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Photo rucksacks tough packs for heavy gear


MrJan. Here’s my story about the company and our first photo rucksack Spitsbergen. Just call me Mister Jan! In my previous life as co-owner of a company called Singing Rock, our suppliers could not pronounce my family name. That’s why they called me Mister Jan. When we sold the company, I fell into a sort of limbo. My goals had changed and I had more time again to spend on my hobbies such as bird watching, nature photography, bookbinding, etc. I’m an outdoor gear freak for a long time. The outdoor industry was my second home for nearly 25 years. It seemed logical to me that I looked with a critical eye at everything in the market which is used by bird photographers. Equipment happens to fail just when you need it. It should meet the basic principle called KISS : keep it simple, stupid. When I look back at how backpacks used to be made in Australia, they were basically just one big bag to stuff with gear and they would not let you down under any circumstances in the wilderness. On the other hand there were also the USA designs; they were full of bells and whistles and were looking fancy, but they were not functional and the many zippers risked to break just when you needed to use the pack. I bought a “well known brand’ pack for myself, as I did not know better. During travelling and using it, I discovered that it had loads of unnecessary frills. Moreover it was expensive and not functional. My friends were using different backpacks than me. One evening they started to ask me “Why don’t you make a Mr Jan pack?” and they kept on pushing me. That is how the process have started… I started collecting ideas, pros, contras, first sample, testing, remarks, second sample, remarks, final sample, and here we are. What makes our pack better or different as the others, I will explain you later. Looking forward to hear from, with positive remarks, or with propositions for improvement of the product. You can buy our product in our webshop: mrjangear.com


Spitsbergen.

Spitsbergen is our classic pack. Developed two years ago while we where in the need of a true big pack to harbour two big lenses for a trip to Svalbard. We are still using the prototype for some of our trips: its incredible sturdy and easy to pack. The two main compartiments and the box-like model combined with a very nice and easy to fit carrying system was an instant hit for us.

Plenty of room. It fits two ultra fast telelenses with camera and even then there is enough space to take some smaller lenses, all the accessories and some life support as drink and food with you. That is if 38 liter is enough for you.


Zippers that last. We use YKK 10 zippers for the main compartments just because they are the only ones that won’t let you down. Never.

Pouches. Because every (wildlife) photographer seems to collect cables, CF-cards, clips, filters, Swiss-army-knives, ball head QR-plates, cleaning cloths, screwdrivers and rubber bands, we have added 5 pouches in 3 colors and 2 sizes with a transparent side panel to see what you are looking for.

Tension Straps. These buckled QR straps keep even the heaviest optical beast safe and secured, releases tension on the zippers and keep the backpack in shape. Like safety belts: always use them.

Dividers. Because no two wildlife photographers carry the same tools, we supply you with 11 Velcro attached dividers in three distinctive colored sizes so you can split your pack up in several compartments. The half fixed divider between the two right compartments is also removable to accommodate large lenses.

Adjustable hipbelt. Lots of support and no bulk at all. We managed to get fully and comfortable support without using a fat foam padded hipbelt. No hipbelt needed? Just remove it... KISS*, as we said.

Grips. Top and side handles to carry your stuff as a suitcase. To haul it into the taxi or on a donkey, whatever comes first. DEPTH

WIDTH

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

19 cm

35 cm

54 cm

2,7 kg

*KISS = Keep It Stupid Simple. That’s our basic philosophy for everything we make and the best guaranty it won’t break.


MrJan Gear highlights. ⦿⦿ YKK10 zipper for the main compartments. ⦿⦿ Lots of room ⦿⦿ 11 adjustable dividers. ⦿⦿ Adjustable lightweight harness with a lightweight preformed hip belt. ⦿⦿ Water-resistant RockTex fabric. ⦿⦿ 5 fastfind™ pouches for accessories. ⦿⦿ Seamless rain pouch for added weatherproofing. ⦿⦿ Two grip bars for easy handling. ⦿⦿ Tension straps to keep gear secured. ⦿⦿ Fully padded. ⦿⦿ Reinforced bottom. ⦿⦿ Lots of flat webbing loops to add gear to the outside like tripods and photo shelter. ⦿⦿ 5 Years limited warranty.


The other side of the same coin. Backside opening – it seems unusual, but it is logical when using your photo gear out in the field. You walk, you move, you take your photo rucksack around.. Do you remember the times that you dropped your rucksack in the dirt or mud and then you had to turn it around to get your lenses and cameras out? And do you also remember when putting your rucksack on your back again, the carrying system was dirty, muddy and wet?

We took it personal. So it was a challenge to unpack without getting messy. The mud won, most of the times. Well these times are over now. Bertik and Boris, the new designs of Mr Jan Gear, have zippered entrance on the back panel. You get access to your cameras, lenses, and other stuff through the back of your pack. You won’t have any wet, muddy or dirty carrying systems anymore! Take off your pack and lay it on the back. Zip the left and right compartments open. You can get started assembling your gear, having easy access to lenses, bodies and accessories.

Inside information. Two long storage compartments are closed with heavy YKK 10 zippers and secured with buckled tension release straps. The tension release straps inside the bags are there to comfort the zippers. A pair of polstered shoulder straps with a chest strap and an ergonomically designed - but very compact and lightweight - waist belt give you a comfortable feeling when carrying the photo rucksack on longer trips.

Boris and Bertik – sharing a new functional approach to the active use of photo rucksacks”


Leopard Seal - Image: Jan Goddefroy


Boris.

Boris is a really big pack, designed for the heavy work like carrying one or two long (and fast) lenses. When designing this pack we had our Canon 800mm and 300mm and two bodies in mind, but Nikonians et al are just as welcome to keep their backs clean…

Add. We do not fit our packs with lots of external pockets. We think those pockets are vulnerable to damage and dirt. Instead, we added a bunch of zipped ClearLook™ pockets with velcro backs in two different sizes in order to fit your need for stashing filters, cables and cards. All inside the backpack and not dangling somewhere.

Divide. With each pack we provide internal dividers in 3 colours. The different colours give an easy overview so you know what has been packed where. Velcro straps enable you to stick them in any position of the bags.

Cover it up. We include a rain cover in order to protect your gear from the rain. You can of course also use it for other purposes – we know that some people use it to sit on or they put their gear on it to keep it clean. DEPTH

WIDTH

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

17 cm

34 cm

54 cm

2,75 kg


Chinstrap Penguin - Image: Jan Goddefroy


Bertik.

Our youngest. This model is a smaller pack, but with the same unique design. Elegance and functionality are its strong points. Though it is still big enough to carry some pro sized camera bodies and a 300 or 500 mm telelens. Bertik is also fitted with ergonomic shoulder straps and adjustable hip belt.

Add. We do not fit our packs with lots of external pockets. We think those pockets are vulnerable to damage and dirt. Instead, we added a bunch of zipped ClearLook™ pockets with velcro backs in two different sizes in order to fit your need for stashing filters, cables and cards. All inside the backpack and not dangling somewhere.

Divide. With each pack we provide internal dividers in 3 colours. The different colours give an easy overview so you know what has been packed where. Velcro straps enable you to stick them in any position of the bags.

Cover it up. We include a rain cover in order to protect your gear from the rain. You can of course also use it for other purposes – we know that some people use it to sit on or they put their gear on it to keep it clean.

DEPTH

WIDTH

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

17 cm

32 cm

53 cm

2,2 kg


Cape Petrel - Image: Jan Goddefroy


Durability, environment and quality. As photographers of the surrounding nature we are well aware of the changes mankind imposes on the environment. This we try to follow as a guideline for our products we develop. For this reason we decided to produce most of our products in Europe –at least what is possible. Avoiding transport of big quantities over long distances without having control about quality and working circumstances . At the same time we can easily adjust our products to new developments, new technologies, we can do customized adjustments if requested. Also through our decision we take part in supporting local people and we are sure not to use children’s labor, offer our employees a fair salary and not leave garbage of production in the surrounding nature. By choosing durable materials and also taking care about production system – let a product last longer so it results in less garbage at the end. Would somehow your Mr. Jan Gear product brake down or wear down, please do not hesitate to contact us as we are sure we can work out some solution for your problem. As we are most confident of the quality of our products, there is a 5 year warranty offer by normal use on our products. Jan Goddefroy Mr Jan Gear.

All rights reserved. Technical changes, changes in Design, printing and other mistakes reserved.

Warranty.

Limited 5 years warranty covers any defects in material or workmanship. Under no circumstances shall Mr.JanGear be liable for any special, incidental or consequential damages. This warranty does not cover damage caused by improper care, mishandling, misuse, alteration, or accidental damage; nor does it cover the natural breakdown of materials that occurs after extended use. For the full warranty statement, visit MrJanGear.com/warranty.


Black Woodpecker - Image: Jan Goddefroy


Our Friends. Some extra thanks go to our friends, who helped us to enhance our basic ideas, giving us feedback on the prototypes and even dared to get our first handmade models on a trip trusting their expensive gear to the backpacks. Their comments give us the confidence we have made a great product. Yves Adams - Belgian wildlife photographer. Richard Stehlik - Nature photographer and forest worker. Nick Garbutt - Wildlife photographer from the UK. Olof Fredrikze - Dutch Designer and photographer. Have a look at their work at mrjangear.com/ambassadors

Your input. We hope you too enjoy our packs. If you own one of our products, we are always eager to hear about your experiences or suggestions for future improvements. Please feel free to contact us by email of via the contact form on our website. If you have pictures of our products in the wild, we are quite happy to receive them. In case we would use them, we will contact you and offer you a fee/compensation for the use of the pictures.


Lhota 33 CZ-51301 Semily Czech Republic +42 0 775 282 077

info@mrjangear.com All rights reserved. Technical changes, changes in design, printing and other mistakes reserved.

Concept and design: Deskdesign.nl

mrjangear.com


Mrjangear photo rucksacks