


  • Warranty: 5 Years
  • Weight: X25 starter kit (with Small Mirrorless Core Unit) 2.25kg , X30 starter kit (with Medium Mirrorless Core Unit) 2.4Kg, X40 starter kit (with Medium DSLR Core Unit) 2.7Kg
  • Colour options: Teal
  • Outside Dimensions : X25: 27W x 48H x 17D cm, X30: 30W x 51H x 17D cm, X40: 30W x 53H x 20D cm
  • Inside Dimensions: X25: 26.5W x 47.5H x 16D cm, X30: 29.5W x 50.5H x 16D cm, X40: 29.5W x 52.5H x 19D cm


Shimoda has created three backpacks in the Women’s Series Action X range based upon the sizes that are most popular and commonly requested by women. The Shimoda Action X series of bags and backpacks are designed for adventure and sport-focussed use, they are suitable for taking on hikes or up mountains and even have stretchy ski straps on their sides.

One of the key features of the Shimoda Women’s Series backpacks is that they come with female-specific shoulder straps. These are designed fit around the female body to make the bag more comfortable to carry than with standard straps. They also have a couple of pockets with one that can hold a mobile phone.

The shoulder straps can be removed and swapped for a different set from Shimoda if preferred. They can also be attached at one of three points at the top of the bag to suit the size of the carrier. In addition, the wide waist-belt is removable if you wish to carry the bag without it.


The main compartment of the Action X v2 opens from the rear, which means your kit is safe while you carry it on your back. However, there’s a side opening available too.

Shimoda uses a modular system for its backpacks, so the main compartment can hold one of its ‘Core Unit’s for keeping your camera gear safe. These can be bought separately or with the backpack as part of a kit.

At the top of the Shimoda Women’s Series Action X v2 backpack there’s a spacious roll-closed section that’s ideal for holding things like an extra layer and a packed lunch. This has two air mesh zip-close pockets to help organise your gear and keep small items safe. The top compartment can also be accessed via a zip opening at the front.

At the front of the backpack, there’s laptop/tablet sleeves that, in the X30 and X40, can accommodate laptops up to 16-inches, but in the X25, you’re limited to a 13-inch laptop. You’ll also find a couple of handy zip-close pockets and a loop that’s useful for clipping on keys. Should you need it, there’s a second laptop sleeve in the inside of the main section opening.

There are pockets on both sides of the bag and each contains a removable mesh pocket that can be pulled out to hold a tripod or water bottle. Hunt around a bit more and you’ll find a rain cover, a helmet carrier and a secret Apple AirTag pocket on the laptop sleeve.

Build and handling

Shimoda makes the Women’s Series Action X v2 from tough, durable-feeling fabric with a water-repellent (DWR) and carbonate coating. In addition, there are SplashGuard Zippers to help keep your kit safe, but the showercap-style rain cover is there for use in persistent rain.

One side, the top and bottom of the Action X v2 have wide handles that are useful for shifting the backpack around when its not on your back. The side handle can also be used as a luggage-handle pass-though, which is ideal when you are off on your travels with a suitcase or large bag.

While you can just load up the Action X v2, sling it on your back and head off, it’s worth spending a few moments adjusting it to suit your size and back length. As I mentioned earlier, the shoulder straps can be set to one of three heights. As I am just shy of 5-foot 2-inches, the small setting was the one I went for.
The straps are fairly easy to move, it’s just a case of undoing a zip to give access to the velcro section at the top, peeling apart the velcro, so the strap can be removed from its loop, and then threading it through the fixing point that you want to use before closing up the velcro and zip again.

There are also lifter straps at the top of the shoulder straps that help make a heavy load easier to carry. In addition, there are two chest straps and a waist belt that need to be adjusted in length to take some of the weight off your shoulders.

If you want to use the side access of the backpack, you’ll need to unzip the side of the Core Unit and feed the flap into the backpack’s insider pocket so that you can reach into unit when you unzip the bag.


While I’ve spent time with the whole Shimoda Women’s Series, I’ve had most time with the Shimoda Women’s Series Action X25 v2 starter kit. It enabled me to carry a full-frame camera such as the Sony A7R V or even the Nikon Z8 with a lens mounted and a couple of additional lenses and a few accessories, but I’d probably look to upgrade to the Large Mirrorless Core Unit as this means more of the main compartment is available to house camera gear.

The Core Units have thin walls and dividers, and are lightweight, but the padding is dense which means it protects your kit well without taking up loads of space.

As I mentioned, I am on the small side and I had the waist belt and sternum straps pulled into their shortest lengths. I would have liked both to go a little tighter, but actually the waist belt was probably about right, and it sat on my hips, taking some of the weight off my shoulders. The chest straps are a bit looser than is ideal, but overall the shoulder straps and the bag are very comfortable.


There are lots of straps, pockets and mounting points on the Shimoda Women’s Series Action X v2, which means it can take a while to set it up to your preferences and to hold the kit you want to carry. However, it’s well worth doing it as it makes the backpack exceptionally comfortable to carry and everything is stored safely.

I’m a fan of roll-top backpacks because you always seem to be able to fit in one more thing. They are also quick to access.

I’d be inclined to go for the biggest Core Unit that the backpacks can take to maximise the camera and lens carrying capability.