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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall Excellent Full Sized Photo Backpack/Sling
I needed a backpack bag that would hold my Nikon D300 with the Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VR zoom attached. My vetted choices came down to either the Lowepro Slingshot 300 or the new Kata 3N1-30. Both are very large bags, and while there were others worthy of consideration, these two were at the top of my budget range.

The Lowepro is a nice bag (my brother owns one...
Published on September 4, 2008 by Red Peters

versus
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Bag - Major Shortfalls
I bought this bag to replace a LowePro Slingshot 200, as I needed a larger camera bag for a trip, and the Slingshot 200 is too small for my Canon 30D and the lenses that were coming along.

The styling and build quality are very good with the D-3N1-30, but there are some major issues with the functional design.

Issues:

(1) The top handle is...
Published on March 8, 2009 by brewl


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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall Excellent Full Sized Photo Backpack/Sling, September 4, 2008
By 
Red Peters (Sterling, Virginia United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kata KT D-3N1-30 Sling/Backpack (Black) (Electronics)
I needed a backpack bag that would hold my Nikon D300 with the Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VR zoom attached. My vetted choices came down to either the Lowepro Slingshot 300 or the new Kata 3N1-30. Both are very large bags, and while there were others worthy of consideration, these two were at the top of my budget range.

The Lowepro is a nice bag (my brother owns one and loves it), however, I gave the nod to the Kata for a couple of reasons. I like the yellow interior - very easy to find small parts even in low light. I like the flexibility of converting it from a sling to backpack. Finally, I personally like the styling better than the Lowepro (which is functional but homely). The Kata, in my opinion, doesn't scream "camera bag" quite as much as the Lowepro.

The Kata is generally well designed and exceptional quality. The interior dividers are configurable to the user's specific needs, access is flexible providing for easy swing around "quick draw" as well as through the traditional rear flap. Initial configuration was a little cumbersome due to the restricted ability to fully open the rear flap. This limits easy access to the uppermost compartments, but once I figured out how to fit everything inside it was fine. There is ample room in this bag for a large SLR with lenses and attachments. My D300 with both MB-D10 and the 70-200 attached fit snugly in the horizontal position. However, finding an additional spot for my 17-55 f2.8 was a little more challenging. (Note these are both relatively large lenses with even larger hoods). I still have room for my flash and another small lens or accessory, but that's about it for the main compartment in my case. There is an additional compartment in the top for other stuff (flash cards, batteries, charger, lunch, etc). The extra straps for converting to a full backpack tuck neatly out of sight. The pack is very comfortable to carry, even with a heavy load.

Pros: Overall design is good (with exceptions noted below) and the quality of construction is excellent . Very manageable and comfortable to use. Very spacious and flexible for varying needs.

Cons: I would really like for it to have some means of attaching a tripod or monopod (something the Lowepro omits as well). For a pack of this size, that seems to me to be a reasonable expectation. Also note there is no compartment for a laptop - not important to me, but perhaps for others. My biggest gripe is the inability to just lay the thing out fully open on its back (note the product photo - that's as far as that rear flap opens). It makes configuring the compartment dividers very awkward.

Acknowledging those limitations and the fact that no camera bag is perfect, the 3N1-30 or one of the two smaller versions should impress you. You'll be hard pressed to find a better pack in this price range.

Bottom line: I'm happy with my decision to purchase this pack over the Lowepro and highly recommend it. I'm only giving it 4 stars for the omission of a tripod/monopod attachment and the awkward main compartment access. Despite those caveats, this is an excellent, albeit not perfect, large camera backpack. I may end up getting something smaller for occasions where I won't be using the large zoom - perhaps the 3N1-10, W-94, or one of the DR series packs. Definitely Kata, though.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best travel bag out there, May 23, 2009
This review is from: Kata KT D-3N1-30 Sling/Backpack (Black) (Electronics)
For years I've been searching for the right bag that can hold my gear, hold a few other personal items so I don't need a purse, not destroy my back and shoulders and not make me feel like a bull in a china closet. This is the bag.

First this bag is wonderfully designed for the traveler. The sling design can go over either shoulder, or it can be a backpack! The extra strap simply tucks away into back of the bag. This is brilliant. The straps are nicely padded, as one would expect with Kata. However, what really sold me was the little side padding for where the strap hits the waist. Not only is this a nice touch, but in sling mode you can also tuck in the padding that you aren't using. Very well done Kata.

The basic weight distribution is pretty perfect and the bag slides easily to the front when you are in a tight place and you don't want to knock over that very expensive one of a kind terra cotta warrior that the hawker on the corner is trying to sell you.

What really makes this bag is the camera quick open. No longer do I have to take off my backpack, fight with the zipper, have the kids swarm me asking "dollar, chocolate, pen?" all while trying to pick up my camera so I can get a photo of that really cool elephant trampling cars under foot. Oh no, when the elephant goes on parade I can just sling the bag to my side, quickly flip the zipper open (extra large pulls) and whip out the camera just as the elephant raises its trunk in a salute to mayhem. What more can a girl ask for?

There isn't a lot of space for more than two medium sized lenses, a camera, flash, passport, wallet, cell phone, map, CF cards, mints, lipstick, a small flashlight, loose change, my pocket guide on how to swear in 37 languages, and a reusable bag (rolled up of course).
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Bag - Major Shortfalls, March 8, 2009
By 
brewl (Denver, CO) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kata KT D-3N1-30 Sling/Backpack (Black) (Electronics)
I bought this bag to replace a LowePro Slingshot 200, as I needed a larger camera bag for a trip, and the Slingshot 200 is too small for my Canon 30D and the lenses that were coming along.

The styling and build quality are very good with the D-3N1-30, but there are some major issues with the functional design.

Issues:

(1) The top handle is built onto a zippered pocket on the top of the bag. If you don't take care to zip that pocket up so that the pulls are on the side of the bag, rather than on the top, it can suddenly open with enough weight in the bag.

(2) The bag doesn't allow for you to completely open the main compartment as the zipper stops on both sides where the buckle attaches to the back of the bag. This makes it very difficult to change around the placement of the dividers, as well as to gain access to the top portion of the bag to either place or remove items.

(3) The bag is poorly designed to keep items in place. I travel with an EF 100-400mm L lens which has a bit of weight to it. The dividers will not keep that lens in place unless it is placed at the very bottom of the bag. My 30D usually goes into the bag with an EF 24-70mm L lens, in addition to a couple of smaller prime lenses, usually 50mm and 100mm, as well as some lens cleaning materials and filters. The prime lenses will NOT stay in their dividers when the bag is on my back, as there is a lot of play between the tops of the dividers and the fabric on the back (the outside facing material) of the pack. This causes the lenses as well as filters and cleaning materials to come out of the dividers and end up all over the inside of the main compartment. This problem is 10x worse if the camera is taken out of the bag, and the backpack is worn on your back without the camera to help keep things in place. Due to the placement of the velcro for the dividers within the bag, you cannot change the divider placement to keep all the lenses, etc at the bottom of the bag with the camera at the top.

The D-3N1-30 is a well made bag, and looks very nice, but if traveling with multiple lenses, filters, etc, they will not stay in place.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A large well built camera bag, October 25, 2008
This review is from: Kata KT D-3N1-30 Sling/Backpack (Black) (Electronics)
Why did I buy the Kata 3N1-30?

I've given up on the quest for the perfect camera bag and now realized that I need several camera bags just like I need several lenses. For a short day trip a small camera bag suffices. However, I needed a bag that let me safely carry multiple zoom lenses, a camera body, battery chargers, and a GPS for a 10 day trip.

Does the bag hold the equipment safely?

On our full flight it fit easily under the seat. There are basically two compartments in the bag. The interior main compartment is 11.6" x 6.3" x 11.8". The manufacturer claims that the bag will hold A D/SLR with battery grip & long-range zoom lens attached as well as, 5-6 lenses, flash + personal gear. Will it? If the 5-6 lenses are prime lenses--definitely. It is a bit harder if the lenses are professional zoom lenses. However, I did manage to get a nice long (400mm f4) zoom and a wide angle in the bag along with a couple of prime lenses. Of course with a bit of creative packing I also got a GPS and a couple of chargers into the main compartment. The equipment is protected by padded dividers--Kata calls this its Modi-Vers System. The system allows you to create compartments that meet your requirements. The divider can be cut with scissors to any desired size. Attach the newly cut divider to another divider or the walls of the bag with a Velcro connector. The top compartment is quite roomy and can hold chargers, memory cards, and even a paper-back book or two for the plane trip. The two side pockets are easy to access and can be used to hold filters, and an extra set of batteries. They do bulge into the top compartment and steal space though. I truly wish Kata had put an easily accessible external pocket big enough for the paperback book, plane tickets, and maps. I hate opening the top compartment everytime since I'm afraid I'll spill all the other items in that compartment.

A really neat feature is the removable Media Kit. You can use it to store memory cards or batteries and remove it from the bag (it's attached with Velcro) when you need it.

The Kata 3N1-30 does include a rain Cover is included to protect against rainy conditions. The rain cover folds away into an integrated pocket. Without the rain cover the bag is not 100% sealed against moisture. There are a number of points where the zippers do not meet and leave a small hole through which rain could enter.

Is the bag easy to carry?

The bag weighs 3.3 lbs--fully loaded a lot more. It is made easier to carry by the well padded straps and the option to carry it three ways. It can be carried as a sling bag on either the left or right shoulder or as a backpack to spread the load. Frankly, getting in and out of the plane I used another option, grabbing the bag by it's top handle and walking along the narrow aisles. I just had to be a bit careful about not tripping over the dangling straps. In backpack position and "X" position you can comfortably carry your equipment for long distance walking when needed. The included chest belt and balancing hip strap helps take the load of your heavy equipment off your shoulders.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for 70-200 lens, March 23, 2010
By 
A. Kim (Orange County, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kata KT D-3N1-30 Sling/Backpack (Black) (Electronics)
OK, before I purchased this bag, I was debating on whether to buy the thinner 3n1-20 bag by Kata. I search the internet and it was pretty difficult to find a definitive answer, so I bought both. I am a Canon user and this is what I've concluded:

* 70-200mm IS f/4L mounted on the 5D MarkII or 1D Mark II does not fit the 3n1-20, however, both fit comfortably in the 3n1-30

* The Kata 3n1-30 fits and feels like a normal school backpack (I am 5' 7.5" tall, medium build). The 3n1-20 looks and feels alittle small, like a cute fashionable backpack for girls (girls, I don't mean anything negative by this)

* The Kata 3n1-30 fits everything I need for a day out shooting (1D Mark II w/70-200 lens mounted, 17-40mm f/4, 430EX flash, flash cord, 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, 28-80mm f/2.8 lens, my hat, 2 16oz bottles of water, ziploc bag of snacks, car keys, cell phone, Garmin 60CSX GPS, spare batteries of the 1D and flash, ND and circular polarizer filters, and my 12 pack of 4GB CF memory cards with room left over in the top compartment.

* Build quality is excellent. Obviously not mil-spec, but looks very durable and I'm not afraid to drag it across rocks

* Complaints of the flaps not opening up all the way doesn't seem like a big deal. Once the bag was setup to the way I want it, it didn't matter whether the flaps opened up all the way.

** Something else to consider: I was also debating on whether I needed the 3n1-33 model which has a laptop compartment. I decided against it because this bag was purchased for travel/city photography. When I travel, I tend to bring my Tamrac Expedition 7 backpack for transport (this is where I keep my laptop) and pack my smaller/lighter backpack or bags. Once I get to my destination, I leave the Tamrac in my room and travel lightly with one of the smaller bags. All my downloading is done back in the room anyhow, so I felt I didn't need to spend the extra $50 for a laptop compartment.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. For a more detailed review, please visit my website: [...] and click on the blog for a complete review.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It had promise, June 19, 2010
By 
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This review is from: Kata KT D-3N1-30 Sling/Backpack (Black) (Electronics)
So the bag had promise. I got it because it

1. would hold all my gear with a little extra room
2. in theory let me access the gear without taking it off
3. Allow for flexible configuration of the straps.

Unfortunately what I found, especially when getting heavier gear was the following

1. Even with my initial gear the bag was too big, bulky and heavy for me to effectively sling it around. That just did not work. The pain, rug burns, weight, and awkwardness of slinging it just did't cut it. Made getting gear in and out too painful; to the point that you would just take it off or not bother
2. The structural support at the bottom just won't hold my gear well when stuff is missing. Especially with the heavier gear.
3. Your back will sweat a lot when hiking with it.

Initially I had the following gear in the bag
- Canon 50D
- 10-22
- 24-70
- 70-300
- 50 f1.8
- 430 EX

Later I upgraded to the
- Canon 7D
- 24-70
- 70-200 F2.8 II (heavy lens)
- 10-22
- 50 f.18

I pretty much could no longer carry the flashes effectively, the weight of the new gear was a bit much, and storing the gear with the lens hoods attached (which is what I want) was proving to be too difficult).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bag for everything!, April 6, 2009
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This review is from: Kata KT D-3N1-30 Sling/Backpack (Black) (Electronics)
Great bag that I can put all my gear in. It can hold a gripped 50D or 5D Mark II mounted to a 70-200 2.8 IS in the quick release pouch then store 4-5 more lenses in the lower compartment. Up top is enough room for a HD camcorder, tapes, dust blower, battery chargers, and whatever else you might need (I carry everything).

I love that it's a sling with a quick access pocket. I can swing it around my chest, grab my camera, even switch lenses without a table or any assistance and without putting stuff on the ground. I see a lot of folks at the zoo with standard camera backpacks that mean you'll either miss the shot trying to get the backpack off to get the camera out or you'll be stuck carrying the camera all day because you've already missed too many shots (and learned you need a Kata).

The strap system on this bag is really something. The bag hides its second shoulder strap until you need it. With it, you can go backpack style or cross the straps like an X across your chest. I like that because you still have a sling - thanks to the quick release buckles. Another great thing about having two straps is if you're a lefty you can switch the entire bag around and enter from the other side (something you can't do with the Slingshot). And there is the belly strap which provides even more stability and comfort and are also hidden unless needed. Oh, one more thing, there's the trolley system for you photogs that want wheels.

The only things I'd change on this bag is the storage for the rain cover and I'd include the tripod cover. The rain cover is small, so it's not a big deal to tuck it somewhere, but it'd be nice if it was hidden in it's own little cubby like everything else is on this bag. The tripod holder was being sold for a ridiculous $50 by one seller, but now can be found for $15 so it's not a big deal anymore.

It is a large bag, a few inches larger in each direction than the 3N1-20 so keep that in mind. For me, the 20 won't carry enough stuff. But, for days when I'm only carrying my camera and one lens I'll be picking up a Kata 214 slingbag. Kata's build quality is incredible and their designs are really inovative.

Enjoy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome backpack/sling bag!, January 5, 2009
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This review is from: Kata KT D-3N1-30 Sling/Backpack (Black) (Electronics)
Since the 5DMK2 won't fit in my Canon Zoom Pack 1000, I decided to upgrade to a full backpack with a quick-draw setup. I didn't want a full time sling bag (ie slingshot 300) with so much weight on one shoulder, but I needed the quick draw setup that most sling bags have.

The Kata 3N1-30 can switch from a full backpack to left or right sling bag with padded waist support! Perfect! I must admit the 3N1-30 is bigger than I expected from the photos. But it is well padded and the yellow lining helps a lot in search for your gear.

The downside I see is the padding in the shoulder straps looks and feels like it will thin out from a year of use. Plus I don't think it will fit my Toshiba 12inch laptop (haven't tried it yet).

For the price ($109), I'm glad I got this over the lowepro slingshot 300.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good bag, some design shortfalls, February 21, 2010
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This review is from: Kata KT D-3N1-30 Sling/Backpack (Black) (Electronics)
After having a few months to try out this particular bag I have a handful of comments to make. First, I do a lot of walking/hiking with my camera. It would be helpful to the shoulders and neck if the pack had chest straps along with the included waist straps. I have a small frame and the straps don't quite tighten down enough for my comfort. Also, as others have stated, I am a little put off by the fact that I cannot fully open the main compartment to easily access my equipment. This is my biggest complaint. I believe I will try to cut off one of the zipper stops as the other gentleman suggested. Other then that, the construction of the bag seems to be good and the 'look' of the bag is nice (if that is important to you). It doesn't scream "expensive camera equipment inside", but it does look like a suspiciously nice bag that might have something valuable inside of it. So i would not leave it unsupervised or in full view in the back seat of my vehicle.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Bag, May 8, 2009
By 
Christopher (CAVE SPRINGS, AR, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Kata KT D-3N1-30 Sling/Backpack (Black) (Electronics)
I've been looking for an affordable camera bag for several months. I currently own a Tamrac 604 Zoom Traveler 4 (Shoulder Bag). It holds a fair amount of gear, but is super inconvenient to carry, and quickly wears out my shoulder. I did a lot of research and thought the Kata bag would provide the most space and best construction for the price. When I received the backpack I was surprised about how well designed the bag was. I think they did a great job! My only complaint is that the top compartment of camera section is slightly difficult to access. I believe others have complained about that too. In just the camera compartment alone I can hold: Canon 20D, 1D Mark III, Canon 24-70mm 2.8L, Canon 50mm 1.4, Canon 580EX II, Canon EF-S 10-22mm, and Canon 70-200mm 2.8L IS. I think this is a great bag for hiking or traveling. I also don't have a problem with lenses shifting. That's probalby due the the fact it's packed so full.
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Kata KT D-3N1-30 Sling/Backpack (Black)
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