Is there a perfect backpack for landscape photographers?
That’s a question I’ve asked myself for many years as I’ve gone through a variety of alternatives from different manufacturers. During this process, I’ve learned that there are great backpacks out there but there hasn’t been any that’s made me say ‘this is it‘.
The NYA-EVO Fjord 60-C might not be perfect but I’ll admit this right off the top: it’s the best camera backpack I’ve had to date.
I’ve put it through various tests and used it daily throughout this year’s winter season and it’s become clear that this is a well-thought-out backpack with features that landscape and adventure photographers will appreciate.
It’s also got several neat features for photographers heading out on bigger adventures that need to bring a snowboard, skis, camping equipment and other non-photography equipment.
Let’s jump straight into it and take a closer look.
NYA-EVO Fjord 60-C Specifications
Before we get into the build and appearance, let’s take a quick look at the specs as described by NYA-EVO:
- Volume expanded: 60 liter
- Volume not expanded: 44 liter
- Weight: 1900 g / 4.18 lbs
- Weight stripped down: 1500 g / 3.3 lbs
- Dimensions expanded: 34 (W) x 70 (H) x 32 (D) cm / 13.4 (W) x 27.5 (H) x 12.6 (D) in
- Dimensions not expanded: 34 (W) x 56 (H) x 25 (D) cm / 13.4 (W) x 22 (H) x 9.8 (D) in
Note: A RCI (Removable Camera Unit) needs to be purchased separately and is place inside the lower region of the backpack.
Build and Construction
While the NYA-EVO Fjord 60-C is bulkier than many other backpacks, this is what makes it as solid as it is. You’ll quickly see that this is a backpack that’s built to last and that can handle heavy usage.
The rip-stop and water-repellent fabric is of high quality and is tough enough to not get damaged when the backpack is laid down on the rough ground. There’s also an even tougher (and waterproof) base of the backpack which underlines that you don’t need to be afraid of using it in rocky landscapes.
Zippers, buckles and straps are all heavy-duty versions, which is important for these types of backpacks. Way too many models go for a cheaper and lower-quality option and while this might save you a couple of bucks, they tend to break easily.
Overall the Fjord 60-C feels and acts like a tough, high-quality backpack that can be used both for evening strolls in the park and longer adventures in the mountains.
The backpack is available in four colors: Graphite (Black), Powder (White), Midnight (Navy) and Pine (Green).
High-Duty Weather Sealing
As someone who lives above the Arctic Circle in the Lofoten Islands, it’s essential that the backpack I use is able to withstand the extreme weather we so often get. I simply can’t have a backpack that isn’t somewhat water-resistant.
I expect that an additional rain cover is needed during the stormiest days but, to my surprise, the Fjord 60-C kept my gear perfectly dry on a stormy day without using one (despite the fact that a rain cover is included).
This is a huge win for me as I don’t need to constantly worry about my gear being wet when I’m out hiking or photographing in bad weather.
The high weather resistance is the result of the thermoplastic polyurethane coated nylon fabric and polyurethane coated YKK® Aquaguard® zippers. For someone like me, that’s one too many fancy words, so I’ll just smile and appreciate that it’s passed my in-field tests during the roughest of days.
It’s also worth mentioning that a rogue wave got my backpack with all the camera gear inside and had it completely underwater for a few seconds but the backpack’s interior remained perfectly dry. However, that’s an unintentional test I don’t want to repeat!
Main Exterior Features
As mentioned, the Fjord 60-C is a heavy-duty backpack where the designers haven’t sacrificed quality on any of the features. I particularly like that the backpack also has features that are useful for other types of outdoor activities.
The straps on the front let you easily mount a tripod or a pair of skis that, when tightened, attach to the backpack without swaying back and forth when hiking.
An extra stretch mesh attachment is also included and can be used to attach snowshoes, a snowboard, a helmet, extra clothes or anything else on the front.
Smaller tripods or hiking poles can be mounted to either of the sides and tightened with one of the side straps. There’s also space for a water bottle on either side. The side pocket is stretchy, which means you can easily fit a bottle here even when the backpack is fully packed.
The Fjord 60-C has a large and spacious quick-access front pocket for storing your laptop, accessories, books or perhaps extra layers. It also fits most snow shovels, avalanche probes and other tools you might need for backcountry adventures.
Personally, I use the front pocket to store extra batteries, microfiber cloths, memory cards and a few tools. When traveling, I place my laptop and other travel essentials here.
You’ll find a vertical zipper on each side of the bag that, when opened, transforms this into a 52-liter backpack. This comes in handy when bringing extra equipment and clothing.
In addition to the front pocket expansion, there’s also a top zip pocket that gives an additional 8-liters of storage. This is a waterproof pocket that’s separate from the main compartment of the backpack, so you don’t need to worry about placing wet equipment or clothing in it.
Rear Panel Access
Turning the backpack around, you’ll see that the Fjord 60-C has rear panel access with easy access to your camera gear. This has become quite popular but a struggle I’ve had with some is the difficulty of getting the gear in and out of the removable camera insert inside.
In this case, the rear panel works perfectly fine. I’ve not had any issues with zippers getting stuck or camera gear/RCI being cramped in inaccessible areas.
Thanks to the removable internal separator (which we’ll come back to in a bit), you don’t have to worry about things from the main compartment falling out when opening the rear panel.
Above the rear panel, you’ll find the zipper for the main compartment. This is typically where you’ll store all non-photography equipment. Like other parts of the backpack, also this zipper is waterproof, making sure that anything inside stays nice and dry.
Main Interior Features
The first thing that hit me when unpacking the Fjord 60-C for the first time was something along the lines of ‘wow, there are a lot of pockets and compartments’. In fact, I found it slightly overwhelming.
It’s not quite as overwhelming anymore. I now see that the interior is well-designed and makes it possible to fully utilize the up to 60 liters of space.
The main compartment is about 52 litres when the front expansion zips are opened. This is where your camera equipment is stored.
What makes the main compartment of the Fjord 60-C extra neat, is the removable internal separator, a feature that separates the removable camera insert (i.e. your camera and lenses) from the rest of the compartment. This is particularly useful to avoid other gear mixing in and possibly damaging your camera.
Having the internal separator also means you can better organize other equipment in the main compartment and avoid it getting wet when opening the rear panel on a rainy day.
In the upper front of the main compartment, you’ll find a netted pocket. This is a good place to keep extra batteries or other small, essential equipment you need to easily access.
The large front pocket (what I’ll refer to as the laptop compartment), you’ll find several smaller pockets for organizing. This is a deep pocket that can store most 15 inch laptops with a padded sleeve, documents, or extra equipment for hiking.
Finally, you have the top expansion pocket. This is an 8 liter compartment with plenty of space for additional clothing or camera gear. As mentioned, it’s completely water proof, which means that the other compartments wont get affected if you leave wet things in it.
There’s no doubt that the Fjord 60-C is a feature-rich backpack with lots of space for all your equipment. It takes some time to get familiar with all the storage opportunities but once you find a system, it works great.
I guess the big question many of you have is: how much can you fit into the backpack?
When using the Large RCI for my camera gear, and extending all the expansions, I can easily fit the following equipment:
- 2x Camera bodies (Nikon D800 + Fuji X-T2)
- 3x Lenses (Nikon 14-24mm & 24-70mm + Fuji 100-400mm)
- 1x NiSi filter box + S5 filter holder
- 1x DJI Mavic Pro drone bag
- Extra batteries, memory cards and other accessories
- Extra sweater and down jacket
- Food and water
- Tripod (mounted on the outside)
- Snowshoes (mounted on the outside)
- … and additional outdoor gear such as a tent or sleeping bag.
I’ve found that the stated 60 liters capacity seems quite accurate. By packing smart you can fit a lot into this backpack, just know that it’s going to get heavy!
Using a smaller RCI gives you additional space for other non-photography gear. You can easily adjust the removable separator in the main compartment to fit the smaller inserts.
Comfort and Usability
The Fjord 60-C is a highly customizable backpack that easily can be adjusted your body type and preferences. There’s a torso height adjustment system above the rear panel that you can adjust to small, medium or large, depending on your height and build.
You’ll find that the waist belt is sewn closer to the center of the bag which gives a better fit for the hips. This comes in handy when you’re heading out for longer hikes and the backpack is on the heavier side. For these scenarios, you’ll also appreciate the ergonomically designed shoulder straps with two centimeters thick foam.
I’m not sure that photography backpacks will never become quite as comfortable as proper hiking backpacks but the Fjord 60-C is not far away. It’s without a doubt the most comfortable I’ve tried so far.
I’ve previously tested other photography backpacks for up to 7 days hiking through the backcountry and it killed my back.
I haven’t tested the Fjord 60-C to that extent yet but it’s comfortable for full-day hikes carrying heavy equipment. Once the snow melts, I’m ready to bring it for an overnight adventure.
All the pockets and compartments become extra useful when hiking as you can easily store different types of gear in specific areas. It’s obvious that every inch of this backpack is well-thought through.
Conclusion of the NYA-EVO Fjord 60-C Backpack
I don’t think there’s such a thing as a perfect backpack for all scenarios; the ideal backpack for backcountry hiking is rarely the same as for when shooting roadside or nearby home. I’ve tried many different backpacks since starting with photography and they all have their pro’s and cons.
The NYA-EVO Fjord 60-C, however, is one that I see myself using in most scenarios, either I’m just hopping in the car for a drive or if I’m heading into the mountains for a longer hike.
When compressed, the backpack is only 44l which means it will fit into most overheads on flights. Expand the expansion pockets and zips to transform it into a more spacious 60l backpack that carries all the equipment you need.
There’s plenty of space for any additional items you need to travel with, such as a laptop, batteries, documents and more. In fact, I find that I only use a fraction of the pockets it has to offer.
The Fjord 60-C is also a comfortable backpack. I find it to be a good backpack for day hiking, even when packed with heavy camera equipment, a tripod, clothes, food, shelter and more. For multi-day hikes, though, I’d still opt for a non-photography hiking backpack such as the Osprey Xenith 88 for the extra space and comfort.
To sum it all up: the NYA-EVO Fjord 60-C is a comfortable, high-quality and spacious backpack that suits most landscape and adventure photographers. It’s a backpack that is built to last and can withstand even rough conditions. I liked it from the first time I saw it and I believe this is a backpack I’m going to use for years to come.
Pros of the Fjord 60-C
- Excellent weather sealing
- High-quality and durable material
- Comfortable for day hiking
- Spacious enough for most adventures
- Plenty of features both inside and outside
- Good value for the money
Cons of the Fjord 60-C
- The expansion pocket is separate from the main room
- Number of features could get overwhelming
If you’re in the market for a new backpack and think the NYA-EVO Fjord 60-C is a good fit for you, I’m happy to let you know that they’re giving CaptureLandscapes readers a 10% discount by using the code CaptureLandscapes at checkout or by ordering through this link.
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links but the opinions stated are based on my experiences using the backpack and are not biased towards the company. This has become my main photography backpack and is what you’ll see me use in the field.