Photography and traveling are not only two of my favorite things, both of them are happening simultaneously more often. This calls for finding the perfect backpack to accommodate both camera equipment and personal items. Finding the perfect daypack that fits this need is especially necessary when I fly out for work. One of my pet peeves is checking in equipment (actually anything in fact) at airports. If I could minimize my essentials into one overhead compartment and one carry-on everything would be chill.
Let’s bring in the Thule Covert Rolltop Backpack. I read many reviews about this backpack as a functional daypack. It appeared to have everything that I generally look for in a backpack: organization, sleek design, padded protection for the electronic goods, and weight suspension. So I decided to tryout the backpack on a 10 day road trip that I was embarking. Here’s my take of the Thule’s DLSR bag.
|External Dimensions||21.3” x 17.7” x 7.9”|
|Internal Dimensions||10.2” x 10.6” x 4.3”|
What attracted me to this backpack was its clearly defined main compartments. The top portion is dedicated to storing personal items and has the added security of a zipper on the rolltop and a couple of buckles.
For my trip I used this top compartment to storage a range of items. From clothes to AC adaptors, to water bottles then a GPS and first-aid kit.
The bottom portion uses Thule’s Safezone removable camera pod system to storage and organize camera gear and is only accessible through a side panel pocket.
Pulling and repositioning the Velcro-organizing dividers the pack carried the following
- Sony A7r II with 35mm/1.4 attached
- Sony 90mm/2.8 OSS macro
- Gregory Raincover
- Wasabai Charger for Sony A7
I wouldn’t recommend this pack if you’re intending on using to carry a lot of equipment. It seems more suited for the minimalist with a camera body, 2-3 lens, and a speedlight.
If you like you can remove this portion completely, zip it up, and storage your camera with it in another piece of luggage.
If you remove the bottom camera compartment you can also unzip the top compartment, which will turn the rolltop into one massive compartment backpack! I haven’t utilized this option yet, but it’s a nice bonus feature to have.
On the back there is a large side panel pocket that will fit up to a 15” laptop. Within the same pocket is smaller pocket for organizing other thin, flat items like an additional laptop, notebook, or in my case maps.
More Pockets (I love organizing!)
I love it when all my items have a dedicated home. This way I know when I have all my things ready to go and when something is missing.
Under the main flap on the front of the backpack are 3 decently sized Velcro pockets.
I used these pocket to store a few cellphones, hand sanitizer, external battery, and selfie stick. These pockets could also snuggly fit a portable hard drive.
However I don’t think I’d feel comfortable with this though since there isn’t much protect there for something carrying fragile data.
Underneath the top 2 Velcro pockets is a bigger zippered pocket with more organization options! Since this pocket is a little more out of reach I keep my important items there such as my wallet, passport, airline tickets, and keys –there’s even a key hook for you.
Underneath the bottom velcro pocket is a deeper, zippered pocket.
On the flap that opens up to the camera compartment there’s another zippered pocket where I keep small camera related accessories.
I swear this is the backpack that keeps on giving in pockets. Inside the same side panel pocket are 3 small elastic pockets which are the perfect size to securely hold my A7R II’s batteries in place.
Lastly on the side there is one deep pocket to carry either a water bottle or tripod.
I had high hopes for this backpack –but perhaps a bit too high. What I was hoping to get out of this backpack was a balance between protection for my camera gear and space to carry personal items. The Thule Covert does provide you with plenty of organization options, but for my particular needs (I have sensitive shoulders due to a past sports injury) it just doesn’t give enough support to carry more weight. I’m used to carrying 30-40lbs with my Gregory Deva 70 without any strain, so it was rather surprising that after carrying 12-15lbs of personal items and a camera kit left me with achy shoulders and a few red marks.
Overall I do like the pack, it tickles my near OCD need for organization in the right way. It’s just not as ideal as I’d like it to be. In the end I moved my camera gear to the top of the pack and my personal items to the bottom to redistribute the weight. That removed the dragging dead-weight feeling off my lumbar and shoulders.
What I liked:
- Build Quality
- Travel friendly size
- Utilitarian sleek design
- Organizational options
Who Would Like This:
- Urban Commuters
- Organization Lovers
Who Wouldn’t Like This:
- Those would need to carry a lot of equipment
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The Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop Backpack featured in this post was purchased by me.
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