Shimoda Designs is a camera bag manufacturer that specialises in rugged camera equipment for nature, wildlife and adventure photographers. Founded by Ian Miller, ex-chief designer at F-Stop Gear, Shimoda is primarily known for its Explore series backpacks and Action X series backpacks, thanks to a pair of wildly successful Kickstarter campaigns.
Today I will be reviewing their Panel Wrap line of photo accessory organizers, which are available in 3 different sizes. The photos on this page show the 2-panel and 3-panel versions that I purchased myself from regular retail channels. Pricing for the three sizes is $25, $30 and $35.
Shimoda Designs has offered Shutter Muse readers a 10% discount on anything purchased in their online store. Simply use the discount code ShutterMuse10 after clicking here to access the store.
The Panel Wraps are made from durable, water-resistant nylon that matches the aesthetic and ruggedness of Shimoda’s backpack lineup. What drew me to these products was the visibility and organization of small items once they are packed into the various zippered pockets. As long as you don’t overstuff the pockets, it’s very easy to see what you have in your wrap. This design makes it perfect for organizing small tools and tripod-related screws, spare eyepieces, camera cleaning items and less bulky cables. The two larger models also feature a full-width pocket that is wide enough for something like a shotgun microphone.
Landscape photographers take note: If you’re often working from a tripod, a nylon loop makes it possible to hang the panel wraps from your ball head or tripod legs. The square pockets in the wraps are also well-sized for screw-on filters.
Another thing that drew me to these Panel Wraps is the shape and size of them. They are absolutely perfect for sliding into the smaller nooks and crannies of a camera bag or slipping into the top lid pocket of a photo backpack. The supple material is key here. Although they are lightly padded, the wraps don’t really have any structure to them so they can be compressed and squeezed to fit in a variety of places, unlike a product such as the Peak Design Tech Pouch which is cubic and more rigid, requiring a similar cubic slot in your bag.
I’ve always organized my gear into a variety of organizers based on specific types of shooting. I have a bag full of microphone gear for video shooting projects, I have a bag of flash cables for any shoots that involve off-camera lighting, bags for underwater photography and photography from a kayak… the list is long.
This is a strategy that has always worked well for me. When I head out, I just grab the bags that are relevant to my day, and I also make sure I have my photography EDC kit which is the one organizer that comes with me on every shoot, no matter what the subject matter is.
With three available sizes of the Panel Wraps, you can certainly use these bags to create similar shoot-specific organizers.
I’m a happy customer and I now keep one of these in my camera bag at all times. My one small criticism is that I think the wraps should be offered in a few different colours, or at least have different coloured straps to aid identification. Once they are packed and compressed, it’s hard to tell the difference between a couple of them in your bag, even if they are differently sized models. My current solution is to tag the strap of one of them with some coloured gaffer tape.
If you’re looking for a smarter way to organize a whole host of small items and accessories (what photographer isn’t?), these Panel Wraps should be high on your list of considerations.
Where to Buy (and save 10%)
The Shimoda Designs Panel Wraps are available from the Shimoda website for $25, $30 and $35. You can save a further 10% on your order in the Shimoda store by using the coupon code ShutterMuse10. Please refer to these instructions if you have any problems with where to find the box to input the discount code.
–>> Worldwide distribution is available from the Shimoda store.