Gitzo Légende Backpack Review
Review Manufacturer: Gitzo
Price when reviewed
The Légende Backpack isn’t a pack for carrying every lens and camera you own, it’s more the sort of backpack that you’ll use for a day out photographing when you just need a camera, two or three lenses, a tripod and a few accessories plus essentials like a coat and a packed lunch.
Although I’m not especially drawn to its styling, the Légende Backpack is extremely well-made with some wonderful design touches and neat features. Gitzo has clearly looked very carefully at a lot of bags and considered how photographers operate. However, I’m surprised by the lack of a chest strap and that there’s a zip that’s prone to snagging.
Lots of pockets Quick but secure access to the top ‘personal effects’ compartment Made from recycled, environmentally friendly and cruelty-free materials
No chest harness Love/hate hipster styling Small camera compartment
What is the Gitzo Légende Backpack?
Gitzo announced the Légende Backpack alongside the Gitzo Légende Tripod, both are designed to last for years and help move away from a ‘throwaway culture’.
The backpack’s main exterior fabric is made from recycled polyester while recycled fabrics account for 65% of the bag’s overall weight. Gitzo has also used ‘Eco Leather’, cruelty-free, environmental-friendly, and non-toxic synthetic leather for the tripod strap and backpack details.
The Légende Backpack is set to retail for £165/$229 but there are 200 available at £129/$179 via Indiegogo.com. It can also be bought in a kit with the Gitzo Légende Tripod (review coming soon) for £491/$79, which is 33% lower than the list price of £638/$1,028.
Product type: Dual-compartment camera backpack Fabric: Nylon, synthetic fabric, polyurethane Water repellent: Yes Volume: 14L External dimensions: 40 x 19 x 47cm Camera insert dimensions: 28 x 10.5 x 23cm Personal effects compartment dimensions: 26 x 10 x 20cm Laptop compartment dimensions: 27 x 2 x 38.5cm (suitable for a 15-inch laptop) Tripod carrier: Yes Weight: 1.7Kg
Gitzo has plumped for a dual compartment design for the Légende Backpack. The top half has a flip-back flap and draw-string inner to keep personal items safe while the camera compartment is accessed via a side opening and features a customisable insert.
There are two clever magnetic latches on the top compartment flap. To open it, you just pull the flap down and then lift it away from the main bag. If you just let the flap drop, nine times out of ten, the latches catch so the flap is secure.
Inside the top compartment, there are some useful organisation features. These include two simple slip-in pockets for housing things like batteries, a filter or two or a slim memory card wallet, a small slip-in pocket that can take a memory card or two, a wide zip-close mesh pocket and a couple of rows of elastic loops to hold pens and the like.
There’s also plenty of room for an extra layer, a packed lunch and your wallet or purse.
When the backpack is on your back, the camera compartment is accessed via a zip-opening on your left side. In a neat touch, there’s a mesh zip-closed pocket on the side of the compartment flap.
The camera compartment is designed to take a mirrorless camera and up to three lenses. It’s deep enough to take a full-frame camera such as the Sony A9 or Nikon Z7 II with a 70-200mm f/4 mounted, but if you carry your camera on a strap or in the top compartment, there’s enough room for a 70-200mm f/2.8. I was able fit in a Sony A7 III with a 70-200mm f/2.8 mounted.
There’s also room for another couple of lenses alongside the 70-200mm, but keep in mind that they have to be slid in one behind the other and there’s only access to them from one side.
Gitzo hasn’t stinted on pockets and pouches around the Légende Backpack. There’s a roll-top expanding pocket on either side of the pack, a small zip-close pocket on the right side, an expandable zip close pocket on the left (behind the roll-top pocket) and a large zip-close pocket on the front of the backpack.
The roll-top pocket on the left of the pack forms part of the tripod carrier. It’s large enough for all three legs of the Légende Tripod to be slide in before the top of the tripod legs are secured using a strap. There’s also a lower strap if you feel the need to use it or if you’re carrying a larger tripod and only one or two legs can fit in the pocket.
Between the padded backrest of the pack and the two main compartments, there’s a dedicated laptop sleeve that’s accessed via a zip near the top of the straps. This has room for a 15-inch or smaller laptop and there’s a thin sleeve to hold a tablet safely.
Gitzo is a brand that we associate with high-quality design and the Légende Backpack has some very nice touches. The zip pulls, for example, can all be locked by threading the end over a peg that rotates to keep it in place. The tripod pocket also has a neat hole at the bottom to enable you to remove dirt that may accumulate from the feet.
In addition, there’s a loop under the stud of the press stud that closes the roll-top pockets. This means you can slip your index finger under the stud as you press the pocket closed. It’s a nice detail that means you’re not just pressing against the contents of the pocket and bag.
One disappointment, however, is that the zip around the pocket on the left of the backpack, which is only really useable when there’s no tripod on the backpack, doesn’t run smoothly. It tends to catch on the expansion bellows inside, so you have to give it an extra tug or two to get it fully open.
Another issue is that there’s no chest strap. This may not be an issue for average-height to tall photographers but as a 5-foot 2-inch female photographer, it feels like one of the straps is constantly on the point of slipping off my shoulder and it would be nice to be able to pull it in a little. My partner is a full foot taller than me and he had no such issue. Also, I noticed that while the base of the backpack rests on the top of my backside, it’s high above his.
He found the backpack extremely comfortable. After carrying the Légende Backpack on some four-mile walks, I have no major complaints, just the minor niggles I’ve mentioned.