Customer Reviews

73
4.1 out of 5 stars
Vivitar DKS-18 Photo/SLR/Laptop Sling Backpack (Black)
Price:$51.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2011
Verified Purchase
The technical details of this specify it will fit a 17" Laptop. Definitely not true, as that would be the DKS-25 ( [...] ) . However the bag itself is great. Luckily, used it to fit my smaller work laptop, which fits perfectly (14.6").

The compartments themselves are well padded, and the accessibility to the sides as well as front zippers is awesome! Being able to change from a shoulder-slung to a cross-slung to a backpack is also great :) The top compartment holds a surprising amount of stuff as well.

Total stuff in the bag currently:
Canon T3i + 18-55 kit lens + Hood
Canon 55-250mm Lens + Hood
Canon 50mm 1.8 Lens + Hood
Macro Extenders
Ring Light + battery pack + DC adapter (cheap macro stuff)
Polarizing filter/UV filter
2 Portable HDDs
AA Battery Charger
Phone Charger Cables + Wall adapters
Laptop Charger cables
14.6" IBM Laptop

So, it does fit a significant amount of stuff. Couldn't be happier with the purchase!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2012
Yes, everything fits and well protected in this bag. It is very similar to the Tamrac Evolution 8 or 9 but only 1/3 or 1/4 of the price respectively. I think the side access is very important....unless you want to take the backpack off and lie it down on the street for the next burglar. The rain cover also comes handy and important unless you only stay at home.....in that case you don't need a backpack. You can buy the big brand but I am telling you that I made a side by side comparison and there is very little difference......the zippers are actually better on this product. I am selling my Tamrac Expedition and staying with this one instead of the Tamrac Evolution. Forgot to mention also that the tripod leg pocket at the bottom is also bigger and stronger than the Tamrac and you can conceal it in case you don't carry a Tripod. The laptop pocket is well padded and big enough for any 14 inch screen. The handle on the top feels stronger than the Tamrac Evolution IMHO.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2012
Verified Purchase
I think I gave this pack a test most people would cringe thinking about, so here's my story. I am a professional photographer. I recently took a train trip from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Portland, Oregon on Amtrack. 2500 miles on a train with a 3 hour layover in Chicago Union Station. I carried this pack, never putting it down for 6 solid days with a 15" laptop, two large DSLR's, battery chargers,smart phone and "travling junk". The compartments are interchangeable inside the main camera compartment and easily changed around for the needs of the kind of lenses you want to carry etc. The velcro could be just a tick more friendly but it got the job done. I easily carried two DSLR's with lenses and an extra telephoto lens. I read a review the laptop compartment was "tight" so two days before the trip I stuffed the laptop compartment with photo albums to stretch it out and it worked like a charm. If I had it to do over again, I would have stretched it for a week. The laptop made it safe and sound and so did the cameras. The pack is a little heavier than I thought it would be but you need more than a feather to protect this kind of equipment. It came quickly and I'm very happy with it. You cant beat this for the price.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2013
Verified Purchase
When I received the bag I was actually surprised at its size.. It is a fairly medium to large sized pack(almost school book bag sized..not as wide)..I'm 5'11" and it's not huge, but not too small and female looking(on a man).
The reviews discussing the interior materials and Velcro quality are VERY true as far as plan your positioning and use your fingers to separate the velcro( so to relieve the pressure of tearing)... Mine did tear a bit and the nylon is tough to repair.. But it is what it is... I sewed it up as best I could, put it where it's gonna stay, you aren't gonna see it! and on with life! Exterior quality seems to be fine.. I know other reviews mention zipper issues.. I have not had any as of yet! Used a few times in and out-doors(cold weather). Will keep you posted as to in the future.
As for capacity... It will hold some gear! If you have 8 lenses and diffuser screens and multiple slave flashes a camcorder, 6 p.&s cameras, etc.. NOT what your lookin for!! I have my T3i w/ 18-55mm attached, 75-300mm( can also fit mounted), filters, batteries, chargers, various cords, hoods...and have room for a point & shoot and my handycam in the bottom...top enough space for a lunch or rain poncho and some trinkets( your not going out for a 3 day camp with just this!!). For a day at the park, or at a venue ..Perfect..maybe a tad bulky but..all-in-all..
CONCLUSION: For $50...it gives you the size, ability, and style of the KATA, Tamrac,etc at a 1/3 of the cost.. If your a professional(getting paid for your shots, and traveling 340 days for it)..you don't need or wouldn't be looking at this bag!!.. If your going a vacations, and taking the family to the theme park or day hikes/bikes then, this is a GOOD BUY!!! Yes you may have to fix an issue or two, you will probably customize it, and you will be able to determine if it is comfortable as a sling or not..for me.. Long hours of wear(backpack mode), an hour or two(sling is fine) yes, the padding is a bit funky for sling but I found that I can adjust it so it doesn't rub my neck..look as I said.. It's a backpack with options..which is why we are all looking at it!! And like me this is the 100th review you have read and have narrowed down your 2 or 3 choices and makers... I chose this one and I am satisfied completely with cost and above cost quality..should last for a while and do what I need it to! Hope this helps all those like me who obsess over research, products and manufacturers, etc...before buying.. But then again "to each his own.."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2013
Verified Purchase
They have thought of everything ... holds my laptop with adequate padding, my dslr, lenses, accessories and even the tripod ... comes with a rain cover that i have already used and kept everything dry ... love the versitility of backpack straps or sling back conversion or waste straps or chest strap plus it has a handle on the top, a handle on the side and a pocket to slide the bag on a trolley type piece of luggage ... was tired of using 2 bags while traveling with my laptop and my camera ... this solved everything with adequate room and room for more camera accessories plus with all the velcro I can reconfigure the insides if necessary ... it is not too bulky or too heavy and can be used while traveling, biking, walking, hiking, etc. .... in love with the versitility
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2013
I originally wrote this review in July 2012 but the vendor changed the items and my review got attached to a different pack.

Original review:

I bought this pack (Vivitar) for work and have used it for about 10 days of hiking in the desert so far. I also purchased the Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack (Black) for personal use and have used it about 5 days. I generally carry about the same amount of equipment in each pack (lenses, gps, laptop, snacks.) I also carry my camera on a Black Rapid RS-7 Camera Strap (Black) under the pack straps.

I greatly prefer the straps on the Vivitar pack, they stow away easily when not needed and the hip belt makes carrying the weight of the pack so much more comfortable. Unfortunately, the shoulder straps have already started to fray at the top seam. The Case Logic straps do not have a sternum strap so they tend to sit at the outer edges of my shoulders and make them ache after a few hours.

The side pockets on the Vivitar that access the compartments are very nice for changing lenses outdoors because I don't have to set the pack in the dirt to reach the lenses, however, the rubber bottom on the Case Logic pack is great for times when I need to set the pack down. The small upper side pocket on the Vivitar is the perfect size for my GPS unit that I used to geotag my photos.

For the interior, both are pretty adaptable but the fabric of the Vivitar's dividers have already torn under the weight of the lenses. The fabric in the Case Logic pack is thicker and fuzzy which allows more places for the velcro to stick. Both fit my older 14 inch tablet just fine and the Vivitar stands up better on it's own with the laptop in place.

The Vivitar pack is much more suited to my photography style (lots of photos while on the move and changing lenses in a dusty environment) I just wish it were built a little better.

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Update: June 2013
Despite the initial problems with the fabric tearing and fraying (which I repaired at home) the pack has held up well and no additional frayed spots have developed. I particularly appreciated the tuck-away straps when we flew to the south Pacific because it made getting the pack into the overhead bins much easier.

The pack has done a good job of protecting my camera gear through many day hiking trips and it's been reasonably comfortable.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2013
Verified Purchase
Gonna have to say some not-so-great things about this one.

Cons:

-Pretty cheap interior material. I feel like I'm fighting to not rip it when I organize the dividers. The zippers feel cheap as wel as well. I'm worried they might break in the near future.
-Never seen this in a backpack, but the straps don't go as high as I want...I pull it up to the maximum height on my back, and it's not high enough for me (I'm 6' 2").
-There's an obnoxious 24 inches (at least) of extra strap hanging when I pull it up to the maximum height (fixable). Again, not something I've ever had a problem with in a backpack...
-There's absolutely no soft area to put more fragile things like filters.
-The laptop area has ZERO padding.

Pros:
-Chest and waist strap
-Comes with a rain protector
-Place to put a tripod
-Can be used as a sling (haven't done it but I suppose it could be useful)

Overall, it's an average camera backpack. My biggest qualm is the cheap interior/no padding. I'm going to try to make it work, but maybe go with something else.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2014
Verified Purchase
read lots of complaints about this. I have not traveled with it yet, but I will soon. The zippers seem to be just as strong as the my name brand camera backpack that I spent 3x the amount on. the inside space seems fine. I have my canon 60d in there with a Tamron lens 35-270. I also packed a 52 mm and a 75-300 zoom. that still leaves me with room for my go pro and a few accessories. (this is just inside the padded camera compartment) the top seems to have plenty of room for extra batteries and chargers. I looks like I can even pack my laptop cables up top. There a few other net zipper compartments for the smaller accessories. My laptop fits fine, it sits low in its area so I room on top to throw in the mouse and probably the power cord if it doesn't fit it the other compartment. The one thing that the description did not mention is that the side quick access for the camera is reversible. meaning that there is one on each side of the pack. you just have to reconfigure the insides so it works for you. it doenst matter if your a lefty (poor suckers) or a righty, you can make it work either way. Cant beat it for the money and I have spent lots on camera bags in the past.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2012
This is a great backpack camera and laptop bag. Originally I had the larger DKS-25, but it was jut too big for my gear (Canon T2i, 18-55mm, 55-250mm, 50mm lens, hoods for all, speedlite flash. I also have a battery grip for the camera. Haven't tried the bag with the grip on, buy I can see it will be no problem. The DKS-25 just had too much space for my gear, and it shifted around too much. Would have been fine if I made more velcro dividers to keep things in place, but I decided to get the smaller bah. Still have plenty of room to grom. Oh, and in case anyone was wonder, yes this smaller bag DOES fit a 15" Macbook pro. I have a spec clear case on mine, and it still fits in the laptop space. It's snug, but I don't think it stresses the zippers or anything too much. Very pleased with this bag.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2013
Verified Purchase
The order was delivered promptly. It was very well packaged and had the new car smell, but just as a car would do, It immediately began to depreciate once it left the lot. The Vivitar DKS-18 Photo/SLR/Laptop Sling Backpack (Black) is Horrible. The shoulder straps are coming apart, the zippers are breaking, threads are loose all over the entire bag, the side Velcro pocket is coming off and I don't even use it! This bag is cheap because it is made cheap. It is a mask waiting to come off. I have had this backpack for less than 3 months and have not gotten my money's worth at all. Spend the money for a quality backpack. You'll thank me later.
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