REVIEW: Shimoda Women’s Explore V2 25 Camera Rucksack

Shimoda’s latest female-specific version of the Explore pack caters to the unique needs of women in the adventure media field

Feature type Review

Read time 6 mins

Published Jun 02, 2023

Author Saskia Dugon

Photographer Saskia Dugon

Saskia Dugon


The Women’s Shimoda Explore V2 25 is a high-quality and well-designed option for female adventure photographers, bloggers, vloggers and filmers alike. With its female-specific features, durable construction, and versatile capacity, it caters to the unique needs of women in the field.

RRP £335
Weight 2.4kg
Outside dimensions 27W x 46.5H x 17D cm
Inside dimensions 26W x 45.5H x 16D cm
Features Women-specific adjustable harness, water-resistant upper, dual laptop/tablet sleeves, lockable zippers, multiple access points


  • Thoughtful female-specific design elements
  • High-quality materials and construction
  • Versatile capacity with multiple pockets and storage options
  • Base handle for easy moving and lifting
  • Super soft back panel


  • Explore 25 doesn’t take 16” laptop
  • Smaller size may not accommodate larger camera kits
  • Might be considered relatively expensive at first glance


As a female adventure photographer, I’m looking for a backpack that offers durability, functionality and features to suit my needs when I’m out and about. It should provide ample storage space for my camera kit and essential accessories while ensuring comfort during long outdoor adventures.


The Shimoda Women’s Series Explore 25 backpack immediately stands out with its stylish teal colourway. The construction feels robust, and the attention to detail is evident. The Women’s Explore v2 25  is the latest addition to Shimoda’s Explore v2 range of camera bags, which are available as bag-only or starter kits. I tested the starter kit, which comes with a small mirrorless core unit modular camera insert. With Shimoda bags, you have the option of adding female-specific shoulder straps (rightly, at no extra cost!) but the difference here is that the women-specific bags come with a newly designed harness that features slightly smaller straps that curve around and away from the chest area, dual sternum straps to eliminate discomfort and pressure around the chest and an adjustable waist belt that accommodates narrower waists. These female-specific features give it a really customised, considered feel.

What stood out the most to me was how comfortable the Air Mesh Harness was; both soft enough to feel light against my back, and rugged enough for me to have no worries about its durability.


During testing, I took the Explore 25 backpack on various outdoor photography adventures, hiking and shooting around the Black Mountains in Wales.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to test the bag in much harsher weather as we have been greeted by a wonderfully calm May. However, given my experience with the Shimoda Action series bags and having used them in some truly vile weather before, and knowing that the same material is used throughout the two (just without the abrasion-resistant feature), I can confirm that these bags really do hold up very well in wet and windy weather.


The Shimoda Women’s Explore v2 25 backpack is designed specifically for female adventure photographers who prioritise comfort, durability, and organisation. It suits those with small mirrorless camera kits and essential accessories. However, photographers with larger gear setups may need to explore the larger models in both the Explore and Action series.

photographers with larger gear setups may need to explore the larger models in both the Explore and Action series


Female-Specific Shoulder Straps

The shoulder straps are ergonomically designed to fit the female body, ensuring superior comfort during long hikes or shoots. With two upper adjustable clips, getting a snug fit has been a lot easier to achieve, although I still feel like the top strap could go a bit smaller for more rigorous activities like mountain biking.

Removable and Adjustable Belt

The belt adds stability and support while carrying heavy loads but can be easily removed or adjusted according to personal preference. I love this feature as it allows this bag to be used for big days and also still be a comfortable go to backpack for everyday use, whether it’s for a commute and heading to your favourer local coffee shop.

Air Mesh Harness

The air mesh harness enhances breathability and reduces discomfort during extended wear and is what I have enjoyed most about this bag as it truly has been the most comfortable camera backpack I’ve worn.

Travel-friendly features

The inclusion of a luggage handle pass-through and side handle enables seamless integration with suitcases, making it effortless to stack the backpack on top of a rolling suitcase handle for easy transportation in busy airports or city streets. The base handle further facilitates lifting the bag, simplifying the process of stowing it in overhead compartments on trains and planes.

Women’s only colourway

The exclusive teal colourway adds a touch of style and sets it apart from other camera backpacks.

Choose your size wisely

While the Explore 25 excels in certain aspects, namely its durability and versatility for travel, those with a more substantial camera setup may want to look towards the larger Explore or Action series bags.


Considering its durable construction, tailored features for women and versatility, the Explore v2 25 backpack offers good value for money. While it may feel expensive at first, the investment is justified for those who are after a durable, super comfortable, good looking and practical bag. And I don’t like to use the term ‘investment’ lightly, but I feel comfortable doing so with Shimoda bags due to how much they go through with me on a daily basis.


I’ve got a lot of camera kit, but for those lighter days when I’m just out with my little Fuji XE4 and a couple of lenses, this would be my go-to bag. For my more adventurous shoots, namely on the bike, I’d take out one of my Action series bags (currently have a 30 and a 50) as the roll-top design allows me to pack for all occasions, whilst the Explore 25 allows me to embrace a minimalist approach to being out in the mountains with my camera.

If you’re a female adventure photographer in need of a well-designed and comfortable camera backpack, the Explore 25 is a solid choice

The Shimoda Women’s Series Explore 25 backpack excels in catering to the needs of female adventure photographers. Its female-specific design features, durable construction, and versatile capacity make it a reliable companion in the field. While it may not accommodate larger camera kit, it offers excellent value for money overall. It’s practical, looks good, is comfortable, adjustable, and is durable so If you’re a female photographer in need of a well-designed and comfortable camera backpack, the Explore 25 is a solid choice that delivers on its promises.

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