The Evolution 8 offers unprecedented versatility for quick access to photo gear. With its unique harness system, the Evolution 8 can be carried three different ways - as a backpack or as a sling pack worn over the right shoulder or the left shoulder. With Tamrac's Triple Access System, there are also three way to access photo equipment - through the front door and through two side doors. The Evolution 8 is perfect for a DSLR with a grip and up to an 8" lens attached, several additional lenses, and a flash.
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.
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