Thursday, December 20, 2012

F-Stop Gear | Satori EXP Review

    I would like to introduce the premier XL bag from F-Stop Gear, the Satori EXP.  This bag has a capacity of 62 liters and bears EXP, implying that it will hold everything you need for most expeditions.  The Satori has ripstop nylon with a snowboard like jacket feel and water resistance.  It also has a rigid frame structure to help supports the weight of an overly heavy load.  The bag has every little detail worked out for the backcountry excursion in mind with a full load.  I carry an unreal amount of photo equipment every where I go, and the Satori will fit it all with room for a jacket change and food for the day.

    The Satori EXP shell is available only directly from F-Stop Gear for 349.00 USD.  You will need at least one ICU to store the camera equipment in the bag.  It is available with different ICU sizes starting at 419.00 USD.  Long story short on the ICU system, they allow you to customize bags for different trips for equipment and survival gear you need to bring.  You can have an XL ICU for an insane amount of equipment and little survival gear or a small ICU for long trips on the mountains with little camera gear and lots of survival essentials.

    I will leave al the tech talk for the F-Stop crew and just add a ton of photos below for you to check out the bag.  All the bag lines from F-Stop are a little pricy but are the best bags made for any ocasion outside of a studio!  Click any of the photos for a larger more detailed view.

On the exterior of the Satori you will notice there is not an insane amount of pockets like most bags have.  I don't need 12489 pockets on a bag, but if I would like to add any carry compartments, the Satori has a Molle attachment system on the outside.  This allows for many options of attachments that will not com disconected.  You can also see the permanent compression straps great for airline rules, tripods, camping pads, and many other accessories.
 This is the Induro C314, a very large Carbon fiber tripod attached to the side of the Satori EXP.
This is the Medium Lens barrel from the Dakota line from F-Stop Gear.  They have many different sizes and shapes.
 Close up of the front of the pack with a tripod attached, and a good view of the YKK water resistant and glove friendly zippers.  You can see how the mesh pocket helps support a larger/heavier tripod.
 Here you can see the totally customizable shoulder straps, emergency whistle, d-rings, and jersey laminated back.
Another close up of the heavy duty YKK water resistant zippers.
 The small attachment is the Digi Buddy attached to the waste strap Molle system.  You can also see the military Camel Back hose coming down the shoulder strap of the Satori EXP.
 The back entrance of the pack.  This is key when traveling in crowded areas so no one can access your pack without you noticing.  You can also see all the different comfort and support adjustments.
 The back of the Satori EXP opened with a Large Pro ICU filled.  The closed ICU on the top is a Shallow ICU.
The back entrance flap with see through compartments and velcro pockets.
 The top of the Satori with the small shallow ICU removed and the Large Pro still installed.  You can see the upper mesh pocket for extra storage.
 The Large Pro ICU and Small Shallow ICU removed.  You can see the storage for a laptop and Water bladder.  It will fit up to a 17 inch laptop.
The small shallow ICU installed and opened from the top of the Satori.  There are 2 Nikon SB-800's in the ICU.
 Close up view of the H2O water bladder tube exit from the bag.  They do sell a sleeve to protect the camera equipment in case of bladder failure.
 The front of the pack with both pocket opened and the optional water repellant rain cover.
 This is the rain cover installed on the Satori EXP.  The bag is already very water resistance and I have had it in the rain for a while plenty of times.  This accessory is for prolonged down pours of heavy rain.  I like to keep it in the bag for extra rain coverage of the bag or equipment that may be out of the bag, like flashes.
 The back of the Satori with the optional rain cover installed.  You can still access all the camera equipment and should adjustments.
The 3 main ICU's I use for everything.  The XL Pro, Large Pro, and small shallow.  I use the large and small combo for all the camera equipment and accessories I need to carry for a complete set up in the field.  I use the XL pro for my Elinchrom Rangers and flash heads.  They fit 1 ranger, flash head, and a few accessories comfortably.  You can make 2 heads fit as well with the Speed AS.

   In the end the Satori is large enough to carry all of your photo equipment, and camping gear for a back country day or few night shoot.  The bag does have several Gatekeeper attachment points at the top, back, sides, and bottom.  This will allow you to attach a gate keep and carry even more equipment on your bag, like sleeping bags.  

    This is my go to everyday bag.  I do carry lots of equipment on top of 2 Nikon bodies and the pro zoom, and prime lenses.  When I am carry just the Ranger and flash head I tend to use the Loka, which just barely fits it all, but keeps it very stable for hiking, and snowmobiling.  If you have any questions the crew at F-Stop will be happy to answer them.. They take input from the entire pro team from each bag, so they should have an answer to almost everything.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, thanks for putting this together. It has made my decision much easier!