Kata R-103 Camera/Laptop Backpack - 2
Kata R-103 Camera/Laptop Backpack:
After much research I finally settled on this Kata backpack. From what I've read Kata was started by a few guys formerly of the Israeli army so they were concerned with comfort, load bearing, durability and protection. Kata also makes ballistic bullet proof vests in case you were wondering!
On to the bag. There is room for my Rebel XTi with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS mounted or stored to the side. Of course all of my other lenses, flash and accessories fit as well as my 13" Apple MacBook. The one thing I liked about this bag is that it does not follow the formula of most other manufacturers, that being a box on your back with straps. Most other bags in this size range feel like someone packed a box full of camera stuff and decided one day to carry it around. Another plus is that this bag does not look like a camera bag so it should not attract as much attention.
A unique feature of this bag is the smaller opening in the front which allows access to only the camera and whatever you have stored in the center divider. This allows you to get at your camera without having to open up the entire bag and risk dropping anything else stored inside. As you can see there is also very good padding in front and on the side facing your back. The shoulder straps also have extra support around the base which helps distribute the load more evenly. Kata has also supplied a tripod carrier (can be used on front or side) which I have not pictured here and have not had a chance to use yet. I do have to say this is one of the more comfortable backpacks I have tried on. While not a small bag by any means, it is not as bulky and feels more comfortable to wear. Hopefully this stays true after I experience the bag on a long outing.