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Whoops! Not the 3N1 20
on 16 June 2010
Okay, I admit it, I bought this by mistake, confusing it with the Kata 3N1-20! (From the outside, they look identical, so it's an easy mistake to make.) Kata's description says that the 123-GO family of backpacks is the entry level version of the 3N1 range, which has "more features". The only difference I have spotted is that the 3N1 range has some extra internal pockets, but otherwise, I'm not sure what those "extra features" might be.
Having bought it by mistake, I have to say that I am reasonably happy with it and, frankly, I'm just too lazy to change it for the 3N1-20 I meant to buy! I wanted a backpack style bag rather than a shoulder bag, as I have had some back problems in the past, and I also wanted quick access, so this bag ticks the right boxes for me.
The bag holds more than I thought it would. I have a Nikon D90 with an 18-105mm kit lens attached, a 55-200mm zoom and a 50mm prime, flash, the battery charger and some filters in the main compartment, and room for a cagoule and some sandwiches and other stuff in the top. It is worth saying that the top compartment zips open like a lid, so you feel confident that things won't accidentally fall out when you open it. The main compartment has very adjustable padded sections,but although it is easy to get the camera out from the side,you may find that the top of the main compartment can be difficult to get at. It is worth having a look at the Kata website where they have videos for the 3N1 bags, including one showing how best to arrange the internal dividers.
Like many bags in this price range, padding is okay, but not brilliant, so you still need to be careful. In particular, there is not a great deal of padding on the bottom of the bag. Put it down gently; don't drop it!
Although the straps are fine for pottering around, I'm not sure that they would be comfortable enough for carrying a full bag for a long day out. If the straps do turn out to be uncomfortable, I guess I'll go back to keeping my camera wrapped up in a sweatshirt in an old rucksack and stuffing the lenses in the pockets!