Mountainsmith Parallax Pro Daypack Review
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If you are looking for a heavy duty pack that can safely carry your camera gear, a laptop and extras while taking a beating, then look no further than the Mountainsmith Parallax Pro Daypack. The pack allows for easy access to equipment quickly through the back, which is important if you need to be able to switch lenses or bodies on the move. The two front pockets and pockets on the waist belt are perfect for holding business cards, extra batteries, memory cards or anything else you need quick access too. A laminated mesh interior zippered pocket is easy to see through and is the perfect spot to hold memory cards, cleaning cloths etc. I put this pack through the works traveling overseas, through trade shows, day hikes and even through two moves. Through all that, it held up like a champ. The removable rain cover came in handy when I got caught in a typical afternoon summer rain storm in Colorado.
The removeable padded fleece-lined interior padded adjustable dividers made it easy to use whatever camera body or lenses I needed to carry, even switching between both Nikon and Canon. It comfortably held one camera body with a battery pack, multiple lenses including a 80-200 zoom, flash, light meter and battery charger with additional accessories. I could carry multiple bodies if I chose to carry one less lens. There are multiple places to attach additional lens pouches if needed including the Descent AT with chest harness. The tripod/monopod mount on the front allowed for easy access and ease of carrying.
For travel, the pack still counts as a carry on as long as it isn’t packed to the max, which I liked because I like to keep my camera gear with me while traveling. It even has extra room for a magazine or two even when a 15 inch laptop is also loaded into it (note: The bag can support up to a 17″). The two mesh pockets on the sides come in handy for my always at my side water bottle I travel with. The pack is easy to lift out of the overhead compartment of a a plane and the trunk or the back of a car/truck/SUV with the carry handles on the side and top. This was especially convenient when trying to get my camera loaded bag down from the overhead bin and when trying to work around a hitch mounted bike rack to grab the bag from the trunk.
I also love the easy adjustability of the pack. Being 5’3 I often have trouble finding packs that fit me comfrotably, especially in the camera gear/backpack department. The ergonomic compression shoulder straps (with additonal sternum strap) along with waist belt helped take the weight off shoulders and upper back that typically take the brunt of the beating from travel and shooting with heavy gear. The fact that the heavy gear is placed against the back because of the bag’s design is an added bonus. The pack stayed put even when running through the airport. The quick tightening and loosening of the straps came in handy when handing the pack over to my husband for use.
I even put the bag to test with some of my extra/old camera gear by putting it into a moving pod. It survived the trip from Colorado to California far better than some of my other belongings. My camera gear was all intact and the tough 100%recycled PET fabric with reinforcements and heavy duty zippers show no signs of wear even though the pack was not in the original location it was in when I packed it into the cube. The fact that you can pack away the compression straps and waist belt when not in use insured that I never have broken buckles.
Overall the Mountainsmith bag performed to my expectations and beyond. I still have a Mountainsmith Day pack I used over eleven years ago in college, and I can see the Parallax Pro Daypack remaining in my pack collection and being heavily used just as my Day pack continues to be. Although it holds anything you would ever need for a camera bag, I found the bag to be a little cumbersome, especially when hiking with it. It sticks out even when tightened down, and it made it difficult to get it through tight places on the trail and in other situations where there isn’t much space. It also takes up a lot of room when storing. A good alternative for this issue is to look into other day packs offered by Mountainsmith including the Borealis AT and Quantum. For more information Parallax Pro Daypack and other Mountainsmith gear, visit www.mountainsmith.com.
Pack is sized for Nikon D90, D300 / Canon EOS 40D, 30D or similar
Weight 5 lbs. 6 oz.
Volume 1952 cu. in./ 32L
Internal Dimensions 17.25” x 10” x 14.25”/ 43.75 x 25.5 x 36.5 cm
Dimensions 18” x 11” x 15”/ 45.75 x 28 x 38 cm