The Most Modular Camera Bag Yet? The OneMo Backpack 25L Review

The OneMo Backpack 25L is designed for photographers in need of a modular and expandable camera backpack that can store a ton of photography gear.

When it comes to camera backpacks, there is no shortage of options on the market. The OneMo Backpack 25L from PGYTECH, a relatively new Chinese photography accessory maker, is the latest to enter this crowded marketplace. It first began as a Kickstarter campaign and has since been fully funded. The OneMo Camera Backpack was designed with modularity and expandability in mind. On paper, the OneMo Backpack offers a lot of the features modern photographers require in a camera backpack: weather resistance, customizability, the ability to hold tons of camera gear, etc. The proof is in the pudding, and we’ve been testing the OneMo Backpack to see if it lives up to PGYTECH’s claims.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Well built and water resistant
  • Can hold and keep a ton of photography gear organized
  • Can be worn as a backpack or carried as a duffel of sorts
  • Plenty of pockets/compartments
  • Lots of customization and expandability options
  • Quick access side openings give you easy access to your gear without having to unzip the main compartment
  • Dedicated battery storage pouches include charge indicator
  • RFID pocket helps keep passport and credit cards secure
  • Holds up to a 16 inch laptop
  • Able to store a tripod without making the bag feel lopsided
  • Built-in storage pouch is convertible and usable as a separate bag
  • Limited lifetime warranty included

Cons

  • The removable dividers could be better padded
  • Only one side of the backpack features quick access side openings
  • Not a fan of the green interior

Gear Used

We tested the OneMo Backpack 25 L with a ton of different photography gear, including the following:

Tech Specs

Specs for the OneMo Backpack 25 L taken from the official product page:

  • Two-in-one bag. The main bag or the built-in pouch as a shoulder bag.
  • Dedicated space for cameras, lens, drones, laptop of 15.6 inch /16 inch Macbook, stabilizers, etc
  • Contains expandable storage space with a maximum capacity up to 35 L
  • Multi-fold dividers for customized storage
  • Two quick-access side openings to the main space
  • Wear and Water resistant
  • Protective interior
  • Highly Versatile Design for Creatives
  • OneMo Backpack 25 L
    • Product size
      • External Dimensions: 480 × 320 × 230 mm
      • Internal Dimensions: 470 × 300 × 170 mm
      • Laptop Compartment Size: ≤ 385 × 270 × 26 mm
    • Weight
      • 2.1 kg
    • Capacity
      • 25-30 L
    • Material
      • Fabric:
        • 85% polyester
        • 15% polyurethane
      • Lining:
        • 100% polyester
  • OneMo Built-In Pouch
    • Product size
      • External dimensions: 270 × 180 × 120 mm
      • Internal dimensions: 260 × 150 × 115 mm
    • Weight
      • 0.4 kg
    • Capacity
      • 5 L
    • Material
      • Fabric:
        • 85% polyester
        • 15% polyurethane
      • Lining:
        • 100% polyester

Ergonomics

Aside from the red PGYTECH brand tag, the rest of the OneMo Camera Backpack has a boxy and minimalist look. The version we tested came in the Twilight Black colorway, but an Olivine Camo colorway is also available for a $20 premium. Neither version will win any beauty contests; function over form is the name of the game here. Thanks to its fully synthetic exterior (85% polyester, 15% polyurethane), the OneMo Backpack is water-resistant. A rain cover, in the hidden pocket at the base of the backpack, is also included for added weather resistance should you be caught in particularly heavy rainfall. A hidden magnetic pouch can also be found towards the bottom of the OneMo Backpack’s exterior (where the two triangles are in the above image). The various detachable accessory straps are stored within.

Here’s a look at the OneMo Camera Backpack’s side profile. The above image shows the left side of the backpack. The external pocket on top can hold a memory card case and other small accessories. The bottom pouch can expand slightly and is a great place to store a water bottle, a small umbrella, or even a small tripod (such as the PolarPro Apex). You can use the cinch strap to help keep what’s stored within the bottom pouch in place. If you’ve got a bigger tripod, however, there’s actually a better place to store it (more on this shortly).

Unzipping the outer zipper will give you access to the expandable compartment that offers an additional 5 L of storage space. Hybrid shooters can store a gimbal and other accessories in this expandable compartment. Throughout our time with the OneMo Camera Backpack, we mostly used it to store soft goods such as clothing, picnic blankets, energy bars, or books.

One of three carrying handles can be found built into the left side of the OneMo Camera Backpack. This is also where the “hinge” of the OneMo Backpack is when you unzip the main compartment.

The right side of the OneMo Camera Backpack features two quick access openings. You can also access the main compartment of the OneMo Camera Backpack from this side via the double zippers. The back panel of the backpack opens like a lid once it’s been unzipped.

All three side zippers can be tucked into built-in security loops to make them less vulnerable to pickpockets.

Here’s a look at the two side access openings once the opening flaps have been unzipped. The amount of items stored within the OneMo Backpack depends on how you have the main compartment configured. If you’ve organized the main compartment using the various velcro dividers, you can realistically access up to two or three pieces of photography equipment via these side openings.

The interior of the top flap includes an RFID protection pouch. This is useful for storing sensitive items such as your passport, credit cards, and other documents.

The bottom flap has a trio of battery storage pouches built-in. Each battery pouch has a handy charge indicator slider to help tell charged and drained batteries apart.

Here’s a closer look at the OneMo Backpack’s back panel. Two of the other carrying handles (top and middle) are visible here along with the shoulder straps. The shoulder straps are adjustable and include a sternum clip to help prevent the straps from digging into your armpits when the backpack is packed to the gills. One of the shoulder straps has an integrated small pouch for storing earbuds or other small items. The other shoulder strap has a wide elastic band built-in that can be used to hold lens caps in place.

Both shoulder straps can be tucked into the bottom of the back panel when not in use. This is great when you’re using the OneMo Backpack as a duffel style storage bag and loading it into and out of the back of vehicles.

The main compartment of the OneMo Backpack can hold a ton of camera gear and be configured to suit your particular needs using the included velcro dividers. Though these dividers were thinner and less rigid than we’d prefer, it did a good enough job at keeping our camera gear organized and free of damage. In the above example, we were able to easily store two camera bodies, three lenses, a pouch full of ND filters, a 15.6″ laptop, and a bunch of accessories in the main compartment. We would have preferred if the interior was a bright color instead of the dark green fabric used. This would help photography gear (which is usually black or other dark colors) stand out and easier to find when stored in the bag.

You can also configure the OneMo Backpack so that bottom of the main compartment can be used in conjunction with the OneMo Built-In Pouch.

Here’s a closer look at the OneMo Built-In Pouch. Constructed from the same materials used in the OneMo Camera Backpack, the Built-In Pouch is similarly well built and water-resistant. It can be used as a removable storage pouch or converted into either a belt pouch or a small sling bag by attaching the included waist straps or shoulder strap. The small sling bag configuration in particular is great for short trips when you don’t need (or want) to carry a lot.

Like the OneMo Camera Backpack, the OneMo Built-In Pouch also features an expandable compartment. To expand it, simply unzip the zipper that goes around the lid. Doing so will nearly double the storage capacity of the pouch.

The lid of the OneMo Built-In Pouch has a small zipper pocket that can store small items such as pens and memory card holders.

The inside of the lid features a small mesh pocket for storing additional small items. A pair of velcro dividers are included with the OneMo Built-In Pouch, but only one was used in the above example. They give you the ability to customize the Built-In Pouch to suit your unique storage needs.

Let’s go back to the exterior of the OneMo Backpack. Note the four small loops towards the corners.

By attaching the included binding straps, you can strap a tripod onto the top of the OneMo Backpack rather than trying to store it in the side pouch. The expandable front compartment remains accessible even when a tripod is strapped onto the OneMo Backpack. This is a much better tripod storage solution because the weight of the tripod is evenly distributed across your back. We wish more camera backpacks included a similar feature.

Build Quality

The OneMo Backpack 25L’s exterior is made of fully synthetic materials. We took it with us onto hikes into the woods, walked around with it in the rain, placed it onto rocky or muddy surfaces, and even went under a waterfall with it in upstate New York. Not once did the OneMo Backpack or any of the equipment stored inside get damaged, and none of the equipment stored inside the OneMo Backpack got wet at any point. The trio of carrying handles made it easy to load and retrieve the OneMo Backpack from the vehicles and overhead storage in public transit. Though the included velcro dividers allow you to customize the OneMo Backpack internally to suit your specific needs, we would have preferred if they had thicker padding and more structure. Something to look forward to in the next product revision, perhaps? The same robust build quality extends to the OneMo Built-In Pouch as well. PGYTECH also includes a limited lifetime warranty should any of the components on the OneMo Backpack or the Built-In Pouch become damaged and need replacing.

“We took it with us onto hikes into the woods, walked around with it in the rain, placed it onto rocky or muddy surfaces, and even went under a waterfall with it in upstate New York. Not once did the OneMo Backpack or any of the equipment stored inside get damaged…”

Ease of Use

Thanks to its modular and expandable nature, the OneMo Backpack 25L is very user friendly. Particular highlights include the charge indicators that accompany the battery pouches along with the ability to store your tripod up top. Although the included velcro dividers did a good job of keeping things organized and free from damage, they can be a pain to set up. As we had mentioned earlier, they could also use some more padding as well as rigidity. The latter is particularly important when it comes to configuring the backpack’s main compartment. This isn’t a problem unique to the OneMo Backpack 25L, but it’s worth noting nonetheless. Using dividers with more structure would make it much easier to configure the OneMo Backpack’s interior to keep all of your camera gear organized.

The included OneMo Built-In Pouch is a nice bonus as well. If you’re traveling with a smaller camera system, you can store it within the Built-In Pouch and use the rest of the main compartment for your clothes and other necessities. It’s also great as a makeshift sling bag for when you don’t want to bring all the contents within the OneMo Backpack with you. We also would’ve preferred if the color of the interior of the OneMo Camera Backpack was a brighter fabric than the dark green used. Most camera gear is black and can get lost easily inside a bag with a dark interior. Having a brightly colored interior helps gear stand out and be easy to find.

Conclusions

The OneMo Backpack 25L is a tough cookie that can take a lot of abuse. To top things off, it is weather-resistant as well. There’s ample room for all your camera gear and whatever else you need to carry with you. The customizable interior does a great job of keeping valuables organized. Smart design choices like the battery charge indicators and the ability to store a tripod without making the backpack off-balanced are welcomed inclusions. The expandable and modular design also allows you to increase the load capacity up to a total of 35 L if needed. For a first time effort, PGYTECH certainly delivered the goods with the OneMo Backpack 25L. If you’re looking for a camera backpack with a sense of style and flair, the OneMo Backpack 25L is probably not the right bag for you. If you’re the type of photographer that appreciates function over form and prefers to not draw attention to yourself, however, you’ll love what the OneMo Backpack offers.

The OneMo Backpack 25L earns four out of five stars. You can pick one up at Amazon.

Pauleth Ip

Paul is a New York City based photographer, creative, and writer. His body of work includes headshots and commercial editorials for professionals, in-demand actors/performers, high net worth individuals, and corporate clients, as well as intimate lifestyle/boudoir photography with an emphasis on body positivity and empowerment. Paul also has a background in technology and higher education, and regularly teaches private photography seminars. When not working on reviews and features for The Phoblographer or shooting client work, Paul can be seen photographing personal projects around NYC, or traveling the world with his cameras in tow. You can find Paul’s latest work on his Instagram over at @thepicreative.