Bored of carrying around the same style of camera bag all the time? The Ethnotek Raja uses interchangeable front panels to change up the look of the bag without unpacking all your gear. The Minnesota-based company is currently looking to launch the Raja backpack with interchangeable threads along with a smaller Desa swing bag and a Kota camera strap on Kickstarter.
The backpack is constructed with a water-resistant nylon that’s not terribly hard to find in the sea of camera bag options, but the “Thread” at the front of the bag is a bit more unusual. The Threads are interchangeable front panels crafted by artisans in Ghana, Indonesia, Guatemala, India, and Vietnam. The feature both supports traditional textile creators and allows photographers to switch up the look of their bag to match the mood or type of shoot.
The front panel also has tripod straps at the front. Hidden behind that front panel is the main compartment for housing camera gear, though there’s also a quick access zipper at the side. The company says the 30-liter backpack can fit two camera bodies with multiple lenses and accessories or can also be configured to house a drone. A roll-top compartment at the top houses additional items, while a laptop sleeve sits in the back panel. A waist belt for more comfortable carrying is available as an add-on.
For treks with less gear, the Desa Camera Sling Pouch is designed for carrying around a smaller DSLR or mirrorless camera with an extra lens. Inner and outer pockets help organize smaller accessories. Removing the shoulder strap, the Desa can also be added onto the Raja backpack or onto the Raja waist belt for a belt pack.
The backpack, sling, and optional waist belt are joined by the Kota camera strap in similar traditional textile patterns. The backing and outer edges are neoprene and the shoulder pad also has a memory card pouch built-in. The strap attaches with an anchor point system that also makes it easier to swap out straps or to use the same strap with multiple camera bodies.
“At the core of Ethnotek’s DNA is celebrating the cultural diversity that makes this planet such a rich and beautiful place while preserving the art of traditional handmade textiles,” Ethnotek co-founder Jacob Orak said. “We think that camera bags should not only be highly functional, but also communicate your personality, your values, and should capture the spirit of travel.”
The Kickstarter campaign is the company’s second after the original project for the Premji Daypack in 2016. The campaign is already more than halfway to full funding, with funding continuing through October 13. If the project and production are successful, early backers could pick up the Raja for $245, the Desa sling for $84, or the Kota strap for $49. The company estimates shipping for July 2019.