A daily backpack with space for a camera is a great idea, but it needs refinement

Everyone is taking pictures. Thule designers had to come out of this assumption, creating new backpacks from the EnRoute Camera Bagpack series, in which, apart from space for everyday things, there was also room for the camera.

The Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack concept is the right one. Despite the fact that more people are photographing with a smartphone today and the camera market is constantly shrinking, the number of people who carry a camera with them every day to take pictures of the highest quality has increased.

Instagrammers, YouTube players, creative professionals or just amateurs, for whom pictures taken with a smartphone are not enough - these people do not part with the camera. And they have a problem, because in the case of most backpacks or bags, the camera simply has nowhere to put it.

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack solves this problem.

I tested both the 20 and the 25-liter variant of the new Thule backpack during the last month and I would like every producer to have such a product in his portfolio.

Thule EnRoute is a daily backpack with a slim profile and a comfort-oriented design. Dedicated to office workers or students who need space for a laptop, tablet, small accessories, maybe some sweatshirt on cooler days.

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack

The photographic version of these backpacks is still fulfilling this task. Both in the smaller and larger backpack, we find a lot of compartments and pockets for all sorts of trinkets and a sizable main compartment, in which a sweatshirt or container for lunch will fit. On one side of the backpack we also have space for a bottle of water. In addition, we have an insert containing the camera, with a dedicated opening on the other side of the backpack, which is additionally padded with a soft lining.

In this way, you can attach the camera to the "everyday necessity". Not afraid - as in ordinary backpacks - that we will damage expensive equipment in a rucksack unsuitable for carrying it.

Concept versus execution

Even the best idea can be squandered with ill-conceived performance and I'm afraid that the Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack just happened.

Let's start with the 25-liter variant. I spent more time with him during the tests, for a simple reason - the laptop pocket is separated from the rest of the interior, softly padded and accommodates laptops with a screen size of 15.6 ".

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack

Inside there are also more accessories, more there are also additional pockets where you can hide small items.

There was also an additional pocket on the front, where you can press a newspaper or e-book reader.

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack

The problem is that the 25-liter EnRoute has one major disadvantage - there is no traditional zipper, and a magnetic strip at the top of the main chamber. On the one hand, it's a very useful solution, because it's easy to put something in a backpack and take something out of it. On the other hand, this bar does not provide any protection. Even when we fasten the belt with plastic buckles, it is very easy to swivel it to the right side and open it.

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack

You can also get to the main chamber with a zip on the right edge of the backpack. I understand the idea; the zipper was to facilitate quick access to the contents of the backpack without having to completely remove it from the back, but in practice it is another hot spot for a potential thief.

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack

The 20-liter variant is devoid of the above ills. In addition, at its peak, we find the hallmark of Thule backpacks, or a hardened pocket, in which we can store delicate things without fear of crushing them.

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack

Without hesitation, I would recommend this version, if not for one problem - there is a dedicated laptop compartment missing here. The 20-liter Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack houses laptops up to 13 "(although I was able to push a 13.5-inch Surface Book 2 ), but it houses them in an unprotected, unprotected compartment that additionally fits tightly against the photographic insert that it is difficult to push a laptop into it when the camera is inside.

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack

What's more, the camera and the laptop press so hard that I was really afraid of damaging one or the other.

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack

The biggest disadvantage of the Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack is the size of the cartridge for the camera.

I do not know on the basis of which cameras the insert was designed in these backpacks, but certainly they were not professional cameras. The cartridge can easily fit a tiny camera with a micro 4/3 sensor, or a small mirrorless APS-C sensor, such as Fujifilm X-T30 or Sony A6400.

However, the attempt to put something bigger there is either doomed to failure or to push the cartridge to a level where it stops protecting the camera, and even exposes it to damage.

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack

Inside I managed to fit the Olympus OM-D em-1 mk II with a connected PRO lens, as well as a Nikon Z6 with a 35mm f / 1.8S lens.

However, when I tried to put in a Nikon D750 with a 24-70 f / 2.8 lens, I fell. The camera simply did not fit into the depths, and the lens could barely be pressed in. You can, of course, force the camera and fasten the zipper, but it is not a bit safe for the equipment, or convenient for the user.

Anyway, even with smaller cameras you can forget about taking any additional lens. Maybe the "micro 4/3" pancakes will somehow fit in the cartridge next to the camera, but if you're talking about normal size lenses (even small ones, like Sigma Contemporary ), well, unfortunately - there is no chance.

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack

To make matters worse, even putting on a small camera, it is hard to resist the impression that the cartridge is too crowded. The flap, which is difficult to fasten and which is simply too thick in relation to the size of the insert, plays a large role in this feeling.

Detriment. Because it would really be half a centimeter from one side and the other, so that you can move freely not only amateur cameras, but also high-end devices that can get professional results. And I know that EnRoute is not to be used as a basic photographic backpack in any case, but it would be nice to be able to push a comfortably good camera with one good lens.

Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack

I am waiting for the second generation. But that does not mean that it is not worth buying these backpacks.

In my case, none of the described backpacks checked. The equipment I carry with me every day is just too much space to be transported safely. However, if you are photographing a small camera with a small sensor and you do not need a set of lenses at hand, the Thule EnRoute Camera Bagpack may be the perfect choice for you.

These backpacks are much slimmer than any strictly photographic backpacks, including all that is necessary for everyday travel around the city, to work or to study.

Both versions are very comfortable, resistant to rainfall and - as befits the Thule - very durable.

Of course - as befits Thule - they are also expensive. The 20-liter version costs PLN 519 , while the 25-liter version costs PLN 649 .

In return, we get a solid, extremely universal backpacks that will certainly serve for many years.

A daily backpack with space for a camera is a great idea, but it needs refinement


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