Very few camera bags on the market offer storage space for cameras, lenses and gimbals and provide the comfort modern creators need. The Hex Cinema Backpack is a camera bag that, on paper, seems to check all the boxes for hybrid creators. Does it perform in the real world, though? Find out in our full review.
Note: We were sent the Hex Cinema Backpack to review and keep. However, all thoughts and opinions about this bag are our own. We have not been told what to say, nor have we been influenced in any way. We tell you this as we always want to be honest with you.
- Incredible amounts of storage space
- Lots of pockets for accessories
- Plush-lined pocket for laptop/tablet
- Comfortable to wear
- Easy to customize
- Nicely priced
- Very heavy when fully loaded
- Shoulder straps could use a little more padding
Hex Cinema Backpack — Tech specs
All tech specs for the Hex Cinema Backpack are from the official Hex website:
- Fits up to a 17″ Laptop
- Deep design for cinematic gear
- Genuine Cordura® exterior
- Adjustable sternum strap
- Adjustable interior dividers
- Thick padded shoulder straps with air mesh
- Premium poly web belting straps
- Non-skid accents
- Custom YKK® HEX zipper pulls
- Dimensions: 20″ H x 12.5″ W x 9″ D
- Volume: 27.6L
- Weight: 4.6 lbs.
Hex Cinema Backpack — Ergonomics
The Hex Cinema Backpack is a large bag with some heft. This oversized camera bag weighs 4.6lbs and has dimensions of 20-inches in height, 12.5-inches in width and 9-inches in depth. Despite being a large bag, Hex has done a tremendous job when it comes to design. The Hex Cinema Backpack is essentially a larger, deeper and broader version of the Hex Back Loader V2 (read my review) with just a few differences.
The Hex Cinema Backpack comes in various color schemes, including Glacier Camo, Ranger Camo and Ranger Black. I was sent the Ranger Black version. I like this because it doesn’t draw much attention. However, all of the color schemes look great.
The front of the bag has two plush-lined pockets. The top pocket is secured via two metal clips and is big enough to house a 17-inch laptop. The bottom pocket can easily hold a phone or small tablets like a Kindle or iPad mini. A sizable quick access panel dominates one side of the bag; the other has a big mesh compartment that can hold a water bottle. There are straps on the bottom of the bag that can hold a tripod. The top of the bag is home to a quick access panel and a carry handle.
Flip the bag over, and you’ll be greeted by a large side-opening back panel. Inside you’ll find ample padding (which is fully configurable). In addition, the inside of the back panel is home to three zippered compartments that can hold accessories. You’ll also get a better look at the strap and support system. Look closely, and you’ll find a small zipped compartment on the waist strap. Overall, the Hex Cinema Backpack is a camera bag with a fairly basic design. Growth, it provides excellent access to your gear and has plenty of storage space for the essentials.
Hex Cinema Backpack — Build quality
The Hex Cinema Backpack is one tough cookie. The bag recently accompanied me on a trip and stood up to everything I threw at it. The Cordura fabric feels nice and still looks new, despite being bumped and bashed around during eight days of travel.
The YKK zippers worked flawlessly. I never experienced any snagging or catching. The bottom of the bag is covered in a material that protects it from water. I took the bag to the beach several times and had no issues placing it on the floor on or near water. Even the main Cordura fabric got wet several times and was just fine. The metal clasps are sturdy and easy to use. The padding on the interior is thick and supportive.
I haven’t treated this bag with kid gloves since it has been in my possession. Despite this, the Hex Cinema Backpack still looks new. I do not doubt that it will stand up to the test of time.
What gear can it hold?
If you’re a creator who needs to transport a lot of gear with them at all times, you’ll love the Hex Cinema Backpack. The main compartment of this bag is dedicated to holding lenses, cameras and even gimbals. In addition, the Cinema Backpack is deep, so it can easily house gripped cameras.
On my recent trip, I loaded the Hex Cinema Backpack up with the following:
- OM SYSTEM OM-1
- Olympus E-M1X
- Olympus 8-25mm f/4 Pro
- Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro
- Olympus 100-400mm f/5-6.3 IS
- Olympus 45mm f/1.2 Pro
- Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3
- OM SYSTEM 20mm f/1.4 Pro
- Super Takumar 50mm f1.4
- Tair 11a 135mm f/2.8
- Zhiyun Weebill 3 Gimbal and accessories
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro w/keyboardcase and pencil
As mentioned above, the thick dividers in this camera bag are configurable. The Velcro that holds the dividers in place is strong and secure, too, so you can travel with the knowledge that your equipment will be protected. The Hex Cinema Backpack reminds me of the Manfrotto Pro Lite Flexloader (read my review here). I love that bag and still use it often. However, it will now have competition in the form of the Hex Cinema Backpack.
The Hex Cinema Backpack isn’t as luxurious as the offering from Manfrotto, but it can hold the same amount of gear and is more affordable. If you need a bag that can help you get massive amounts of equipment safely from A to B, look at this bag from Hex.
Hex Cinema Backpack — In the field
The Hex Cinema Backpack handled itself well out in the field. The straps and support system are excellent overall. Once adjusted to the correct length for your torso, the main straps are pretty comfortable. There’s also a significant amount of padding on the back of the bag that helps make this bag very comfortable.
I do, however, wish that there was slightly more padding on the straps for those times when the bag is fully loaded. Having said that, the waist belt — which isn’t removable — and the sternum strap help distribute the weight nicely across your upper body. The air mesh back also helps keep you nice and dry. I carried the Hex Cinema Backpack around one day when humidity hit 85%, and I was still comfortable.
The quick access panels are a couple of features I love about this bag. The Manfrotto Pro-Lite Flexloader was sorely missing quick access panels. While bags like this aren’t designed to be used by run and gun creators, the quick access panel inclusion is appreciated. The top panel allowed me to get to my camera quickly, while the side panel allowed me to access a telephoto lens or my gimbal. The Hex Cinema Backpack is nice to use out in the field. The camera bags’ simple design and supportive straps get two thumbs up from me.
Hex Cinema Backpack — An affordable bag for hybrid content creators
Hex has created an excellent bag for modern hybrid content creators in the Cinema Backpack. The bag is stylish without being gaudy. The materials are tough and rugged while still feeling pleasant to the touch. There’s enough room for multiple cameras, lenses, a gimbal and even a light if needed. You can stuff accessories galore into the pockets, the laptop pouch is large, and you can stow a tripod or light stand on the bottom of the bag. The strap system helps distribute the weight across your upper body well too.
I honestly do not have many negatives to say about this camera bag. I do wish there was perhaps a little more padding on the main straps. However, everything else has been well thought out by the designers. You can customize the interior to fit your loadout, which means you can make this bag work for you. At just $239.95, the Hex Cinema Backpack is a steal. It’s over $100 less than the competing Manfrotto Pro Lite Flexloader, and you don’t give up anything regarding functionality or space. It’s a solid bag that delivers everything a modern creator needs.
If you want a basic camera bag to help you get your gear from A to B safely and comfortably, the Hex Cinema Backpack is an excellent choice. The Hex Cinema Backpack scores a solid four out of five.