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Mountainsmith Parallax Camera Backpack - Sleek, Reliable & Convenient

Posted in Product Reviews on March 1, 2010
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Photographers: Courtesy of Mountainsmith

Imagine this: You've parked your rig on the crest of a gorgeous panoramic view (think the 13,000-foot-high Black Bear Pass in Colorado). You step out to admire "Mother Nature's fresco" when you say to yourself, "Man, I wish I had brought a decent camera to capture this moment."

Well, now you can bring that expensive Nikon or Canon into the field, thanks to the Mountainsmith Parallax — a sleek backpack that serves not only as a reliable rucksack during rugged off-road journeys but also as a convenient camera bag and padded laptop carrier.

But check out the pros and cons below to judge for yourself.

Mountainsmith Parallax
Size: 18x13x12 in
Weight: 5 lbs 6.1 oz
Materials: ReDura 100-percent recycled-plastic fabric with 840d nylon Ballistic reinforcements
Retail Price: $189

Padded Sleeve
We usually leave the high-end electronic toys at home, but it's good to know we have the option of bringing a laptop (with a maximum 17-inch screen) and having it safely secured for transport.

Personalized Compartments
With back-panel access, the padded fleece-lined interior can be adjusted with Velcro dividers to separate your clothes, gear, and camera. Plus, there's a plethora of pouches, pockets, and panels — inside and out — to hold small tools, accessories, and water bottles.

Purposeful Design
The Parallax's innovative engineering includes:
• Removable storm cover to keep the whole backpack dry
• Removable belt pouch that can hold a multitool, small flashlight, or batteries, etc.
• Rapid-access tripod mount

Precise Comfort
The ergonomic design — contoured shoulder straps, rubber molded handles, etc. — aims for maximum comfort. Chiropractor visits, be gone.

Plane Props
Though heavy, it's small enough to be a carry-on, per Federal Aviation Administration regulations, for plane trips.

Planet Friendly
We're not tree-huggers, but we do want to keep Mother Nature happy — we are all outdoor enthusiasts, after all. So, our favorite feature is the Parallax's ReDura fabric, which is made from 100-percent recycled polyethylene-terephthalate plastic. One Parallax knapsack is made from one-and-a-half-dozen 16-ounce bottles.

Portly Pack
Unfortunately, the Parallax is a chunky 5 pounds — negligible when it's tied down to your rig, but highly noticeable when it's strapped to your back.

Price Tag
The Parallax's weight isn't the only thing with some heft; its cost is substantial. But you're definitely getting what you pay for: top quality. Shop online to find some decent deals.

Verdict: A
Functional, durable, and versatile — the Parallax mixes the best elements of an adventure backpack, a camera bag, and a laptop carrier. Minor complaints aside, this recycled-plastic backpack stands out as a winner for 'wheelers, photographers, and Earth.


Golden, CO 80401

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