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MindShift Rotation180 - an outdoor bag from the people behind Think Tank

By dpreview staff on Dec 3, 2012 at 23:55 GMT

MindShift Gear, a bag brand co-founded by Think Tank Photo, has announced a project to fund its first bag - the Rotation180° - on crowd-funding website Kickstarter. The Rotation180° appears to build on Think Tank's Rotation360° concept, giving access to your camera without having to take the bag off, but adds outdoor-friendly features such as a pocket for a hydration pack and full weather cover. The project requires a $389 pledge to receive the Rotation180° bag, with another $100 bringing more accessories.

MindShift Gear has been established by the founders of Think Tank Photo along with photographers Daniel Beltrá and Jerry Dodrill, and will concentrate on the needs of outdoor photographers. Opportunities to fund the project and buy the bag at these prices are limited but the project is already close to its funding goal, so looks very likely to go ahead.


Press Release:

MindShift Gear Launches “rotation180° professional” Kickstarter Campaign

Santa Rosa, California. – MindShift Gear, the new outdoor backpack company co-founded by Think Tank Photo and conservation photographer Daniel Beltrá announces it has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund its rotation180° professional backpack. The rotation180° professional backpack brings camera access to a new level.  Its rotating waist pack allows nature and adventure photographers to maintain creative momentum by offering immediate access to primary photo equipment in even the most precarious situations without having to take off the pack, sling it over one shoulder, or even stop hiking.

Through Kickstarter.com’s online pledge system for funding creative projects, MindShift seeks to generate revenue to help pay for production of the First Edition of the new backpack. To view MindShift’s Kickstarter project go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/134466492/rotation180-photo-backpack

Therotation180° professional’s integrated belt pack will be able to hold a pro sized DSLR and two lenses, or the 70-200mm f2.8 attached to a body. Additional photo equipment, such as a spare body, flash, and up to five lenses, can be stored in the upper compartment’s removable camera insert. For minimalist excursions the insert can be removed and the pack filled with other outdoor gear. An internal aluminum frame supports and stabilizes heavy loads and the side pocket holds up to a three-quart optional hydration bladder.

Optional accessories for the rotation180° professional include a detachable top lid pocket, modular lens case, waterproof ground sheet, additional gear attachment straps, and a unique tripod support system for effortless hands free roaming with the camera and tripod are comfortably suspended from the shoulder harness.

“Our goal was to build a technical day pack that provides unprecedented access to one’s gear, protection, and plenty of room for other outdoor essentials,” said MindShift co-founder Doug Murdoch. Research and development of the rotation180º professional is complete and the Kickstarter funds will enable us to place an order for the first production run.”

rotation180° professional Capacity:
The rotation180° professional has two customizable gear carrying compartments, a lower rotating belt pack and upper pack which is accessed from either the top or back panels. Some packing examples:

  • Belt pack: Pro size DSLR with 70-200mm f2.8 lens attached, or Pro dSLR with smaller lens attached and one additional lens, plus filters, binoculars, or other small accessories.
  • Backpack: DSLR with 300mm f2.8 lens attached, flash, and two to four additional lenses. Or, remove the insert and use the space for extra personal gear.

rotation180° professional Features:

  • Large front pocket holds bulky items like a down jacket.
  • Four tripod carrying options
  • Removable tripod cup accessory holds large variety of tripod sizes or can be used to carry a snow shovel, helmet or other items.
  • Waterproof rain cover allows full functionality of rotating belt pack.
  • Side pocket holds up to a three-quart hydration bladder (not included).
  • YKK RC Fuse zippers on main openings.
  • Aluminum frame stabilizes and supports heavy loads.
  • Belt pack’s modular rail holds lens cases and other components.
  • 210D Green/black ripstop fabric is abrasion and weather resistant.
  • Adjustable ice axe/ski attachment loops.
  • Daisy chain loops allow customization
  • Multi functional strap attachment system for holding snow board or extra gear.

Specifications:

  • Volume: 2287 cubic Inches or 37.5 liters (without additional accessories)
  • Backpack External Dimensions: 13.5” x 22.5” x 10.5” (57 x 27 x 34 cm)
  • Belt pack Internal Dimensions: 12.5” W x 7” H x 7” D (31.7 x 17.8 x 17.8 cm)
  • Combined weight of the Backpack and the Belt pack:  5.4 lbs (2.5 kg)

              (weight does not include additional accessories)

About Us

MindShift Gear is a group of committed professional photographers and product designers who support conservation and protection of our natural resources and planet. Founded by the creators of Think Tank Photo and conservation photographer Daniel Beltrá, MindShift is dedicated to building carrying solutions for those who are passionate about experiencing the natural world. Their slogan, “Engage with nature,” challenges people to not only become involved in outdoor activities, but to create a conversation about nature and our relationship to the environment.

Comments

Total comments: 42
Emotion SideUp
By Emotion SideUp (Dec 20, 2012)

What many don't realize is that the founders and designers of Think Tank Photo had some history with Lowepro, a company that started in the the backpack business and has one of the most extensive line of camera bags.

As a matter of fact i have a waist pack from Lowepro bought 15 yrs ago that was designed by these guys and gals that started Think tank and it's the best bag I've had period, to this day.

It has a small compactable daypack that can fit...yes..a 300 2.8 with a fullframe battery grip mounted camera to the lens. And..I can RUN and catch the metro with it. This is looking like the bag I've been waiting for to replace it. Love Think Tank...I think I'm gonna Love this one too!

0 upvotes
JustSomeDude
By JustSomeDude (Dec 14, 2012)

I'd rather see someone partner with Osprey (or similar pack maker). Start with a proper backpack design (hint: it really is all in the hips!) and extend that design for camera gear, rather than trying to start with a camera bag morphed into a backpack.

1 upvote
Emotion SideUp
By Emotion SideUp (Dec 20, 2012)

What..you failed to realize is that the founders and designers of Think Tank Photo had some history with Lowepro, a company that started in the the backpack business and has one of the most extensive line of camera bags.

As a matter of fact i have a waist pack from Lowepro bought 15 yrs ago that was designed by these guys and gals that started Think tank and it's the best bag I've had period, to this day.

It has a small compactable daypack that can fit...yes..a 300 2.8 with a fullframe battery grip mounted camera to the lens. And..I can RUN and catch the metro with it. This is looking like the bag I've been waiting for to replace it. Love Think Tank...I think I'm gonna Love this one too!

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
soloryb
By soloryb (8 months ago)

Yes!
Just your statement (hint: it really is all in the hips!) tells me that you are an actual backpacker/hiker. Unfortunately most photographers do not realize this. You have to have a mindset that says you're a hiker carrying photo gear rather than a photographer going on a hike if you want to have a safe and comfortable experience using a proper gear carrying system.

0 upvotes
SiriusDoggy
By SiriusDoggy (Dec 10, 2012)

The only problem I see with this design is that a properly fitting backpack is supposed to rest more on your hips then your shoulders. With this design it seems as though ALL of the weight will need to be on your shoulders to allow the lower section to easily swivel around your waist.
For those that don't hike regularly you may not realize that but walk into an REI and get fitted properly and ask the employee, they'll tell you the same thing.

1 upvote
soloryb
By soloryb (8 months ago)

I agree completely that the emphasis should be placed on hip support. I've looked at several videos of this photo pack and it appears to me to have a substantial hip support belt. You keep it cinched tightly around your hips and only loosen the belt for rotation. However, I have not yet read any accounts from people who have actually hiked with this thing yet.

0 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (Dec 8, 2012)

Looks like a good idea, but too heavy like the other ThinkTank bag. 2.5kg for the bag?????

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Dec 8, 2012)

I dunno. I'd rather just use a cotton carrier AND a backpack.

1 upvote
soloryb
By soloryb (8 months ago)

Weight is of a concern. I've used a Kata 30-N1 for a few years and it's much lighter but lacks sufficient photo volume capacity for my mountain hiking needs. I recently purchased a Low AirZone 35 and modified it (inserted extra padding) for photo hiking. It's extremely light and incredibly well-balanced and comfortable with plenty of capacity, but it lacks the camera quick access of the Kata. This new Rotation180 is heavier, but if it supports well and is balanced I'd be willing to carry the extra weight.

0 upvotes
RDMPhotos
By RDMPhotos (Dec 5, 2012)

Looks Kind of small.

1 upvote
DSLRShooter
By DSLRShooter (Dec 5, 2012)

Looks like a great pack for my needs, been trying to figure out the best system for hiking and taking pics on the go. When I hiked the Grand Canyon I tried lashing a small Think Tank holster bag to my chest and while it worked OK for getting the camera out, it was a pain to put on and take off.

For me I hate loss momentum by having to take a pack off to pull the camera out and don't want my camera just dangling around my neck especially when I am scrambling. And like others have said here I need space for all my hiking essentials too like hydration, first aid, rain coat, etc.

Yeah its expensive, but I've always had great experience with Think Tank bags and if this lives up to that kind of build quality then I think it is worth it.

0 upvotes
JstarImaging
By JstarImaging (Dec 4, 2012)

Looks like a reasonably good product. However I achieve this now with my back pack and waist belt pouch.

1 upvote
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Dec 4, 2012)

Looks interesting indeed. But even if the rotating belt pack would not compromise the stability of the backpack (which it may or may not), I think that the remaining volume of the backpack is too small for serious day hiking where one needs to carry clothing food and possibly other supplies too. And indeed the provided belt bag is too small for (most) serious camera equipment so one will need to use the insert and then there is really no space left.

So, guys, interesting, but give us a pro version.

0 upvotes
pgphoto_ca
By pgphoto_ca (Dec 4, 2012)

5.4 lbs.....to heavy for a 37 liters !!!

That's a mistake from many bag cie...

2 upvotes
Bill Bentley
By Bill Bentley (Dec 4, 2012)

I thought Kickstarter said recently that they were trying to reduce the number of "product" projects on their site. Product projects are fine and all but let's see some "real" innovation. Not incremental improvements to a "technology" that's been around for thousands of years, from an already wealthy businessman.

0 upvotes
mosswings
By mosswings (Dec 4, 2012)

Kickstarter is still much more about quick returns on simple products than long term development.
Doug can tell you himself whether he's made his fortune from ThinkTank. I suspect not. ThinkTank is small, and will only grow as big as the fairly small pro market. MindShift taps into another underserved market segment without diffusing ThinkTank's focus. Pretty smart.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Bill Bentley
By Bill Bentley (Dec 5, 2012)

Another bag brand. Just what the world needs. Whoop de doo.

1 upvote
chiefsilverback
By chiefsilverback (Dec 4, 2012)

Whilst I like the concept surely the nature of the quick access compartment compromises the bag's load bearing abilities?

In theory you want as much of the load as possible transferred the waist belt and therefore the belt wouldn't be able to move as easily as the video makes out.

Also putting a 3 quart hyrdation bladder on one side could seriously unbalance the pack either when the bladder is full (no compensating weight) or when it's empty (compensating weight in the form of a tripod etc...)!

0 upvotes
mosswings
By mosswings (Dec 4, 2012)

Good point - but there's a lumbar pad attached to the pack's frame that still transfers some of the load to the lower back/hips while you rotate the waist pack and work. This pack doesn't carry so much that you can't shoulder (literally) the load while working. Once in hiking position, the entire waistpack locks into its chamber to react the load. Not as efficient as a pure hiking pack, but it works. The Rotation 360 was actually fairly easy to rotate under load. If this were an expeditionary pack you'd probably need a fixed belt and slider-rail arrangment.

0 upvotes
Joe Cool
By Joe Cool (Dec 4, 2012)

Looks like the bag is giving birth.

0 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Dec 4, 2012)

More bag gimmicks. Here's the bottom line: they don't make the gear any lighter, no matter how many rotating gizmos they incorporate. The only good thing I can see about this one is that the price is getting closer to the cost of a lightweight camera body. Some punters might come to the obvious conclusion.

1 upvote
anthony semone
By anthony semone (Dec 4, 2012)

Anybody here explain to me what this bag is supposed to do that my ThinkTank Rotation 360* doesn't do?

0 upvotes
mosswings
By mosswings (Dec 4, 2012)

It is much more oriented towards carrying personal items that a wilderness photographer would want in a form that works best in the hiking context. And it's substantially bigger than the Rotation 360, although the waist pack is the same size. In addition to the 17L main pack (which can become more photo kit storage), it has a kangaroo pocket and large outer pocket extending the length of the back. This is really good for clothes, wet things, thin items you tend to carry at the ready. The 360 didn't have this feature and it's a big minus for hiking utility. It's also updated for hydration, a big sales item today, but I agree that putting it on the side is bad for balance. Other bags that do so have received much criticism. But putting it in the center would require a thicker bag, and that's not good for balance while bouldering. The 360 is a backpack that can go for a short walk in the woods; this one, if made bigger, can go backpacking.

1 upvote
Gazphotos
By Gazphotos (Dec 4, 2012)

Sounds like a nice bag, but good grief, the cost compared to the likes of the Lowpro Flipside 500AW, I can't see paying this much $$$

3 upvotes
mosswings
By mosswings (Dec 4, 2012)

These packs tend to carry a lot more like real hiking backpacks than even the best suspended photo-only bags like your Flipside. But if your bag works for you, so be it. A better comparison would be to the Lowe ProRover series. And they're $300 plus, as are f-Stops' and Gura's. If you're willing to remove your back to access your gear, your options open up considerably.

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Dec 4, 2012)

At $389, it's a very very expensive bag...
I love the idea, but i'm so used to swiftly remove a shoulder strap of my Kata 3n1 and swing it in front to take out my gear....

2 upvotes
soloryb
By soloryb (8 months ago)

I've used a Kata 3N1-30 for a few years of mountain/photo hiking and have found only two drawbacks. First, it just doesn't have enough capacity for a day-hike with photo gear plus hiking gear. Second, it is not well-balanced tending to pull backwards when fully loaded - dicey on stream crossings . I still like the pack but am now in the process of switching to a Lowe Alpine AirZone 35 that I've added extra photo gear padding to. Unfortunately I lose the fantastic camera quick access of the Kata with this Lowe, but I can comfortably carry all the gear I need for the day.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Dec 4, 2012)

I can't help thinking how outdoors packs for sensitive equipment should be hardcases. It's all nice and dandy, but soft bags just can't prevent breakage, although they're enough of protection against scratches.
There are enough lightweight and sturdy materials today enabling manufacturers to produce really tough boxes, equipped with soft, anatomically correct frames for backpacking. Such cases could really be what is meant by "environmentally protected".
Think of carbon or glass fiber, for instance, or profiled aluminum along the lines of Auer (firemen breathing-gear protective box). Organize all access through the back (drawers?) for urban safety, with some mechanism to slide / swing the box sideways. Add the connecting points (D-rings, cleats, Velcro straps...) to the sides to fasten things like a tripod, water bottle, windbreaker, whatever... and it will sell - especially to those who know what Outdoors means, and what it can do to your sensitive gear.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
soloryb
By soloryb (8 months ago)

I hear what you're saying but once you try to tote around heavy photo gear while hiking in mountains, weight and all day carrying comfort trumps 100% equipment protection. I realize it's a compromise.
This Rotation180 is on the heavy side as it is, and they seem to have used the lightest-weight materials available.

0 upvotes
tesch
By tesch (Dec 4, 2012)

No place to strap skis, board or snowshoes. People who design these outdoor packs need to go outside. There's more to being in the backcountry than carrying your camera gear. I'll pass!

0 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Dec 4, 2012)

People who post these comments need to read the articles.

6 upvotes
gtvone
By gtvone (Dec 4, 2012)

Yeah, she's more a conservation / nature photography bag than a skiing style bag... Any q's or feedback - feel free to get in touch simon at thinktankphoto dot whatsit.

0 upvotes
gtvone
By gtvone (Dec 4, 2012)

Hey Terry - I also see you were in the KC pet photography awards 2010?... funny! I was working on that TV broadcast that year :) :: Small world. (I did a lot of the photos for Discover Dogs prior to the 2012 Crufts)

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 4, 2012)

Strapping skis to a camera bag? lol. What about a motorcycle helmet, or a small sailboat? Surfboard?

1 upvote
mosswings
By mosswings (Dec 4, 2012)

ThinkTank have never been short on sweating the details. But this design has always struck me as overengineering. Perhaps there are a lot of wilderness photogs who shoot on the march and don't want to doff their packs at all, but so many others pack in to a location and set up, which makes the advantages of this pack somewhat moot. If I'm carrying a single camera and a couple of lenses (what the Speed Demon sized waist pack is capable of) for the day, I'd probably opt for a 3lb hiking pack with an insert, or maybe one of the side-portal loaders at about 30L. If I'm hiking into the backcountry for a few days, that's 45L territory. This is great for a semi-pro/pro camera+lens kit. This design might work better in a 50L trekking format. It's tough designing quick access for wilderness shooters.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (Dec 4, 2012)

that one expensive bag. But i like quite a few features, like the little detail of the tripod belt.

1 upvote
richard cohen
By richard cohen (Dec 4, 2012)

interesting, but i'll wait to see how it performs in the real world. i have a clik elite probody sport which is much smaller than this but which performs much of the same function as this pack for less than half the cost. i usually use my gura gear kiboko when i need to take my 500mm vr, and it sounds like this new pack won't take that long piece of glass, which is a shame. i take my gura gear when i need the long glass, and the clik when it's more landscape and general scenic photography.

0 upvotes
MATiO
By MATiO (Dec 4, 2012)

Click Elite looks good - thanks for the tip.

0 upvotes
Peter Hayward
By Peter Hayward (Dec 4, 2012)

Pity it's no good for us in Oz and the other countries not in their list.

0 upvotes
gtvone
By gtvone (Dec 4, 2012)

Pete - Simon (from thinkTank / MindShift) ....the long and the short is that Doug thought it was a bit exy to offer the Kickstarter globally.. Sihpping is about $60 USD... you can buy the Rotation via the KickStarter, but just be aware of the higher shipping is all. A lady from Tamworth just commented on our Facebook page and said she's purchased one - so, you can do it...

Sime [Melbourne]

0 upvotes
mosswings
By mosswings (Dec 4, 2012)

This is an interesting departure...or should I say return to roots? for ThinkTank, which started out hedging its bets with the Rotation 360 and the Speed series, aiming at both the sport and pro markets. The pro markets won out.
This retooling of the Rotation 360 concept is better thought out for the wilderness market, but still - that rotation mechanism, like Kata's revolver mechanism, burns a lot of space. This is a 38L pack that stores perhaps 12L of camera gear and 17L of personal items up top. Another 9L is taken up with the rotation armature and extra layers of fabric and padding. Contrast this to the LowePro ProRover, which stores about the same amount of camera equipment but offers over 20L of personal space in a smaller pack, or the f-stop Loka, a similarly priced bag.
The big selling point of this bag is if you don't want to remove it to access your camera. This really pays dividends if the bag gets big - and 38L is a fairly annoying bag to be putting on or taking off.

0 upvotes
gtvone
By gtvone (Dec 4, 2012)

Well, like Doug (the big boss) says... this is version one - and, if you're familiar with how we work at thinkTank, we take all of this feedback - when the pack is 'in the wild' and see how it is used, how it's working and we work all of that into v2. I agree, it will be interesting to see how it works in the field.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 42