K&F Concept 20L Camera Backpack

Price: 
$90.99
Weight: 
1.2kg
Dimensions: 
30 x 17 x 45cm
Material: 
Water-resistant 900D nylon
We photographers do like our camera bags. Messengers, slings, trek, urban, large capacity, pouch, traditional and all stops in between - we are spoilt for choice. Over the last few years one of the biggest changes has been the democratisation of the camera bag scene. Thanks to the powerhouse Chinese manufacturing industry and marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba, the price tags of decent camera bags have fallen steadily. One of the companies innovating in the entry-level end of the market is K&F Concept who have brought a bit of style to the scene.

Their 20 litre dedicated camera bag is one of a range of specialised backpacks by the company and one that borrows a few features from other packs and cleverly innovates as well. That is not to say that it doesn't have flaws, but at just $90AUD including delivery, it represents a compelling option for someone looking to buy a first pack or get something to accommodate a growing kit-list.

The bag is made from heavyweight 900D nylon that has been well stitched together. It features a removable drawer section with side access, a capacious interior with a laptop slot and a roll-top design that can be reduced or expanded according to the gear you're carrying that day. Two pockets on the front and an expandable side pouch for drink bottle or tripod make for a versatile design that can cater to most kit-list load outs.

The top of the bag is secured with a zip and is then folded over itself before being clipped closed - this ensures that moisture can't get in the top. It's a good design and one that will ensure your camera stays dry in the rain. The bag is water resistant (not waterproof) but does come with a rain cover that can be easily fitted over the pack for those heavy downpours. Special mention goes to the anti-theft clip on the top of the bag which is made from heavy metal and will securely hold the contents inside the bag even when over-loaded.

The camera feels comfortable on the back, has wide straps for shoulder comfort and a chest strap to keep the pack sitting well on your back. It lacks the rigidity of larger bags, but for a run-and-gun bag that you'll be using for shorter periods of time that won't be an issue. Both my wife and I tried the pack out and we both managed to find comfortable strap lengths despite the fact that I'm 6ft tall and she's a bit over 5ft.

The design of the bag is based around two compartments, but all internal dividers are removable and if you wanted one single large compartment then you can do just that. It comes with a larger divider that sits above the removable side-access drawer and the drawer itself which you can configure according to your needs.

In practice I found the drawer feature to be the weakest part of the bag design. The benefit of side access is that you can remove equipment without fully taking the pack off, but the drawer design does not lend itself to this as it does not hold its shape well when removed and is difficult to push in and out. When testing the pack I tried several configurations and in the end I dispensed with the slide-out functionality completely and just used the side access interior space as a traditional pocket. It works much better this way, although you will definitely want to retain some of the cushioned interior dividers for extra protection. The double-zipper design of the side panel does tend to stick and I can't help thinking that a small loop on the bottom of the bag would greatly assist in opening and closing the pouch. It's also worth pointing out that the top edge of that side panel is not secured to the bag and will only protect against rain, not higher volumes of water e.g. from a wave if you were photographing on the coast.

Even with the flawed drawer design, this is still a great camera backpack and at just $90AUD including delivery represents ridiculously good value. The design is funky, with high visibility reflective accents, a great desert-camo design and numerous value-added features such as an anti-theft buckle and an RFID blocking pocket to keep your wallet in. Ignore the gimmicky drawer feature, use the lower section as a traditional side-access pocket and you have top-notch, rugged day-pack that is as at home in the great outdoors as it is in the city.

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© 2021 Andy Hutchinson
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