Now that I am able to use more backdrops in the studio to illustrate shop goods I can choose more colours. Sometimes I choose wisely. Sometimes. In the case of the f-stop Lotus bag I think I should have picked another one...
Well, it's done, and if you feel a bit blue after reading this column, you can counter it by staring at a lemon. If you stare at it in a glass of gin and tonic you may be able to brighten up to a considerable degree...
The f-stop company are a pretty innovative lot - even when they are following everyone else in the provision of backpacks. In the case of this pack they have combined a number of features that you sometimes only get singly from other makers.
Backpacks are hard to illustrate because they are gangling things - they flop all over- particularly if the maker has opted for tough but light external materials. They do this to reduce the weight that might be carried as much as possible - you are going to be adding camera gear, clothing, electronic devices, and guidebooks to this thing anyway and there is a limit to what your shoulders and back can take. To make this pack stand up for itself - with a little help from the studio mannequin - I stuffed two sofa cushion into it. It might not be scientific but it worked!
Okay. You enter it from the top like a hike pack and also from the internal panel - like some other maker's security packs. Good idea.
You carry it with a vented soft back pad - also like other people's ideas.
You get an adjustable - and elasticized - breast band that can be run up and down the front to fit at just the right point for your chest shape. This is one point on any pack that cannot be made too carefully- all your breathing depends upon it. ( British Army Trotter packs were the pits on a long march! Ask about the wooden plank frame inside them, but don't ask me unless you want language...). There are numerous sewn loops in which you can hook things at the start of your hike that you think you will need. You can unhook them later and throw them over a hedge.
There is also a small compartment sewn into the top of the pack for papers and other things you need. Like the rest of the gear it is accessed with two really sturdy zippers. I think that is a detachable key holder, but who knows.
Altogether an innovative and useful pack - I would not hesitate to wear it if I was going to hike with a camera.