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on 25 October 2017
Good versatile camera bag
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on 21 June 2013
I picked up one of these bags late last year to carry my full camera kit and some extras on a 4 month trip around India, this was to be my carry on luggage and front pack.

The bag has a lovely strong build which has kept remarkably clean despite being covered in sand, dust and human ash through my trip. The size is fine as far as carry on goes, perhaps a little snug when fully loaded but otherwise no issues there.

It fits a large range of kit and has a customisable inside which is very flexible, it also has room for laptop and a very small amount of clothing or accessories in the top pocket.

Overall I was pretty pleased with the bag but did find it had a number of downsides.

Firstly the bag is utterly awful as a sling bag, it is simply too bulky and uncomfortable to use on a daily basis as a sling, and as a backpack it does not allow you the access you need quickly. I found myself purchasing another bag on my travels to hold my camera without being so cumbersome.

The tripod holder and pocket is pointless, no serious photographer is going to be able to attach a tripod to this bag and have it actually secured, the pocket needs to be tripled in size as a minimum and secondary fastenings need to be attached in order for any decent tripod to actual stay in place.

Straps are too long by far, I often found myself getting tangled up in the mass of straps that hung down when bag was secured comfortably as backpack or as a sling, whilst some obese people may need an extra 14ft of strap around every part of their body I found this to just get in the way.

The bag does not distribute weight very well, it seems to pull on the back a bit too much even when done up properly, I found it uncomfortable over day long trips.

Needs some extra utility attachment hooks etc and pop out pockets suitable for holding water bottles.

It did however keep my gear very, very well protected and it stands on its own no matter how you load it which is great as many bags just fall over when loaded (may seem like a small thing but it is a niggle). I am astonished at how well it wipes clean and seals as well, it had everything you can imagine thrown onto or at it over the 4 months and just wiped off with zero hassle.

I will not be taking this bag on travels with me again however as it was just not suitable for a long trip other than as a camera protection system (at which it excelled), I will be using it to store my kit in at home nice and neat in the mean time and pick up something more travel friendly for next time!

great bag overall but the faults really make it fairly redundant if you have a long trip planned.
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on 21 September 2010
I bought this bag hoping that it would carry all my camera equipment plus some additional items (like wallet, phones, creams, magazines etc). It not only met my expectations but is is also very versatile, easy to carry and resistant (I've never seen so much dust in my life and although that bag is brown because of the dust, inside it is intact!). It weights over 7kgs with all my equipment and it is still better to carry than my compact bag.
I really enjoyed this product.
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on 6 April 2012
I bought this in advance of a trip to Ethiopia that included 4 days trekking in the Simien Mountains. I'm glad I made the decision to spend what amounts to quite a lot of money on this bag (although not such a lot in comparison to the value of the equipment it carries!). I used it to carry my Konica Minolta DSLR with KM 18-200 lens attached and a separate Tamron 200-500 lens, along with various accessories and other items (including a Manfrotto MM294 monopod - with 494RC2 ball head - attached to the outside of the bag, which worked well).

Dimension information from the Tamrac website:
Internal Top: 25W x 15D x 19Hcm
Internal Bottom: 28W x 15D x 52Hcm
External 32 x 22 x 48cm
Weight: 2165g

One thing to note is that the internal bottom dimensions are quite conservative. My 200-500 lens is about 27cm long (without hood but with caps on both ends) so it fits in nicely when off the camera. When that lens is attached to the camera body, the longest total dimension is about 32cm. Together, they still fit into the internal width of the bag - although it is admittedly tight and the bag bulges as a result. The protection may therefore be somewhat reduced but I was happy with this arrangement when I had the bag on me (when it was in the back of a 4-wheel-drive on rough terrain in the mountains, I did not pack the equipment in this manner!).

The bag is sturdy - hence its weight. I think the weight is worth it.

The quick release strap system for fast access to the side pockets when wearing the bag as a full backpack is in my opinion redundant because you can just slide the strap off one shoulder instead. That avoids fiddling around with the quick release mechanism when detached and re-attaching the strap.

I haven't used the bag in sling mode, except when first trying out the bag when it arrived. I can see it might be useful for shorter day trips for continual quick access to one of the side pockets. The straps and quick release systems seem of high quality.

I was in Ethiopia at the driest time of year so it was extremely dusty. The protected zips on the bag managed to keep out the dust when closed, which was quite impressive.

In use the bag was very comfortable (or at least as comfortable as carrying a total of more than 6 kg up a mountain all day can be when suffering from mild altitude sickness!). The various straps can be adjusted so that the contact area with my back is small and the weight is on my hips and shoulders - or if I want to I can make it hug my back closely.

If you've got a decent amount of photographic gear, there isn't a lot of room for other things but the space was adequate for my needs. One thing you might want to think about is your capacity for carrying water. The top pocket of this bag can fit a couple of 750ml bottles in it (horizontally) but that would take up much of the space in that pocket which could be used for other items. So getting an alternative water carrying system, such as a belt, would be an idea if you think it might be an issue.

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UPDATE
The padding in the base of the bag has deteriorated such that is is permanently compressed where items have been resting on it. This is the case even when the items are removed from the bag for long periods. I contacted the seller and they in turn contacted the importer, who gave the 'assurance' that it is not a design fault and the padding will still be providing the intended protection. How this can be the case when it is permanently in compression (and therefore no longer compressible) I'm not sure. The importer invited me to send the bag to them for inspection but I'm reluctant to pay for the 2-way postage costs, given that they have already stated it is not a fault and are therefore likely to simply return it .
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on 30 March 2011
Excellent rucksack once it arrived.
First package arrived was a Tamrac Expedition rucksack - enormous - much much too big & had to be returned.
The second package was exactly what I wanted & has easy access for all kit stowed. Easy to wear, but would have liked to have had the ability to shorten straps further.
Definitely recommend this for anyone who needs the space with quick & easy access to the camera.
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on 17 August 2011
I researched thoroughly to find a bag that would meet my precise requirements. As I wanted to take my a laptop and all my camera gear when I visit Australia and New Zealand, the bag I required needed to be easy to carry, easy to use and flexible. This bag fits the bill perfectly - and was much cheaper than I expected to pay when I first saw it on the high street. Excellent value and excellent service.
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on 4 September 2011
I had a Lowepro slingshot 300,this was a good bag,my Eos 40D and 100mm-400mm lens fitted well plus two other lens and
bits and pieces,camera access was quick but it was not that comfortable to have on for any length of time.The zip failed after three years use.
The Tamrac Evolution 8 takes the 40D with the 100mm-400mm attached two smaller lens other bits and pieces,has space for a laptop that I do not use,so can use that space for other things,the top pocket is roomy enough for sandwiches and a 500ml flask.
The real advantage is in the shoulder straps,I have a bad back,the double strap arrangement with the short breast strap make it possible for me to walk all morning without too much trouble.There is a waist belt as well.
If it is likely you will need to get to the camera in a hurry,just change the straps round to the sling set up.
It take a bit of experiment that`s best done at home,but once you get it right I found it works really well.
The padding is good,zips seem well made and there is a five year warranty.
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on 31 December 2014
Very sturdy, superb padding, inspired design. The number of possible configurations is added by the discovery that the floor of the upper compartment is also removable - something that wasn't mentioned in any of the numerous reviews I read before purchasing ! That means you can remove ALL the internal compartments and use it as a large backpack / slingpack for general use. Potentially I think you could also lower the floor into the camera area giving you extra storage in the upper compartment if you're not carrying so much camera gear.

I love the way the straps stow away in the back. Not only the spare strap when you've configured it as a slingpack but if you don't want to use the hip belt you can tuck that nicely out of the way. And when you stow all the straps away, it makes a neat pack for check-in luggage or for putting into airplane lockers. And there are some little loops on the pack which I think are there for one of those backpack security cables.

The laptop compartment is larger than I thought and extremely well protected. My 11" MacBook Air gets lost in there and there's still room for my iPad mini. When all the straps are stowed away it gets a bit tight in there though so if you have an older, thicker laptop it might be a struggle to get it in.

The separate rain cover is well thought out and much more practical - most packs have them attached to the bottom, so after you've used the cover it has to be stowed away wet & muddy and when you want to dry it out, it's still attached to the pack of course. Much better to keep it separate.

It has an enormous amount of storage. I managed to pack into the camera compartment my Canon 5D MKII, ALL my lenses (100-400, 70-200 f4, 24-105, 16-35, 50mm, 35mm), and 580EX speedlite. My Canon 7D went in the top with a portable battery charger and lens hoods for the 100-400, 24-105 and 16-35. My 11" MacBook Air, iPad mini, and Rogue Flashbender in the laptop compartment. And four spare camera batteries, four spare flash batteries, CF cards, etc, etc into various pockets. Not that I would EVER contemplate carrying all that gear around with me for one moment, but it's good to know that I can at least store everything in it.

I'm still playing around with different configurations but it's so good having access from both sides. I can get to the camera with or without a lens attached from one side, and access alternative lenses from the other. All without putting the pack down :)

A couple of negative points. As some reviewers have mentioned, the straps are too long. Now whilst it's good that Tamrac are considering people of all sizes, these straps are ridiculously long. I'm 5' 3" with a small frame and once I've adjusted the pack onto my back the straps reach my knees. Personally I think that's a safety issue - you shouldn't have them dangling like that for hiking, and especially not if you're on a bicycle. Rolling or folding them up just creates a big lump that gets in the way so I think I'm going to have to get them shortened. There's a similar issue with the hip belt too. And there are shoulder pads on the lower end of the straps ? The shoulder straps are padded anyway so I'm not sure why you'd want pads on the lower end. As I'm small, they stick into my armpits and prevent me from adjusting the pack properly onto my back as I can't pull the straps down tight enough, so they're going to have to come off.

All things considered this is a superb pack. Extremely well designed and made. Highly recommended.
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on 12 April 2013
Despite the Tamrac marketing information saying that this bag is suitable for a DSLR with a grip - it isn't!
The opening on the side of the bag that takes the camera is not deep enough (by several inches) and the flash shoe would certainly tear the bag with repeated use. It does however take a DSLR without a grip quite comfortably (ie a Canon 7D size camera).
One other point to note is that the internal compartments are quite small. They won't take a Canon 70-200mm f2.8L for example, but will take a Canon 70-300mm f4.5 L lens which is quite a lot smaller.
If you want a bag that takes a DSLR with a grip, then go for the next size up; the Tamrac Evolution 9 - which also takes lenses the size of the Canon 70-200mm f2.8L.
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on 2 November 2013
I've only had this bag a week and loaded it up with camera gear once but all seems good so far. Its well built with loads of room for my Canon 70D, 550D and assortment of lenses, batteries, tripod etc. It's just about right for taking on board a plane as hand luggage and has a nice sized top compartment for non camera gear.

The main reason for the early review is to warn people about the shoulder and waist straps. They are very long! The waist is OK, I am 32" around the waist and there is a few more inches of tightening left. The shoulder straps are however almost on their shortest setting for me. I'm 5'6" but have long body for my height. If the straps were any longer (on their tightest setting) the bag would sit too low with the waist strapping lower on my hips. There doesn't seem to be any way to adjust this either. If you had the shoulder straps fully open the bag would sit half way down your legs! As a result I would suggest any small bodied people think carefully before ordering, larger people know that you are well catered for. As such I give the product 4 stars at this early stage.
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