Gear Review: Case Logic Kontrast Pro Camera Backpack

 

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I think this is a sleek looking bag. You can see the ridged bottom.

I have used at least a dozen camera bags in the past few years.  With the amount of gear I am testing for different stories, I seem to have a new camera backpack every few months.  I was working with Case Logic on another project when they asked if I would be interested in testing out one of their camera bags.  The Kontrast Pro is a higher end model from Case Logic and it comes with some pretty cool features I haven’t seen on many bags so I happily agreed to test it out..

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You can see how convenient loading the camera is, but look at all that wasted space too.
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I loved the laptop compartment on this bag. Notice the tripod holder as well.

The bag has a nice sleek look to it.  I like the solid black with a few neon green accents.  The first difference I noticed in this bag was where you store the camera.  Instead of opening the main zipper or a side zipper like most bags, this bag features a zipper around the top so you can place your camera directly in from the top, lens down.  This pairs really well with the second interesting feature I noticed.  The bag has a hard-shell bottom.  This makes it really nice for putting your bag on the ground and getting the camera out from the top.  It is very convenient and you don’t have to worry about your bag falling over or getting dirty.  I really enjoyed using this bag out in the field as it was so convenient to set the bag down and access my camera whenever I wanted to shoot something.

There were some pretty obvious downsides as well though.  The whole top of your bag is dedicated to your camera.  Even with a big body and lens,  there is going to be some wasted space up top.  As you would imagine, it means there also isn’t a lot of space in the main compartment.  I had to rearrange the dividers to open up a spot big enough for a speedlite.  I was able to fit a Fuji X-T1 with three lenses, one speedlite, a trigger, three filters and some miscellaneous things.  If you are consistently using more than that, this bag is probably too small for you.  In addition to the main pocket, there is a small pocket up top and a good sized pouch in front that could hold a lot of smaller items.  I used it to hold a light jacket while I was hiking.  There are also pouches on each side with a strap on each side so you can put a tripod on either side.  Given that there is only one strap and the size of the bag, this will work well with a small to medium tripod.  Finally, there is a really nice laptop compartment on the inside of the bag.  It is a good size and easily fit my 15.6 inch laptop.  It had plenty of padding so I would have no concerns putting my camera there.  The laptop compartment makes it great for travelling.

I liked the feel of the bag.  The size felt really good on my back and the straps fit nicely.  My biggest issues were the chest strap was pretty flimsy and did not provide much support and there was no waist strap at all, which surprised me for this level of bag.  It was fine for everyday use and small hikes, but I wouldn’t like it on a long hike or if I am traveling with a heavy load.

I liked the construction of this bag.  It felt solidly made and had really nice zippers that were easy to use.  The zipper around the top is more basic, but the zippers on the body of the bag were bigger and smoother than your average zipper.

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Overall, there is a lot to like about this bag, but I would not recommend it to everyone.  It really depends how you use your camera bag.  If you are the type to set your bag down a lot and want quick access to your camera, this could be a really appealing bag.  I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a lot of gear or large professional gear.  I think it is perfect for a hobbyist photographer who wants a bag they can easily carry around town, take on short hikes and use as a personal bag on planes.

You can currently pick this bag up on Amazon or check it out at the Case Logic website.  As of the time of this article, you can get it for under $100.  I think it is a steal at that price and think anyone would feel it is a great pick up if it fits what you are looking for.

Be sure to check out my review of this and seven other camera backpacks over at Improve Photography.

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