In a sea of predominantly black camera bags, Manfrotto’s Street Backpack stands out. Its styling is sure to turn heads as well as divide opinion – the patchwork denim and orange trim on the exterior, alongside the camouflaged interior won’t be for everyone, but will suit those looking for a colourful bag.
The Street isn’t just about chic looks, it holds its own on the functionality front too. Many camera bags provide little or no room for personal accessories, but the upper halfof the Street is dedicated to this.
Zip open the bottom half and you’ll find the camera compartment. A padded insert is secured to the interior with two strips of Velcro and can be removed entirely, turning the Street into an everyday rucksack. To do this, you just unzip the middle dividing panel. However, access is a little hindered, so this can be a little bit fiddly to do.
The padded camera insert comes with two large dividers and three smaller ones, so you can customise the layout to best suit your gear. DSLR users will be able to pack a camera body with lens attached, plus two additional zoom lenses, or one lens and a flashgun. Alternatively, you could load up a CSC and up to four additional lenses, or swap one of these out for a diminutive CSC flashgun.
There are two zip pockets on the front of the bag and one more on each side for storing your belongings, but we’d have liked to see a zip-fastened pocket adjacent to the camera insert to store memory cards and camera accessories. The lack of one means it’s a good idea to have an SD card wallet to keep your memory cards safe and easy to find.
One of the side pockets sits below a tripod attachment belt. You can put two tripod feet in this pocket to stop the tripod swinging as you walk. But this means the pocket is likely to become grubby and will need cleaning if you decide to store accessories in it instead.
There’s an old-school double D-ring to fasten the sternum strap, though the rings clang against each other if you leave it undone. Padding is good, so the pack is comfortable to wear, and the laptop compartment will swallow a 15in laptop. It’s not fully waterproof, but after dousing the bag with water, we had no qualms with Manfrotto’s claims of water resistance.
The colourful Street Backpack from Manfrotto is a breath of fresh air and is a great everyday photographic backpack. But at £99, you do pay for its unique, stylish charm.
- Street price: £99
- Number of lenses: Up to 3
- Tripod connection: Yes
- Personal storage: Yes
- Weight: 1.1kg
- External dimensions (HxLxW): 45x27.5x10cm
- Visit: www.manfrotto.co.uk
This review was first published in the March 2016 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.