Fstop Satori in the Arctic – Shem Compion

One of South Africa’s best known names in the nature photography industry, Shem Compion, recently acquired a Fstop Satori with XL pro ICU from us. Like everyone else who’s serious about their camera gear, he’s been through several top-tier camera backpacks over the years without ever settling on one. He got his new goodies just before leading a tour to Svalbard for his photographic safari company – C4 Safaris. Much like my trip into the Drakensberg, this was a deep-end test for a new backpack. It had to carry a ton of camera equipment and other stuff, but still fit into the overhead compartment of small planes. This is what Shem had to say. “I recently used the F-stop Satori camera bag for the first time while leading a photo safari up to Svalbard.

I picked up the bag two days before the trip and upon first inspection it seemed perfect for what this expedition was about. Svalbard is a remote group of islands in the Arctic ocean and home to the polar bear. Visiting the islands requires walking and tramping through snow, zodiac cruising and  a lot of stop-start photography in the cold and snow. I perceived that the F-stop bag would be perfect for the job but little did I know how handy this bag was.

Firstly though, getting to Svalbard requires 4 flights in increasingly smaller aircraft. The Satori bag is the largest of the F-Stop bags and it was a perfect fit for each overhead locker in each plane. That is 8 flights and 8 lockers and no issue with airline staff nor overhead lockers. Svalbard is a cold and harsh environment. The average temperature was zero degrees Celsius. Combined with wind chill factor that equates to an average of -5C. This means constant outdoor glove use, which always makes for a difficult time when opening and closing camera bags. Not with the Satori. The best part is the comfortable wearing of the pack when tramping in the tundra or Ice and then, when you want to stop and photograph, you lay the bag down and have the Zip presented to you so you can quickly and easily open the bag for your cameras. It simply is the fastest way to access your cameras while walking out in the field.

In addition, the extra space on top of the ICU allowed me to store extra outer layers of clothing. I found this space very handy, especially when working in a cold area where you are constantly taking layers off and on. In all I found this bag to be the best camera bag I have ever worked with. The easy access to your gear, comfort to wear, extra space and rugged outer shell all make it a product that I would wholeheartedly recommend.”

I believe in the products that I sell via LANDSCAPEGEAR.CO.ZA and I am always delighted to get feedback like this. It is one of countless such stories about Fstopgear, proving that it is the best camera carrying solution on the market by a long shot.

Some images from Shem’s trip shown below.


Shem Compion is an adventurer, nature photographer, creative, author and photography hide builder. Find more of his work on his website