I have officially owned the camera bag that F-stop created that is geared towards women for a couple of months now. I wanted to share my thoughts on it and write a quick review. To quote the company website, “The pound-pinching, ultra-lightweight Kashmir UL was designed with the active female shooter in mind. With 30 liters of storage, the Kashmir UL is engineered to be a versatile all-around daypack.” Every bag I previously purchased destroyed my back as it did not fit my frame properly. When my last camera bag finally fell apart I decided to give the F-stop brand a try.
I purchased the Kashmir along with the medium shallow ICU. Their website does and excellent job showing you how much gear can fit in each ICU. The medium seemed to fit my needs. Both items were in stock, and arrived out to Hawaii in 2.5 weeks. Yes, I jumped up and down when the packaged showed up on my doorstep!
Below are my Loves and Dislikes on the bag.
1. The light weight materials – At first inspection, the material of the bag is suspect for durability. However, it has been incredibly strong and held up under some serious stress so far. The pack is significantly lighter than anything I have tried on before.
2. Shoulder straps – The shoulder straps actually fit! They curve inward and sit on the correct part of my shoulder. The strap that buckles across the chest is located higher so it does not squish my chest. The padding is plush. I have had no problem with chafing or any soreness.
3. Waist Belt – The belt sits low enough on my body to actually distribute the pack’s weight to my hips. Bonus is that the straps are actually long enough to adjust for a proper fit.
4. Hydration/Laptop Sleeve and Side Pockets – There is an internal hydration sleeve that can also be used as a place to stuff your laptop when traveling. It sits behind the ICU inside the pack. The side water bottle pockets are also made of mesh material, but they can hold my GIANT Hydro Flask water bottle securely. They are very stretchy.
1. Lack of pockets- I wish there was a few more internal pockets. I understand they are cutting back on the bells and whistles for purposes of weight control. There are no pockets on the inside main compartment of the pack. There are lots of loops though…for a ton of pens or chopsticks? Not sure what these can be used for. Maybe replace them with a mesh pocket to store filters? There is also a giant front pocket that is great for stuffing a rain jacket or lunch into.
2. Velcro- The top pocket has one internal storage area that can be closed off by a three inch piece of velcro. This is where I currently keep my headlamp, spare batteries, memory cards etc. Sometimes they escape and run around the compartment. I wish there was a zipper instead, or have the velcro go across the entire pocket. That way items don’t escape.
3. Attaching a tripod – I have a carbon fiber tripod, but attaching it to the lightweight pack is a little tricky. It lacks the robustness of their other packs for stability, so it is a bit floppy when I attach it. I have found that using the straps on the side of the pack seems to work best. I just cinch it down really tight.
This is a true DAYpack- This pack is great for day use. The longest hike I took it on was six miles and it was great. I wouldn’t use it for anything more adventurous. Traveling with it has been easy. It fits nicely in airplanes.
Overall- I LOVE it as my daily use pack. I wish they would make their mountaineering packs available with the harness system that fits the female frame too!