F-Stop Gear has added a new pack to the Mountain Series lineup, called the Guru. In this review, I will run through all the bag’s features and show you a ton of photos of it and how I pack it.
Guru Backpack Sizing
As you would expect, the Guru is designed and manufactured to the high standards we have come to expect from the other packs in the Mountain Series lineup. The main difference is that the Guru is currently the smallest pack of the series with a 25L capacity. This compares to the 37L of the Loka and the Ajna, 50L of the Tilopa, 70L of the Sukha and 80L of the Shinn.
Which ICU For the F-Stop Guru?
The F-Stop ICUs (Internal Camera Units) have always been a vital component of the Mountain Series packs. The Guru is designed to work best with the Shallow Medium, Shallow Small and Pro Small ICUs. These all leave plenty of additional space in the bag for people who want to carry a few extra items with them, such as food or clothing.
In addition to the ICUs in the above diagram, the Slope Medium ICU also fits well in the F-Stop Guru 25L. This ICU is always a popular, versatile option, taking up as much vertical space as the Shallow Medium but giving greater depth at one end for accommodating a pro-sized camera or a camera with a grip.
Small Pro ICU Packing Examples
Medium ICU Packing Examples
F-Stop Guru Backpack Features
- Lightweight and abrasion-resistant 210D nylon shell with polyurethane (PU) and water-resistant (WR) coatings
- 15″ laptop pocket with organizer
- Lightweight articulated EVA-padded hip belt and shoulder straps
- Tripod straps on both sides
- Rear access panel
- Top zipper access
- Front zippered pocket for rain layers
- Mesh side pockets
In addition to a 15″ laptop pocket, the Guru also features a comprehensive organizational pocket in the front with multiple internal zippered pockets and slots for accessories. The bag’s small size, inconspicuous looks and excellent organizational features make it a great backpack for a day in the city, a roomy bay for school books or an all-day mountain bike adventure.
- $199 for the shell
- $289 for the Essential Kit (Bag+rain cover+Shallow Small ICU)
- $459 for Elite Kit (Bag+rain cover+Shallow Small ICU+Shallow Medium ICU+Accessory Pouches and Straps)
Guru Backpack Photo Gallery
Now please scroll through the 50 photos below, which detail every part of the F-Stop Guru 25L.
Added Versatility – Gatekeeper Straps
The versatility of the F-Stop packs has always been a critical feature. You can choose how much camera gear you want to carry in your bag by picking the size of the ICU when you place your order. Perhaps you want just a camera and a lens to take on a weekend trek, or maybe you want to carry a 10-lens arsenal for a huge one day shoot. Both are possible with the proper selection of ICUs. F-Stop was the pioneer of this form of outdoor photography back.
With the Guru, f-stop has introduced a new feature called the Gatekeepers. Durable nylon straps with quick-release buckles. The spring-loaded clips allow easy release of the straps to re-position them to one of several different mounting points on the pack.
If you would like to carry extra gear on the side, no problem, move the Gatekeepers. Or, if you want to keep the bag looking sleek, remove them altogether. The choice is now yours. This new feature will also be included in all future Mountain Series packs.
Guru as a strobe kit bag
I was asked this question a few times, so here is the pictorial answer. Is the Guru a good pack for carrying a strobe pack and head, particularly an Elinchrom Ranger or large Profoto pack? The answer is yes.
The F-Stop Guru is a rugged and highly versatile bag that is a welcome addition to the Mountain Series. In particular, I like the way it straddles the line between mountain pack and capable urban daily carry pack. The other Mountain Series packs would be too large and rather conspicuous on a day in the city. But the Guru easily handles these sorts of duties with style.