207 of 215 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Price, But...., 9 April 2011
There's no avoiding the main selling point of this pack. For what it is, it goes without saying that the price is excellent. You won't hear any complaints from me, but with the low price come a few obvious tradeoffs. Just be aware of the cons before you buy - you may find it more rewarding to spend a little extra.
Sizewise you're looking at something around the same as a kid's school bag rather than a hefty daypack. Take a look at the sample images of the interior and you'll see it's quite a small bag, and that's no bad thing. Fully laden with an SLR, a range of lenses, flash gun and accessories you can carry this thing comfortably on your shoulder, but I wouldn't want to wear it as a backpack for fear that people would think I'd accidentally picked up my (hypothetical) son's bag :) Right now I have 5 lenses (3 small primes, a 135mm prime and a 70-210mm zoom), 2 flash guns and a Canon 450D loaded into the bag and everything fits nice and snug in the adjustable slots. The two clear pockets on the inside front are perfect for memory cards, filters and what not, and my iPad fits comfortably in the front pocket on the outside (though that pocket isn't padded). My only gripe about the size is that there doesn't seem to be anywhere on the exterior to securely strap a monopod, and it won't fit comfortably inside.
Conclusion? This is absolutely a camera bag, designed to hold only your camera and camera paraphernalia. The additional pockets are quite spacious, but once your camera and lenses are in there you won't be able to fit your lunch or a jacket (worth thinking about if you're planning to carry just the one bag on an all-day shoot).
In reference to the complaint of the guy who gave this one star (that the top carry strap broke), I'd agree that that could be a problem. The weight of an SLR body and a few lenses can quickly add up, and I don't think I'd trust that weight to a flimsy little strap (especially on a generic bag such as this, licensed to Amazon but designed and made God know where). The stitching on each backpack strap, however, runs about 3 inches. If those straps begin to give you're gonna know about it for a long time before they finally detach completely.
One thing I noticed about the quality is that one of the rubberised zipper tags came off in my hand the first time I touched it. The tags haven't been securely connected to the clasps. Also, seriously Amazon? Five brightly coloured zippers to advertise that I went for the cheapest of the cheap? Are you trying to get me beat up for my lunch money? Break out the duct tape and cover those mothers.
I have no problems at all with the interior. The back is fairly well padded, the body is deep enough to keep your equipment from coming up against the unpadded front and the velcro dividers seem strong enough to keep everything basically in place.
At £20 you really can't expect this bag to last a lifetime; at £20 it doesn't matter. It won't outlast you by a long haul, but it will last long enough so long as you don't put it through hell. I'd take this thing with me anywhere in England, but on my next trip to the Gobi it's staying at home.
Conclusion? Quality isn't great, but it's exactly what you'd expect for £20 and a little more.
Hovering somewhere between 3 and 4 out of 5. It's cheap, handy, not really that poorly constructed and it'll do the job so long as you don't really test it. If you're going on a sightseeing holiday you'll be fine, but if you plan to take your equipment anywhere outside of a comfortable western environment you should really be investing in higher quality.
This is where a solid 4 gets knocked down (perhaps unfairly) to a high 3. If you need a bag to carry an SLR and a selection of lenses there's a good chance you'll be travelling to places that aren't exactly child-proofed. You're gonna come up against dust, sharp edges, bouncy buses, packed trains, overhead luggage compartments and people who don't care if your prized Nikon gets dinged up. If you're on a tight budget and you just need something to carry your camera to the local park this is all well and good. If you need it for anything more demanding, spend a few quid extra and buy something from one of the market leaders. Considering the contents of the bag it's probably worth the investment.
When I started writing this review I had a mind to score it as a 4, verging on 5. It was only as I wrote that I really thought about the limitations of the bag. In the past year I've spent time in Mongolia, India, Thailand, Cambodia and the US, and I'll soon be moving back to Mongolia for a long spell - when I look at this bag I have to admit that I wouldn't trust it any of those places. I like it, and I don't think it's a bad product, but I'll be replacing it with something else before I next get on a plane.
I've been using this bag for about 18 months now, and it's undergone quite a lot of rough treatment.
As expected, the top carry strap didn't last long. It was torn off by an angry Chinese rickshaw driver with minimal effort (and I still had to pay the fare, damn it). The stitching of the right shoulder strap (which I use the most) is a little frayed and probably won't last much longer, but other than that the bag has held up surprisingly well. Even with all the crap it's been put through over the last 18 months the bag is in great shape. For ~£20 it's performed much better than I expected.
So, this review has been upgraded to 5 stars. The problems I mentioned in the original review still hold true, but the build quality is good enough to stand up to rough treatment over the long term, so well done Amazon :)