The Mountainsmith Tour – Part 1 – The Perfect Travel Companion

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15/01/08 – The Mountainsmith Tour – Part 1 – The Perfect Travel Companion

One of the most common problems all photographers face is the “search for the perfect bag.” We all clamor for that one bag that will solve all our problems, I have more than a dozen “perfect bags.” Over the years I have come back to one bag over and over and over again, the Mountainsmith Tour.

This week Flying With Fish is dedicated to the Moutainsmith Tour and the multiple ways I have used, adapted and pack this bag, from a news/sports/wedding bag, to a lighting kit bag to a “wow it can haul that also! “bag. I have owned three of these bags, currently owning two of them, and have also started to use the Mountainsmith Tour‘s slightly larger sibling the Mountainsmith Day bag. In fact, if possible, I plan to try and travel approximately 18,000 miles over three days, shooting in two countries, on two continents, with just the Mountainsmith Tour and Mountainsmith Day next month!

Before we kick this week off of the Mountainsmith Tour off, let me go over the basics of the bag and why I love it.

1) The Mountainsmith Tour is a near perfectly designed lumbar bag. It sits comfortably on my body no matter what he weight load
2) The waist strap has two independent adjustment straps to allow me to change the angle of the bag for more comfort as I work
3) The pack has a bright yellow interior making it almost impossible to lose anything inside the bag
4) The main pocket has a small zipper pouch to store smaller items in their own area
5) The exterior pocket has a small “clip-strap” to attach small items, such as a CF card wallet, securely in your bag
6) The pack has an optional shoulder strap which is great at times when you want extra support
7) The pack’s waist straps can be tucked in an hidden for use as a shoulder bag
8) The rear padding has a small pocket built in to quickly stash items, such as a CF card wallet while shooting or an airline ticket while going through security
9) The nylon construction of the bag is nearly indestructible (I had one die, my dog ate it after I left a candy bar on it, I can’t fault the bag for my dog’s munchies)
10) The Mountainsmith Tour (and Mountainsmith Day) are available in Recycled Materials! That’s right the bags are made up from approximately 13-to-16 plastic bottles! Mountainsmith estimates that the Recycled Tour & Day pack saved about 1.1million bottles from going into the landfills in 2007!

Below are three photos of my two Tour packs. I use a Pink one (my daughter Lauren chose it for me) and a black one (for those slightly more formal occasions). The photos show an overall view of the packs, the yellow interior and the proud recycled logo!

Happy Flying!

–Click The Images To Enlarge Them–


  1. Tim

    This week I will have a few posts all about the Mountainsmith Tour. These posts will detail what the Tour can hold, and each will have detailed images of the Tour loaded up with gear and the Tour shot beside the gear stuffed in it.

    These descriptions and images will include using additional pouches from Newswear,, to using the “strapettes” to secure a small light stand or tripod (that are compact, easy to carry and legal for carry on) to shoving in a bunch of lenses on the run, packing a light some lenses, reflectors, flash, etc, etc, and not even coming close to exceeding what this bag can carry while letting you still be compact and mobile while on your feet.

    If you don’t see a set up that works for you by Friday let me know!

    Remember that no one’s kit is the same. Everyone has their own needs.

    ……….and as a disclaimer, I at times use a Domke F-803 three slot insert in my Mountainsmith Tour. I do not currently have one as they are on back order for the last month and one of my dog’s ate my previous insert (#9 in my list of why I love this bag).

    Happy Flying!


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