I’ve been testing the ORBITGear R101 in an urban environment, mainly for daily commutes where I carry all my working gear such as a notebook, iPad, headphones, and a bag for all the chargers and cables, in addition to a change of clothes for the bouldering gym, my climbing shoes and a chalk bag. I’ve also used the pack as a camera bag for any occasion; the back access makes it perfect when tossing the bag on the ground to open it from behind to extract a lens. I’ve been able to fit my “padding boxes” containing two camera bodies, three lenses, and all the other photo equipment I need, plus some clothes such as a shell and a sweater.
The pack has a great organization system. The internal main compartment is very generous, to fit about 20-22L of gear. Inside the main compartment, you’ll find a laptop sleeve and a tablet sleeve. Both sleeves have a nice microfiber lining to protect your tech. The laptop sleeve fits laptops as large as 15″. Internally you also have two large zipped pockets, made out of transparent plastic. I find these two pockets perfect to contain SD cards and other “flattish” tech gear like HDs. I feel like ORBITGear is really tough around the various use cases for the pack, and one of these is definitely photographers. On the back panel, you’ll find a ghost pocket to contain a wallet and other valuables.
On the exterior, you’ll find two big front pockets, the upper one with a waterproof zip, containing another zipped pocket within. This large pocket can easily hold my 8″ iPad and my Kindle. The bottom pocket has its own volume and has a flap that is closed with a fastener buckle that OG uses a lot in the MODs pouch accessories. On the sides, you’ll find two roomy pockets, each extendable to fit a water bottle.
As usual, ORBITGear packs are extremely comfortable on the shoulders, even when fully loaded with camera gear. I had no problem carrying around this backpack which feels like having armor on your back. The 2021 models are compatible with an accessory removable waist belt, but I’ve never found a real reason to attach this except for trying it for the sake of this review. I tend to wear my packs pretty high on my shoulders, which means the waist belt would fasten on my stomach. But I believe that for shorter people (note: I’m 175cm tall) it could be a useful addition.