Product Review: ILE Mark II Prototype Photo Bag Jul 26, 2011


Working on a product like a photo backback is no easy task. There are already so many options to chose from but over the past few months, I felt like none really address people who spend a lot of time riding bikes and shooting photos or video. That’s when I started to work with Eric from Inside Line Equipment on a small line of cycling-friendly photo backpacks.

The first run of the Ultimate Photographers Backpack was exactly what I envisioned: a simple, clean and reliable roll top backpack with a small DSLR compartment. But I needed more camera space. On any given day, I’ll ride my bike, loaded with a tripod, light stand, multiple lenses and even film equipment all over town. I needed something that would hold all of that in one, readily-accessible compartment that was still 100% secure and waterproof.

That’s when Eric designed what he’s calling the Mark II backpack. Check out more below!


This bag is no joke. It’s big enough for all my equipment that I could possibly need for an afternoon of riding and shooting photos. I’ve used it on multiple occasions already and I can safely say that it’s the most comfortable, stable and cycling-friendly cargo photo bag I’ve tried.


Eric used the same detailing on the straps, which hug your hips and prevent any side to side sway. The tripod and light stand pockets on either side are vented to allow water, dirt or whatever fall through. I only have one light stand, so I usually tuck a water bottle beside it. I’ve fit three stands in the pocket before however.


The top of the straps are ergonomic and padded and the low-profile of the rolltop keeps over the shoulder visibility high.


The bag will comfortably sit on the ABS plastic-enforced DSLR area.


To utilize the real estate of this bag, Eric used a military rucksack inspired MOLLE system. This leaves the bag open to any MOLLE accessory attachment and ILE will be producing a wide range of pockets and holsters to fit. Or you can simple go to a surplus store and add on as many as you want.


These pouches are best for quick and easy access.


And are movable to any part of the bag via the MOLLE clips.


The Mark II comes with the standard rolltop bag, as well as one additional pocket that’s added to the exterior of the bag, so no matter how full the roll top is stuffed, you can still access this pocket. It’s great for film, tools, whatever. I keep batteries, my point and shoot 35mm camera and film in mine.


The roll top is ideal for a 15″ laptop, jackets, tools or whatever you’d normally carry with you. It’s 100% waterproof and lined.


As you can see, the proportions of this bag, versus the Ultimate Photographers Bag are weighted more towards the camera storage. The Mark II has more of a 60/40 split to camera / bag storage.


I have fit every digital and 35mm camera I own in this compartment. It’s modular and can be arranged to fit a 7D with a battery grip and my 80-200mm 2.8 L lens attached. Inside here I’ve got my flash, 24-70mm 2.8L, Sigma 10mm fisheye, 50mm 1.4, 80-200 2.8 L, DSLR body with a battery grip, and I still can fit my AE-1 35mm and film.


The likely hood of me carrying all this around with me is actually very high. When I go to do shop visits or shoot freestyle, I’ll usually carry a wide range of lenses with me.


The Mark II Photographer’s Bag was designed by cyclists, made in the USA and is available as a custom order direct through ILE. It’s stable, has room to spare and is very travel friendly. I’ll be taking it with me to Hawaii tomorrow and it will fit in an standard oversize bin. This is hands-down the best bang for the buck and is perfect for traveling, cycling photographers.


Support local, handmade products and buy ILE!

Well Used: Inside Line Equipment – The Ultimate Photographers Bag

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