The measurements of Boris are within the regulations of most airlines. The weight might be a point of discussion – as it is for all passengers. Check the airline regulations to find out what the maximum weight is and if extra weight is allowed when paying an extra fee.
The front pocket is 45cm x 35cm and is unpadded.
Since the bag is made of fabric and foam and not plywood, it allows some margin. If you wonder if your gear will fit in, feel free to ask!
17 + 17
If you wonder why the outer/inner size of depth of the bag differs so much more than the outer/inner size of the height: we have added the size of the shoulder straps and hip belt to be secure.
Patrick (verified owner) –
Great backpack! It fits my two cameras, a Sony 600mm F4 and a 100-400 pure and it still has some free space for other lenses or accessories. the included inserts and clear view pockets are very practical. a big advantage over other products for large lenses is that you can open the ruchsack from the back. the back remains so clean. Last but not least and important, hand luggage that does not look heavy
Moses Sparks (verified owner) –
Wildlife photography is a “gear intensive” pursuit. The goal is to make images of animals in their natural habitat, and ideally we don’t want to endanger the animals or ourselves, or alter their behavior by our own presence. That means keeping your distance, and THAT means using telephoto lenses. At some point many photographers will invest in a fast prime lens like a 400, 500, or 600mm. These lenses come with their own set of challenges, not least among them how to carry and protect them. The tool of choice for most photographers: the backpack. It seems like such a simple thing, and compared to the vast amounts of time, energy, and money that get invested into the headline pieces like cameras and lenses, you would think it would be easy to select one and get on with it.
Not for me! To date I have purchased more than a dozen packs that are marketed as “outdoor/nature/wildlife” bags and in most cases I found myself wondering if the designers had ever actually gone outdoors with a camera and tried to use their products in pursuit of photographs. The problem comes back to THE BIG LENS. Virtually any backpack you could name will function at least reasonably well for a small camera and a couple of small lenses. You could steal your child’s school backpack and with a little padding it could be pressed into service as a camera backpack. But THE BIG LENS presents a number of unique challenges. To state the first and most obvious, it’s big. It’s also heavy, awkwardly shaped, and in many cases, ridiculously expensive. And for wildlife photographers, we want our packs to transport and protect our big lenses, while also making it comfortable to carry and fast to access when we need that camera and lens in a hurry.
I thought that my requirements for this elusive pack were fairly straightforward and reasonable:
– Must fit 2 camera bodies with attached lenses – a 400/2.8 and 70-200/2.8, plus a pair of teleconverters, a 16-35 and small flash.
– Must be carry-on compatible so I can fly with it no questions asked.
– Must be comfortable to wear for at least an hour or two when fully loaded.
– Must be rear opening. (If you have ever put a front opening pack down in the rain and mud and then had to put it back on you will know how crucial this design element is).
I had pretty much concluded that a pack that met my needs did not exist, and then purely by chance I came across the one and only video on YouTube demonstrating a pack made by Mr.JanGear, a company located in the Czech Republic. I was astonished to see that this pack, which I had never heard of, actually checked all the boxes on my list. Searching online yielded NO dealers for it in the US, so I located the manufacturer’s website, read through the info, and sent off an email with my questions. I got an immediate reply from the owner, and placed an order for the pack, hoping it would arrive before a big international trip I had coming up.
The pack DID arrive in time! The Boris is brilliantly simple in its design, and decidedly “low tech” compared to brands like Shimoda and F-Stop. There are no fancy ripstop fabrics, no magnets, no hidden compartments. It’s constructed of a rugged Cordura material, with beefy zippers, and a superb harness system. A well designed backpack is supposed to carry all the weight on your hips, and they all claim to, but none of the ones I had purchased really accomplished that.
The Boris straps are nicely padded but not overdone, they are flexible and move with you, and the hip belt with its split design actually works! The kit that I listed above is about 25 pounds when loaded into the pack, and the Boris is the first pack I’ve used that was workable for hauling around the whole kit for a couple of hours. I won’t use the word “comfortable” here, I think the more accurate word is “bearable”. I am quite fit, but not a huge guy, and strapping 25 pounds of glass and metal onto my back has never registered as comfortable to me. I took the Boris with me to Costa Rica, and that meant getting through airports, standing in Security and Customs lines, getting it on and off of planes, boats, Jeeps, etc. It was always “bearable” and felt balanced and secure.
The thing that really makes this pack work for THE BIG LENS are the butterfly type flaps that open the two camera compartments. The footprint never changes, something you will really appreciate if you need to work out of the pack in a boat or a vehicle. And they open from the BACK, so when you put your pack down in the mud and muck it stays on the front, away from your clothes.
Once open, you will see two long compartments that run the entire length of the bag. It will not only hold a 600/f4 lens attached to a body, it will hold two of them! If you are that person who wants to carry your 400/2.8 and your 600/f4 this bag will do it, and they go in and out of the bag easily. There are straps with buckles inside the compartments to lash down your lens and hold it in place for transport.
I have used it to carry my 400/2.8 on one side and my 200-600 zoom on the other. The more common setup for me though is gripped camera and 400/2.8 on one side, while the other side holds a second camera attached to a 70-200/2.8, 16-35 wide angle, two teleconverters, small flash and remote unit, and a cleaning kit. I can also stuff in straps and rain covers for both cameras, card wallet, battery wallet, and assorted bits and bobs.
All of the interior surfaces are Velcro compatible, so you can easily configure the dividers any way you want. Included is an ingenious segmented divider panel that wraps around a vertically loaded lens (my wide angle goes there) and can be positioned anywhere inside.
Another great feature I have never seen before are multiple zippered pouches that can be Velcroed onto the underside of the flaps, and are perfect little houses for lens caps, memory cards, batteries, or anything else you want to toss in there and have quick access to. Brilliant!
The front of the bag has a large zippered pocket that goes all the way down, it’s big enough for a laptop, but is not designed for that unless you put it in a sleeve as there is no padding. I use this area for a jacket or a beanie and snack bars.
The bag has two GREAT handles, something that is SO often overlooked on backpacks, one on the top and one on the side. These make it easy to hoist the bag into a vehicle or overhead compartment on a plane. There is a heavy duty stretch pocket on each side of the pack, two straps on top for lashing down a jacket or whatever, and the pack has laser cut slots all over it to mount the included straps for tripods, etc. I love the fact that everything you need is included with the pack: rain cover, multiple straps, accessory pouches, a dust bag for the pack, nothing additional that you need to buy. Nice!
The pack dimensions are carry-on compliant and I never had a problem on any of my flights bringing it on board.
I do have one complaint and I saved it for last because it’s really minor. The zippers are nice and beefy and they run very smoothly, but my pack came with a nylon string on each one as the zipper pull. This looks really cheap to me, on a pack that is definitely not cheap. Worse is that they kept slipping out of the sliders and I would have to wrestle them back in. That is pretty annoying when you are in the jungle, which is exactly where I was working. When I got home I ordered a set of replacement clip-on zipper pulls from Amazon (total cost $8) and that completely solved the issue, but I feel like this is a design oversight that could be easily fixed.
All in all I love this pack, and it is easily the best I have found for carrying and working with a big lens kit. I hauled it all over Costa Rica and it was a pleasure to use. Bravo Mr.Jan!
Kim Biledgaard (verified owner) –
The best backpack I have ever owned!
It holds a lot of gear and the dividers inside can be set up in many flexible ways. In addition I use the Klingon pouches for extra flexibility. But the best thing is the ease that this backback can be carried around for long periods, even with for example a 600 mm, a 100-400 plus 2 camerabodies etc. Boris just fits on my back and distributes the weight in a way, so not even my sometimes troublesome back is in pain
Vincent Van der Beken –
Bought myself the Boris as I was in search for a backpack that was an upgrade to the one I was using at that time.
Thx to Foto Coudenys, dealer of a few brands of backpacks, whom introduced me to the Boris.
Took it to Africa on his maiden trip and never looked back. The backpack typically holds:
2x large Nikon bodies
1x Nikon 500mm f/4 lens
1x Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 lens
1x Nikon 105mm f/2.8 macro
2x Nikon battery charger
and the usual small stuff such as spare batteries, GPS’s for the bodies, memory cards, …
So, Boris is now my loyal travel companion 🙂
Fabio Vitali – Not Ordinary Wild –
during my travels i try a lot of backpacks or photographic trolleys , they never satisfied me at 100%
Boris IV is the best solution ive ever tryed, perfect for flights restriction and big enough to put inside a 500 f/4 a 300 f/2.8, two pro bodys and much more stuff.
i can say i definitely find my travel companion !
Tom Dyring Wildphoto –
I`ve had the pleasant opportunity to test out the Boris IV photo backpack. For me a photo backpack is first of all an important issue when it comes to travelling & flights (in the field I often use bigger & more complex gear), … and since I travel a lot and check-in crew on airports all over the world get more focused & more grumpy about oversized & overweight hand luggage, it is essential to get as much as possible of my precious gear into the hand luggage and at the same time make it look as “small” as possible. Compared with my old and honestly indestructible Lovepro Pro Trekker AW III, which is basically the same size as the Boris, I can in fact get MORE stuff into the Boris compared with the Lowepro. The reason for this is most of all the simple fact that the Boris IV`s square corners allow more load than the slightly rounded Lowepro. Believe me : the difference is remarkable ! On top of this the Boris looks tighter and less over-volumed in the overhead lockers … and there are (hopefully) no more conflicts with flight crews.
The zip-openings from the backpacks back-side give super easy and quick access to the gear. It is easy to carry, well balanced, light and with good design. My new favourite for fight projects !
Bert Van der Krieken –
We, my wife and I, really do like the stuff of MrJanGear. Not due to his blue eyes! We’re more on the practical side. We have a lot of (photo)gear and do travel a lot around the globe; we’re constantly in need of space and sturdiness of backpacks, water tight bags, trolleys, …that complies with the airline regulations!
Over the years we bought a lot of backpacks. 2 years ago we purchased some Gura Gear …not bad, but too small in order to carry the max of gear with us. Last year we met a guy at Andenes, Norway who he had a Boris… a backpack that opens lightning fast on the backside in order to keep the carrying belts clean. It has 2 compartments with way of space and plenty of dividers. No problem for our 500mm lenses, 100-400mm, 70-200mm, 2 body’s and still complies as in-cabin luggage…
In the mean time, and this due to the sturdiness and the reliability of Mr. Jan Gears’ material, we own 2 Borisses, 2 Bergrisar Trolleys, 2 lens carrier systems, some lens pouches and even a floating hide combo! Bravo Jan!
Olivier GUTFREUND –
J’ai acquis ce sac il y a peu. J’ai réussi à mettre tout mon matériel dont un 500 mm. La qualité de construction est parfaite et robuste. Je suis hyper satisfait de mon achat.
Pieterjan dHondt –
Strong and sturdy camera bag, the best, most versatile and roomiest bag I’ve ever seen and used! Very happy with the purchase. Keep the good stuff coming Mr Jan Gear!
Pierre Nowosad –
The best backpack I ever had , I recommend him to my friends Jan!!
Martin Steenhaut –
The perfect bag with amazing space, I carry 2 bodies + 600mm + 200-500mm + binoculars + small lenses + accessories, and this all fits!! Perfect for travelling as it fits the hand luggage dimensions. And important for people like me with back problems… it carries so easy, even with heavy load, due to its good design that I can walk around with it for hours. After searching for years and trying almost every brand, THIS IS THE ONE, just perfect. Thanks JAN!