Sunday, January 30, 2011

Backpack Review: Kata DR-466i and Kata DR-467i

For my future travels, I want to have access to the latest digital technology, which means for me having a powerful laptop and a DSLR camera with a couple of lenses. Due to my desire to carry a DSLR and laptop, I have decided it is probably best for me to have two carry-on pieces of luggage: one for clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc and one for my electronics that can be used as a daypack.

For my electronics bag/daypack, I wanted to get one which would allow me to carry a small amount of semi-pro camera gear, a laptop, and other things such as a raincoat, guidebooks, snacks, water, etc. I considered several bags such as the Tamrac Adventure 9, Lowepro Fastpack 250, Naneu Pro Alpha-L, and the Kata 466i and 467i packs. I end up deciding on either the Kata 466i or 467i. So I decided to order both to try them out. Check it out:

I wanted to get a small enough pack that would feel comfortable enough to use on a daily basis but also big enough to hold a good amount of gear. In the end, the 466i was just too small and the 467i was just about perfect. I wore the 467i on a 15-mile hike yesterday with my camera and a bunch of other supplies, and it was very comfortable. Here are some pictures to give you an idea of how big they 466i and 467i are on my back (click on them for bigger sizes):

Kata 466i
Kata 467i
The Kata 466i is only a tiny bit smaller overall on my back and the bigger size of the 467i actually makes it a bit more comfortable for me. The size of the top compartment was an important consideration for me too. Here are some pictures to give you a better idea of the top compartment (click on them for bigger sizes):

Kata 466i
Kata 467i
As you can see, the upper compartment of the 467i is significantly larger than the 466i. Overall, I feel like the 467i is a much better designed bag with more optimal use of space.

Buy the Kata 467i and 466i here and here.


cspice said...

That was a cool video, keep them coming!

While I find it very interesting, I am doubtful that this type of bag is optimal. A general purpose backpack plus a padded carrying case for the camera is much more versatile and offers roughly equivalent protection. And the camera is not as fragile as it may seem. My friend dropped it many times with no perceptible damage. I just pack my camera in its carrying case at the top of my normal backpack. Let me know what you think about this system.

mspice said...

This provides easy access to the camera AND a few lenses plus accessories in a dedicated and protected spot. It also has a clear isolation of the camera stuff, laptop, and additional items which helps for organizational purposes. This bag also includes a rain cover.

I would never carry just a small shoulder case as I find it awkward and uncomfortable. Most importantly, I always want to carry multiple lenses which would make the camera case pretty big. Putting a shoulder case in a normal bag would make access to the camera much more difficult, and I would not want to carry just the shoulder bag.

A system of multiple, but partially redundant bags would be best, but is not possible for someone wanting to travel light. Your system of multiple, non-redundant bags would not be optimal for me for the reasons I state above.

Anonymous said...

Thank you... thank you.. t h a n k youuu!!! this makes perfect sense... both 466i and 467i side-by-side together. I need it mostly for day to day use and with removeable 466i camera compartment, i would opt for that.

Mike B said...

Cheers for the comparison. I spent some time choosing between these two models - primarily for use on short weekenders and day trips. In the end for me it was more important to be discrete. Although I would have used the space, I felt the extra bulk at the top of the DR-467i just looked too "camera bag" (an issue where I travel). The DR-466i seems a little more discrete to me. Particularly once I'd de-badged it! ;-)

Cheers again for the side by side though.