When you think of Manfrotto, as a photographer/videographer you can tend to automatically think 'tripod', and thats not a bad thing as they are exceptional. But Manfrotto want to change that, they now have a serious line up of bags for sale, so when they got in touch and asked if I would like to try one, I accepted (of course).
Like many of you, I expect you've owned and gone through a million different kit bags, as your need evolves and your equipment grows, your bags do also. In the last year I have been using a messenger style bag, which suited me well when I was travelling however when back in the real world of London, I found it pulled on my shoulder and gave me quite bad back ache during the commute and the 6-7 hours of walking I do with it all.
I don't carry much around on a day to day but it is enough to warrant a bag that is light, water proof (because it's London after all) and well protected because, facts are facts I am clumsy. Speedlights, tripods, filters they don't last long, I've even dropped and smashed three Canon 5dmk2's. So you can see the need for something a little more "James proof".
Manfrotto now have a new bag range called the "Pro Light", they are aimed at professional photographers and videographers. I went for a mid size ruck sack, which contains numerous pockets, an area big enough to store two camera bodies, a laptop, speed lights and all the other assortment of bits we tend to collect and need. Gaffer tape? There's a pocket for that!
On arrival it looks pretty much like any other ruck sack, it has good inserts to protect equipment and a rain cover for, well, rain. But after a good couple of weeks using it, I can honestly say that I have been impressed. The straps are extremely comfortable, the bag is exceptionally light (even with the gear inside it) and it bounces quite well (yes I dropped it). The only real negative for me, on a personal level is that I am used to just being able to pull my camera out the top of my bag and here its zippers at the bottom, so I need to be a bit careful. Other than that the only thing I haven't been able to do is test it in the rain, in a bizarre turn of events the last two weeks have been pretty much rain free here in London!
I think its fair to say that Manfrotto aren't known for their bags, but why not? I have pulled, tugged, bounced, thrown around and stuffed this bag and it hasn't failed yet (my camera is still in tact and so is my back). The level of care that goes into their tripods seems to have gone into this bag, time will tell of course, but for now this bag will remain my trusty work bag.
Manfrotto Bag Video below: