Shimoda Action X Review (X30)


Over the years, I’ve used almost every type of camera backpack out there. In 2017 Shimoda came on the market with the Explore series and I backed their Kickstarter.

When I received my first Shimoda bag, it exceeded expectations! I could tell it was very thoughtfully designed and built with exceptional quality.

Now two years later, the next generation of the founder Ian Millar’s line of bags is here: Shimoda Action X Camera Bags.

It’s clear that all the feedback has been incorporated into this awesome new bag. It builds on the impressive design of the Explore series and sets a new standard for adventure camera bags.

Shimoda Action X Camera Backpack

Adventurer? This sleek, tough, comfortable bag will have your back in every situation.

Check Current Price

The Action X is versatile, easy to use, comfortable, tough, sleek, and carries everything efficiently.

Read on to dive into the details or just head over and grab it right here.

Shimoda Action X 30 Specs

  • Size, Shape, and Look of the bag
  • Durability and Weather Resistance
  • Shoulder Strap Pockets
  • Variety of Camera Access Options
  • Customizable Camera Cube
  • Carries Heavy Load with Ease
  • Pockets inside roll top were a little difficult to access
  • Limited color options
  • Bag is slightly heavier than I would like
  • Dimensions: 50cm H x 30cm W x 16cm D (19.7″H x 11.8″W x 6.3″D)
  • Volume: 30L
  • Weight: 1.7 kg (3.7 lbs)
  • Weather Tough Coated Abrasion Resistant Ripstop Nylon
  • Weatherproof YKK Splashguard Zippers
  • Expandable Roll Top
  • Chest pockets for Accessories
  • Adjustable Torso Length
  • Tripod and Water Bottle Side Pockets
  • 15″ Laptop Sleeve
  • Versatile Side Straps and Helmet Holder
  • Rear and Side Access
  • Removable Waist Belt
  • Durable and Weatherproof Design

Shimoda Mirrorless Medium V2 Core Unit Specs:

  • Dimensions: 30cm H x 29 cm W x 13 cm D (11.8″H x 11.4″W x 5.1″D)
  • Weight: 0.5kg (1.1 lb)
  • Removable Skin or Packing Cell
  • Customizable Foam Dividers
  • Quick side access

Build & Appearance

Weather-proof and water-resistant, the Shimoda Action X is built for extreme conditions.

Simply put, the Shimoda Action X is built tough. After approximately 6 months of regular use, it still looks like new!

I love that I never have to worry about rain, snow, or water spilling on my Shimoda Action X backpack. I can set it down in the mud knowing that my gear will stay dry. I even hiked through a river without worrying about falling in!

The quick access on the bag panel means that you never have to worry about laying your bag down and getting your back dirty when you pick it up.

Additionally, for users that like side access, the mirrorless core unit offers a zippered foam panel that rotates away to give side access.

My other favorite feature is the low-key look of the bag – because it doesn’t scream camera bag, I can travel without people knowing that I have multiple cameras/lenses with me.

The Shimoda Action X holds all of my equipment (two mirrorless bodies, 4 lenses, 2 flashes, and accessories), while remaining compact and lightweight.

When I have extra gear with me like a helmet, extra layers, food, water, etc, I know I can rely on the expandable roll top to accommodate everything.

Exterior Features

Water-resistant zippers keep rain and snow out. Numerous straps are useful for attaching and cinching gear.

On the outside of the Shimoda Action X 30 camera bag are numerous straps and zippers to hold all your equipment.

Each of the shoulder straps has a zippered pouch. One is great for phone, keys, snack bar, or other quick access items.

The other is expandable and easily holds either a large phone or a water bottle. It could even be expanded to hold a small camera lens.

There are also attachment points for connecting a chest mounted top loading camera case.

An expandable smart phone pocket on the shoulder strap is useful, and can also be used for a walkie-talkie.

The other feature I really appreciated was the removable waist belt. Sometimes you know you won’t be carrying a heavy load or you just want the simplicity of no hip belt. The belt slides right out of the back panel after detaching the velcro.

On each side of the Shimoda Action X 30 are straps/buckles to connect a variety of items (tripod, light stand, skis, etc). I found these to be really handy for stowing the compact light stand that I carry with me.

Finally, the back of the bag is equipped with a large zippered pocket that holds a variety of items. I most often used it for my jacket and a few small accessories.

In addition, the back of the bag also features a helmet harness. I found this very handy for holding a bike, ski, or climbing helmet.

Model is 5ft 8″ for reference.

Worth noting is the side access feature on the exterior of the bag. I typically get to a location and lay down my bag to open it, but if you’re looking for quick access to your camera, the side zipper pouch delivers. Combined with the mirrorless core unit, this feature is very handy.

When I’m not out hiking in the mountains, I also really appreciated the carry handle on the top and side of the Action X 30. It makes throwing this bag in an overhead compartment a breeze!

The entire exterior of the bag is weather sealed and the ripstop nylon fabric feels very tough. This bag is ready to take on anything you can throw at it!

Interior Features

The interior of the Shimoda Action X is very sleek and simple. It features a few essential pockets without so many that you forget where things are located.

Inside the main compartment, the camera cube keeps everything organized in padded dividers. Aside from the camera cube, the main compartment features an easily accessible laptop sleeve.

In the top of the bag, you’ll find a roll-top compartment that contains a main compartment and two large zippered pockets.

I loved the expandability of the roll-top but found the zippered pockets to be a bit cumbersome when it came to actually storing stuff. I found that things were better stowed in the accessory pouch so you don’t have to dig through interior pockets to find things.

Inside the back panel pocket, there are two small zippered pockets. These were very handy for storing small items that I wanted to find quickly (headlamp, allen key, tripod plates, etc).

Aside from those simple pockets, the interior of the bag is very basic (which I find to be the best design).

When I want to switch to a larger or smaller camera bag, I don’t like to have to check 15 different small interior pockets to make sure I have everything out of my camera bag. I find it better to use the accessory pouch to store small items so I can grab the whole pouch and move it to a different bag.

Overall, the interior of this bag is very thoughtfully designed!

Storage Capacity

The 30L capacity of the Action X 30 with medium mirrorless core unit is perfect for most photographers.

For me, the Shimoda Action X 30 had the perfect amount of storage. It can take on two camera bodies, four lenses, two flashes and still have room for back-country essentials like layers, food, and water.

The mirrorless core unit fit my Sony Alpha equipment like a glove! The camera body fits nicely, laying flat or on it’s side, so the grip is easier to handle when pulling it out of the bag.

I also appreciated the expandable roll-top design that felt like it could grow to fit those last minute items or stuff in a big puffy jacket if needed.

Ease of Use/Comfort

Even fully loaded, the Action X 30 is well-balanced and comfortable.

In the past, I’ve used some camera bags that just don’t carry as nicely as modern backpacks.

The Shimoda Action X series is different. The frame of the bag was sturdy and it comfortably carries 30+ pounds of gear.

There is nothing worse than a camera bag that is uncomfortable after a couple miles on the trail. This bag exceeded my expectations and remained comfortable even after several hours of hiking.

The other critical component is ease of use. A bag is useless if it carries well but is hard to access. The Shimoda Action X 30 made accessibility a non-issue. The large back panel unzips allowing complete access to the main compartment.

The roll-top does take some getting used to, but I appreciated that there is also a zippered access in case you don’t want to unroll/roll the top.

Bottom line, this bag is really comfortable and easy to use!

Value for Money (+Discount)

This is a premium backpack that deserves a premium price tag.

With all the features and the durability of the Shimoda Action X bag, I think it is a great value. It’s an even better value if you back the kickstarter campaign and save even more.

Based on my experience with Shimoda, I know the bag will last. When one of the buckles on my last bag got closed in a trunk, they sent me a new one for free!

When you go with a top quality bag from a reputable brand, you know that it’s going to be a good buy.

I think that deep down, everyone knows that you get what you pay for. The Shimoda bag is a great example of this philosophy, and you can get it with a 10% discount using the coupon code: SHOTKIT10 at checkout here.

Shimoda Action X 30 Backpack Review | Conclusion

The Action X 30 is a perfect size and shape for male or females.

The Shimoda Action X 30 Backpack will be my go-to camera bag for the foreseeable future!

I love so many of the features from the shoulder straps to the durability and look of the bag.

It outperforms all my other bags when it comes to weather resistance and ease of carrying.

If you’re looking for a top of the line adventure-ready camera backpack, look no further than the Shimoda Action x 30!

Shimoda Action X Camera Backpack

Adventurer? This sleek, tough, comfortable bag will have your back in every situation.

Check Current Price

Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post may contain affiliate links.

Marc and Brenda Bergreen are photographers based in the Rocky Mountains.

Build Quality10


  1. Romain on February 2, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    Hello, thank you for your test very intersting

    i would like to know if a iphone 12 pro max or same size can fit in the pocket on the front the specal one for smartphone pleae ?

    Thx a lot

  2. Erik on January 20, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Picked up the X30 and X50 with return options, I wish I could loved both! Unfortunately, the X30 does not fit an avy probe/shovel with a bladder, as my BCA 270 is just too tall for the compartment.

    I’m 5’6″ and the torso of the X50 is just a little too long. I can’t look up without my neck hitting the frame uncomfortably, despite the harness adjustment. Just leaves me wishing I had a couple extra inches, and I’d be sold on the X50.

    For now, I have two packs which sadly might not work out, short torso’d folk beware! Otherwise, features appeared on the pack in real life as I wished them to be there, and they seem bombproof.

  3. Calebe on August 25, 2020 at 3:03 am

    I see a lot of people talk about it as an adventure backpack, but from the pictures and information in the blogs, it doesn’t seem like they are talking about camping.
    I would really like to see ow it could fit a sleeping and cooking system, besides extra layers (wind/cold/rain layers) for 2-5 days hike/camp as that’s my goal.
    Or do you think it isn’t a good bad for carrying all that?

    • Marc on August 27, 2020 at 6:12 am

      Hi Calebe, I think this is a great pack for that use. I’d look at the 50L version or even the 70L version depending on how much camera/camping gear you have. I think a lot of people end up carrying more traditional backpacking packs for the scenario you’re suggesting but if you want something camera specific, the Shimoda is definitely the way to go! It offers a solid suspension system and great camera access.

  4. Tatum on June 3, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Hi! I would love to know if you have tried fitting any backpacking/camping equipment in the bag as well?
    This backpack sounds amazing but I want to make sure that I could fit the gear I need into it as well!

    Do you find that once you have put your camera gear in, there is extra room? Or does it serve simply as a daypack?

    If it doesn’t have a lot of room, would you guess that the 50L would do the trick? (to hold camping gear etc.?)

  5. Sebastian on May 4, 2020 at 8:17 am

    I second what Mathias asked: could you make a picture of the x30 packed to the maximum (front pocket and roll top)

    would be super grateful! thanks!!!

  6. Mathias on November 19, 2019 at 2:53 am

    I was wondering how the camera fits in the shallow Core Unit laying on its side withou sticking out too much? At the moment the only reason for me not to buy the 30L (which I do prefer) is that it can only hold the mirrorless CU that is not ideal for a gripped body (Sony A7 with L bracket). Furthermore I worry that my filter pouch would also be slightly too big for the mirrorless CU (16 cm tall).
    For me the whole thing would be solved if the 30L could hold the DSLR Core Unit which is deep enough to fit the filter puch as well as the gripped body laying on its side propperly. But the guys from Shimoda say that this combination isn’t possible.

    In this article you say that the mirrorless CU holds your Sony equipment perfectly, even with the camera laying on its side. As I cannot imagine how this is possible I would love to get some more information. Chances are that you could solve my problem at this point.

    Unfortunately I have no chance to het my hands on one of the bags here in Germany to test it out propperly. So I have to rely on reviews like this.


    • Marc Bergreen on November 21, 2019 at 3:18 am

      Hey Mathias,

      I just confirmed and the A7 fits in the core unit on it’s side (with sd card door facing up) with no problem. It is slightly taller than the core unit but there is enough flex to the bag that it doesn’t cause any problems. However, it sounds like your filter case would be too tall at 16cm.

      Hope that helps!

      • Mathias on November 29, 2019 at 9:37 pm

        Thank you very much.
        I’ve gone with the x50 now, hoping it is not too big in general.
        Just for information it would be cool to see the x 30 packed to the maximum (front pocket and roll top) especially for the rolltop I heaven’t seen pictures of a fully loaded pack with the rolltop closed. All the reviews just show the opened roll top to give an idea of the extra capacity.

        Would be cool if you could post an image.

  7. Marc Bergreen on November 6, 2019 at 7:57 am

    If anyone has any questions hit met up in the comments! Looking forward to seeing what people think of this rad new Shimoda Bag!

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