Finding a backpack is easy, finding one that fits all the needs of a traveling creator, that’s a little more difficult. Up until now the main two players on the market were NOMADIC and WANDRD. Both are great units, I have personally traveled Europe with the Wandrd PRVKE 31L camera backpack for a few months, just before COVID-19 came about, but I am excited to get into the XCube Hardshell, which is the latest camera travel backpack hitting the market.
Although the XCube Hardshell backpack is currently only available on their Kickstarter, which they are rocking their goal BTW! (check back for an official release update, if you miss the Kickstarter) I was able to get an inside look at the newest photographer, videographer, creator, digital nomad backpack.
This amazing backpack was designed with the on-the-move urban creator in mind, the people behind XCube have put in plenty of attention, for every little detail, developing a sick new camera bag. Let’s dive into it.
Honestly aside from my recent Wandrd PRVKE purchase I have been the worst at properly protecting my camera gear. For years I just put my lenses and camera in whatever little chest-pack I currently had while backpack. Definitely was a little nervous at times, like when random Thai downpours happen, but this XCube backpack puts my mind quite at ease if that happens again, because it’s got a waterproof shell!
Speaking on the outside, the specifically designed hard front shell will definitely keep all your camera or work items safe while traveling. And the front shell even doubles as a stable working desk if you have to do some important work on the go. As for secure, I really dig the anti-theft lock and attachment chain system on this backpack. The XCube allows you to attach the backpack to various surfaces, protecting your gear from quick snatch and grab thieves. This important feature has been missing from a lot of high end backpack brands, aside from Pacsafe’s laptop minded backpacks, so I am excited to see it in use on the XCube Hardshell.
The XCube camera travel backpack is quite thoughtfully designed, including an extensive list of features, which we will deeply go over in the next section, but right now I’ll quickly share some of the eh’s and oo’s of my inital thoughts. I like how the XCube has ample storage space, plenty of compartments, I am a sucker for organization, it includes a charge station even and of course the protective design make this one heck of a camera bag.
All of those great features add a little extra weight though, the 43L pack weighs 4.14lbs, which is a little heavy for a backpack not even loaded with gear. This backpack is definitely focused more on work and commuting vs minimalist travel backpacker, which is not necessarily a bad thing, it just shows that the XCube Hardshell backpack is meant for the professional creator or traveling business worker, who may look towards, design, function, gear protection first and has extra safety in mind.
With most every professional camera backpack on the market you have heaps of add-on’s that are needed to be able to fully utilize the backpack. I remember buying my PRVKE and then being like ugggh now I have to buy the rain cover and tripod straps and cube inserts. All is needed but definitely was a strain on my budget.
The XCube isn’t like most others in that regard, it is already fully waterproof, it also comes with dividers, and a tripod or gear strap. Also since it is only available on their Kickstater, you get a discounted price, plus extra XCube gear, depending on the backing bundle you purchase. As for once it is for sale, outside of Kickstarter, we will have to see how this photographer and creator backpack is sold.
The XCube camera and travel backpack is listed available in two main sizes 43 Liters and 34 Liters along with two colors – carbon black and space grey. Now those sizes are including the 30% expanded capacity that both XCube Hardshell’s are able to do. The collapsed liter volume for each is 32L and 26L respectably. Also available is the Cube Pack – which is a 5L hardshell bag, with padded dividers, for storing camera equipment. This insert fits perfectly inside either XCube backpack or The Cube pack can also be used independently, expanding up to a 13.5 Liters backpack of its own.
The Magic Cube module is a specialized 10 Liter insert with adjustable velcro dividers allowing you to customize your gear storage. Lastly is the sleek Sling Bag. This is a small 2 Liter item bag that stacks perfectly on top of the Magic Cube, inside your XCube Hardshell backpack. Also as the name suggests the Sling Bag can be taken out and used as a small over the shoulder bag.
Both the XCube 43 Liter and 34 Liter travel backpacks sport these same unique features. The protective hardshell top can double as a stable working desk, for finalizing some quick work on the go. The main storage compartment opens up a massive 180 degrees, allowing you unobstructed access into the backpack. A nice thing is that XCube comes with 6 velcro dividers, so technically you do not need any add-on’s to use this backpack as a photographer or creator. Along with the main storage XCube has a whopping 14 COMPARTMENTS! 10 regular and 4 hidden, which if you are like me keep all your random cords and things organized.
The larger XCube backpack fits a laptop up to 17″ and both offer quick side laptop access, making TSA a breeze. Custom ergonomic straps help to reduce load weight and feel by 30%. XCube Hardshell also has very nice attachment points for placing this camera bag onto your rolling luggage, keeping all your carry-on items together. As I previously mentioned XCube is waterproof and it is also shockproof up to 2 meters! The hidden zippers, anti-theft lock and attaching chain are clutch for fully protect all your valuables.
The XCube is a very versatile backpack for the active creator or on-the-go business worker. I dig it’s slick modern design and that I have no worries about my gear staying safe and organized, even with my quick travel life.
There is a reason why this backpack has surpassed more than ten times it’s Kickstarter goal, the XCube Hardshell is easily going to change the camera bag scene!
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