Being a blogger and one that travels quite often, you really depend on a good bag that is lightweight, durable, and will carry just about all your electronics and the many adapters along with them. Until now I was basically shoving (and carefully I might add) all my junk into typical laptop backpacks. My laptop in the designated laptop area, iPod, USB cables, adapters, USB keys, a book and a D/SLR in a separate camera bag. It is a tight fit but I managed, and I have to admit going through airport security was a bit hellish. Recently I discovered the Kata Bags and I have to say it was with great pleasure that I got to review both the Digital Rucksack DR-467-WY and Sensitivity V. FINALLY! A bag meant for those always on the go with pockets specifically made for all the junk we gadget obsessed folks carry.
Digital Rucksack DR-467-WY
The Digital Rucksack DR-467 is a large backpack of sorts that is meant for professional photographers or techies who basically lug around their entire apt with them. It comes in several different colors, Yellow/White, Pink/White, Tan/White, and Black. It will fit not one but two D/SLR cameras, several lenses, laptop, cellphone, and still leave just enough space for a notebook. The bag is large with lots of compartments that you can place things in it. However, the cottony yellow interior lining is meant to find things easier and provide extra cushioning for your gadgets. When I first put the Rucksack on it was empty and lightweight for the size of the bag on my back. However once I started loading it up with gear it started to get heavy pretty fast. The straps are wide to provide extra support and the back of the bag is cushioned to provide better posture for your back. You don’t feel too weighed down but as the stuff starts to pile in, it does start to bring me back to the days of High School, when I had to lug practically my entire desk around because I had no locker.
The main compartment is where you would pack your D/SLR and lenses. A nice feature in this compartment is that the Velcro padding that resembles compartment ‘walls’ are actually removable. Which is perfect for those who need to pack bigger or small lenses and lights. Not having constraints is certainly a benefit for a professional photographer. The back of the bag that leans against your back is where the laptop goes. It’s a stiffer compartment and will only fit a laptop up to 15″. That is not to small or too big and most folks would not carry around a laptop bigger then that. The only negative I found in this compartment is that your laptop better not have a paunch as it is a bit snugly in fit. Which is great for making sure your laptop is secure but it will take a little elbow movement to get it in the back compartment. Also if it is to thick, it could be a bit uncomfortable on your back as it does press right up against it. The larger compartment between the back and the main compartment basically stores everything else you need. It has plenty of interior pockets, one to store your MP3 player specifically, others to hold pens or other random items. There is also an exterior netted pocket to hold a bottle of water.
If you are a traveler, then you will like the ease of portability of the Rucksack too. It has horizontal straps on the back of the bag that make it easy to slip on to a trolley. So if you have a carry on luggage just slip it on to the handles and push it around the airport or train. It will be safe and sound. Afraid of your bag getting dirty, wet, or soiled from the weather? The Digital Rucksack comes with an elements cover that resembles a shower cap for your bag. Just slip it on the front of the bag and it will be protected. When you get to clean and drier location just rinse off the elements cover and it will self dry like an umbrella. Then fold it up into itself and put it back in the bag.
Overall the Digital Rucksack bag is great for those who need to lug around everything but the kitchen sink with them. It has enough space and compartments to store all the gear you could possibly have then have room for more trinkets you collect along the way. I like the fact it comes in feminine colors and for a lot of women some bags are not big enough for everything, but even for me it holds everything and I carry a lot with me. The only downer is that it does get a bit heavy on the back after awhile and it could be a bit cumbersome to walk around with casually but if space is what you are looking for without having to carry another bag in addition, then I highly recommend it. The Digital Rucksack DR-467 retails for $79.99 at B&H Photo.
If the Digital Rucksack is made for the hardcore tech schlepper, then the Sensitivity V was made for the weekend getaway blogger. This bag is truly the epitome of cool backpacks. It’s simple, sleek, and carries the basics. A true minimalist blogger bag. It’s shiny black color is perfect for the trendy hipster in all of us and its made of Elasto-Guard material to provide extra protection. When I put it on it contoured to my body sort of hugging it. The Sensitivity V is very lightweight and is not meant to feel like you are being bogged down with loads on your shoulders. The shoulder straps are comfy and its sternum strap can be clipped to provide extra support if needed. The bag also has an overall cool feeling to it literally. It may have been hot where I was but the bag with the items inside seemed to stay cool on my back.
The Sensitivity V is comprised of several compartments. Two U shaped compartments on the outside of the bag, laptop compartment in the back, a side exterior pocket for your MP3 player, and another exterior pocket for a bottle. The bottom U shaped compartment is meant to hold your D/SLR. A velcro Elasto-Guard loop holds the lens in place and the body of the D/SLR is held in place with Elasto-Guard material as well. The interior of the bag is once again a cottony yellow material like the Digital Rucksack. The top U shaped compartment would also fit additional lenses or other necessities. There is also a zipped pocket in this part of the bag as well. If you need more room, the bottom of the top U shaped compartment can be unzipped and the bottom and top compartments become one.
I love the flexibility of these bags. I always seem to to run into these problems. The extra space is much appreciated but the fact that I can even have that option is nice even if I don’t need it. Lastly the laptop is religated to the back of the bag and the max is 12″ and it is a tight fit too. Looking at the bag it looks like I’m sliping the laptop into a neoprene case sewn on to a back of a backpack. The straps contain two media pouches for either your telephone or MP3 player or both. On the left side of the bag is a bottle holder and on the right side of the bag is were you would ideally put your MP3 player. This compartment is called the music media pocket which will allow for easy use of your earphones.
The Sensitivity V is a the bag that has it all, good looks, lightweight, and supports all the typical needs of your average blogger. You can easily pack your laptop and camera and hit the road and not feel overwhelmed with a bag that looks ridiculous on your back or makes you look anything but cool. The bag contours to your shape and will handle the elements well. If you are looking for a bag that will carry the basics, still looks trendy – and is thin – yet still manages to be a reliable backpack then the Sensitivity V is the way to go and that’s nothing to be sensitive about. The Sensitivity V retails for $89.99 at Amazon.com
The Good: Both Bags offer flexible compartments and durability. Holds all the necessities and protects them well. Comfortable shoulder straps.
The Bad: Can be become a bit uncomfortable after awhile. The laptop area rubs against your back and it can hurt if pressed against it for to long. Just like with any loaded backpack, take it off your back after a while.