Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod Review

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod’s robust materials keep your camera safe on the go. Still, the carrying comfort varies depending on your existing gear.

Our Verdict

8.2 /10
Great info

Form

90/100

Design

77/100

Value

80/100
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Pros

  • Well-structured with adequate protective padding
  • Comes with lockable carabiners
  • Front and rear attachment loops for different orientations

Cons

  • Single compartment with no extra pockets
  • Included strap works as sternum strap but doesn’t length adjust
  • Needs to attach to something for more comfortable carrying

Technical Details

  • Weight (oz)

    2.71 oz (76.8 gm)

    (regular) | 3.73 oz (large)

  • Denier

    150D

  • Dimensions

    7 in x 5.5 in x 3.75 in (17.8 x 14 x 9.5 cm)

    (regular) | 9.5 in x 6.5 in x 4.25 in (large)

  • Notable Materials

    Dyneema®, Aluminum

  • Manufacturing Country

    United States

  • Warranty Information

    Hyperlite Mountain Gear Warranty

Full Review

If you’re a professional photographer looking for ways to carry your camera around, you’re pretty much spoilt for choice. Your options vary from the small but clever Peak Design Capture Clip all the way to the huge NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L. There’s definitely something for every photographer out there.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod Strapped
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod | Can this pod satisfy the shutterbug?

Within the “carry-your-camera-like-a-boss” spectrum, leaning towards the simple side is the way to go if you want to add rather than replace. Hyperlite’s Mountain Gear Camera Pod is one such example of a simple addition. It’s a pretty bare-bones camera pouch, with just a handle/sternum strap replacement that can attach to your backpack’s shoulder straps. Frills are kept to a minimum, but the Camera Pod may tick the right boxes if you’re looking for somewhere to start.

Materials & Aesthetic

As far as aesthetics go, the Camera Pod is relatively straightforward. There are no fancy contoured lines, striking patterns, or in-your-face colorways. They simply took the most practical shape (a cone) that fits the typical mirrorless camera profile and went with it—and there’s nothing wrong with that. To us, travel gear should always nail functionality first before styling. Sure, we appreciate gear that shows a bit of personality. But we’d rather save our admiring looks for the photos we take rather than spend it on the bag holding our camera.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod Studio Logo
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod | The logo is only at the top, where it’s less likely to be noticed by others.

We do like the included pair of blue carabiners; their color contrasts nicely against the pitch black color of the fabric. These are Nite Ize #2 Sidelock Aluminum Carabiners, and they look and feel like proper carabiners despite their small size. There are no other colorway options available at the time of writing, so accessorizing may be your only option for decorating.

The Camera Pod has a rather rigid structure to it that feels very reassuring to the touch. The outer shell is made from Dyneema Composite Fabrics: DCH150 polyester on the outside and DCF8 on the inside, which is a fancy way of saying that it’s super water-resistant. The latter is the same material that Hyperlite Mountain Gear uses on their outdoor tarp shelter. The Lenzip zippers are also the reverse coil-type to complement the water-resistant fabrics, leaving little to no gaps for water to seep into. Needless to say, Hyperlite Mountain Gear built the Camera Pod as protective as it can be.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod Zipper
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod | The black rings lock the carabiner shut.

While there are no options for colorways, the Camera Pod does come in two sizes: regular and large. The large is designed for large mirrorless cameras like the Sony a7iii, Nikon Z6, Canon EOS R, or DSLRs like the Canon 5D and 80D. But for our purposes, we daily drive a Sony a6500, so the regular size will do fine. Coincidentally, the regular size is directly quoted as being designed to fit small mirrorless cameras like the Sony a6000 series.

Usage & Features

There are eight attachment points scattered around the Camera Pod, with four at the front and four at the back. The two included carabiners attach to the two attachment points at the top rear side of the pod. In turn, a thin strap attaches to both carabiners, which acts as the Camera Pod handle—it’s pretty minimal as a handle, to say the least.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod Carry
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod | It’s really thin, but it will do in a pinch.

The good news is that the strap feels relatively robust compared to its thinness, and the carabiners feel secure. You can even slide the black plastic pieces for extra security to prevent the metal gates from swinging open by accident.

The more comfortable way to use this thin strap is as a sternum strap for your backpack. We tested the Camera Pod alongside Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s Metro Pack for this. But really, as long as your backpack has webbings or loops along the shoulder strap, the thin strap can thread through those. It works well as a sternum strap, though there’s no length adjustment, so your mileage may vary in terms of comfort.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod | This makes your camera easily accessible from the front.

When the Camera Pod is attached like a sternum strap, your camera is easily accessible right in front of you. We suggest deciding early on whether you want the Camera Pod mounted facing towards or away from you if you want the hatch to unfold towards or away from you. Also, depending on how high along your backpack’s shoulder straps you have the Camera Pod positioned, you may want it oriented one way or the other for easy access to your camera.

Once we got comfortable with our method of carrying, using the Camera Pod felt secure and protective. All sides of the pod have thick padding that we can feel really adds cushion around our camera. There’s a substantial amount of free space inside the Camera Pod because our a6500 and its 10-18mm lens isn’t quite long enough to reach the top of the hatch. There’s definitely some room for jostling, but nothing that the foam padding can’t dampen.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod Camera
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod | Our a6500 fits as expected, but your mileage may vary depending on the lens attached.

Inside, the DCF8 fabric has an almost aquamarine color that’s fairly bright and easy to see into—great for storing a few accessories like the lens cap and a memory card or two. However, the bright fabric is the silver lining because the Camera Pod lacks any secondary pockets for storing accessories.

Unlike the Matador Camera Base Layer (V2), there’s no extra slip pocket to store even the lens cap or a spare battery. The only noteworthy extra feature inside the Camera Pod is a small, low-profile loop, which you can use for a small accessory, but nothing else. For extra accessories, you may be looking at something like Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s own Shoulder Pocket or the Gossamer Shoulder Strap Pocket to complement the Camera Pod.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod Interior
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Camera Pod | Nope, no extra pockets anywhere.

The Camera Pod is a neat little addition if you’re looking for holster-like storage for your camera. It works well if you already have a backpack with attachment loops along the shoulder straps, and the protection against shocks and splashes is great. However, it’s also not a silver bullet if you’re looking for a catch-all solution or something with quality-of-life features like extra pockets or a full-length camera strap.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Well-structured even when empty
  • Can feel a bit big when you’re carrying in front of you
  • Has side loops for mounting to shoulder strap loops
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Good

  • Water-resistant material held up great in keeping the interior dry
  • Good for day to day camera storage but lacks the space for any other gear
  • Foam padding encompasses the full interior of the pod, making for great protection
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By Aidan Schieber
Created October 15, 2021 • Updated October 15, 2021
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