REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
KataR-103 GDC Rucksack
 
4.4

(based on 21 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (17)
  • Comfortable (16)
  • Easily accessible equipment (12)
  • Adjustable harness (10)
  • Roomy (7)

Cons

  • Heavy (3)

Best Uses

  • Transporting gear (15)
  • Protecting gear (14)
  • Storing gear (8)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Enthusiast (7), Photo enthusiast (4), Semi-pro photographer (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Very good! Comfortable and tough.

I needed to lug some gear around Southwest China, mostly day trips into villages. Being a not-too-fit 58 year old dame, I found this sack fit well, and I was able to get...Read complete review

I needed to lug some gear around Southwest China, mostly day trips into villages. Being a not-too-fit 58 year old dame, I found this sack fit well, and I was able to get around in the roughened lanes and hill paths. I filled the pack with my Canon EOS 5D, Speedlite 580EX II, EF 16-35mm F/2.8L II USM and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lenses USM lenses, along with an Epson-P5000 and extra batteries, chargers, cords, etc.
It is rugged; I dragged it around, dropped it and thoroughly abused it, but never was any equipment even slightly disturbed. It fit under the airplane seat or overhead rack. I used the section meant for a computer to include some books and magazines for long flights.
Minor complaint: This sack has some weight of its own when empty. (But I suspect that this is necessary for the padding protection it offers.)

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

functional but not fabulous

The rucksack is great for limited items such as camera body, and a couple of lenses plus a laptop. However, if you are needing to bring extra peripherals and filters, the space is...Read complete review

The rucksack is great for limited items such as camera body, and a couple of lenses plus a laptop. However, if you are needing to bring extra peripherals and filters, the space is somewhat limited within the pack. It's a good size for a small female and that is one of its best features. I have coupled it with the KATA OC-84 Organizer/Lighting Case and they work great together and independently.

The only downfall (in my opinion) of this sack is the limited storage space and lack of "expandability" of the exterior pockets. Very tight!

Reviewed by 21 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Perfect for what I want

By Josiah Thiesen

from Fresno, CA

About Me Pro Photographer

Pros

  • Adjustable Harness
  • Comfortable
  • Easily Accessible Equipment
  • Roomy
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Protecting Gear
    • Storing Gear
    • Transporting Gear

    Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

    First of all, I find it funny some people have labeled this pack "bulky" in this review section. Any bag is a certain size for the gear you need to protect. Then get a smaller bag.

    Second, this bag reinstates my confidence in not only Kata quality, but design. Once my laptop, Canon 7d, lenses, and other video DSLR gear is stowed, I don't have to worry about it being damaged. All Kata bags tote plenty of padding, which adds to the bulk but well worth it.

    I spent 2 months on the road in 15 passenger vans, cars, planes and even buses. Small puddle jumper planes are always a pain for video gear and this slim bag fit perfectly at my feet (I am short so, this is not tooooo much of a discomfort) and when onboard space is always a gamble, I know my bag will at least be within my site at all time.

    And then today, I spent about 14 hours on trails filming for a pack station with this thing on my back, running up and down trails and then riding horses for 4 hours. It crazy dirty and dusty but my gear is still protected.

    Love the quick access to the camera and all the little eternal pockets are perfect for cleaner and cards.

    Well, after about six months, the bag is still perfect for what I purchased it for and I would highly recomend it.

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    3.0

    A war tank but...

    By Ruy Penalva

    from Bahia - Brazil

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Cumbersome
    • Heavy
    • Too Small

    Best Uses

    • Protecting Gear

    Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

    Rugged, weighty, to little space within it. To much useless acessories. The cons of this bag is the small space to keep lens, camera etc. It cause to much heat on ones back due to the material it is made.

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Amazing Backpack!

    By Ben the Artist

    from Atlanta, GA

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Adjustable dividers
    • Adjustable Harness
    • Comfortable
    • Easily Accessible Equipment
    • Heavy duty zippers
    • Rain Cover
    • Roomy
    • Secure
    • Strong Construction
    • Tripod holder

    Cons

    • Heavy
    • Thin laptop pocket

    Best Uses

    • Protecting Gear
    • Transporting Gear

    Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

    I am a semi-professional photographer and have used this to transport all of my gear to and from shooting locations. The amount of gear that can fit in this bag is truly staggering! I can comfortably carry all of the lenses, flashes, and extra things I need while comfortably carrying my camera and my computer as well. It eliminated the need for a separate computer case! The comfort and build quality that KATA engineered into this bag is truly amazing. Plus, it comes with a few extra freebies, like a very comfortable KATA neck strap. The modular dividers make this bag incredibly customizable to individual equipment needs. I have never felt that my camera or lenses were in any danger in this bag because it is very well padded. The yellow lining also makes a bold statement, and looks awesome in my opinion. There is a very nice storage compartment in the smaller panel on the front that opens that is waterproofed to the best o my knowledge and I find useful for holding my card reader and my owners manuals (I'm one of those guys that carries them). The tripod attachment system is great as well!
    It's a little heavy, but for the quality of this bag, I don't mind it at all. If you have an old computer or a thick computer, check to make sure that it will fit. KATA says that it fits up to a 17" laptop, but I can barley get my 15.4" to fit in because it is old and quite thick.

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    A great backpack for hiking and tripod

    By John, the SF Hiker

    from San Francisco, CA

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Comfortable
    • Easily Accessible Equipment
    • Roomy
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Protecting Gear
      • Storing Gear

      Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

      I am like most photographers a collector of cases for camera equipment. My current needs would be a solid way to carry equipment on a hike and a secure way to strap my tripod on my bag. The 103 has all of the above. I have done about 4 hikes with it and it's comfortable and solid. My only early issue is the stiff zippers, but it is beyond my expectations in capacity, ease of access, equipment safety and carrying comfort. I will recommend this highly to anyone who asks.

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      I would buy this product again

      By Virge

      from Boston, MA

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Adjustable Harness
      • Comfortable
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Protecting Gear
        • Storing Gear
        • Transporting Gear

        Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

        I am impressed by the quality and sturdiness of the Kata rucksack. You can tell they are into military quality products.
        Camera (Canon 40D with 100-400mm zoom, with hood inverted) fits quite nicely, along with several other lenses and small items. Space for laptop is a plus. Very happy with my purchase.

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Amazing backpack!

        By RocketMann

        from Des Moines, IA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Adjustable Harness
        • Comfortable
        • Easily Accessible Equipment
        • Roomy
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Protecting Gear
          • Transporting Gear

          Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

          I bought this backpack after reading a mini review about it on Scott Kelby's www site. I have to say it is one of the best built cases I have ever seen. If you've ever seen TUMI luggage products, this definitely compares to that. Very well thought out design and completely customizable. I wore it over the 4th of July weekend and held every camera item I own plus it had room for snacks, a drink, etc. One note, the pictures always show the tripod holder off to one side or the other. You can definitely hook your tripod in the middle to have balanced weight and you can still get into the small opening to grab your camera pretty easy. All in all an amazing pack!

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          (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          functional but not fabulous

          By Fat Don

          from Houston, TX

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Adjustable Harness
          • Comfortable
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Cumbersome

          Best Uses

          • Transporting Gear

          Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

          The rucksack is great for limited items such as camera body, and a couple of lenses plus a laptop. However, if you are needing to bring extra peripherals and filters, the space is somewhat limited within the pack. It's a good size for a small female and that is one of its best features. I have coupled it with the KATA OC-84 Organizer/Lighting Case and they work great together and independently.

          The only downfall (in my opinion) of this sack is the limited storage space and lack of "expandability" of the exterior pockets. Very tight!

          Share this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Perfect Backpack

          By Jen B

          from New York, NY

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Adjustable Harness
          • Comfortable
          • Easily Accessible Equipment
          • Roomy
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Transporting Gear

          Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

          This is a perfect backpack for a smaller woman. I am able to carry my digital video camera, laptop, digital still camera, lens, and back-up batteries. The only downside is how much stuff it can hold which can make it heavy on longer hikes.

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Durable and Utilitarian

          By Lensman

          from Norman, Oklahoma

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Pros

          • Comfortable
          • Roomy
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Protecting Gear
            • Transporting Gear

            Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

            I've been through a lot of camera backpacks and find this to be the best to date. Compact but holds a surprising amount of equipment, including a D300, 10.5mm, 12-24mm, 17-35mm, 50mm, and 85mm with an SB-800 flash, a Lensbaby, and filters, batteries, and storage cards. The zippers are a little stiff at first but loosen up after use. Comfortable to wear and strongly built. I especially like the Thermo-shield protective material, which inspires confidence. It is a little turtle-like in appearance but also doesn't scream "camera equipment!" to would-be thieves. Highly recommended.

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            5.0

            Great Backpack

            By KC

            from Texas

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Comfortable
            • Roomy
            • Sturdy

            Cons

            • Limited dividers

            Best Uses

              Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

              Easily holds my Canon digital rebel XT with 70-300 IS in the center compartment, even with a hood attached. Add my 17-55 f2.8 IS, a 50mm f1.8, flash and some cleaning supplies and there is still plenty of room. There are extra pockets for cards, batteries, etc. I like the easy access for the center compartment. You can also access items around the outside of the main compartment by only unzipping one side of the pack.

              The backpack is sturdy and well made. It is also comfortable to wear and fairly light for its size.

              The only negative thing I can say is they should have included a couple of more dividers for the main compartment.

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              5.0

              Very satisfied with this bag

              By Saulius

              from Lithuania

              About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Comfortable
              • Easily Accessible Equipment
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Protecting Gear
                • Transporting Gear

                Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

                I used it in 10 days anthropological research in a woods. It was sunny and rainy. I have been taking pictures in a swamp and with no dry peace of land around. Additional moisture resistant cover bag for it appeared to be very useful. I put in this bag Pentax K20D, two lenses, flash unit, batteries and charger. Everything fits well. The bag is stiff enough and good protection for my gear.
                I would miss one good pocket in it, but still, I like it.

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                4.0

                Great Pack

                By Jay

                from St.Pete,Florida

                About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Adjustable Harness
                • Comfortable
                • Easily Accessible Equipment
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Protecting Gear
                  • Storing Gear
                  • Transporting Gear

                  Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

                  This is a well designed pack, it holds a fair amount of gear but isnt bulky. Also its really comfortable. The hooks on the shoulder straps for attaching your camera's strap makes shooting easy and it takes any weight from the camera off your neck. I would definitely recommend this pack. I recently used it trekking around Thailand and it got fairly beat up and nothing got damaged or wet ever.

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                  5.0

                  Great pack

                  By gelizard

                  from Rocklin, CA

                  About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Comfortable
                  • Easily Accessible Equipment
                  • Expandable
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • None for me

                  Best Uses

                  • Protecting Gear
                  • Storing Gear
                  • Transporting Gear

                  Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

                  I love this! Able to carry a 300mm attached to camera with no problem. Very sturdy construction and sapce for laptop as well.

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                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great Pack

                  By Nic

                  from Baltimore, MD

                  About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Comfortable
                  • Easily Accessible Equipment
                  • Eh awesome
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • I look like a turtle

                  Best Uses

                  • Blending in w terrapins
                  • Protecting Gear
                  • Storing Gear
                  • Transporting Gear

                  Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

                  I use the Kata R-103 while hiking and traveling. The pack has plenty of room for my camera body, grip, flash, four lenses, and various accessories (cable release, diffuser, batteries, memory cards, etc...). The pack is built like a tank. I especially enjoy the exterior mount for my tripod, the ease of which - as a land and cityscape photographer - cannot be over emphasized. This pack was fulfilled all of my transport needs, and I would most definitely buy other Kata products as the need arises.

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                  (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Very good! Comfortable and tough.

                  By Joss

                  from Montreal, Quebec

                  About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Adjustable Harness
                  • Comfortable
                  • Easily Accessible Equipment
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Protecting Gear
                    • Transporting Gear

                    Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

                    I needed to lug some gear around Southwest China, mostly day trips into villages. Being a not-too-fit 58 year old dame, I found this sack fit well, and I was able to get around in the roughened lanes and hill paths. I filled the pack with my Canon EOS 5D, Speedlite 580EX II, EF 16-35mm F/2.8L II USM and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lenses USM lenses, along with an Epson-P5000 and extra batteries, chargers, cords, etc.
                    It is rugged; I dragged it around, dropped it and thoroughly abused it, but never was any equipment even slightly disturbed. It fit under the airplane seat or overhead rack. I used the section meant for a computer to include some books and magazines for long flights.
                    Minor complaint: This sack has some weight of its own when empty. (But I suspect that this is necessary for the padding protection it offers.)

                    Share this review

                    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Best camera backpack I've owned!!!

                    By Lar

                    from S.E. Michigan

                    About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Adjustable Harness
                    • Comfortable
                    • Easily Accessible Equipment
                    • Lightweight
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Protecting Gear
                      • Storing Gear
                      • Transporting Gear

                      Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

                      Very well bulit, great protection for camera, comfortable and carries everything I need.

                        • Similar:
                        • Tamrac SlingBag

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                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Fits DVX100 Perfectly

                        By dechasse

                        from St. George, UT

                        About Me Professional

                        Pros

                        • Lightweight
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Transporting Gear

                          Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

                          I've owned this bag for 3 years now and have hauled by DVX100 from coast to coast in it. It fits everything perfectly. I've even had my 20D still camera with two lenses packed inside along with the DVX. You have to do some adjusting of the Velcro partitions at first, but after that you're good to go. I love how compact it is, I can take it on any airplane and it will fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment. It is very reassuring to have your expensive equipment with you instead of being tossed around and lost with the other luggage.

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                          (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Comfort at its best

                          By gbd

                          from Fort Lauderdale FL

                          About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Adjustable Harness
                          • Comfortable
                          • Easily Accessible Equipment
                          • Lightweight
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Protecting Gear
                            • Storing Gear
                            • Transporting Gear

                            Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

                            Great construction and very comfortable. Great design and rugged construction. The camera compartment is medium size, and may not be as large as some other back packs, but it serves me great.

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                            (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            1.0

                            Does not fit a Panasonic camcorder!!

                            By Anonymous

                            from Undisclosed

                            Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

                            I am preparing to go shoot abroad and was looking to minimize the amount of bags I have (shoulder camera bag and computer backpack). I bought this backpack because it says that it fits Panasonic DVX100A camcorders (it actually even states this specific model on the Kata website). It does not. The bag is way to small for this camcorder, both in width and in length, it does not even come close to fitting it. Was a waste of time, had to go back to B&H to return it. Will buy Kata HP-207, which is twice the price, but will do the job.

                            Expertise: Professional Videographer

                            Problems Encountered: Does not fit DVX100A camcorder.

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                            (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Sleek & Rugged

                            By Chris B

                            from Bermuda

                            Comments about Kata R-103 GDC Rucksack:

                            I am a photojournalist for a daily newspaper and for thepast 21 months this has been my primary daily camera bag.Some of the padding inserts have loosened a little, butoverall this bag is stellar. I've beaten the crud out ofthis bag and it's virtually as good as new, just faded. Thiscompany also makes bullet proof vests and it shows in the bag. It is also more sleek & stylish than the fat boxy bags othercompanies make. The computer slot is good for papers,magazines & 8x10 prints. I lost the rain cover (lowepro'sare attached to the bag which is better), however I'vesoaked it and never got my camera wet. I find i almost neveruse the quick access opening on the front, it's just as easyto unzip the whole bag. The harness is well designed andvery comfortable too. The inside padding is well configured, holding the camera atthe bottom of the bag with the lens pointed up. I also shootunderwater and the bag serves as my extra gear carrier whenon the boat. It can be quickly & easily reconfigured bymoving one flap to fit a large 8 inch (20 cm) underwaterdome port. I find the medium storage capacity of the bag its biggestbenefit and a size that is oddly overlooked by some othercompanies. It is just big enough to hold a good chunk of progear but not super fat & overbearing when wearing it. ThoughI had one guy say I looked like a turtle with it on...

                            Expertise: Young pro

                            Problems Encountered: beyond the main compartment, there is virtually no storage.The laptop compartment is nice for documents and can fit arain jacket but the carrying capacity is devoted to the maincompartment. The tiny pockets on the front are a joke, all I keep inthere are business cards. There is a nice filter pocketinside the main flap as well as a pocket that almost circlesthe inside of the main flap. This pocket can fit some stufflike batteries, small contact solution bottles etc. I really wish it had a mesh pocket on the side for a waterbottle. I find the quick access zip to be awkward, gettingcaught on the attachment loops right there, so I end upnever using it. It's ok cause its the same as unzipping thewhole bag anyway.

                            Previous Equivalent Item Owned: lowepro slingshot 200, lowepro dryzone 200, lowepro mini trekker

                            Items I Recommend: a camera

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