Monday, April 15, 2024
ReviewsTravel Photography

Boundary MK-1 camera case review

Hate having to choose between a great backpack and a camera backpack? This modular insert for 22-liter backpacks is worth a try.

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Why have a dedicated camera bag when you can store all of your gear in an insert you can store separately and slip into your backpack when required? That’s the thinking behind the  Boundary MK-1 camera system.

Boundary MK-1 camera case: design

MK stands for Media Kit, and that’s exactly what this rectangular insert is for. This rigid bag (it’s actually bombproof as well as waterproof and shock absorbing) can be opened at the top, the side, or at the front, which reveals a relatively simple, though utterly comprehensive, customized area for storing cameras and lenses (or drone, if that’s your thing). It has a 22-liter capacity, a couple of interior secure zipped pockets for small items, two stretch mesh pockets for quick access, and carry handles on the top and side.

Boundary MK-1 camera case: using with a random backpack

The makers say that the MK-1 can slip into any 22-liter backpack. So TravGear tried using it with what we had to hand, a 32-liter Lowe Alpine Airzone backpack. As a bonus it has a side opening, so for the first time, we were able to use an airflow-capable curved-back hiking backpack as a camera bag. It fitted perfectly, though it did mean we couldn’t access camera gear from the front of the MK-1, only the side, and top.

Boundary MK-1 camera case: using with Boundary Prima System

Although it can be used with any 22-liter backpack, in theory, the MK-1 is actually specifically designed to slip into the Boundary Prima System we reviewed recently. Essentially replacing the Verge Case, the MK-1 fits snugly into the Prima backpack’s main compartment and can then be accessed via the backpack’s side, top or front openings. Except, it doesn’t. Try as we did, we just could not get the MK-1 to fit snugly inside. It just doesn’t go in far enough to be poppered-in, and generally sits awkwardly. That’s a shame because as with the Verge Case, a couple of waist belt clips on the side enable the MK-1 to be converted into a standalone shoulder carry using the Prima backpack’s detachable waist belt.

Boundary MK-1 camera case: conclusion

Despite its great design as a stand-alone product, the MK-1 fails to be an impressive module for the Boundary Prima System that it’s designed specially to slip inside of. That’s a shame for owners of that bag, but for the rest of us, the MK-1 is worth a try. If you’ve been disappointed by the poor quality of so-called camera hiking backpacks, and prefer the tried-and-trusted hiking backpacks out there, the MK-1 helps you get the best of both worlds. Just don’t expect the perfect fit.

Price as reviewed: US$120 / UK £96