Let’s start with the obvious question – why is a cycling website reviewing a photography product? Simple. There are many passionate cyclists who share the same passion for photography. Go to any bike race and you’re sure to see myriad cyclists with DSLR cameras. Additionally, cycling lets many enthusiast photographers get places that may not be practical solely on foot.
Thule is no doubt best known for its car racks and storage boxes, but recent years have seen the Swedish brand expanding into bike cases, pannier racks and bags, and all forms of backpacks, suitcases and computer cases. The Perspektiv Daypack is not designed as a cycling pack, yet it offers plenty for action and adventure photography.
The camera part
It will hold your gear safely, but this isn't a cycling-specific product by any means
The camera is stored in a protected compartment on the right side of the pack. This side access design allows you to get at your camera with the pack slung over one shoulder, and it helps keep the pack impressively slim too.
Thule claims the fully removable, tweakable storage compartment has space for two to three lenses, a flash and a prosumer level DSLR body (such as a Canon 7D or Nikon D300S) with a lens mounted.
We comfortably carried our Canon kit including a flash, 50mm prime lens, 24-105mm lens and a 60D with a 70-200mm (f/4 IS) lens mounted. This setup left some room in the main camera compartment.
The whole camera compartment can be removed and is small enough to fit inside a hotel safe
Lined with light blue felt – which aids visibility of the items within – the compartment offers four angled Velcro compartment dividers that can be moved to suit your kit. We ended up removing half of these pieces, but it’s nice to have the flexibility.
On the other side of the pack is another seam-sealed compartment, which offers sleeves for spare SD memory cards and batteries – Canon 60D/7D batteries fit perfectly here. The section also offers a fully weather sealed zippered area for items that must stay dry.
The pack part
Standing in the way of this being considered a proper all-day adventure sports pack – and competing with the likes of some Lowepro or Evoc Sports packs – is the lack of space for a hydration bladder. Without space for a laptop, it’s no good as a commuting pack either. Despite this we got along with it, and for walking around races, tradeshows and riding to photoshoots it proved highly competent.
Adjustable sternum and padded waist straps join the well-padded and ventilated shoulder straps. It’s easy to set the pack up to be comfortable and quite stable, despite all the weight of its contents.
The rigid nature of the pack means it won't hug your body like standard softer backpacks
Your back meets minimal but effective padding that covers an otherwise flat surface. For riding, some packs hug the contours of your body to increase stability, but the Perspektiv doesn’t. This means the pack can slide slightly when it's fully loaded and you're riding out of the saddle, although this is to be expected given the heft of a full pack.
Ventilation is minimal while riding, so expect a sweaty back. However, compared with more complex back-support systems, the simplicity helps to keep the pack’s profile slim and the weight down at an impressive 1.39kg (3.06lb).
A look inside the protected top compartment – there's no sectioned storage here
In addition to the camera section, there's a large protected compartment at the top of the pack, comfortably fitting a jacket, a few energy bars and some puncture repair items. The rigid nature of this compartment does mean smaller items can bounce around, but stowing a padded jacket offers a quick fix.
One of the big features of the Perspektiv Daypack is its defense against poor weather – crucial when you’re carrying expensive electronics.
If it all goes bad, an included waterproof cover fits over this already water-resistant pack
The fabric is water repellent and most drops just bead straight off, while all compartments feature welded and taped seams, high-end YKK sealed zippers. If that’s not enough, a rain cover is stored inside the pack’s lumbar pad.
A weatherproof measure we're less keen on is the top compartment's zipper flap, a piece of overlapping material that covers the entire zipper length. While it's a nice security measure, care must be taken to fold the flap up properly to prevent the zipper snagging.
Other features include an external removable tripod carrier, reflective logo, generous zipper pulls and stash pockets for quickly accessible small items.
With a long list of features and confident protection against heavy rain, this pack deserves its asking price and will find favour with those seeking a camera-focused pack for shorter adventures with a smaller kit. Like most things from Thule, the Perspektiv pack has been built to last and feels undeniably solid – the 25-year warranty is proof of this.