Review of the Kata R-103 Backpack

Manufacturer: Kata
Model: R-103 Backpack
Price: £130

As part of Kata’s top-end DPS range, the R-103 is a low-profile carrier that is, despite appearances, deep enough to hold a body with something like a 300mm lens attached, plus a spare body and four or five lenses as well as accessories within its main section.

In addition to the main zip opening around the outer rim of the bag, it also boasts an inner zipped ‘cat-flap’ made from a lightweight hard-shell material that provides quick access to the main camera without disturbing the rest of the bag.

The only other storage pockets are two small ones on the outer of the bag. A laptop compartment sits behind the main section, accessed via a side zip, and the bag also sports a retractable rain cover.

The shallowness of the bag, combined with the neoprene webbing and well-padded shoulder straps that spread the weight across your back, make this a very comfortable bag to carry, even when fully laden.

If you like to keep the camera around your neck while you’re walking about, you can even attach it to the built-in camera strap lugs, further saving your neck from strain, while ringlets on the top of the backpack enable the attachment of a tripod holster (also included).

You have to hand it to Kata – they’ve put a
lot of thought into this bag, and it has paid off. It’s
very well made, can carry a lot of kit in comfort, and protect it well.
What lets the bag down is the lack of pockets and compartments for
general bits and bobs. Other than that, the R-103 is very impressive.

Protective, comfortable, roomy, quick access flap, lots of other small touches

Lack of pockets for all the extra bits you might want to carry

What Digital Camera Score: 88%