The design principles of MrJan Gear Packs

MrJan Gear started more or less as a challenge. When you complain about products, friends sometimes say: well,  if you think you can do better … That started it all, because we did indeed believe we could do it better. 

As gear-freaks, we wrote down all the boxes that had to be checked to have the perfect camera backpack, properly addressed them and came up with our first pack, the Spitsbergen.

And it was a hit! Our photography friends were so happy with the improved design, they asked us to go on. So we did.

We’re happy to share the design basics of our photo rucksacks.


Pockets inside

We don’t like mesh for pockets in a rucksack; it gets ripped, clings to sharp edges and offers little protection. So we made pockets with a transparent front in two different sizes. And we made them removable: due to Velcro strips, you can place them anywhere in your pack. 

2 Small and 3 large pockets come standard with the Boris and Bertik, but how many you order is really up to you.


Waterproof zips are not necessary when the seams of your pack are not taped to be fully waterproof. So we use the best zips around: heavy and reliable YKK 10 zips with simple and repairable pull-ties.

design_s_07 design_s_15

Internal tension releasing system

When your pack is loaded with long and heavy lenses, your gear pushes outwards. This is when zips give in, the weight pulls them apart. We placed four internal tension releasing straps, two on each side. You can use them to reduce the tension on the zips.

Hip belt & shoulder straps

Our sacks have a lightweight and very functional hip belt. No thick padding adds up to the size; this belt is functionally formed and easily adjustable. The shoulder straps can be compressed but not stowed away. I never use this feature as I mostly carry the pack on the shoulders.

Bertik_II_005 Bertik on it's frontside: the normal operating position


The Boris IV and Bertik IV backpacks have two big compartments and a lot of dividers. This is the most versatile setup, in our opinion. It fits large lenses and protects them well while leaving you lots of room for all your other gear like jackets, food, filters and smaller lenses. Be sure to check out our Lens Pouches, our solution to keep your backpack well organised.


There are 12 dividers in 3 sizes: small red, medium grey and a large black one with wide velcro strips and 10mm High-Density foam padding for flexibility. The inside of the packs is made of the ‘loop side’ of the velcro. This allows you to stick them anywhere in the pack.


The packs