Testing The Strohl Mountain Light 45L Backpack In The Himalayas

The ultimate hybrid between an outdoor rucksack and a camera backpack.

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I recently tested Alex Strohl's Strohl Mountain Light 45L Backpack on a trip in various challenging conditions of the Trans-Himalayas in Ladakh, India. This feature-packed backpack turned out to be an integral piece of gear on my journey. This bag is also rated of the best hiking backpacks of 2022 from TravelFreak. So, you know it's good.

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The Solution to Ultra-Light Backpack Carry for Creatives

Up until now, hiking in the mountains as a photographer was tough. The average outdoor rucksack was not meant for storing camera gear, which meant I had to carry another, smaller camera bag for a camera and its accessories, the ultimate sacrifice of comfort. Carrying multiple bags isn't ideal for a backcountry excursion.

Alex Strohl is a shaker and decided to eliminate this contagious problem by producing a one-of-its-kind camera backpack alongside Moment: the Moment X Alex Strohl's Strohl Mountain Light 45L Backpack. An ultra-light pack. Now, you no longer have to compromise.

Fun fact! This bag was hauled up an impressive altitude of almost 18000 Ft. (17982 Ft. to be precise) at the 2nd highest road in the world. Almost 400 Ft. higher than the Everest Base Camp, this is likely the highest altitude that the Strohl MTN Light has been.

The Strohl MTN Light comprises ultralight and waterproof Cordura Fabric with an internal frame, back access zip to the camera compartment for quick access to all the gear, and a ton of space for all the other outdoor equipment that you would require in the mountains.

One highlighted feature is that it doesn't have as much room for all your camera gear as an everyday camera bag. Intentionally crafted for the minimalist in mind, the pack is acute for only one camera body and two lenses — nothing more. Because when trekking among the mountains, it's important only to carry the essentials.

The majority of the pack space is for the more critical outdoor specialties like a down jacket, food, water, etc. However, the 45L load is ample storage for overnight missions, even 2-3 days, when compartmentalized appropriately.

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What It Packs

As a hybrid shooter who shoots both photo & video, I carried one lens, microphone, SD cards, and batteries in the camera insert. The camera and my zoom lens stayed in the camera loader for quick on-the-go access, my DJI Air 2s drone bag inside the backpack alongside my winter layers and extra shirts. The top loader was undoubtedly my favorite because it allowed easy access to the critical property — sunglasses, wallet, beanie, gloves, chapstick, etc. The side pockets offered space for a tripod on one side and my gimbal on the other. Additionally, I used the mesh pockets on the shoulder strap to store a small juice bottle.

I was immediately impressed with all the items I could quickly bring that I wouldn't be able to if I were using a standard gear-focused camera bag. The MTN Light is incredibly light for a 45L rucksack, as its lightweight solution is the product's main characteristic. The shoulder strap and back pad are made from perforated material, making them breathable for sweaty all-day terrain. The waist belt is remarkably comfortable, which distributes the bag's weight throughout the body so that the weight is not just on your shoulders. Moreover, with proper customization of the straps to fit your person, the bag perfectly snugs your frame and functions as another layer in icy conditions.

The 45L Mountain Light performs prominently in the field, feels sturdy against various weather conditions, and looks fantastic. The waterproof Cordura fabric made it possible for me to use the bag in snowfall without worries. The snow fell away without penetrating the interior, safeguarding the necessary gear.

  • Fast, light and waterproof.
  • Highly customizable design.
  • Tough and solid camera insert.
  • Padded camera loader gives easy access to the camera on the go.
  • An extremely comfortable waist belt distributes the bag's weight throughout the body.
  • Perforated shoulder straps and back area makes it more breathable.
  • Removable top loader.
  • Waist belt pocket and shoulder mesh pockets for phone/snacks, etc.

What We Rate

  • Accessibility
    • Fish for it.
    • Put it down to access.
    • Pause to access.
    • Access on the go.

  • Adjustable Fit
    • Fixed length
    • Length adjustments
    • Length and Body
    • All Plus compression

  • Capacity
    • Daily essentials
    • 1 Day
    • 3 Day
    • > 5 Day

  • Comfort
    • For a few minutes
    • A few hours
    • Most of the day
    • All day

  • Organization
    • Single Pocket
    • Some compartments
    • Lots of compartments
    • Custom Configurations

  • Travelability
    • Light travel
    • Urban travel
    • Everywhere travel
    • Rugged Travel

  • Waterproof
    • Stay away
    • Light rain
    • Rain Storm
    • Like A Dry Bag

  • Weight
    • Ultra Light
    • Light
    • Average
    • Heavy
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The Camera Loader

The camera loader is constructed from the same Cordura fabric as the backpack to keep your camera safe. Designed to provide instant access to your gear, you'll never have to fish for an accessory or waste time on the trails.

The camera loader slides through the waist belt of the larger pack to hang off the lower body. Additionally, it arrives with a threaded plate compatible with all capture clip options. It also bears a zip inside for small items like SD/MicroSD cards.

The Camera Insert

The camera insert is a hard-shell storage insert for all your camera gear, accessible from the back compartment of the backpack. The bottom part of the sack contains three velcro straps that attach to the camera insert and keep it from shifting inside. It encloses removable padded dividers designed for the ultimate storage customization.

Since drones aren't allowed in cabin baggage on Indian flights, during the air travel to reach Ladakh, I removed all the dividers, stored my drone bag inside the camera insert, and put it in my check-in bag. The hard shell of the camera insert gave the perfect protection to my drone during the transit.

Overall, I'm highly impressed with the Strohl Mountain Light Backpack and its highlighted packable features. Alex Strohl and the Moment team have done a great job making such an incredible product.

This bag, for sure, is now my go-to bag whenever I'm outdoors.