Incase does not come to mind when one thinks of a camera bag. The company’s been around for quite a few years designing some really cool protective products for iDevices as well as portable computer bags and sleeves…but cameras? It turns out that they’ve been making camera bags for almost 2 years now. Is the company up to the challenge? Let’s find out by having a look at the Incase DSLR Pro Pack—a backpack that can not only fit your photo gear but also accommodate a 15-inch laptop.
First things first, the bag looks really good. The company has a reputation for manufacturing elegant iPhone cases, and they applied their savoir-faire to this bag as well. It owes its sleek appearance, in part, to the woven fabric that is used and the no “bells and whistles” approach. In fact it doesn’t look like a camera bag at all. Unless there’s a tripod attached to it through the side straps, the photographer will be incognito in the crowd.
The DSLR Pro Pack can hold a lot gear. The photography compartment is accessible through the zippered back panel. It can easily fit a DSLR with many lenses and numerous accessories. The pack is well-suited for APS-size cameras as they’re a tad smaller than their full-frame siblings. It’s not to say that a full-frame won’t fit, but the compartment is just a bit over 4 inches deep. For this reason, many lenses will have to be placed on the side rather than standing up.
The back panel features many pockets—ideal for filters, a camera manual or other flat items. The outside of the panel is a breathable mesh, but it might be hot for the summer months. The photo compartment has a quick-access entry on top, so you don’t need to open the entire section if you just want to grab your camera. From the front access, you can fit a 15-inch laptop in a padded compartment. There is also room for a tablet and several sections to keep everything organized. The pack also has another zippered soft fleece pocket on top that can hold a compact camera.
A large and comfortable top handle, allows you to easily retrieve or carry the bag with one hand. This grab handle, however, is sewn directly on the opening of the quick-access compartment. This puts its zipper under a lot of tension if you carry a fully loaded (read: heavy) bag with the handle. It did not prove to be a problem for me, but time will tell.
The backpack straps are padded and adjustable. A sternum strap supports them, but the inclusion of a waist strap would have been a nice touch for more stability since the bag can be quite heavy when used to its full potential. The tripod attachments are solid and keep it from moving once adjusted. However, I would have appreciated buckles that were the clip-able type because it’s a bit awkward to slide the tripod under the straps.
The bag doesn’t have rain protection. Water droplets pearled on it, but you’ll need to buy an additional all-weather cover for heavy rains since you plan to carry some expensive electronic stuff in this.
All in all, the bag is both pleasant to use and able to fit a lot gear in a well-organized way. It is not a good match for adventure photographers as it would need more support and breathability, but it’s not targeted to them either. You’d be more likely to see it on the back of a trendy urbanite.
Incase bags are distributed in Canada by Take Five Trading.