Nomatic Kickstrarter Travel Bag First Look and Review

Nomatic Travel Bag Kickstarter First Look and Review 

When the Nomatic Travel bag went live on Kickstarter in the summer of 2016, it was pitched with all sorts of hyperbole (like most Kickstarter stuff). It was supposed to change the way I travel, keep me more organized, and make packing a breeze. Plus it has over 20 new features that, of course, no serious traveler can really live without. 

I wanted one. Kind of. The pitch video was cool, the bag looked usable and clean. I love bags.

I couldn’t justify another bag though. I simply have too many. I have too many and I’m caught up in this “Made in the USA” phase right now that involves Topo Designs, GoRuck, and Tom Bihn bags more than any others. I’m not against bags made elsewhere; I’ve owned lots of them. I have several Patagonia bags I like and tons of other bags made elsewhere. My Strayfoto Youtube channel stands as a testament though that I’m partial to bags made in the USA. I’ll usually spend my money on those over most other options. 

Luckily my buddy wanted this one bad enough that he ordered it. He was kind enough to let me borrow it for a fist look.  Video below, text and more photos below that. 

It’s a decent bag. The zipper to the main compartment is under the shoulder straps instead of on the outside of the bag. This gives it  a very clean look if it being worn backpack style. It looks pretty sleek that way (yeah, I wish I’d shot some photos of that too before I gave it back). Nomatic Travel Bag from Kickstarter

If you’re using it duffel bag style, then the shoulder straps are on the bottom and you’ll have to flip it over to get into the main compartment. It’s not a big deal, but something to consider. Someone pointed out to me on YouTube that I’m an idiot and the duffel straps merely pull through and lift up on the same side as the entry, making the back part of the bag the bottom. This makes more sense than the way I was doing it, and makes the straps seem long enough with no worries. The main zipper appears to be waterproof. Nomatic Travel Bag from Kickstarter

There’s a ton of pockets and they’re well-organized. There’s a fleece one for a phone or glasses, and there’s an RFID one that should block some forms of ID theft. Nomatic Travel Bag from Kickstarter

Shoulder straps are wide and flat with a little padding. I like shoulder straps like that; I find them more comfortable than thick ones. It’s got a sternum strap. The top handle is well padded and seems like you could carry it by that handle without too much trouble. All in all it seems like a well-built, well-designed bag. Nomatic Travel Bag from Kickstarter

Without really having a chance to use it I was cautiously optimistic that it was a good bag. I thought the laundry hamper / mesh bag was a little cheap and the dopp kit or shaving bag matched. These both seemed like afterthoughts rather than quality matching accessories. I know I’d rather have a larger laundry bag than that one and I’d rather my existing dopp kit than the one the bag came with. Nomatic Travel Bag from Kickstarter

All in all though, the Nomatic travel bag seems like a decent attempt at a travel bag, especially from a company that has made only wallets, notebooks and some quartz watches up to this point. 

As of this publication (Feb 2017) I can’t actually find out where to buy the bag. The link on the Nomatic page takes visitors to an Indiegogo page that doesn’t seem current. This is what led to my confusion in the video above. Hopefully the folks at Nomatic can get this cleared up and get this bag to more than just the backers at launch. 


Mesa Arch at Sunrise – Nikon KeyMission 360


Mesa Arch at Sunrise – Nikon Key Mission 360

I had the chance to get one of the new Nikon KeyMission 360 (spherical, panoramic, VR, whatever) cameras a few weeks ago. I didn’t have much of a chance to play with it until now. 

The Key Mission 360 is well built and easy to use if you don’t rely on the Nikon Snap Bridge app. I found some Key Mission 360 recommended settings online and optimized them using the app connected to the camera the first time I turned it on, and since then I’ve not opened the app once. The camera seems (for me) to stand fine on its own. It’s basically a compact, heavy little point and shoot that does some video. On the bright side, battery life and the microphone are both better than I’d hoped.

I find editing the video to be quirky – Premiere seems to freeze up now and then and I have to sopt and restart the program. I’ve never lost any footage, but It’s an annoying quirk. 

The video of the Nikon Key Mission 360 isn’t that great either – the stitching on the sides where the images meet is totally visible in Virtual Reality. If objects are further away, then they appear a little better, but the KeyMission 360 seems to struggle to stitch together items that are closer to the VR camera. I imagine Nikon can fix this with a firmware update – I just hope they don’t take too long, because it’s an annoying flaw that needs to be addressed. 

I went and shot some footage at the always incredible Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park. If you’ve never shot Mesa Arch at sunrise, it’s worth a visit. If not for the photos, then for the classic Mesa Arch photographer spectacle. The morning I went was pretty mellow – most mornings after Vetran’s Day are – but this was a Saturday and the parking lot was almost full of cars. 

While there were a lot of photographers there, none were hostile or arrogant. You’d be surprised how often that happens out there. I’ve seen photographers screaming at each other and fighting for a spot right on the front row. I think it’s more entertaining to shoot the photographers themselves than the actual arch, but of course I’ve been there a bunch, so the newness has worn off. It’s still a beautiful palce though, one that even in cloudy or cold weather is still worth the short drive from town. 

I’ve made a video with my thoughts and feelings (more in depth) about the Nikon Key Mission 360. In short, I find it difficuilt to understand the relevance or place of this camera in my workflow. Check it out below. 

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