You might know Thule for the car top carriers, bike carriers and roof racks. But actually, the Swedish brand has started offering in a very broad sense everything that has to do with being mobility while being active. Amongst other things, they have started producing kids pushchairs but also backpacks and consequently also photography/daypacks such as the Thule Perspektiv. I have been taking photos and making videos with my DLSR for a long time when I’m outdoors and certainly with the many videos we make at GearLimits, it’s very important to find a good solution when it comes to the safe and protected transport of camera material (DSLR, GoPro’s, Microphones and our drone) during the various activities we do. What I found interesting in the solution of the Perspektiv pack is that you can access and store away your DSLR via a side pocket without having to take the backpack off completely. So how about the rest of the pack?
I used the Thule Perspektiv during the filming of ski reviews where I followed several skiers over the mountain for a couple of days on my snowboard. During these days I had a GoPro stabilizer and a DJI Mavic Drone along with audio equipment in the backpack. I also used the backpack during hikes and quad biking in Scotland, in good weather and very bad and wet weather. Last but not least I used the backpack when mountain biking in the Netherlands. In the latter cases, I had my DSLR with three different lensen (amongst which a large 70-200 mm) lens and a shoulder rig.
Packing the pack
The Perspektiv can be used as a DSLR backpack and daypack. The entire light blue (which easily contrasts black photo material) inside of the bag, is completely adjustable and you can tweak it to match the material you take along by moving small dividers that are firmly attached to the lining with velcro. The photo compartment you can house a fairly large DSLR, (although really larger professional cameras will be too large, and two or three lenses, depending on how large they are. If you take the inside out completely, you have a large empty compartment you can dump anything into.
The opening of the photo compartment is on the right side of the bag. If you take the right shoulder strap off your shoulder, you can swivel it over your left shoulder, hold the bag in front of your stomach and easily take your photo equipment out, change lenses (do need some dexterity in that) and quickly store your stuff again. On the left side is a zipper pocket that looks just as big as the one on the right side, but it is very shallow, with only a small compartment for some flat stuff and a zipper compartment for smaller items such as memory cards, batteries, etc. On the outside of the left side is also a soft elastic pouch which I actually did not really trust to keep things in because the elastic was not tight enough in my opinion. At most, you can put a thin midlayer or a light raincoat in there. But a bottle of water falls out too easily for example.
Finally, there is space on the front of the backpack to use a strap that comes with the pack with which you can tie a tripod (or in our case a DSLR shoulder rig).
On top of the backpack is a semi-rigid upper compartment where you can store a bottle of water, sunglasses or a light raincoat or the like. I used it as a kind of bin for all the stuff that I wanted to store away quickly and easily. The rest of the backpack is also semi-rigid, so strongly protective for the stuff in your backpack. The bottom of the pack has a hard plastic “seat” which allows you to put the backpack upright (depending on the suit is loaded a bit balanced) During snowboarding I fell with the backpack on my back a few times and all materials (including a fairly fragile drone) survived well, so that’s good. To say the least.
As said before, it is a fairly stiff backpack, to be able to protect your gear, and therefore it will follow the line of your back slightly less. But I must say that the backpack was very stable. With the sternum strap and a reasonably good hip belt, the backpack stayed fixed and stable on my back during the activities I did. What helped is that the backpack is proportionately higher and slimmer than it is wide or short (26.9 x 22.6 x 50). The back padding is lined and has a slight degree of shock absorption. It does ventilate all that well, so you will get a sweaty back.
The outer shell of the backpack is made of water-repellent fabric and works very well against rain. The YKK RCPU zippers have a watertight finish, seams are well taped and for even wetter circumstances there is also a rain cover, but then you can immediately no longer with your stuff.
A bit more volume would be great
The pack meets most of the wishes I had beforehand. What I personally missed was actually more storage space for non-camera items in the backpack. Whether that is some extra food, a hydration pack, some extra clothing, or for example during an MTB ride a hand pump and tire set. Because if you are on the road, track or trail, you would want other things that you would take with you in your regular daypack.
The Thule Perspektiv Daypack is a nice backpack for the serious amateur photographer to take your equipment safely with you. It permits easy access to all your equipment. It lacks some extra pack possibilities for other things that you might need during a day’s activity, but it is very weatherproof and protects your equipment really well.