My journey with f-stop camera bags started a few years ago with the Loka UL 37L. This lightweight and ultra-functional bag is still very much integrated in my workflow to this day. As I mentioned in my review, it’s my go-to bag for multi-day assignments which involve carrying camera gear, clothing, computer, etc. The company really changed the game with it’s infinitely configurable ICU system and innovative bag design.
However, the Loka UL is more of a bag that you lay down on set or location to shoot out of. The Loka met my needs nicely, but I also wanted something a bit more run and gun, something would give me instant access to my gear without necessarily having to lay it down and open up completely – something suitable for a 1-day assignment or photo walk in the city. When f-stop released the Dyota 20L, I was immediately drawn to it for those reasons. Earlier this year, I was given a chance to put the bag to the test and I’ve been using it regularly for the past few months.
Full disclosure, f-stop was kind enough to send me the bag. However, all the thoughts and opinions in this article are my own and there are no obligations to say anything about the product.
Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the f-stop Dyota 20L camera backpack.
- Overall design – the Dyota 20L is a good-looking and very functional camera bag. The modern, sleek design is suitable for outdoor shoots, casual weekend trips, or even formal settings. For the amount of items you can carry in the bag, it doesn’t feel too bulky or chunky. Best of all, you have quick access to the various compartments.
- Expandable roll top compartment – the roll-top compartment works very well and is one of my favorite features of this bag. The space is available when you need it, and rolls away when you don’t. I’ve been able to pack clothes, headphones, and other necessities easily into the top compartment. The combination of magnetic lock and adjustable latch mechanism makes it convenient to use and inspires confidence that your items will stay put. It works especially well with the f-stop accessory pouches and Packing Cell Kit (sold separately).
- Materials and build quality – the proprietary fabric of the Dyota not only looks great, but feels really durable. The welded construction enhances the durability and weather resistance even further. The aluminum hardware feels strong and light. Overall, the bag just feels solid and well-sealed from the elements.
- Nice touches – other things that I like are the included ICU Gate for adding zippers to your internal compartment, as well as the Gatekeeper Attachment Straps (also included) that allow you to attach your tripod or other items the bottom of the bag. I also love the magnetic locking of the internal camera unit (ICU). It’s strong enough to keep in place, but easy enough to pull out the ICU if needed. It also has plenty of useful compartments and pockets for SD cards, cables, and other necessities.
- The side access compartments on this bag work well overall, but I’ve found them to be a (literal) friction point at times. The zippers open smoothly enough, but the size of the opening can a bit tight, especially for bigger items. The lack of a large flap seems to hint that the design of the zippers leaned a bit more towards aesthetics vs. functionality (or it could also be a structural consideration). That being said, the little bit of extra effort getting things in and out could also be viewed as an advantage when out on a busy street or hectic environment where things could easily fall out if you’re not careful.
- In relation to the previous point, it can be hard to reach items on the very bottom compartment – again, the side zippers work well overall, but maybe they could open up a bit more to give better access to the lowest ICU compartment.
The Dyota 20L is a solid camera bag overall. I’ve used it on personal shoots as well as professional assignments and will continue to do so. It can certainly fulfill the role of a run and gun assignment or photo walk bag. You get quick access to all of your gear without necessarily having to put the bag down. The expansion and configuration options will make the bag suitable for a wide range of photo and video needs. It’s even great for general carry with the removable dividers. On top of the functionality, it’s unique materials, construction, and modern design make it a very versatile and good looking bag that I think will serve both enthusiasts and professionals alike.
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