At the heart of my "Studio in a Backpack" is the Kata Beetle 282 backpack. There are a lot of things I like about this pack, but let me tell you about a few of them. It's a fully adjustable pack, just like sophisticated camping packs and it has both shoulder straps and a waist belt with dual adjustments. What seems like a minor detail, but one that I particularly like, is found on the long straps that adjust the waist support. They have little velcro tabs attached that allow you to secure the long ends of the straps when you've found the right length. This may seem like a little thing, but not having lengthy flopping straps is a really nice touch.
Another feature that makes this pack unusual is the fact that it opens from the side holding the supports. With most similar packs, you put the pack down with the straps on the ground and then zip it open from the reverse side. This means that you put the side you're soon going to put on your back in the dirt, mud, and crud, thus transferring that stuff onto yourself. With this Kata, you put the opposite side down and open the pack from the straps side, keeping the side that goes against your body clean. Smart design, if you ask me.
Once the pack is open, you see the Kata feature that seems very simple, but no other companies have followed- that is, the interior of the pack is bright yellow instead of the usual black. This means that it's much easier to find your black cameras and lenses when the lights are dim. Again, it seems like a little thing, but if you've ever fumbled around looking for a certain lens or body and you can't find it because black on black renders it invisible, you know what I mean. It's a very nice detail.
The rest of the 282 is what you'd expect from a quality camera bag. It has a fully customizable interior, allowing you to set it up with multiple configurations. There's plenty of cushioning to protect your gear, in case you have to check it with the airlines. There's a laptop compartment that accommodates a 17 inch computer. You can even get an optional wheel system ( Kata calls it the Insert Trolly) so you don't have to carry the pack if you don't want to.
This pack sells for around $ 290.00 in the US and I think it's worth every penny. If you'd like to learn more you can check it out on the Kata site .
My next post will discuss the items carried on the outside of the pack.
I'm a photographer. My work for almost thirty years has consisted primarily of portraits of people on location for advertising, magazines, and corporate publications. In 2008, I moved to Atlanta to begin teaching full time at the Savannah College of Art & Design.
Now I teach, I shoot my own work, I consult, and I conduct workshops. My consultations include portfolio development, marketing strategies, business planning, and equipment and technical advice. I work with individuals, businesses, and industry leaders. Let me know what you need and I'll tell you whether I can help.