Top critical review
Could be great, but it has a way to go.
on July 22, 2014
I was going out west and needed a different back pack for my photography gear I was going to carry with me. My everyday camera bag is a Lowepro Fastpack 250. I love my Lowepro, but I was going to be hiking in the desert and doing some landscape photography and I needed a bag that I could strap a tripod to while I was hiking. The Aktiv Pak was also going to be doubled down as my carry-on for the flight. So here is my assesment of the bag in a Pros and Cons format.
- Roomy, lots of storage as others have indicated.
- Able to attach a lightweight tripos to the side of the bag. I stress lightweight. It would never be able to handle my Manfrotto that I like to use, but that is a heavy tri-pod and I wasn't going to take that on a desert hike anyway.
- Does have an added weatherproof cover stored in the bottom of the bag. I didn't need to use it, but was glad it was there.
- Internal dividers are weak and don't stay in place if the camera compartment isn't completely full. The velcro doesn't hold very well and the dividers aren't as stiff as what they are in my Lowepro bag. So they tend to sag and break free leaving my camera equipment in a jumble.
- Do not over load bag! The stitching near one of the shoulder straps started to give way early in my trip and I had to be careful how I put the put on and took it off for fear of completely tearing out the shoulder strap.
- The bag is really not built for extended treking. The shoulder straps are padded, but not as well as the Lowepro. The waist belt which I do use to help take the load off the shoulders a little is not padded at all. It sort of does the job but after a few miles on the trail a padded belt would be nicer. Hate to sound like a broken record, but the Lowepro has a padded waist belt.
- No external place for a water bottle. I did not like having to put the water bottle inside of the bag. I always triple checked the cap on it for fear it would leak and soak through the bag to where the camera equipment is stored. I was hiking in the desert so the water thing was fairly important to me.
Overall for the price paid it is an "okay" bag. But if they did a little bit of quality improvement it could have the potential to be a great bag that I would ditch my Lowepro over. Obviously that would increase the price of the bag, and that would be okay with me. This is a classic scenario of you get what you pay for. There is a reason Lowepro bags cost more. It is because they are built better. Unfortunately this bag will probably go into the closet and I will look to have my Lowepro bag modified to strap a tripod to. Too bad, I had high hopes for this bag when I first got it.