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.

Summing Up

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.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 48
zakk9
By zakk9 (Dec 31, 2012)

I've used Kata 467i bags for years, and it's my ideal 2-3 day backpack, particularly when using m4/3 gear. The laptop pocket rooms at least 3 ironed shirts in addition to a MacBook Air 13" and the camera compartment can take more lenses than I would ever use during a normal weekend. The only real disadvantages are the lack of proper support for a good tripod (but I mostly use a Gorilla Pod for m4/3 anyway) and a somewhat mediocre carry system with no airflow.

1 upvote
wakaba
By wakaba (Dec 31, 2012)

Phew, garrish colors.
Nowadays I just bring a lenstube with strap for the 180mm and a plastic bag for rainy days. 20grams of free inconspicous protection for gear in "problematic" aeras.

http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/736109_264548480340828_2115910126_o.jpg

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Dec 29, 2012)

I use an earlier version... the Kata 467-DR and Kata bags cannot be beat for quality, construction, or value.

You'd have to spend more than twice as much to get a better bag.

0 upvotes
Philscbx
By Philscbx (Dec 29, 2012)

I LOve My hard body Kata very much -
If I was doing review -
it would be real time video of it being accessed -
near water hazards -
sharp very hard rocks 3 feet below -
to show no worries with this type of bottom feeder.

To implement options to carry Tripod -
is not that difficult for this caliber of person.

My ThinkTank Roller - http://tinyurl.com/bow44cc -
onboard aircraft - it's all of 34lbs.

0 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Dec 29, 2012)

Well, a fascinating comment. I think. In fact it sets the bar very high for last-minute entries in this year's "most incomprehensible post" competition.
For myself, I particularly appreciate that Kata includes a ghetto-blaster compartment, something that all my other backpacks lack. Round my 'hood that's always been a big gripe.

0 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (Dec 28, 2012)

Does everyone here bring that much camera stuff with them to places you would bring a backpack? It's like women who carry giant purses and you ask, "do you really need all that stuff?"

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Mike Sandman
By Mike Sandman (Dec 28, 2012)

"Do you really need all that stuff?" Yes, sometimes, and so do "women who carry giant purses." A laptop & power supply are needed on a business trip. (An iPad doesn't quite do it yet.) Add a phone charger, and a plug adapter for overseas. Add a DSLR and a couple of lenses; maybe a monopod & cable release for night shots. You have a moderately heavy load that is easier to haul in a purpose-built backpack that squeezes under an airplane seat. It's overkill for a stroll around the block or when you're happy with a camera and a single lens. But it's pretty useful for any sort of real travel when you anticipate using a wider range of gear.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Dec 28, 2012)

What's the diff between "on-the-go-amateur" and "on-the-go-pro"?
Somehow I can't imagine it has any connection with the kind of photography one does, even less with equipment choice and packing.
To my mind, only distinguishing elements between these two is where the bread is coming from.

1 upvote
australopithecus
By australopithecus (Dec 28, 2012)

One small comment. I've toted daypacks about (hiking/cycling) for decades and I get the impression that the camera-gear bag manufacturers pay too little attention to the straps, hip-belts and especially the airflow between one's back and the bag. They could all learn from Deuter who make world-class day-packs. Deuter's "Air-Flow" system is ideal.

5 upvotes
TimK5
By TimK5 (Dec 28, 2012)

+1000 !!!

That's the reason I don't use and own a dedicated photo backpack. I'm using a regular (Deuter) backpack, because of great straps, back support and airflow, although it is somewhat cumbersume to access the gear out in the field.

... and that Kata rucksack looks like another failure!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
F5_Alex
By F5_Alex (Dec 28, 2012)

Don't know about this one but I use Kata MultiPro-120 daily. I have 2 LowePro backpacks in different sizes but when it comes to straps Kata beats them hands down.

1 upvote
JamesVo
By JamesVo (Dec 31, 2012)

I'm also a Deuter fan. Every single photo backpack I have ever seen is not really useable in steep terrain and not properly ergonomically arranged. they tend to be too wide, too short and concentrate most of the weight in a bulge at the bottom - this forces one to counterbalance the pack by leaning forward while walking and this increase pressure on the shoulder straps. Fine for travel but not for outdoors use in the wilderness. Hoping one day that someone will provide a typical tall narrow climbing pack with some padding inserts sufficient for a DSLR and two lenses (lets say a standard and an ultra wide zoom). The rest of the pack needs space for outer layer clothing, food and water. It needs to have a formed waist belt that can actually carry some weight, not just provide stabilisation.

1 upvote
mirkoc
By mirkoc (Dec 28, 2012)

I have the earlier version of this backpack, the 467i. There was one in the shop left and I preferred it to the current (reviewed) version. It isn't designed to carry heavy loads so no need for a beefy waist belt. Very versatile, the laptop compartment is also great for various papers, documents, not too thick books, or even a lighter jacket. I carry it every day to work and I am very satisfied.

0 upvotes
mauijohn
By mauijohn (Dec 28, 2012)

If its have waist belt to transfer heavy loads from shoulder to the waist the better.

0 upvotes
backayonder
By backayonder (Dec 28, 2012)

I own three Kata Bags, you can't beat them.

1 upvote
Philscbx
By Philscbx (Dec 29, 2012)

I love my hard body case -
Kata OC-82 GDC. Heavily Loaded.
If it fell at 50 knots - No Worries.

I've tried & usually don't care for unbalanced loaded bottom feeders that require two hands to control to secure.

If the bottom portion was hard body - balanced self closing - I'd be all over it.

0 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Dec 29, 2012)

"unbalanced loaded bottom feeders"
Well, you said it!

0 upvotes
Mike Sandman
By Mike Sandman (Dec 28, 2012)

For all of you who laughed at seeing the OM-D in the photo at the beginning of the article:

I have the slightly smaller version of this bag, the D466, and it holds my Canon 5D Mark II with 24-105 lens attached in the bottom compartment along with at least one and sometimes two other short-barrel lenses. It's a tight fit and it's heavy, but it works. It also holds a 15" laptop, a quart-size Ziplock bag with assorted cables, and the computer's power supply. Sometimes I can even squeeze in an apple (the edible kind). It's my go-to backpack for long business trips when I will have a day off or a weekend to explore a new place. The chest strap is very helpful in keeping it on and comfortably in place. It's been around the world at least five times (all the way around...) and it still looks like new. One can sneer at the concept and at OM-D in the photo, but people who own these bags have the last laugh.

1 upvote
Chekr
By Chekr (Dec 28, 2012)

I don't think that is an OM-D, it is an earlier OM film camera. The 'mock-prism' on the OM-D is rounded off whereas the prism on the camera in that picture has sharp edges. See here for side by side comparison http://wind2008.cocolog-nifty.com/photos/uncategorized/2012/04/06/om1omd.jpg

Digital rucksack my foot :P

2 upvotes
Mike Sandman
By Mike Sandman (Dec 28, 2012)

You may be right - and I should have recognized it, because I owned am OM-1 myself. But with all due respect, you miss my point. "Digital" branding silliness aside, this backpack is a great design if you want a fairly small package to carry a DSLR, a laptop, and a couple of lenses, and still have room for a snack.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Chekr
By Chekr (Dec 28, 2012)

I agree with that point, I am still looking for the perfect day bag...and this would be the best I have seen in theory (I would have to see the bag before buying it)

On an average day I would take my camera body (OM-D), two lenses (prime+zoom), various filters, 14" laptop & charger, my kindle and other bits and pieces.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Dec 28, 2012)

People lug way more gear around with them than I ever would. Why would anyone carry a full-size laptop with them all day, in addition to all those lenses?

The OM-1/2 with the 50mm shown in the top photo shows how it should be done. That's the kind of camera you should be carrying when travelling!

1 upvote
DeanAllan
By DeanAllan (Dec 28, 2012)

Actually I do. My day job requires me to bring a laptop. When I have a shooting gig at night, my camera's all neatly packed. Plus I cycle, the bag is right up my alley. I use 3 similar type of bags.
A Thinktank shapeshifter, when I have a gig. A Kata Sensitivity V for the weekend(small but I love it) and a Timbuk2 backpack with camera-inserts for my daily commute bag.
I would love a small bag and just carry a camera with a 50mm around but I realise I love my hands free even more. I tend to dump in rolls of film inside as well as whatever I find/buy on the way.

0 upvotes
Mike Perlman
By Mike Perlman (Dec 28, 2012)

Yeah, that's my OM-N1. I fit my 5D Mark III in the bag regularly and the bag carries everything I need for most shoots, save a pro tripod.

0 upvotes
Henry Falkner
By Henry Falkner (Dec 27, 2012)

Your camera reviews are few and far between. You can't afford to allow yourselves to be distracted with baggage.

0 upvotes
S Severs
By S Severs (Dec 28, 2012)

The author is a freelancer and not one of the regular staff writers of dpreview, thus their regular camera reviewers are not being taken away from their duties. I welcome reviews on accessories. Thank goodness dpreview is selective on the cameras they review, rather than review many cameras that are not deserving of attention.

3 upvotes
DeanAllan
By DeanAllan (Dec 28, 2012)

@Henry
hahaha, caught it on my second read. Nice.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
KitHB
By KitHB (Dec 27, 2012)

Digital rucksack?

Now I understand, I've been doing it wrong for all these years using an analogue one.

And that looks like an OM1 there (maybe an OM2). Is there also room in that digital rucksack for a portable E6 lab and a scanner, along with a few rolls of film?

Hope you don't wear your camera rucksack whilst riding a bike, if you get spat off you can expect serious harm from your 5D Mark III continuing it's journey through your liver, kidneys, spleen etc...

Have a Happy New Year and enjoy driving safely.

3 upvotes
Bill Bentley
By Bill Bentley (Dec 27, 2012)

In case anyone is interested, there's a $15 rebate going on for this bag right now until the end of January. That reduces the price to $75. Not bad.

0 upvotes
malabraxis
By malabraxis (Dec 27, 2012)

-'full size' professional DSLRs won't fit comfortably with a lens attached-
oops.. that does not bode too well. Never understood why most backpacks lack proper interior design. The pouch at the bottom holding the lenses, flash and DSLR looks like its ready to fall out when opened!
If you really going outdoors and need to connect, why carry a laptop? Surely a tablet makes more sense, so why sew one one. And as any outdoor photographer knows, a proper, decent tripod is a must, but this model cannot carry one?
On the plus side, love the colours; makes it easier to find afterwards when lions chased you round the bush!

2 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Dec 27, 2012)

take a look at the bumble bee if you looking for a bag to carry a full sized dslr with a 70-200 and a tripod holder.

0 upvotes
malabraxis
By malabraxis (Dec 27, 2012)

I've got the PL-B-220 model, and I'm very happy with it. So happy I even got the smaller 111 UL as well. The 467 DL just does'nt do it for me. But thats just me.
I was'nt funny about the colours: coming from South Africa, it's not the first time I had to drop everything and run for it! They really DO work!!

0 upvotes
Marc111
By Marc111 (Dec 27, 2012)

Take a look at Think Tank Photo models if you look for something more professional.

0 upvotes
acidic
By acidic (Dec 27, 2012)

1. First sentence in the article: "...geared towards the 'on-the-go amateur' photographer" so no it won't fit a pro dslr.

2. Nowhere does this say that this is specifically for "going outdoors" to connect.

3. Tablets are useful, in fact I don't bother taking my laptop all the time on trips anymore. But some still work on the road or in the air: selecting, captioning, editing, post-processing, etc. Not to mention storage and backing up.

4. Tripods are NOT a must. Sure they're a very useful tool, but continually imrpoving high ISO IQ and fast lenses reduce the need to always have one. This bag is not specific for "outdoor photographers."

5. Have a happy new year.

2 upvotes
malabraxis
By malabraxis (Dec 27, 2012)

I stand corrected. Failed to read the "on-the-go for-amateur" part. Must have read the article a bit too fast!

0 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Dec 27, 2012)

There is only one thing worse than carrying a lot of garbage and that is carrying a backpack full of garbage. At least when there is no backpack, one remains more rational and takes only what is essential.

Besides, what is that camera I see in the top photo? A featherweight Olympus with its two tonne entourage? Haha.

That optional Kata strap looks like a death trap. Sorry, I am nearly finished....

It is inelegant and looks too much like a double cheese burger held by a toddler.

6 upvotes
Mike Perlman
By Mike Perlman (Dec 27, 2012)

That's my Olympus OM-1N :)

1 upvote
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Dec 28, 2012)

".. and looks too much like a double cheese burger held by a toddler."

Congratulations. You win this comment thread.

2 upvotes
tarnumf
By tarnumf (Dec 28, 2012)

"There is only one thing worse than carrying a lot of garbage and that is carrying a backpack full of garbage."
- It's clearly stated 'on-the-go amateur'. What else would you expect? :))

0 upvotes
win39
By win39 (Dec 27, 2012)

It seems to me that many of these pack bags sort of miss the point. I suppose there is a certain amount of esthetic pleasure to be had for all your stuff in one container, but few of their designers really think about what it is like to use them doing travel photography or on a trail for scenics or animals. One needs space to stow a jacket, cap, water, maybe a lunch, sun screen or insect repellent that will be positioned and hardened against spillage that will leak on camera or computer. If you do not need those things then you probably are not going to be out long enough to need a backpack other than as a storage device in the trunk of the car.

3 upvotes
Dazed and Confused
By Dazed and Confused (Dec 27, 2012)

The article says "This is a fairly large open compartment for personals like clothing items, lunch bags and other gear." Isn't that perfect for "a jacket, cap, water, maybe a lunch, sun screen or insect repellent"?

I have the previous version of the bag, and I can easily fit all that, a D700, 3 lenses, a laptop, book, magazines, chargers, cables, batteries , cards, pens, gps, etc. I doubt this bag will have less capacity!

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Dec 27, 2012)

I am confident that this backpack will be very well made, but I have in general not the best experience with small backpacks for heavy-ish gear - something like 10 - 15 kg - that have no waist belt, because all the weight hangs on shoulders. On top of that - the backpack is short for an average sized adult torso it pushes on your back just above the waist (the small of the back) - unpleasant after longer time.

just a thought ...

2 upvotes
babart
By babart (Dec 27, 2012)

I noticed that, too slncezgsi. A serious mistake, in my humble. The response immediately above yours also reads well to me. I've been looking for a backpack that is ALSO able to store camera equipment, not the other way around.

1 upvote
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Dec 27, 2012)

Got to have a waist belt, and not some little skinny thing, either.

1 upvote
ngollan
By ngollan (Dec 28, 2012)

@babart, I've been looking for a daypack that also takes a camera for quite some time, and the "best" thing that came up at the time was a Naneu K4L. On the upside, it can carry a relevant amount of non-camera equipment (like a drinking bottle in addition to the usual apple). It is however quite ridiculously clunky, so handling it will take some time, and if you have a somewhat slender figure like me, it feels like wearing a house.

It also wastes space on a laptop compartment, which is the other major evil in camera bag design. If you want to lug around a 17" laptop, you take the car.

0 upvotes
Erick L
By Erick L (Dec 28, 2012)

I find waist belt useless on small bags precisely because the belt is too high.

1 upvote
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Dec 27, 2012)

The kata bumble bee is by far my favorite camera bag. I use it for hiking. i have just enough room to mount my kershaw outkast on it.

1 upvote
BrahmM
By BrahmM (Dec 28, 2012)

I love my Bumblebee 220 PL, great for hiking.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 48