First Use: Shimoda Designs Action X70 Backpack (Video)

My Shimoda Designs X70 originally arrived right after Xmas, at the tail end of 2019. Because of the pandemic and associated limitations on movement to limit spreading of the virus, I have mostly been unable to use the backpack for its intended purpose until now. Sadly, there are more Americans than ever before that proudly display their lack of education and general ignorance by defying the recommendations of individuals far more educated and experienced than them. It’s this attitude that’s caused the virus to thrive for much longer in the United States as compared to other countries and the result has been the forced closure of almost all non-essential business and activities. Their ignorance has also been the source of multiple “false starts,” as we’ve had to repeatedly close and reopen stuff due to their refusal to socially distance and wear masks to limit spread of the virus based on zero factual information. Why people think a virus cares about politics, I have no idea, but that’s where we are in the world today… the internet has allowed people to absorb only enough information to become dangerous to themselves and others.

Today will be my first opportunity for an overnighter in the mountains near Mt. Rainier. During the extended offseason, I used the opportunity to upgrade most of my camping gear to reduce mass and improve efficiency. Much of this was forced as compensation for adding the larger, heavier Fujifilm GFX medium format camera system. The result of throwing money at the problem is an overnight kit that fits completely within my Action X70 backpack while still having 15-20 liters of space left over and weighing in below 20kg.

To demonstrate both the efficiency of my chosen gear and my packing skills, I made a short video of my unloading all of the camping gear from my backpack’s expandable 35 liter cargo compartment.

Included, in order: tent poles, tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, fire starters, camp chair and jetboil cooker.

This first trip, while short, will also give me a chance to shoot some astrophotography. The schedule shows the galactic core should rise and align above Mt. Rainier between midnight and 0200 from our campsite. Hopefully the weather forecast pans out and the skies remain clear tonight and early tomorrow morning.

4 thoughts on “First Use: Shimoda Designs Action X70 Backpack (Video)

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  1. Hey mate, how did the x70 work out for you for camping? Do you think this would be too big of a bag for everyday landscape shoots? Cheers, Zoltan

    1. Sorry for my late reply; I’ve just learned today that the WordPress app doesn’t auto-refresh comments.

      The X70 has worked out magnificently. It’s at least as rugged, comfortable and secure as my Shimoda Explore 40 while roomy enough to hold all of my backpacking gear internally.

      I wouldn’t say it’s too big as an everyday landscape bag. The roll top allows you to roll it down and collapse it to as small as the X50. If I didn’t own the Explore 40, I wouldn’t miss it with the X70 in my possession.

      Personally, I’d avoid the X50. The X70 can be comfortably rolled down to the same size. The question is whether you can live with the X70 or the X30 or would be better served by owning both.

      1. Hey, no problems at all! I better check my website lol Thanks for getting back to me anyways 🙂

        So, “unfortunately” I already got myself an X50! To be honest, so far I feel that I made the right choice! I do have a lowepro 65/85L bag that if I need to, I’d be better carrying heavy stuff in that but for anything else the x50 is sufficient! I’ve used it for not camping but staying in a lodge for 3days and all my clothes apart for my boots fit in the bag.
        I know that the x50 is only 3 or maybe 5cm shorter than the x70 however that would be enough for a cheapo air line to not allow me to take the bag on a plane as a carry on. I’ve used it now for quite a few outings and I love the bag and really happy with it! I do think that I’ll mostly use the bag for urban shootings and short hikes. Probably 55% short hikes, 45% urban scenarios and maybe 10% camping (if that). So for me, the size is actually perfect, or so it seems so far!

        What I was really surprised with is how much a good bag helps in not just getting the shot, but the way it is working with you and not against you! Small things, like that it stands up, or that my water bottle fits and doesn’t fall out, or that my back isn’t covered in mud or wet sand after using it! I think I am going to get a small dslr inner (whatever it’s called) for my filters/70-200lens.

        Thanks again for your reply!

      2. As long as it meets your needs and you like it, that’s all that matters. All I know is that my opinion was completely personal based on my specific experiences. I apologize again for getting back so late but I’m glad you are satisfied with your purchase. Welcome to the Shimoda club!

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