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Customer Review

267 of 279 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Price, But...., 9 April 2011
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This review is from: AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR Cameras and Accessories - Black (Camera)
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.

Size:

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).

Build quality:

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.

Overall conclusion:

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.

Final note:

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.

***UPDATE***

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 :)
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Comments

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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Jun 2011 21:08:10 BDT
Thatch says:
Thank you for a very full report on this bag. It seems to me you have really given a honest opinion after a full evaluation. I shall do as you suggested and look for another bag to hold my expensive camera and lenses. I'm a strong believer that you get what you pay for, saying that this bag does look excellent value though.

Posted on 8 Oct 2011 23:44:10 BDT
S NEAL says:
If your such a well traveled camera man why haven't you already got a more expensive bag anyway before buying this one. Sorry I really don't believe this view I just feel the guy is bragging that he knows it all when really he hasn't a clue.Lets face it he bought it on cost alone as many of us have and believe me this bag is just what I wanted so I'm well happy. Maybe if I go to Afghanistan or Libya I may not take it as I don't thing its bullet proof....lol

Posted on 21 Dec 2011 04:24:43 GMT
L. Zhu says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2012 11:20:45 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 4 May 2012 11:21:41 BDT]

Posted on 25 Sep 2012 10:02:25 BDT
B. Miller says:
I'm absolutely amazed that someone who intended to visit Mongolia, India, Thailand, Cambodia and the US, with camera kit would even think about buying a bag priced at £20.....Common sense says this product isn't directed at people who Trek around Mongolia, India, Thailand, Cambodia and the US. I am struggling to think why you bought it knowing you would be schlepping around the world. Surely you are pushing the boundaries for 20 quid. If you can afford to do all that then surely you can afford a bag that would fit the bill. I shake my head in disbelief at that review, its totally out of place in relation to the product.

Posted on 28 Nov 2012 01:54:16 GMT
Jan says:
Get real!
I appreciate all your comments but at this price the bag was never going to be a contender for extensive travel abroad and all the hardship that entails.
For a local scout about and for a bit of fun then this bag is ideal.
You have been looking amongst the cheaper range of bags which surprises me when you describe all the expensive equipment you have - why would you even consider this bag when you have obviously invested hundreds of pounds in your equipment but you are then prepared to consider a small relatively cheap bag? That doesn't make any sense to me!

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2012 14:02:08 GMT
Dog says:
S NEAL, you sound like a complete ignoramus.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2012 14:07:49 GMT
Dog says:
B Miller and Mrs Janice Egginton you both also sound like a pair of I don't know... jealous kids? I have good equipment and am still always interested in trying out cheap and decent things as spares to carry stuff around in... just because you can afford good things and can travel to nice places doesn't mean that you don't appreciate value. The review posted above is fair and very thorough, and I think most of us without any ulterior motives, or that are satisfied with our lot in life and don't feel the need to compare ourselves to others, appreciate it.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2012 14:19:02 GMT
K. Taylor says:
Thank you, Rich. The vitriol does seem a touch excessive :)

Review updated after 18 months of use.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 21:56:58 GMT
Z. Evans says:
Thanks for this awesomely detailed review! May i ask, are you The 'Karl Taylor' of Karl Taylor photography master-class and takeabetterphoto.com???
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