A couple of years ago Shimoda launched a line of camera bags that were immediately the talk of the action sports media town, with products geared towards adventure sport photographers and filmmakers. Paris Gore, Mattias Frederiksson, Sven Martin, Sterling Lorence, and many more of our favourite photographers use Shimoda's bags. Building on that success, Shimoda just launched their next line of bags, the Action X series. These new bags boast more durability and features specifically for mountain bike photographers. The new bags come in three models: the X30, X50, and X70. The numbering refers to their capacity in litres, respectively.
Shimoda Action X Details
• Sizes: 30L (seen here), 50L, 70L
• Adjustable torso sizing
• Helmet holder
• Expandable roll top
• Weatherproof YKK zippers
• 15-inch laptop sleeve
• Gender specific shoulder straps
• Starting at $250 USD (w/o core unit)
• Kickstarter & more info
The Action X series boasts the same versatility as Shimoda's original Explore series. They allow you to choose your "core" camera block size and accessory pouches to fit your needs and the size of your kit. Our Action X30 came with the Medium DSLR V2 core which is the perfect size for a camera body, a couple lenses, and some small accessories. To me, the main draw of this new pack is the expandable roll top, which can be totally separate from the main core compartment—something that was missing from the Explore series. The roll top gives you ample space for accessories, additional clothing layers, or whatever else you may need out in the woods even in the smallest 30 litre size.
Fall has officially hit the PNW and I've had this pack out in conditions ranging from lovely sunny days to torrential downpours. So far, I have no complaints. The pack holds its own in the wet, even without a rain cover. The Action X30 is also incredibly comfortable once set up. I've both ridden & hiked quite a bit with this pack, and haven't any issues with rubbing or unwanted soreness. The X30 also does a great job at staying in place while riding rougher trails. I'd have liked to see the laptop sleeve integrated somewhere else rather than next to my back, since riding with a flat laptop on your back isn't super comfortable. But on the other hand, you rarely ride with a laptop along, and it's nice to have a sleeve if you're going to use this for travel. Without a laptop in there it's comfortable to ride in.
I haven't found myself making use of the side-access pocket, but I primarily use this pack for video so, I'm usually grabbing more than just a body and lens. I can definitely see the side-access being useful for run and gun photographers. Other handy features include the pop out side mesh pockets that can hold anything from tripod to a water bottle, the front pouch with additional small pockets for even more storage options, and the two heavy duty carry handles. As promised, there are lots of MTB-friendly features—the helmet holder is a nice touch, and fits mountain bike helmets well. There's also a specific holder for a pump (which seems just a little too
specific), and routing for a water bladder.
Overall, the new Action X30 builds on Shimoda's already successful Explore line. It's well designed for content creators and active people who travel with gear, with thoughtful features for adventure sport photographers and videographers. We'll probably see a lot
of World Cup media squids with these next year. Check out more info, including options to buy on their Kickstarter