Friday, 7 September 2012

Incase DSLR Pro Pack Review

Traveling discretely while carrying tons of gear... 

Most camera bags are obvious and often draw attention. This may be fine in most situations but what about when your in a less than safe neighbourhood, or country??? What if you'd rather not advertise that your carrying 25 grand worth of gear on your back?

Answer: The Incase DSLR Pro Pack
This is a picture with my 13" macbook pro. It's pulled towards the top so it's visible. Trust me it fits the 15 perfect and 17 by a hair
Overall Ranking: 8 out of 10

I currently have 5 different backpacks, 3 shoulder bags, and suitcases so it's safe to say I've tried and tested more than a few. No backpack is perfect, and I'll never be 100% satisfied with any bag I own.  With that said, The Incase DSLR Pro Pack comes pretty darn close. Typically I stick to Thinktank and wouldn't even consider an Incase backpack, who is known for standard off to school with your textbook backpacks. However before departing on a worldwide photography trip I needed backpack to team with my Thinktank Airport takeoff suitcase that would fit a few requirements.

1. Carry both my D3s & D800.
2. Carry 4 lenses.
3. Have some sort of quick camera access. 
4. Carry a 17" Macbook pro.
5. Be a good looking bag.
6. Be discrete. 
7. Fit underneath the seat in front on an airplane. 
8. Hold a tripod.

This bag covered all angles. 

Positives:
First off, its a great looking bag and affordable at $159. That can't be said for the wide variety of hideous and oddly shaped overpriced Kata, Lowepro, Crumpler, or Tamrac camera backpacks available on the market. It's sleek, void of excess clips and flaps, but underneath can store an arsenal of gear. The camera compartment is camouflaged by it's shape and holds a shocking amount of gear. It can be accessed wide open though the entire back or through a top hatch cleverly placed for quick access.  It's designed to hold an ipad and a 15" laptop, but I found it can fit my 17" Macbook Pro just barely. 


Negatives:
The build quality isn't what you might expect from something designed to carry your precious gear. The outer fabric is apparently water resistant, but rather thin. I have already suffered two rips where a hard plastic structure of the bag have punctured through the skin. Mind you, I've lugged this bag around the world so it's not surprising. The zippers are a definite weak point and are way to small for my liking yet I've had no problems thus far. Protection/padding is also a little thinner than normal, thus how they achieve its slimmer profile. Overall it's not a hiking backpack nor is it designed for any type of hardcore or extreme use. It also does not come with a dedicated rain shell, which isn't a big deal for me because I have half a dozen from others laying around. 



Conclusion:
If you shoot with a battery grip or camera with a built-in grip, this is not the backpack for you. Due to the depth of the camera compartment these camera's have to be stored without a lens. For D3s, D4 or gripped shooters I'd recommend Thinktank's Street walker series. I only use this bag when primarily shooting with my D800. I would not consider this bag a professionals backpack, but rather the enthusiast dream. Perfect for travel or regular commuting. Since acquiring, it has become my daily go to. I consider the Incase DSLR Pro Pack the best all around casual backpack.  

2 comments:

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