Kata Rucksack R-103 Mini Review

USAIRUSAIR Picking and GrinningRegistered Users Posts: 2,646 Major grins
edited December 29, 2005 in Accessories
Been using the Kata R-103 for about 4 months now and figured I give my impressions on this backpack.

$160 at B&H
Here's the web site for Kata R-103
The bag is about 17" high 13" wide 6" thick and almost 4lbs
The bag is very well made very strong and sturdy design.
It actually takes sometime to break in the bag very stiff when you first get it.
I holds almost everything I need to.
I know the photos are bad color wrong but it's a old Sony and I haven't used it in a while :D

First photo shows the tripod holder and the two small outside storage pockets.
49667001-L.jpg

Also has room for a laptop here's my small 12" Vaio.
49642100-L.jpg

Side view showing laptop pocket...I put my flash bracket in there when not carring the computer.
49640444-L.jpg

Back view
I haven't taken this on a real long hike but around town it's nice.
It didn't come with a waistbelt it's another part of system.
49640460-L.jpg

Here's a neat little feature separate access to the camera
49640464-L.jpg
Here's what inside
Upper lid
49646173-L.jpg

Lower compartments
49646180-L.jpg

The backpack is just one part of the Kata system
There's a Torso Pack and a Waist Pack

Well hope this helped someone looking for a backpack.
Will this be my last bag...no I can't seem to get enough bags and stuff to put in them.

Fred

Comments

  • DoctorItDoctorIt vrooom! Administrators Posts: 11,950 moderator
    edited December 27, 2005
    Excellent review! thumb.gif

    my only question, how did you get such good photos with all your good gear packed away?
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]

  • marlofmarlof trying to focus Registered Users Posts: 1,833 Major grins
    edited December 27, 2005
    Nice review, Fred. I've been eyeing the Kata 103, and was wondering how it'd pack a moderate DSLR kit. Thanks for giving us a great view.
    enjoy being here while getting there
  • GraphyFotozGraphyFotoz Have Camera will travel Registered Users Posts: 2,267 Major grins
    edited December 27, 2005
    Wow!
    Nice looking bag!!! thumb.gif

    The only turn off is all that yellow inside.

    Nice review!! Need more people here to do that with products!
    Canon 60D | Nikon Cooloix P7700
    Manfrotto Mono | Bag- LowePro Slingshot 100AW

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  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,704 moderator
    edited December 27, 2005
    Fred,

    Nice review. Mind if I add it to the others in the sticky reviews?
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • USAIRUSAIR Picking and Grinning Registered Users Posts: 2,646 Major grins
    edited December 28, 2005
    marlof wrote:
    Nice review, Fred. I've been eyeing the Kata 103, and was wondering how it'd pack a moderate DSLR kit. Thanks for giving us a great view.

    Sony 717 good camera just a little rusty using it :D

    Fred
  • USAIRUSAIR Picking and Grinning Registered Users Posts: 2,646 Major grins
    edited December 28, 2005
    ian408 wrote:
    Fred,

    Nice review. Mind if I add it to the others in the sticky reviews?

    No be my guest

    Thanks
    Fred
  • wxwaxwxwax Immoderator Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited December 28, 2005
    Hey, nice job, Fred! thumb.gif Showing it packed, and labeling everything, really gives me a sense of how much it can carry.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
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  • ZanottiZanotti Improving Daily Registered Users Posts: 1,411 Major grins
    edited December 28, 2005
    49646173-L.jpg

    Lower compartments
    49646180-L.jpg

    What's that thing weight when its full, about 75 pounds!?!

    There's no way I would trumble around with that much stuff, maybe to move, but that's about it!

    Do you have a separate day pack as well?
    It is the purpose of life that each of us strives to become actually what he is potentially. We should be obsessed with stretching towards that goal through the world we inhabit.
  • DoctorItDoctorIt vrooom! Administrators Posts: 11,950 moderator
    edited December 28, 2005
    The only turn off is all that yellow inside.
    You ever try finding little pieces of gear inside a black bag? Turns into a black hole. Good bag makers do this for a reason. Look at all of them, Lowepro, Crumpler, Kata... all are bright colors inside.
    nod.gif
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]

  • gusgus Major grins Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited December 28, 2005
    DoctorIt wrote:
    You ever try finding little pieces of gear inside a black bag? Turns into a black hole. Good bag makers do this for a reason. Look at all of them, Lowepro, Crumpler, Kata... all are bright colors inside.
    nod.gif

    Yep...my crumpler is bright orange & its great.
  • VeluVelu Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 4 Beginner grinner
    edited December 29, 2005
    Nice review !

    Looks as if it can hold a 70-200 2.8 mounted on a 1D, WITH the hood on !?

    I agree bout the colour being odd, but I'm more concerned bout the fact that it looks kinda "fluffy", "fleece"-like. And since it's light-coloured ... hard to clean ...
    You can whipe the (grey) interior of my lowepro Trekker with a wet cloth, if needed.

    What are the dimensions of your Sony laptop ? Can't find them online ?
    I wonder if a 12" Powerbook does fit ?

    Rgds
    Velu
  • DoctorItDoctorIt vrooom! Administrators Posts: 11,950 moderator
    edited December 29, 2005
    Velu wrote:
    I agree bout the colour being odd, but I'm more concerned bout the fact that it looks kinda "fluffy", "fleece"-like. And since it's light-coloured ... hard to clean ...
    You can whipe the (grey) interior of my lowepro Trekker with a wet cloth, if needed.
    That's a decent point, but I'll take fluffy and prone to a few stains any day, because, fluffy = velcro attaches anywhere.

    On your "wipeable" lowepro, the dividers have to go only where there is velcro. I can't say for sure on the Kata, but Crumpler's are fluffy, as you say, and I can totally customize the dividers how I want, and how the gear dictates for that day.

    And what are you keeping in there that leaves stains, anyway? Peanut butter and jelly sammiches???
    lol3.gif
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]

  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CARegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 19,160 Major grins
    edited December 29, 2005
    DoctorIt wrote:
    That's a decent point, but I'll take fluffy and prone to a few stains any day, because, fluffy = velcro attaches anywhere.

    On your "wipeable" lowepro, the dividers have to go only where there is velcro. I can't say for sure on the Kata, but Crumpler's are fluffy, as you say, and I can totally customize the dividers how I want, and how the gear dictates for that day.

    And what are you keeping in there that leaves stains, anyway? Peanut butter and jelly sammiches???
    lol3.gif


    Good point, and one of the things that I liked about my Crumpler (sold to Pathfinder). The CompuTrekker has velcro *just about* everywhere. It's everywhere you need it, anyway.

    Having said that, this bag looks very, very nice. I was one that didn't care for the way the Crumpler opened...this looks to have a lot of the bennies of the Crumpler without some of the weirdness.
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  • USAIRUSAIR Picking and Grinning Registered Users Posts: 2,646 Major grins
    edited December 29, 2005
    DavidTO wrote:
    Good point, and one of the things that I liked about my Crumpler (sold to Pathfinder). The CompuTrekker has velcro *just about* everywhere. It's everywhere you need it, anyway.

    Having said that, this bag looks very, very nice. I was one that didn't care for the way the Crumpler opened...this looks to have a lot of the bennies of the Crumpler without some of the weirdness.

    Me too didn't like the way Crumpler opened ...had one for a week then sent it back I think it was a Shrinkle ?
    I just used to doing things a certin way its hard to change
    If I was a deer I would be dead now...(easy to pattern):D

    Like the doc said you can change this bag around anyway you want.
    I also have two Lowepro bags...nice bags but you are limited in the way you can set them up.

    Fred
  • bwgbwg SmugMug Sorcerer Northern VARegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 2,119 SmugMug Employee
    edited December 29, 2005
    USAIR wrote:
    Me too didn't like the way Crumpler opened ...

    for the un-crumpler initiated folks like me, how does one open?
    Pedal faster
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CARegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 19,160 Major grins
    edited December 29, 2005
    bigwebguy wrote:
    for the un-crumpler initiated folks like me, how does one open?


    I had the Farmer's Double. The laptop went in the back, the zipper was behind the straps...not too bad, what I ended up not liking was the way the camera gear went in the bottom...hard to explain, and I can't take pictures of it since I don't have it anymore...maybe PF or Andy could...
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  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Registered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited December 29, 2005
    Great review, Fred!
    Not that I'm currently on the market (I'm still pretty happy with my 2 y.o. LowePro Computrekker), but it's always nice to be aware of the other options:-)
    Happy Holidays!1drink.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • gusgus Major grins Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited December 29, 2005
    USAIR wrote:
    If I was a deer I would be dead now
    Fred
    rolleyes1.gif

    The crumpler is odd alright & im still getting used to it. At the end of the day you still have to take a bag off your back to get lenses out so i forgive it this shortcoming. I have never had a more comfy backpack when its late & im miles from home on foot....its manufacture quality is also very good.
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CARegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 19,160 Major grins
    edited December 29, 2005
    Humungus wrote:
    I have never had a more comfy backpack when its late & im miles from home on foot....its manufacture quality is also very good.


    This is very true...very comfortable bag.
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  • DoctorItDoctorIt vrooom! Administrators Posts: 11,950 moderator
    edited December 29, 2005
    Humungus wrote:
    rolleyes1.gif

    At the end of the day you still have to take a bag off your back to get lenses out so i forgive it this shortcoming.
    You know, I was thinking about this. You really think there exists a backpack that you can access without taking off? Be serious now. You really think you could remove a fully loaded 20D with 70-200IS out of a main pocket under your shoulder?

    But we agree. The crumpler shines because its comfy as all get-out!
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]

  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited December 29, 2005
    Fred, thanks for agreeing to let us put this great user-review over on dgrin.smugmug.com in our

    Reviews You Can Use section.

    clap.gifclap.gif

    And, thanks to DavidTO, for a bit o' color correction!
  • gusgus Major grins Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited December 29, 2005
    DoctorIt wrote:
    You know, I was thinking about this. You really think there exists a backpack that you can access without taking off? Be serious now. You really think you could remove a fully loaded 20D with 70-200IS out of a main pocket under your shoulder?

    But we agree. The crumpler shines because its comfy as all get-out!
    What drugs are you on son ? No i dont think i can get my 20D..400/5.6 & 77 mm CP out of a closed backpack whilst it is still on my back. At least without a small tantrum & some penny stamps.
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CARegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 19,160 Major grins
    edited December 29, 2005
    DoctorIt wrote:
    You know, I was thinking about this. You really think there exists a backpack that you can access without taking off? Be serious now. You really think you could remove a fully loaded 20D with 70-200IS out of a main pocket under your shoulder?

    But we agree. The crumpler shines because its comfy as all get-out!


    It would be a camera quiver...I'd be like Robin Hood, happily shooting away...
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  • gusgus Major grins Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited December 29, 2005
    DavidTO wrote:
    It would be a camera quiver...I'd be like Robin Hood, happily shooting away...
    Yeah...you could use an old oil drum for the 600mm. I like your thinking !
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