The R-106 is a dual-purpose bag, in as much as it has been designed with both still and video photographers in mind. Its main compartment is big enough to hold a professional video camera such as a Sony Z1, and is also big enough for a DSLR with the 600mm f/4 lens I mentioned previously. It easily has enough space for two DSLR bodies, several large lenses, flash, grip and other accessories. The internal dimensions are 34 x 20 x 52cm, but as well as this it has two very large detachable side pockets, and also five smaller pockets, two outside and three on the inside.
Like most Kata bags, the design of the R-106 is clever and practical. The main compartment is fairly straightforward; a large area with a range of detachable dividers which are attached with Velcro and can be re-arranged to suit your equipment. They include two full-length dividers that are thicker and stiffer, to make a central tunnel for those long lenses. As well as the dividers, the main compartment also contains a movable rigid hoop to provide additional crush protection. The interior is lined with a soft bright yellow fabric so that it’s easier to locate small objects deep in the corners, and it has anti-static properties, useful when using delicate electronics.
As well as the main compartment the R-106 has a large and thickly padded compartment for a laptop computer, situated between the main part of the bag and the wearer’s back. It is easily large enough to hold even a big wide-screen computer, and has moveable dividers so that smaller machines don’t slide about inside.
The main part of the bag is thickly padded throughout, and the most vulnerable areas have additional protection from a semi-rigid ribbed structure the Kata calls Thermo Shield Technology (TST). This covers most of the main flap, as well as an area on the back of the rucksack, against the wearer’s back. The main flap unzips most of the way round for full access to the interior, but also has a secondary zipped flap for quick access to the central tunnel, where the main camera and lens would usually sit. All the zips are very heavy duty, and are rather stiff when the bag is new, although I dare say they’ll become easier to use over time.