Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2011
I reviewed the bag formally for Shutter Photo Magazine (Full review: [...] ). In short...I love the bag. It is one of two bags that I regularly use depending upon the circumstance. For a typical day-to-day use, I still prefer the Kata DR-466i Digital Rucksack (Red), if only for it's internal organization for daily use. But when I need a larger bag to carry more stuff and to easily access any and all of my equipment quickly, the Bug-205 PL is my baby.

Size - The bag is designed for use by those with more advanced setups. You will easily be able to fit a camera body (pro or consumer) into the bag with a large zoom lens mounted. I use mine with a 200mm zoom with its glare shield mounted - and I even have a pocket stored at the end with two additional lenses. One could easily mount a 300mm lens (or longer) without any problems. Those with smaller setups should move on - this bag is probably too large for you.

Durability - let's face it, Kata is known for making durable bags. This is a lighter weight construction than they're older bags, but that was not at a cost to durability. I have been using the bag for 6 months now without any visible signs of wear. And I am tough on bags. This has followed me into ruins and through the woods.

Comfort - Don't let the size scare you. It is narrower (front to back) than many bags with comparable storage, so it doesn't get in the way of your moving around. The straps are perhaps the most comfortable straps I've used. At first, the straps will appear hard. But as you use it, they soften up and really fit to your frame. Give it time - they work out well. Getting to my stuff while the bag is on my shoulder isn't the easiest in the world - especially when the larger lenses are mounted - but it's doable. The camera pocket (the narrower zipper on the back) is easy to access without the risk of dumping out any of your other gear.

Interior Customization - The only potential deal breaker of this bag is customization. Yes, you have dividers than can be reorganized to fit your needs. Yes, you have some velcro drawstring pouches that can be placed wherever you want them. But there is only so much you can do. The interior is set up with the camera (with mounted lens) in the center, and the other gear gets arranged in an upside-down "U" shape around it. Though the "U" pad that rests between the camera and gear chambers is removable, there's really nothing you can do with it. The other dividers can be arranged in limited number of places because of their size. The u-chamber is wider at the top of the bag than on the sides, and so the divider doesn't quite reach between the u-pad and the sidewall up there. But I didn't find this to be a problem. Most of my gear fits in where I need it without any problems.

Other things to note:
- The laptop pocket can be somewhat hard to access. Over time, this has gotten easier, but still not ideal.
- Built into the large flap are two longer pockets. This is a great place to store other items such as eyeglasses and the like. These also fold-back pretty easily with a half-unzip so you can get to your gear without fully opening the bag.
- The bag is first and foremost a camera bag, and so it does not have any internal organizers such as narrow pockets for pens or cables. That's not to say there are not plenty of places to stick that stuff. But this isn't my day bag for those days I have to go to my regular job.
- The tripod sling is one of the best I've seen, second only to the Crumpler The Customary Barge Deluxe (Olive/Orange(07A)). It even comfortably carries my beast of a tripod.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2012
I bought this backpack about a month ago for a trip, in order to be able to carry my DSLR and laptop in the same place.

Overall, the design is nice, the internal layout is nice as well, with the removable dividers making it easy to rearrange stuff as you see fit. The protection and cushion for the laptop and the camera gear is very good, but as title of my review says, I feel Kata messed up badly with the straps. It's so bad I will be selling it.

The bad things about the backpack?

1. The straps are not meshed or soft at all. Apparently they're EVA, but all EVA, no covers. I took the backpack on a trip, basically carrying the full backpack with me for a whole day of airport traveling (from 4 pm to 3 AM), and the feeling on my shoulders after taking it off its horrible. I'm not weak by any means, and it's not the weight that was the problem, it's the way the straps pull your skin because of the plastic.

2. The straps don't start from the top as most backpacks do, but from lower, and that makes it a bit uncomfortable.

3. As some reviews I had read said, the laptop is not easy to take out. Not impossible, but certainly not easy.

Again, the construction and internal layout are great, but if you're planning to carry the laptop for a whole day (say hiking, or a long walk), it's something I believe you'd end up regretting.

Hopefully Kata will improve the design.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2011
I think this is a great bag.It was surprisingly light weight. I didn't think that would be an issue but I really enjoy that. The compartments hold a lot of gear. The bag is a little big for what I have now but it allows me to expand. It is a great example of using space well. Cables go in the bag and add to the protection of gear. The bag is rugged and the compartments are easy to get to for pulling out a quick shot. The side compartments are tight but they work. Currently holding Canon 60D, 50mm lens, 17-35mm lens, tripod plate, cables, ipad or laptop (fits both but I never carry both), hard drive and light with room to spare. Getting an extend grip battery soon that should fit right in there.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on March 7, 2013
This is the first kata I have. I'm a Vanguard lover, but the last one I got didn't cover my needs. I wanted a medium bag for those occasions when I don't want to carry my Skyborn 53 which is huge (and perfect when I take all my gear) or my Lowepro Classified 160 (I use it when I'm just taking my camera and an extra lens or flash), so I went for this one. I love the feeling of the nylon, it feels strong yet very light. I also like the yellow inside, it makes it very easy to find little stuff.

Another plus is the fact that it comes with little bags that attach to the inside with Velcro. Great to keep lens caps, batteries or other stuff.

There are 2 things I didn't like, the waist strap which is that, just a strap, no cushion and makes it look cheap (and could be very uncomfortable when using it wearing just a t-shirt). I mean, this is such a good looking bag with great finishes and seems like they were out of budget when somebody remember to add a waist strap.

The other thing is the rain/sun cover which comes as a separate item instead of tucked in like the Vanguard and Lowepro. If you're shooting outside and suddenly it starts to rain, you have to open the bag exposing your gear directly to the elements to extract the cover and use it. I know that you could keep the cover in your jacket or cargo pants, but as a photographer you need all that space for other things, don't you? Plus, if you keep it separately from you bag, sooner or later you will forget to bring it with you and, according to Murphy, it will happen exactly the day you'll need it.

Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes I would, but I'd also tell him/her to look other options before making a decision..
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on February 14, 2014
I purchased a cheaper (still decent) Dolica bag a couple years ago, but I noticed the velcro pads were shifting and not holding the weight of my gear. I wanted a more durable "professional-standard" bag. I liked the bumblebee style of the Kata bags. This makes it 10x easier to see my gear and locate items quickly. I recommend this backpack to anyone working outside of the studio. It also has plenty of pockets for storage which is always a plus for me!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2012
Based on the description, I ordered the bag to replace an old, large bag that held almost everything I would ever need on a trip - an old fashioned type that hangs on your shoulder or with a strap across the body. When it arrived, I tried to load it with my equipment for a photo trip when I want to take whatever equipment I might need, or for storage at home. After looking at all the KATA bags and its website, I decided this would be a good choice. It's not, for that purpose.

First, let me say that the quality seems very good. The zippers work well, and the big rings on them are very handy. The interior has the usual velcro dividers that you can move around. For most people's use, the bag is probably adequate, although the carry system isn't designed for carrying all day with a full load - the larger bags seem to have better belts to keep the weight off your shoulders - this has just a nylon strap, although allegedly a padded belt is an option as part of a $75 kit, but it's unclear how well that attaches.

But, if you carry a Pro DSLR and full complement of AF, VR zooms, it gets pretty tight. By the time I add my Nikon 14-24 and 70-200, a 24-70 on a D800 with a battery grip, and a good sized zoom, I was about out of space. I could squeeze in a 1.7 extender and 55 manual focus macro, and that was about it. There were plenty of pockets for a wired GPS, and cable release, and a few minor parts - no room at all for a backup body, as the description says, and I could add a 4th lens only because the 55mm is very small. I had hoped to be able to pack a small windbreaker, gloves, hand warmers, filters, a power bar or two, in a pocket somewhere and it just gets too tight unless I cram them in the laptop pocket, which is much too big for an iPad or small computer, but too narrow for much else. There is no room for a 105mm micro VR I'd like to buy.

Part of the problem is the way the bag is contoured - it is more elliptical than it should be, which cuts out a lot of space, and is tapered at the top to the same effect. As a result, a lens that could be stood up at the bottom, like the 14-24, has to be laid down. The depth measurement from the manufacturer is deceiving because it only reaches maximum at the bottom center where the body would go, and a large pro body pretty much has to go there for the prism to fit [with an L or tripod bracket on the bottom it's pretty snug as it is. Basically, it seems to value form over function - looks great, but not efficient.

There is also a problem with the shoulder straps that run from top to bottom. You should be able to disconnect, but the straps will not slip through the little clips that allow them to be tightened. There is no way to undo the straps so they can be tucked into the pouches in the back because they are doubled over and the doubled up part won't slip through to disconnect. I suppose you could cut the ends off and melt the nylon to prevent unravelling, but you shouldn't have to do that - bad plan on the part of someone.

I have a large Tamrac Velocity sling bag that holds the body, three lens, plus the 1.7 and enough room for the iPad, filters, and is much more comfortable to carry. Not quite as big, but a better use of space.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on January 1, 2015
I returned it. It did not suit my needs of a travel backpack. Kata has a good reputation, but this just didn't do it for me. Nothing wrong with the backpack, but I needed something more practical that I could fit a camera tripod into, plus clothing and I could roll through airport terminals.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on August 18, 2014
I have carried this pack full of camera equipment on several assignments including all day for 5 day shoot. It served me well and I am still using it for shoots. I like the storage and protection of my gear.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2011
Bought this bag so I can carry my laptop and DSLR without the need for two bags. So far, I love it. With everything in the bag, it's slightly heavy but the straps and the back foam makes it very comfortable to wear. 16" laptops fits just fine, not sure about 17" since I do not have a 17" laptop. Laptop does fit but a bit snug. But after a week or two of keeping a laptop in there and taking it out, it does feel much better to store and remove the laptop. My DSLR gear fits in there just fine and I still have room for laptop charger, phone charger, phoen car charger, USB cables, sun glasses and it's case, and 2.5" external hard drive.

Right now I have the following in the bag
-Toshiba A505-S6020 16" laptop
-Canon 60D w/18-135 f3.5-5.6mm lens with hood
-Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6 with hood
-50mm f1.8 with hood
-Kenko extension tubes
-Canon 430 EXII
-Charger and extra battery
-Rockt blower/lens cleaner/sensor cleaner/lens tissue
-Micro fiber cloth
-Magazine/Notebook
-Laptop Charger/Phone charger/Phone car charger/USB cables
-Sunglasses and case
-VZW 4G MiFi card
-2.5" external Hard drive
-Kata bag cover

I believe that is all that is in there.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2012
Because of lack of overhead space, I have had to check my ROLLER bag at the airplane door more than once. They don't check back packs. All my gear fits fine and my 17' lap top does too!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.
See 1 answered question

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.