Accessory Review: Kata Digital Rucksack 467-DL
Kata Digital Rucksack 467-DL
$119 / £109 www.kata-bags.us
The Kata Digital Rucksack 467-DL is the flagship model in the company's new D-Lite backpack range, which is geared towards the 'on-the-go amateur' photographer. While not as technically advanced as Kata's Revolver-8 backpack (which we recently reviewed) or other high-end pro bags, the beginner-friendly 467-DL manages to pack in plenty of features for a sub-$100 photo bag. If you're in the market for a highly versatile everyday pack that won't break the bank, read on.
Although the Kata 467-DL is the largest bag in the D-Lite range, it's not enormous. External dimensions are 10.6 x 18.9 x 13.8" (26.9 x 48.0 x 35.1 cm), and Kata has made use of every square inch. The most notable feature of the 467-DL is the bottom compartment that zips open and tilts forward to reveal a segmented insert for holding flashes, battery chargers, power cables and other accessories. The best part about this compartment in my opinion is that the segmented insert can be removed, allowing the 467-DL to be used as a casual day pack for those times when you're not carrying a full DSLR kit.
Out shooting, I filled the bottom compartment with a Canon Speedlite 580EX II flash, a charger for my Apple MacBook Pro laptop and DSLR, plus a Phottix Odin receiver and transmitter, and there was still room for the 467-DL's included rain cover. Although I used the compartment primarily for accessories, the Kata 467-DL also accommodated my Canon EOS 5D Mark III with attached 24-105mm lens after removing a few items and Velcro strapping walls. Kata has also fortified the inside of the 467-DL's segmented insert with their proprietary perforated Aeriform Foam, which offers some extra protection.
|The bottom compartment of the 467-DL tilts outward to provide quick access to your equipment.||The top compartment hosts up to a 17" laptop and provides substantial storage space for other items.|
Though Kata recommends keeping a camera with attached lens in the bottom compartment, I found a full-frame DSLR like my EOS 5D Mark III with standard zoom lens to be a bit of a tight fit. An EOS-1D X or Nikon D4? Not a chance, unless some of the strapping walls are removed and the lens is detached. Kata rates the bottom compartment for holding up to 3-4 standard lenses, but larger telephoto glass would be pushing the luck unless all of the Velcro strapping was removed.
The more traditional backpack element lives above the bottom compartment. This is a fairly large open compartment for personals like clothing items, lunch bags and other gear. However, I ended up stashing my Mark III in the top compartment and used the segmented bottom compartment as the accessory bin. The top compartment also grants access to the foam-fortified laptop sleeve. The foam sleeve covered the entirety of my 17-inch MacBook Pro and and a rugged Velcro strap at the top kept it securely in place.
|The shoulder straps include d-rings for an optional camera strap, in addition to providing a sternum strap for additional support.||The exterior of the Kata 467-DL is made of a high-quality polyurethane material.|
The Kata 467-DL features four zip pouches along the outside of the bag. The top two pouches are twice the size of their bottom pouch neighbors. I found these pouches perfect for things like lens filters, phones, keys and other small items. Although the top two pouches are larger, my iPad Mini is still too big to fit (although something like a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which isn't as wide, would probably slot in just fine). Regardless, I was surprised to see so much additional storage created by a collection of external zip pouches.
For even more storage, the Kata 467-DL has two external pockets on either side. These pockets are ideal for water bottles, umbrellas and the like, and they even feature an eyelet at the bottom for channeling out water in case of rain. One side of the 467-DL supports a tripod strap to be used in conjunction with the external pocket. However, I found that only super compact tripods or monopods fit this setup. Larger, professional tripods will have to be transported by other means.
|The 467-DL shown here with the optional Kata camera strap.||The included rain shield, fully deployed.|
The overall stitching, zipper integration and construction of the Kata 467-Dl is stellar, like many Kata bags I've seen in the past. The back foam is exceptionally plush and the shoulder straps anatomically conformed to my body. The straps even feature a pair of metal d-rings for attaching the optional Kata Camera Strap PL, as well as a sternum strap for added support and stability. A few last items worth mentioning are the 467-DL's rugged top grab handle and compatibility with the company's Insertrolley system, which could make the difference if you do a lot of travelling.
Many people will look at the Kata Digital Rucksack 467-DL and see yet another black backpack, but what they won't know is that the bag has a segmented bottom compartment filled with camera accessories and lenses. Also hidden from prying eyes could be a 17in laptop computer, and as many additional accessories as you can slip into in the external zip pouches. As someone who uses a motorcycle as their primary mode of transportation, I found the Kata 467-DL to be the ideal photo backpack for everyday shoots. The space management is superb, making the 467-DL a great bag, and at an attractive price, too.
What we like: Excellent space management via segmented bottom compartment, ample space in top compartment, comfortably hosts a 17-inch laptop, comfortable, high-quality construction, good value, five-year warranty.
What we don't like: Does not support a professional size tripod, 'full size' professional DSLRs won't fit comfortably with a lens attached, and a mini phone pocket sewn into one of the shoulder straps would be nice.
Mike Perlman is a freelance photographer and writer, based in Bar Harbor, Maine. After a spell reviewing camcorders at Camcorderinfo.com, Mike moved to infoSync World as the Senior Photography Editor, before taking up a role at TechnoBuffalo.com as the head of the Photography department. These days, Mike runs his own photography business and contributes to dpreview between shoots.