Shimoda, a bag brand within the Mac Group, has launched a new crowdfunding campaign for its Explore Series v2 backpacks. Billed as the perfect bag for travel, adventure, and landscape photographers, the upgraded packs have several new features over their predecessors.
The Explore Series v2 is available in three sizes: 25L, 30L, and 35L sizes. Shimoda’s founder and lead designer Ian Millar says that these were designed as a direct response to those who wanted the Shimoda design and functionality but wanted smaller bags that were carry-on friendly. The Explore 35 v2 (E35) will supposedly be qualified for those who fly in the United States in “premium seating options,” the Explore 30 v2 (E30) is sized for stricter European Union guidelines, and the Explore 25 v2 (E25) is compact enough that Shimoda claims it will travel almost anywhere and easily fit under an airline seat.
Shimoda Explore v2 camera bags are constructed with abrasion-resistant and water repellent, carbonate-coated ripstop nylon — the same durable material from Shimoda’s robust Action X line. The company has improved the material by infusing the Carbonate-Resin with its chosen color pigment which it says results in a softer, more subtle appearance that has greater resistance to color fading.
Aside from the improved compactness, the new Explore v2 offers a set of enhancements. Firstly, it has what Shimoda calls a new “aired-out harness,” which combines plush air-mesh with ventilated EVA cushioning which supposedly allows air to circulate through the rear panel, shoulder strap, and belt. Shimoda claims this allows the wearer to stay cooler in crowded, non-airconditioned areas.
For content creators, Shimoda built in a wireless lavalier microphone attachment point on each shoulder strap, and the side handle (which has also been redesigned) can now be used as a luggage handle pass-through to allow it to mount on top of a roller bag.
The interior also features a few new adjustments, like dedicated padded filter pockets designed to fit 100mm filters, a hidden passport pocket, and a dual access document pocket for books, maps, and camera accessories that need to be accessed quickly.
All of these enhancements are in addition to the features that made Shimoda popular with adventure photographers before, like a height-adjustable harness, modular core system, integrated lightweight frame, removable belt, padded laptop sleeve, leather zipper pulls, and rear or side camera access.
Speaking of the modular core system, Shimoda is also introducing two new core sizes, adding to the previous six for a total of eight that fit into any of the Shimoda family of bags.
Shimoda backpacks tended to be quite large and may have been seen as “overkill” for travel by air, and the choice to redesign the Explore Series in these v2 backpacks appears to be a direct answer to that.
The Explore v2 series can be backed starting at $215 — for backpack shells without modular cubes — and range as high as $300 for large kits in various configurations. All backing options can be seen on the company’s Kickstarter page here.
Disclaimer: Make sure you do your own research into any crowdfunding project you’re considering backing. While we aim to only share legitimate and trustworthy campaigns, there’s always a real chance that you can lose your money when backing any crowdfunded project.