Top positive review
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Amazon Basics Backpack For SLR Camera's
on 5 May 2012
As always, I did some research (reading reviews and checking prices with whats on offer here there and almost everywhere to the point where I confused myself about what I actually wanted the camera bag to do let alone whether I actually needed to get one. I'd been using an aluminium case to store and carry camera stuff around but in all honesty, it was too cumbersome and not discrete enough for my needs. I have at times also made use of an old camcorder shoulder bag but wanted something that would allow me to carry a camera, batteries, a couple of lenses and a few other bits and pieces with relative ease without breaking the bank and without making it obvious my bag or case contained camera equipment of some kind. Needless to say, like many others I am also all for saving money where I can.
Many of the shoulder style bags seem expensive for what they are and practically speaking don't allow you to carry that much and whilst you sometimes do get what you pay for I realised some time ago that "cheaper" doesn't necessarily mean you compromise as much as you may think in terms of quality or value for money. Similarly getting the more expensive "branded" item doesn't always mean you are getting value for money either especially when you can end up feeling that you are paying for a brand name and perhaps very little else when you make some direct comparisons between products.
At the end of the day its down to what you can afford, as well as practical and personal preference and don't forget this item does have a one year warranty from Amazon.
So, I took the plunge and bought this with it arriving quickly, well packaged and actually, to me, quite nicely finshed considering the "cheap" price. For my needs it is the right sort of size - not too big and not too small - for everyday or general use allowing me to carry a camera, lenses, batteries, and quite a few other bits and pieces that I may need when out and about taking pictures. The zips and tags all seem fine and the velcro "spacers" I have moved around to my hearts content to get them into the positions I want them in without problem and they seem firmly stuck in place. The shoulder straps are padded and adjustable and the carry handle on the top of the bag seems secure enough - as somebody else mentioned I think any wear on any of these items (as well as the bag itself or any other of its parts) would become apparent in good time unless you are particularly unlucky in this respect. The zips work and the zipper tags are still intact and seem secure enough. The bag I feel provides adequate protection for the equipment I carry in it and I wouldn't place my trust in just anything for the sake of it when it comes to camera equipment. There are two straps on the side of the bag for carrying a monopod - I think these will do the job provided you don't attach anything that's too heavy as I think doing so would potentially place too much of a strain on the straps over time as well as upset the balance of the bag from a practical "carrying it" point of view - a small lightweight monopod or small lightweight traveller tripod or similar would probably be okay - I don't carry my monopod attached to the bag for these reasons but I don't consider that to be an inconvenience.
All things considered, I think it's a good bag for what it offers in terms of size and portability and it would probably afford a bit of protection from a light shower to the equipment it contains because of the type of material it's made from though common sense dictates that I wouldn't leave anything out in the rain that I didnt want to risk getting soaked. The bag I have received seems nicely finished without any obvious flaws though long term use will eventually determine how well its been made. My own feeling is that it's like anything - if looked after and not mistreated I am sure it will provide good service and do what I want it to do for some time to come with any potential failure becoming apparent in good time.
So to conclude (unless I need to suddenly amend this review over the coming months and have returned it with the one year warranty in mind) - I am happy with my purchase and am equally happy to give it five stars because it suits my needs and compared to many other similar types of product at differing prices, I think represents good value for money at around twenty pounds.
UPDATE: 22nd November 2013
No issues at all with this which I still use to transport my DSLR, ancillary lenses and equipment - no obvious or apparent signs of wear/breakage as yet (though it did get a bit of an accidental proper soaking when I was caught out by a long period of heavy rain when I was in the middle of nowhere taking photos not long after I had it. Even so and reassuringly, my camera and equipment was protected adequately as though the inside of the bag felt a little damp in places near to where the external zip fastenings are, water had not fully penetrated through to the internal linings to totally "soak" the inside compartments which was my concern at the time. I simply allowed the bag to dry properly before using it again.)
FURTHER UPDATE: 15th May 2014
As I picked the bag up to go out for a shoot, the top carry strap broke on one side! Wasn't expecting that though I had packed a fair amount of stuff into it and had wondered if I was overloading it slightly - well question answered though fortunately bag didn't drop (I had a firm enough grip on the strap and the stitching on the other end of it held and I was actually picking it up off of a sofa). Anyway still in use and the remaining straps all still apparently secure and I may well attempt a repair to the broken strap in any case. Bag has lasted well with a lot of use though I have noticed the price has increased since I bought mine which I'm not sure makes it quite the bargain it was given there are many other bags out there to choose from to protect your kit.
That said and other than the now defunct top carry strap the bag has no other damage or obvious signs of wear and still protects my camera and lenses so, very much still a valuable and useable bit of kit!
Another Update 20th December 2016
This bag is still in use - but now my Son who is at University uses it. It still has no further wear or damage to straps or zips or other fittings other than highlighted above. I see that the price has increased since I originally purchased it (and assuming it is virtually still the same product) but still represents good value when compared to other similar branded products (some smaller branded or "named" ones are actually more expensive than this). Now my Son has this camera backpack I will probably be needing another one at some point for my gear - yes it'll be another one of these.