Mindshift Gear Rotation180 Travel Away review

IMG_4151If you are at all familiar with the Rotation line, you know that the key feature is the rotating beltpack, but the folks at Mindshift Gear are not about to settle for a one-trick pony. The entire line of Rotation180 bags are made with high standards that will make you feel much better about the pricetag. These bags fall safely into the realm of “you get what you pay for.” When I am carrying thousands of dollars of camera and computer equipment on my back, a few hundred bucks is not too much to spend on a quality bag. Mindshift Gear is all about the details. While most of the bags that Mindshift Gear creates are for the photographer, this bag reaches out to a more expanded audience.

Already a proud owner of a Rotation180 Professional Deluxe, I recently tested out the Travel Away model of their Rotation180 line. The advertisement stated that it could hold a 15” laptop and I was skeptical about that when I saw the bag. It seemed too small. I think they must have hired the engineering team who developed the T.A.R.D.I.S. because this thing is bigger on the inside. It actually held my wife’s bulky Dell 15” laptop and my iPad, along with a fleece, snacks, noise cancelling headphones, poncho, and the optional raincover, and this was only the two front compartments, which are nicely designed to take full advantage of the space. The rear of the two main compartments is more shallow than the front to accommodate the beltpack underneath, but this actually adds the benefit that things do not fall to the bottom of a deep compartment. This compartment is where I chose to put my noise-cancelling headphones (a necessity for any frequent flier). When I loaded the beltpack, it easily held my Kindle, passport, a variety of cards I carry such as my ID and credit cards, a pen, boarding passes, money (in a zippered, secure pouch), and my cell phone. The Belly-O pouches are made in perfect sizes for items like a passport, ID cards and a smartphone.

One of the bonus features of the rotating beltpack is the security it offers. It would be very difficult for a pick-pocket to get their hands in this pouch when it is nested inside the bag, much less into the internal zippered money pouch. Additionally, when returning the bag to the “stored” position, you only have to get the latch close and the magnets take over, snapping the latch closed with a solid click.

There are also two decent size pouches on the side of the beltpack, but I would not put anything valuable in there if you are in an area where someone may pick your pockets. Lastly, there are two Ultra-Stretch water bottle pouches on the sides of the main bag. The 350G Airmesh padding on the backpanel and shoulder straps helps alleviate the tendency backpacks have of leaving sweaty pools where they contact your body. From the zippers to the fabric, quality details abound.

Don’t forget to order the Ripstop Rain Cover. I have one for both my Professional Deluxe bag as well as this one. It feels good to know your stuff is protected should you get caught out in the rain.

All in all, this is a great bag for someone not needing to carry any camera equipment. This is an “anyone” and “everyone” bag.

If you are interested in this bag, you can order it HERE!


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