Not too long ago we wrapped up a review on the EVOC CP26L, which is a photo bag aimed at serious enthusiasts and pro level videographers and photographers who, whether on dirt or snow, aim to head out on big adventures with quite a bit of gear. In this article we’re having a look at its smaller and more compact counterpart – the Stage Capture 16L. If you haven’t gathered based on the numbers, it has 10 liters less storage than the CP26L, and is therefore aimed at carrying a smaller camera body, a few small lenses, a tripod and your riding essentials. Read on for a closer look…
- Volume: 16 Liters
- Weight: 1100 grams
- External dimension: 50 x 27 x 16 cm
- Camera compartment: 19 x 24.5 x 11 cm
- $190.00 USD
- Carbon Grey & Light Olive
Starting with camera storage, there are padded partitions that velcro into place. The arrangement is customizable and you can fit small to mid sized cameras such as Micro 4/3rds, Mirrorless and Crop bodies problem. My full size Nikon D850 fits without a vertical grip, but it is on the snugger side. The overall storage is perfect for shooting “run and gun” style photos or videos.
The upper area has room for a rain shell, a sandwich, a pump and then some…A mesh bag is just right for some camera accessories and your car keys.
EVOC always nails the little details – after all, the products are German engineered. Up top, the 4-way adjustable chest strap has a built in emergency whistle. On its opposing side, a clasp for a hydration pouch tube. In the back compartment, you can fit a hydration pouch or up to a 13″ laptop.
Although this bag doesn’t really carry super heavy loads, the “Brace Link” section helps distribute the weight nicely on the shoulders to ensure nice, even weight distribution.
At the very top of the bag, you’ll find a sunglass/goggle pouch with two small sleeves for snacks, etc.
The Stage Capture 16L comes with a deployable waterproof rain sleeve to protect your assets in the event that you get caught out.
The sleeve and the clasps holding the tripod above, deploy from a small zipper pouch in the bottom of the bag. EVOC suggests carrying the tripod as shown above…
The super stretchy and comfortable waist belt has a built-in tool pouch in which I managed to fit: a spare tube, multi tool, tire lever, CO2 / inflator and a plug kit.
Perhaps one of the best features of this bag is its airy mesh backing. Formed foam is wrapped by a sturdy but breathable mesh covering. This is hands down the most breathable bag I’ve used – photo oriented or otherwise.
On the trail
The Stage Capture 16L has been my go-to pack for longer days and bigger rides where I’m trying to save weight (read: energy) but still bring a camera and a couple of lenses along in case something worth documenting goes down. This is usually the case when I want to get photos at higher elevation or in an area deep into a ride where I can’t use my e-bike to save the legs. Out of the gate, I will say that for how small it is, great attention has been paid to making sure you can fit everything you need for a big day out on the bike. I’ve never felt like this bag doesn’t have enough storage for necessities outside of camera gear – in that regard it does lie on the more minimalist side of things.
The side opening provides rather quick and easy access to your camera without fully taking your bag off. Rather, you can sling the left shoulder strap off and quickly access your little black box. With my camera being slightly larger than what the pack is intended for, it was a bit of a squeeze, but not bad overall. The customizable padded partitions are great because everyone has different needs and they make it so you’re not boxed into one single, set configuration. Overall, the features and adjustments are pure genius, but we’ve come to expect nothing less from the German brand.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway with the Stage Capture 16L is its incredible comfort. EVOC put a lot of effort into making sure this bag all but disappears on your back, which left me little to nothing to complain about. As shown above, the S-shaped shoulder straps contour nicely around the body and don’t dig in anywhere. The bulk of the weight sits low and the bag tapers down as it gets higher, making clearance on tight trails a non-issue. Lastly, the combination of a stretchy band as well as a buckle strap at the waist is genius – allowing for breathing room as well as security.
If you’re a photo or video enthusiast looking for a high performance bag to carry a light duty kit as well as all the food, water, spares and accessories that you’ll need for a big day in the back country, look no further because EVOC has thought the Stage Capture 16L through remarkably well. However, if you need just a little bit more space for camera gear and accessories, but with the same level of flawless attention to detail perhaps have a look at the CP18L or the Photop22L.