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I am very pleased to say that I have finally found the perfect rucksack for carrying my digital camera and lenses, and thing is, it took me some time! The digital rucksacks I`ve owned in the past, have either been lacking of being waterproof, not been all that comfortable to wear or having been made up by a fabric that just didn`t do its job... The Kata DR-465 Digital Rucksack is a superb product for its use, and one of the best things, it doesn`t look at that much like a camera bag or rucksack, its design is very neutral and appealling!
This rucksack offer all of the things I look for in a product that is to carry my digital camera and lenses, and one of the most important things I have come to find and enjoy about this product, is that it`s entirely water proof due to a water coat, a factor I have come to appreciate a lot, as protecting your digital equipment against water damage is essential. I have been on trips where there has been heavy raining, and my camera is still dry when I pick it up from the bag! This Kata bag has certainly thought of everything, as you will find departments that allow you to carry not only your camera and two to three lenses, this camera also offers room for products such as your mobile phone, Ipod or mp3-equipment, wallet and so on... The bag itself is divided into two main departments, and in one of them, you can carry essentials for your trip, such as food and drinks and such...
As for comfort while using, Kata has really thought of that! With solid and thick padding, I have not yet experienced this being uncomfortable to wear, and that`s a major plus in my book! You can either carry this rucksack on your back in the ordindary way, but there also follows equipment that allows you to carry the bag across your chest or around your waist, if such is preferred...
All the information above makes up for a great Digital Rucksack, but the one thing that just makes this a superior purchase in comparison to other digital rucksacks, is the fact that the Kata rucksack comes with TST protection, translated to mean that it protects areas of the rucksack where it`s most sensitive to damage, meaning that the digital equipment is always very safe and protected. With the water coat as well, this also equipment I haven`t yet seen in offered in other brands, the Kata Rucksack I believe is the very best purchase you can do when looking for a digital rucksack! I bought this rucksack on amazon for 43.99, and I`m very pleased with both the cost and the product!
I'd wanted a bigger bag, a step-up from the previous bag I had which was a lowepro, which had the bare capacity to carry one camera body and a small lens. My 18-55mm lens with its body struggled to fit, I'd worry that if I pushed it in too hard, the lens would snap. Thankfully it never happened. It was awkward to use it so I was more willingly to pay for this bag.
Most of the camera backpacks that I researched had spaces entirely for the camera body, lenses, filters, batteries and other accessories for camera. The most important aspect of the bag was missing in most camera bag which was personal space for drink, food and such. This bag is split into 2 compartments; a reasonably sized top part for the personal effects- drinks, food or maps. It is suitably padded to ensure that your personal things are also protected. They also have internal pouches for smaller things- i.e phone and ipod.
At the bottom of the bag, it is zipped so you can access it from the side rather than rummaging from the zip at the top to get to the bottom; this makes the accessibility a lot better. So I can just jump off my bike, quickly get my bag around and unzip the bottom compartment and take out what I need in less than 10 seconds. The bottom compartment is really reasonably sized. It is divided into smaller padded sections so you can fit in more than one lens. It can fit up to 3/4 different lens and the sizes does not matter as it goes vertically when in bag. There is still room for additional accessories! The padding is rather thick and ensures that even if you drop your bag on the floor, your lenses and other personal delicates will be protected from damage. And if you're like me, you will have 2 lenses or so, you will want a bag that protects it from damage! Inside the bag, the padding is yellow which makes it easier to distinguish your equipment and quicker to find! Also if you want to use the entire bag for personal purposes, the padded sections in the bottom compartments actually can be taken out! It's kept in place by nifty Velcro pieces.
Kata has thought more about the use of its product and has accepted that it will be used over different terrains and perhaps, walking long distances. For this, Kata has provided very solid but yet comfortable padding on the on the bag so its soft on your back. And also, they have provided a waterproof coat that goes over your bag for weather that is raining heavily; this will protect your bag from getting wet. I have used the Elements cover already and I can say it did keep the front side of the bag dry! I know that other major camera backpack manufacturers do not include this. The straps are also very well padded so it doesn't dig into your shoulders even if you've packed your bag with heavy items, it still feels quite light. I'd packed my bag with quite few heavy items, on a bike ride for 3 hours and it still felt light afterwards. Which is a testament to the quality of the build. It also includes a chest and a waist strap for more comfortable carrying. There is an optional mesh bag for drink bottles in case there isn't sufficient room in the top compartment. There are also straps provided across the bag which is very handy for carrying tripods or walking sticks when you're out and about in the countryside.
However, one thing; when I'm using the bag for walking or cycling which is what I do quite often; inevitably I sweat on my bag through my tops. I find that the padding at the back of the bag actually absorbs my sweat which is a bit disgusting when I got home and it was slightly wet! The quality of the zip is very high; which I think is quite important when you want something in the bag very quickly. It doesn't catch, it is quite smooth when unzipping. It is quite a joy for some reason and I find myself unzipping-zipping up like mad for no reason!
One of the best thing about this bag is the subtleness of its purpose. It doesn't look like a camera bag so it is very unlikely that I would be a target for thieves which is a bonus. I constantly worry that a mugger will run up to me and snatch my Lowepro bag off me, which would have been quite easy. This bag doesn't follow the crowd, so to say, it is rather an unique bag. It seems to out-do in almost every aspect over the main camera bag manufacturers.
One thing I would say though, unlike the other lines they have got, this bag isn't suitable to be using your laptop in, as seeing the bag is separated into two compartments, it is impossible to insert a laptop inside. But it is not a problem for me as seeing I don't drag my laptop everywhere with me.
Unique Features of the bag:
It provides the TST rib which is a structured protection, located on areas of the bag where it is sensitive to shock and protects your gear from bumps.
Rain cover is provided, unlike other manufacturers.
To conclude with this product; it is definitely a bag that should have much more attention because it is an unique bag in itself; that seems to think more about the person itself rather than trying to maximise the number of lenses the bag can carry. There is ample space in the bottom compartment for 2-3 lenses and other additional accessories. I would be dumbfounded if a person has found the provided space small! It is an absolute bargain for £45 I purchased it from Amazon.com.