on May 17, 2008
First of all, I bought this bag because the price was considerably below comperable rolling photo bags. I believe I paid a bit over $200, compared to over $300 for its competitors. It is a great bag, no doubt. When my gear is in it, I know that it's all well protected, from my Nikon D200 to my largest lens, a Tamron 200-500mm. There is room for my additional lenses, and all the rest of the stuff I drag around, except my tripod, which I put into my luggage when I travel. In fact, I bought it specifically for pulling around airports, because carrying all my photo gear was getting really old (maybe it's just me getting old....) Which leads to the issues:
1. As a carry-on, be warned. This will fit in the overhead bin, but ONLY if you open up the back where the backpack straps are stored, and lay it out flat. Otherwise, it just won't make it. It's a tight fit, but it's do-able. I've flown four times since I purchased this, so I know from experience. But, filled with gear, it's also too heavy, so I always have to rely on some strong man to do the man thing and get this sucker up there. Goddess forbid I'm told that I have to put it in with the luggage. I'd rather not fly.
2. The single post puller feels a bit weak, and it can tend to roll the bag if your not careful. It did roll a few times for me, but now that I know it has the tendency, I am careful going around corners, etc. As for being weak, it's really not, I don't think. It works, telescopes, etc. just fine. It's never felt like it was going to put loose or break.
3. The laptop slot is miserably tight. It invariably breaks my fingernails as I rush to remove the laptop when I'm at airport security. It's tight, but it protects the computer very well. In fact, there is room in the bag itself to keep the laptop necessities while traveling, including the power cord and the mouse.
4. For the life of me, I cannot imagine using this bag as a backpack. It's heavy in its own right. And, its big. In fact, I just may remove the backpack straps altogether, to avoid overhead storage issues. In fact, when I'm not traveling, it's a great storage device for gear that I'm not bringing with me on specific shoots.
Other than these four issues, it's a really nice bag. It's well built, and the zipper system is really nice. It has these rubber closures that fit well over the zipper as you zip it up. It's well padded. It's spacious. It's a nice bag. But, having said that, if I had an extra $200 on top of what this cost, I'd rather buy a Pelican or a Think Tank airline bag. As I said up front, it was a money issue. I'm not disappointed.
Hope this all helps. :-)
on December 5, 2009
I love this bag as a rolling bag that will handle both my 35mm cameras with lens attached, plus plenty of room for other lens and flash units. With all my equipment loaded into it, I could not see using it as a backpack. It would be too heavy for me to carry for any lenght of time.
So, I cut out the straps that were used for backpack, and that gives me more room for books and brackets, and Etc.
I own many bags and I'd say this is the best one I've got. I get more in it than other larger bags, and the rollers make it nice.