|The Tamrac 5788 Evolution 8 Photo Digital SLR Camera Sling Backpack can be carried as a backpack and as a sling pack on either shoulder. The pack has a Triple Access System that allows gear to be accessed through the front door and through 2 side doors. It can carry and protect a D-SLR camera with grip and up to an 8.0 lens attached several additional lenses a flash and accessories. The rear completely foam-padded laptop pocket holds most laptop computers with a screen up to 15.6. For quick access to the camera gear slip off 1 shoulder strap swing the pack around to the front and open the side door to access a D-SLR camera with a lens attached. To get to additional equipment swing the pack around to the opposite shoulder and open the side door on the other side of the pack. When worn as a backpack the 2 foam-padded shoulder straps waist belt and chest strap distribute the weight. To convert to a sling pack cross-connect a single shoulder strap (red to red) for carrying on the right shoulder or (blue to blue) for carrying on the left shoulder. The other strap is easily tucked away inside the back harness. Its side doors feature 2 memory card pockets and a pocket to store lens caps while shooting. There is a windowpane-mesh accessory pocket inside the front door for small accessories a mesh pocket in the top compartment for small accessories and a windowpane-mesh pocket on the inside door panel holds additional small items In addition each side has a zipper-closing pocket for accessories like a phone or iPod. The pack has a QuickClip tripod attachment system with a Tripod Foot Pocket that allows a tripod to be carried. There is a removable rain cover for use during extreme weather that can be stored in a right-side pocket. Key Features: 600 denier PolyTek with ballistic nylon exterior Foam padded interior Internal dividers are foam-padded and fully adjustable Zipper closure Triple Access System allows gear to be accessed through the front door and through two side doors Foam-padded top compartment for personal gear or photo accessories Completely foam-padded laptop pocket holds most laptop computers with a screen up to 15.6 Both side doors feature 2 memory card pockets and a pocket to store lens caps while shooting Windowpane-mesh accessory pocket inside the front door for small accessories Mesh pocket in top compartment for small accessories Windowpane-mesh pocket on inside door panel holds additional small items Each side has a zipper-closing pocket for accessories like a phone or iPod QuickClip tripod attachment system with a Tripod Foot Pocket allows tripod to be carried Removable rain cover for use during extreme weather can be stored in a right-side pocket Worn as a backpack there are 2 foam-padded shoulder straps a waist belt and a chest strap that distributes the weight When worn as a sling pack it can be used on either shoulder Compatible with D-SLR camera with grip and up to an 8.0 lens attached several additional lenses a flash and accessories and laptop computers with a screen up to 15.6|
A step in the right direction8/30/2011
First the good: the Evolution 8 is a good size for carrying your DSLR with lens attached a couple of extra lenses a flash batteries memory and a few items for non-camera use. The fit is good as a backpack though certainly not anywhere as comfortable enough to use as a real hiking backpack. Without any internal frame support or frame sheet to speak of the padding does just that pads well. It is well made and has great access through the front or the sides. Makes grabbing your camera easy and quick and allows you to change lenses without setting anything down.Now to the needs improvement dept. First it needs a better suspension. Padding is great but what makes a backpack comfortable on an all day hike is the suspension. All photo backpacks suffer from this lack of insight. Tamrac has come close to the size and build but still doesn't understand hiking needs at all. Second the double sling (right or left) option may be good once in a while but is totally unnecessary with a backpack with side entry as you simply pull one arm out and swing the bag. Carrying as a backpack is MUCH MORE comfortable and secure than any sling will ever be. The only other downside is that the pack carries camera gear well but don't plan on bringing much more than a few snacks and a jacket and small items. There is no room for even the 10 essentials that all hikers should be carrying in the small top compartment. That makes it pretty much a leave at home bag when you go for long hikes except in the best of weather during the warmer times of the year. That's too bad as this bag would be a great hiking companion if a few changes were made. It needs a water bottle or bladder holder option. It needs more room for non-camera items. And it needs a waist belt combined with an internal structure that can transfer weight from the shoulders to the hips. It's the best photo backpack I've used to date and for dedicated photo shooting it works great. All my needed gear and all accessible easily. Comfortable enough for a few hours of shooting. Since Tamrac calls it the evolution let's hope they improve on this and evolve it into something that works for more than simple photo only shoots and incorporate features that hikers and backpackers need in a bag. Then it would be perfect.