This post may contain a few affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase through them I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
A review of the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod, and how to use it for backpacking.
I have been hiking for several years now with a mirrorless camera, carrying it using a crossbody shoulder strap. This allows me quick access to the camera hanging at my hip. I can pick it up, turn it on, and take a photo all with one hand!
However the downsides to solely using a crossbody strap is that the camera tends to swing a bit, I often find myself pushing it farther back. Plus if you’re hiking all day you do start to feel the weight of the strap on your shoulder.
Another downside is the lack of protection. When you’re scrambling up rocks and boulders your camera can get in the way and even get knocked against them. There’s a danger to getting it scratched up or worse.
The mirrorless camera and lens that I use for hiking is a Lumix G85 with 14-140mm lens, and is highly weather resistant, so getting caught in some rain isn’t a problem. However if it starts to downpour I do like to put the camera away just in case-plus you’re probably not going to be taking photos when you’re hiking while it’s pouring rain anyway.
These have been the problems I’ve encountered that I’ve been on the look out for a solution for, and I feel like they’re finally solved with this small and ultralight camera bag by Hyperlite Mountain Gear!
Size & Materials
This bag comes in two sizes:
- Regular, 7 x 5.5 x 3.75″, 2.7oz.
- Large, 9.5 x 6.5 x 4.25″, 3.7oz.
I wasn’t sure what size to pick at first, but after measuring my camera and lens, I decided to go for the regular size. I knew it would be a tight fit, and I would have liked a little more space to carry an extra small lens. However for what I planned to do with it, I wanted the smallest size bag possible, I felt a larger bag would just be too bulky.
The Hyperlite Camera pod is made out of the super lightweight material, Dyneema, and a thin layer of foam padding. I’m not sure if it’ll save your camera from a big drop, but it’ll offer it a fair amount of protection from getting scratched against any rocks.
It also has waterproof zippers, several attachment points, 2 carabiners, and a thin strap.
The crossbody strap I used and shown in these pictures is the Peak Design Slide Lite. It just fits with the camera in the bag. I fold up the strap and put it either underneath or on top of the camera when I want to fully close the bag. I also have and used the Peak Design Leash, a much thinner and lighter version which is probably better for this use. I wanted to try the slightly larger one though to see if it’d work with this bag-and it does!
Attaching the Bag to my Backpack
As I mentioned, I really like wearing my camera with a crossbody strap hanging at my side, so I planned to try and attach the bag to the hip belt of my backpack…but would it work?
For Backpacking, I have a Shadlowlight 60L by Outdoor Vitals, and a Gossamer Gear Mariposa, and thankfully it worked on both!
Their hip belts have straps that go through the back side of the hip belt pouches, so I was able to push the Hyperlite bag’s small thin strap in that same slot behind the pouch, putting a carabiner at each end. It fit perfectly hanging just below the belt pouch!
You’ll have to check and see if you can pull a strap through on your own pack to know if it’ll work.
Honestly the only downside to this bag is that it’s pricey. Dyneema fabric is expensive in the first place however, it’s a super strong extremely lightweight material, so you do pay a premium for that. The other reason is because it’s in the niche market of ultralight backpacking, there aren’t many options out there if any at this size and weight.
For the price, yes it’s a lot, but I love having my camera with me on backpacking treks. And it literally solved all my problems!
- Stops the camera from swinging back and forth.
- Takes the pressure off my shoulder from the weight of the camera. I still keep the crossbody strap on for extra security, but the camera now “rests” in the bag.
- Offers protection when I climb against rocks.
- Also offers protection from rain.
And at just 2.7oz, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod is awesome for backpacking when every ounce counts! And for the record, I did use it hiking with trekking poles, it has not gotten in my way yet.
Have you used one of these camera pods? Or found another setup that works for you? Please share the details below!