Top critical review
24 people found this helpful
on March 9, 2011
After days of searching for the perfect bag to carry my camera equipment and computer in while being comfortable as possible and still retaining carry-on abilities while flying, I settled on this one. Actually, I had purchased a Lowepro 180AW, but it was nowhere near large enough. I also wanted something that didn't have a waste or chest strap since I am not exactly a tiny woman. I'm about a US size 18.
As I unloaded this backpack, I was impressed with it's overall quality, appearance, and size. I unzipped and rezipped all the pockets to check out the zippers. I played around with it a little, then decided it was time to see what it could hold.
I started by loading my Canon 7D body with 18-135mm lens and hood attached. So far so good. Then I added my other two lenses, a basic Canon 75-300mm lens and a Tokina very wide angle lens with reversed hood. The Canon lens fit fine after adjusting the velcro separators. The Tokina had to be squeezed in there, which makes me nervous. I proceeded anyhow with my camera chargers, lens filters, and 430 flash. The flash had to be bend at a 90 degree angle to fit or that bag would not have closed at this point. I also squeezed in a point and shoot in it's case. I ended up having to put the wires and all in the upper compartment, but other than my lens cleaning kit, they all fit behind the mesh wall in there. Lastly, I loaded my 13" Macbook into the laptop slot, zipped it all up, and put it on my back.
This backpack has ample room for strap adjusting. So, I am very pleased that it is made for people of all sizes, and in fact, I didn't even need the straps halfway down, so it had a lot of room to grow. While the computer was inside, this back was not exactly comfortable. It also had a tendency to want to sit on my butt. I don't have a "shelf" booty, but it would probably be a terrible idea to use this bag if you have one. I took my Macbook out, and tried it on again. Much better! It felt comfortable enough for what I need it for. If you are an avid hiker, you may prefer a bag with at least a chest strap, and possible a waste strap as well. Also, there is no place for my tripod, so I will have to tote that around in it's own bag, which is a bit disappointing. If your computer is larger than my 13" Macbook, you may have a hard time fitting it in this bag too, so keep that in mind.
Overall, the bag has a nice appearance and will serve it's purpose. I feared a larger bag would have not made the carry-on requirements, but I kind of wish I would have purchased one anyhow. I will be keeping this bag though since it is here already and was reasonably priced.