This is the new Uinta Adventure Pack from Gura Gear. I’m a big fan of their bags and have been using them for the last 4 years as my work has transitioned to more landscapes and outdoor adventure work. As that transition has occurred, the things I want in a bag have also changed. My main bags are still the Gura Gear Bataflae, the newer version of my old much-favoured Kiboko, but for smaller trips, like the cross-Canada trip I plan to make in the Jeep this fall, I’ll be taking the Uinta.
Please don’t read this as, or expect this to be, a review. Still on crutches after a recent surgery, it’ll be a while before I’m walking and photographing again, so I haven’t used it yet. But I can’t wait to. This is just a reaction to the bag that’s sitting here beside me, begging to be used. Like everything they make, this bag seems killer-durable and extremely well thought out for the photographer who wants to be a little more active. The harness is excellent – and that’s one of the things I most like about it. Heavy camera gear swaying side to side, throwing me off balance is even less cool now than it used to be.
The core of the bag, though you can use it empty, is the modular aspect of it. There are two available modules – a smaller one and a larger one. You can put them both in there, full of gear, of either one alone, leaving room for other things – snacks, sweaters, gorp/trailmix, that kind of thing. Access to the bag is either through the front or through the back and if you use the waist belt, you can pull the pack off your shoulders, swing it to the front and access gear through the back while the hip belt remains attached. It’s nice not to have to put it on the ground just to get at the gear. I like the modularity because I often pack a day-pack when I travel and know I don’t always want the full bulk of a camera bag and now I won’t have to bring both.
Other features include excellent, and weather-sealed, zippers, plenty of room for little bits and pieces in the front, a laptop sleeve, room for water bottles, and a front-mounted hydration sleeve that will also hold a jacket (top) or tripod (below). I’m betting it’ll also hold my snowshoes. The Uinta is extremely compressible, has a beefy handle up top, and if you’re using some of the smaller mirrorless gear, there’s room for all it, plus filters and assorted bits, and it can maintain a really trim profile. Plenty of room for the big gear, but sometimes you want to carry less and the compressibility is nice.
The Uinta isn’t cheap, but then neither is the gear you’re putting into it and you get what you pay for. The basic bag is $199, the modules are $159 if you buy them both together, and the tripod/hydration system is $39.95. But if you order the Uinta and use the code FREETHS, they’ll throw in the THS (Tripod/Hydration System) for free. More information here on Gura Gear’s website.
Photographs courtest Gura Gear.