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Hands-On With The Incase DSLR Pro Pack
Finding the right camera bag(s) is such a personal thing, and for most photographers, one bag is not enough. I recently shared a commiserating laugh about this with David Schloss, Editor of our sister publications Digital Photo and Digital Photo Pro, as we lamented the challenges of storing our numerous camera bags. I personally have no less than seven camera bags, and it looks like I’m about to add an eighth.
The thing is, each one of these bags serves a different purpose. One is for day trips with a DSLR and a single lens or two at the most and minimal accessories. Another is for a smaller mirrorless camera and a few accessories. Yet another can hold most of my DSLR system and is especially well-sealed for inclement weather. Others are good for a combination of cameras, lenses and mobile computing gear. I have slings, messenger-style bags and backpacks.
Despite this assortment of styles and sizes, the DSLR Pro Pack from Incase is a bag I’ve been missing. It’s the first bag I’ve personally used that can fit my entire DSLR system, plus my laptop, tablet and other non-photo accessories. It can’t fit every piece of photographic gear I own, but it gets close, and what I can fit makes a pretty complete solution. Between the camera bodies and lenses here, I can cover a 35mm-equivalent focal range of 24mm to 600mm, and could even go wider and longer if I switched out my fast standard primes for a wide prime and a teleconverter. This is a roomy, highly-customizable bag.
The top pocket on the front of the case has room for smaller personal items.
On the front of the pack are two zippered pockets. The smaller at top has room for items like a wallet, keys, headphones—smaller stuff to which you might want quick access.
Below that is a larger compartment primarily for storing you mobile computing devices. There’s room here for a laptop up to 15-inches, plus a full size tablet, a smaller tablet, a smartphone, 3 pens, and ample space for all the requisite chargers. There’s even enough room in the bottom of this pocket for a lightweight packable jacket, too.
The main front pocket has room for all of your mobile computing devices.
The final feature on the front of the pack is an open pocket that’s big enough for a scarf and a pair of gloves, or other items of similar volume.
On the left side of the pack as you face it are straps to secure your tripod. On the right is a small zippered pocket and an open pocket that compete for space, so using these if your pack is otherwise near capacity is probably an either/or proposition, depending on what you’re trying to stow. An ideal use for the open pocket might be for your lens cap when you’re shooting.
Here’s the pack with the main compartment open.
The pack is rear-loading, so you have to take it off to access the main compartment, but that gives you an extra measure of protection. On the inside of the cover flap (at left in the shot above) are three storage areas—a top padded pocket with a velcro flap and two mesh pockets below that with zippered enclosures. These are perfect for small or flat items like cords, lens caps and cleaning tools, extra batteries, memory cards and optical filters. I keep my optical filters in their cases in the top padded pocket and less fragile items like cords and batteries in the zippered mesh pockets.
The roomy main compartment is highly customizable. Here I’ve got my Nikon D750 with the AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR (and lens hood!) attached, an AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G to the right of that and an SB-500 AF Speedlight to the left. Below the D750 is my D300S body with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G below it, the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR to the right, and chargers for both cameras, plus a Giottos Rocket Air Blaster at bottom left.
So that’s two Nikon DSLR bodies, a largish tele zoom, a wide-to-tele zoom and two primes, plus a flash, chargers and accessories. It’s pretty much everything I need to handle most outdoor photo opportunities.
Overall, this is one of my favorite bags I’ve used. It’s not the pack to choose if you’re likely to spend considerable time in wet and stormy conditions, but for mild-weather photo adventures, it’s comfortable to wear and has room for a full complement of gear. List price is $149.95. Contact: Incase, www.incase.com.