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Kata 3N1-30 Camera Rucksack review




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Kata 3N1-30 Camera Rucksack
  • Kata 3N1-30 Camera Rucksack
  • Kata 3N1-30 Camera Rucksack
  • Kata 3N1-30 Camera Rucksack
  • Kata 3N1-30 Camera Rucksack
  • Kata 3N1-30 Camera Rucksack
  • Kata 3N1-30 Camera Rucksack
  • Kata 3N1-30 Camera Rucksack
  • Kata 3N1-30 Camera Rucksack
  • Kata 3N1-30 Camera Rucksack
  • 3N1-30 Large Sling Backpack


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Since none of the cameras I've ordered for this week have arrived due to the icy conditions, and I'm currently nursing a badly sprained knee for much the same reason, I've got a couple of camera accessory reviews for you this week. For today I've got a great new camera rucksack from Kata, just in case any of you are foolish enough to risk going outdoors with a camera in this weather.

The Kata 3N1-30 (three-in-one, geddit?) is a cleverly designed camera bag that combines the comfort and load-carrying capacity of a rucksack with the convenience of a shoulder bag. It has a number of ingenious features that enable it to switch between the two roles quickly and easily. It's not a cheap bag, currently selling for around £100, but its versatile design means that you won't ever need to buy another.

Like all Kata bags the 3N1-30 is extremely well made. The outer shell is of heavy-duty showerproof black cordura nylon, while the inside is lined with a softer nylon that is coloured bright yellow, making it easier to find small accessories hidden away in the corners It is thickly padded with closed-cell foam, and has a a unique internal ribbed structure that make the bag surprisingly rigid, providing a good level of protection for your precious cameras equipment. It comes with a slip-over rain cover for additional protection against the elements.

The same attention to detail has been applied to the design. The plastic snap-clips and zips are all heavy duty and securely double-stitched, and the well-padded internal dividers can be rearranged in several different configurations to accommodate a wide range of equipment. The main compartment measures 29.5 x 16 x 30cm (11.6 x 6.3 x 11.8 inches), plenty of room for a full-frame DSLR with a battery pack and telephoto lens, plus half a dozen extra lenses or other accessories. There is a separate detachable wallet for memory cards.

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  1. Kata 3n1-30 Camera Backpack

    $120.00 View Item

iain coghill

January 12, 2010, 5:47 am

"My only real criticism of the design of the 3N1-30 is that like many current camera rucksacks it has no straps to carry a tripod."

Perfect to useless in one sentence :(

Sean Groarke

January 12, 2010, 11:40 am

"Since none of the cameras I've ordered for this week have arrived..."

Yeah, like me too, like absolutely NONE of my new cameras have turned up this week either. Don't know WHAT I'll do with myself.



January 12, 2010, 2:30 pm

@Cliff - Any news on when the monthly Photo comp will return?

Peter Aston

January 12, 2010, 2:58 pm

My 3N1-20 (same bag but smaller) came with 2 removable tripod holders - maybe I got the one from your review sample?!


January 12, 2010, 3:48 pm

"If only it had some sort of fastening for a tripod it would be pretty much perfect."

Kata is offering an attachable tripod mount, which you can buy as accessory.

Kata also presented a successor, the 3n1-33 (and 3n1-11/22 for the smaller versions) which has an extra laptop compartment, where a 15" laptop fits in.

I think that the new models are replacing the old ones, but I'm not sure about that.


January 12, 2010, 5:15 pm

Ahh.. nothing says beat me up and rob me quite like a camera rucksack..

Dark of Day

January 12, 2010, 6:32 pm

I've been using a small kata bag for several years now (the ergo-tech Prism-U), it's holding up pretty well after a fair bit of abuse and I love the design, build quality and details. Very tempted by this bag or similar from the kata range, to replace the lowepro compurover I kind of regret buying. (nothing really wrong with it just doesnt work for me) ironically one of the reasons I did buy it was for the tripod holder.

BTW: does/has anyone actually had much of a problem with being "beaten up and robbed" because they had a camera bag on them? i appreciate your chances of being robbed are higher if you're traveling to certain parts of the world, but really wandering about in Britian were every other person seems to have a bag full of laptops and ipods shouldn't be that much of a problem.


January 13, 2010, 12:37 am

@ Dark of Day - I went through a (possibly stupid) phase of photographing East London at night, and never got a second look from the hooded and baseball capped "crew" when I walked around with my well used messenger style Domke shoulder bag. It was a whole different matter when I turned up with a big Lowepro swing bag to photograph the Balfron Tower (the prototype of the Trellick), being eye balled by people on the DLR, bus and while on the street. I ended up being followed around by a gang, who only left me alone when I showed them "the worthless old film camera" inside the bag, which happened to be a Hasselblad 501C/M!

These laptop and camera backpacks look very different to the ordinary sports rucksack, and thieves can tell them apart straight away, even more so after they look in a camera shop to see what the "in" brands are. It doesn't matter what the bag contains, just by identifying them they will be able to determine that it'll probably be worth snatching and finding out later. Crumpler bags are not recommend in London for this very reason, as they are very distinctive and colourful, so can be noticed from a distance and almost always guarantee to contain a win win cargo of either a Macbook or DSLR.

Am I being a paranoid cynic, well perhaps that's what living in Leytonstone and Slough does to someone!

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