The Urth Norite 24L Backpack + Medium Camera Insert 

INTRODUCTION

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of camera bags in the marketplace. Having been in the industry for almost 40 years, it is our opinion that nobody has yet produced the perfect camera bag. Understandably, considering every photographer has different needs when it comes to carrying their gear, it will always be impossible to please everyone.

In 2021, Urth launched the Arkose 20L and Norite 24L modular backpack bags as part of their “Carry” series in an already extremely competitive market. It will be very interesting to compare this bag to other similar-sized bags that we have tested and reviewed.

Urth (formerly known as Gobe) products have always been of the highest standard and easy on the pocket. In combination with their dedication to the environment, their products are a no-brainer for us. We would not hesitate to recommend any of their products, although we still maintain an unbiased view when reviewing any product.

Urth kindly sent us the Norite 24L backpack with the Medium Camera Insert in Moss colour to test and review. The Moss and Sand colours were introduced with the V2 of this bag.

If you are interested, check out What’s in our Bag

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PRODUCT OVERVIEW

Generally, most photographers carry backpack camera bags, as this is usually the only type of bag that will fit all their equipment and accessories. The Urth Norite 24L Backpack bag only has a 24L capacity, which is a medium-sized bag, however, as mentioned in other posts don’t let that fool you – it’s all in the design of a bag that dictates the amount that it can carry.

The Urth Norite 24L Backpack is the largest in their current range. There’s also the cheaper and smaller Arkose 20L Backpack, which is very similar. The only difference is that the insert is smaller and the camera insert is accessed from a zipper on the front of the bag rather than the side. If you are a minimalist photographer that carries a mirrorless camera and only a couple of lenses then the Arkose 20L backpack with the Small Camera Insert will be sufficient for your needs.

The Norite 24L Backpack bag fits a fair amount of gear and accessories in its 24-litre capacity. The first thing you will notice is that there is a multitude of pockets in this bag (14 storage areas to be exact), two of which are located on the exterior of the bag. Personally speaking, we find that the lack of exterior zipped pockets on the exterior of some bags is a negative for us although we understand that it makes the bag more streamlined and secure from pickpockets. Nevertheless, we love to have quick access to small things such as cleaning cloths, a small torch, and even a place to put frequently accessed circular filters without having to access the interior of the bag.

Peak Design Micro Clutch

Generally, most photographers carry backpack camera bags, as this is usually the only type of bag that will fit all their equipment and accessories. The Urth Norite 24L Backpack bag only has a 24L capacity, which is a medium-sized bag, however, as mentioned in other posts don’t let that fool you – it’s all in the design of a bag that dictates the amount that it can carry.

The Urth Norite 24L Backpack is the largest in their current range. There’s also the cheaper and smaller Arkose 20L Backpack (read our review here), which is very similar. The only difference is that the insert is smaller and the camera insert is accessed from a zipper on the front of the bag rather than the side. If you are a minimalist photographer that carries a mirrorless camera and only a couple of lenses then the Arkose 20L backpack with the Small Camera Insert will be sufficient for your needs.

The Norite 24L Backpack bag fits a fair amount of gear and accessories in its 24-litre capacity. The first thing you will notice is that there is a multitude of pockets in this bag (14 storage areas to be exact), two of which are located on the exterior of the bag. Personally speaking, we find that the lack of exterior zipped pockets on the exterior of some bags is a negative for us although we understand that it makes the bag more streamlined and secure from pickpockets. Nevertheless, we love to have quick access to small things such as cleaning cloths, a small torch, and even a place to put frequently accessed circular filters without having to access the interior of the bag.

Silence Corner Atoll

To read our review of the Silence Corner Atoll click here. We strongly recommend this product for those that frequently use a tripod.

However, the biggest plus for this bag has to be the camera insert. This is not a new thing in camera bags but is a great feature that gives the bag a dual purpose by keeping camera gear separate from personal items. We find that these camera inserts produce even more protection for your camera gear rather than just dividers especially if you get caught in the rain. As Travel Photographers, this is a huge benefit for us.

The bag has been designed, not only as a day-to-day camera backpack but also as an everyday backpack for those non-photography days. If venturing further afield the bag could easily be used for camera gear and a change of clothes for a short-duration domestic trip.

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Urth Norite 24L Modular Camera Backpack - Moss

Above: Urth Norite 24L Backpack – Moss. The minimalistic sleek design makes it look more like a daypack rather than a camera bag, making it a less attractive target for thieves.
Hover over image for a closer look

Urth Norite 24L Modular Camera Backpack - Side

Above: Urth Norite 24L Backpack – Moss. On the side of the bag is a recessed zipper for access to the interior. There’s one on both sides of the bag, however, you may lose some access to one side if attaching a tripod.
Hover over image for a closer look

Urth Norite 24L Modular Camera Backpack - Moss - Camera Insert

Above: Urth Medium Camera Insert
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Urth Norite 24L Modular Camera Backpack - Moss - Camera Insert

Above: Urth Medium Camera Insert
Hover over image for a closer look

Peak Design Travel Tripod

Now, let’s get into the bag’s features. We’ll break this up into Exterior & Interior features to make it easier to read.

BAG EXTERIOR

The exterior of the bag looks like a standard camera backpack in shape, although it is not as rigid as other bags we’ve reviewed. Most of the magic is inside the bag, however, there are some great features on the exterior. Like all camera bags, there are a few features, or lack thereof, that we do not like as well.

The bag is constructed with durable weatherproof* recycled (70%) 600D nylon and uses YKK zippers which are the gold standard in zippers and used on many camera bags these days. The material seems thinner than most camera bags in this class so it will be interesting to find out how weatherproof it is (see below for the definitions of weatherproof v waterproof).

At the top of the bag is a decent-sized handle and dual main entrance zippers. These zippers extend to half the height of the bag on both sides. There’s also a handy zipper pocket that has plenty of room for frequently accessed accessories. 

You can access both sides of the bag via angled and slightly recessed zippers. You can also access your camera gear inside the camera insert using these entrances. The camera insert should be inserted in the top entrance of the bag as you will not be able to insert/remove it via the side zippers (you may be able to do it but it is really awkward).

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The rear of the bag is well-padded and there is a useful hidden zippered pocket located behind the bottom section of the padding.

There are a couple of shortcomings with the exterior that are a little disappointing for us. Firstly, the bag does not have a waist belt or a sternum strap to take the weight off the shoulders. These are features that we always look for in a camera bag, otherwise, a long day can end in painful shoulder muscles when carrying a lot of gear. The shoulder straps are adequate, but we have not yet tested them for extended use so the jury is still out as to how comfortable the bag is for long-term use. Lastly, the small strap between the top of the shoulder straps becomes taut when the bag is heavy and can rub against any exposed skin over an extended period of time.

There are 2 straps included that can be attached to the exterior of the bag to attach a tripod. Check out the Urth product page for instructions on how to use these straps to attach the tripod to the side of the bag. In our opinion, this is not an ideal location to attach a tripod to this type of bag. Depending on the size of the tripod, it may impede access to one of the zippered entrances on the side of the bag which in turn may impede access to that side of the camera insert. We found it far more practical to attach the tripod to the bottom of the bag (see the image below). There are 4 anchor loops provided. You will now regain access to the side entrance pocket.

It seems that the bag has been designed more for the casual photographer that doesn’t carry lots of gear. The more serious photographer with a lot more gear and a heavy tripod may find this bag restrictive. 

Urth Norite 24L Modular Backpack

Above: The Peak Design Travel Tripod is attached to the bottom of the bag. With this configuration, it will not impede access to the side entrance to the interior of the bag.
Hover over image for a closer look

Above: The hidden zippered pocket is ideal for carrying valuables although, as Travel Photographers we would not use the pocket for essential documents eg. passport
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ON1 Photo Raw 2024

BAG INTERIOR

In our opinion, the bag’s interior is where it really shines. There are a multitude of pockets to stash accessories including dedicated pockets for a  tablet and a laptop.

The interior of the bag features the following –

  • Two sleeves that can fit a 13”-15” laptop, tablet or notebook. As a matter of fact, both sleeves are so deep our HP 14″ laptop fits into both sleeves with room to spare.  There are also 3 smaller pockets to store accessories on the outside of the smaller sleeve. One of these is for a pen, while the other 2 are for smaller accessories such as a mini-torch, sunglasses etc. You probably won’t want to place any bulky items in these pockets as they may encroach on the interior of the main compartment when the bag is closed.
  • Below the laptop/tablet sleeves in the main compartment are 2 more wide and deep pockets for accessories. If the medium camera insert is used these pockets may be a little more difficult to access although we had no problem when we filled the insert with gear.
  • One deep pocket and two horizontal zippered pockets are on the opposite side of the interior. This is a different configuration from V1 of this bag. The deep pocket and both zippered pockets are easy enough to access from the top of the bag. The zippered pockets, however, can be a little awkward to access from both side zipper entrances of the bag
  • The separate Medium Camera Insert gives the bag dual functionality. The insert is robust and protects your gear even more. As the bag is only “weatherproof” there is always still a chance of the interior getting wet, however, we doubt very much that it would penetrate the exterior of the bag AND the camera insert. The camera insert has zippers on both sides and is inserted into the bag from the top entrance. The only minor thing we do not like about this feature is opening two zippers to access your gear. Having said that, you can always leave the insert zipper open and only open the bag’s side zipper when accessing gear. Just remember to close the side zippers of the camera insert before removing it from the bag otherwise your equipment could fall from the insert. The camera insert also has two handy deep pockets on the inside of the flaps.
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L - Laptop and Tablet Compartment

Above: The spacious interior easily fits both our 14″ Laptop and Surface Go Tablet. In fact, the laptop fits comfortably in both compartments. As you can see, even with the camera insert there is still plenty of room for other items such as a jumper, wet weather jacket, tech pouch etc
Hover over image for a closer look

Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L - Interior Pockets

Above: The side access makes it easy to access your gear, however, you will need to open both the external zipper and also the camera insert zipper. Alternatively, we would suggest leaving the camera insert unzipped but just remember to zip it back up before you remove the camera insert from the bag.
Hover over image for a closer look

Skylum Luminar Neo

PROS

  • Excellent design
  • Dual purpose for those non-photography days
  • Heaps of internal pockets
  • A hidden pocket for valuables 
  • Room for both a 13-15″ laptop plus a tablet
  • *Weatherproof
  • Easy access from the top and both sides of the bag
  • A robust medium Camera Insert to secure your gear
  • Additional room for a jumper, wet weather gear etc
  • Easy to access your gear, as long as you remember which side of the bag to open laughing
  • Made from 70% recycled material
  • 4 colours
  • Lifetime Warranty

Some of these CONS may not necessarily be a problem for many photographers. 

CONS

  • No sternum strap or waist belt
  • Not *Waterproof and no rain cover included
  • The horizontal strap between the shoulder straps can rub with weight and extended use
  • Tripod attachment is not ideal

*Weatherproof (aka water-resistant) – usually the material has a coating which will cause water droplets to bead on the surface giving it added protection, however, it will not make the bag impervious to penetration by water. To produce a bag that is Waterproof would mean a completely different material thus adding considerable weight to the bag. If this is a concern, we suggest you purchase a rain cover for the bag. You could also try spraying the bag with a fabric protector, however, we’re not sure how that would react with the materials current coatings. We could not find any information on their website saying that this would be an issue.

Adobe Photoshop AI
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L - Gear

Above: The bag has a minimalistic look and will be popular for those that want a functional bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag. The bag will carry enough gear for the majority of photographers.

The Urth Norite 24L Backpack pictured above is carrying the following –

COLOURS

The Urth Norite 24L Backpack is available in Onyx (Black), Ash Grey, Sand, and Moss. Hover over the image below for a better look at the colours.

URTH Norite 24L Backpack
Urth Norite 24L Camera Backpack
Urth Norite 24L Modular Camera Backpack - Sand
Urth Norite 24L Modular Camera Backpack - Moss

SPECIFICATIONS

Bag External Dimensions

Width: 31cm/12.2in Height: 50cm/19.68in Depth: 17cm/6.69in Weight: 915g/2.02lbs

Medium Camera Insert

Width: 31cm/12.2in Height: 28cm/11.02in Depth: 13cm/5.12in Weight: 450g/1lb

For all the specifications of this bag, please visit the product page.

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PRICING & SHIPPING

US, Australia, Canada, UK, and select European countries – Free Standard Delivery
Singapore – $4.95 for Standard Delivery and $8.95 for Express Delivery.
Rest of the World – $18.00 for Standard Delivery and $25.00 for Express Delivery.

Don’t forget to click on the links to get a great price on any Urth product. When you receive the bag please take the time to visit www.urth.co/trees to register your product so that 5 trees can be planted.

HELP SUPPORT US

Urth rarely offers discounts on its products so if you find this review helpful, please click on the links in this post if you want to purchase. It costs you nothing extra to purchase the item using these links but will help support us so we can continue writing these reviews. 

Thanks so much for your support!

THE FINAL WORD

Urth has designed a great camera bag. Overall, the bag, in our opinion, has been designed for the casual photographer or day-tripper that has a small/medium-sized kit. For those photographers that carry a lot of gear then this may not be the bag for you.

The bag’s minimalist design will make it ideal for those that want to carry a bag that doesn’t scream photography gear inside. Without the addition of the camera insert it is a great daypack for those non-photography days giving it a dual purpose which is not generally a feature in the majority of camera bags. 

Access to both sides of the bag without removing the bag from your shoulder will make this a popular bag for many and the handy Camera Insert is a big big plus. This is the second generation of the bag and we feel that it has come leaps and bounds since the release of the first version. 

If you have any comments or questions about this product then we’d love to hear from you. 

Interested in reading any of our other equipment or software reviews? If so, then click here.

RATING: RECOMMENDED 

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