Saturday, June 02, 2007

BAGMAN Snapshot Trekka

The Bagman (also known as Caseman in Europe, and Kani in other countries) is already being regarded as the clone of Crumpler. Some people even call it a 'rip-off' or 'imitation'! However, I do not wish to call it either names. The fact is that Bagman is originated in Australia, the same country who brought you Crumpler. Crumpler has also been a street fashion statement since my time in Australia and only recent years, I watched the trend migrate to Singapore, rather slow but not too late. *flipping through my old Crumpler catalgoue featuring nude models wearing only Crumpler* Trust me, though Crumpler being a street fashion icon, it is definitely not cheap as it is made to last and it sure does. It is no wonder that the alternative Australian designers decided to followed the Crumpler trend of patterning and playing colours, design their own series and bring them to China for a cheaper production cost. Subsequently, I believe that Bagman also marketed their designs to outer brands (like an OEM product), thus Kani is born (do not quote me on this). Though their design and innards layout mimic Crumpler closely, there are differences.

I have long wanted to change to a backpack since I sold my Crumpler 7 Million Dollar Home. As a matter of fact, I became sold by the idea that Crumpler has the best protection. The cushions are tough and it holds its shape well. You can rest 300 minds assured, when you camera is inside such a luxurious bag. Here I do a review of a Bagman Snapshot Trekka, camera-cum-laptop backpack. also known to mimic Crumpler Whickey & Cox. Learn more about Bagman here.

Please do not flame me if you are a supporter of any particular brand, as I am just reviewing from a neutral consumer point of view. Thank you. This review is done at the generousity of the MS

Bagman Snapshot Trekka
Reviewed by William Tan
©mybearbrick 2007
The Bagman Snapshot Trekka (abbreviated here as BST) at first sight looks similar but not identical to the Crumpler designs. Bitch-slap the logo design, and the Bagman is a damn cool bag to carry around. The back rest cushions of a camera backpack or any backpack is important as it will be on our backs, most of the time. The cushions must be comfortable and allow 'breathing', so that we do not get a heat rash on our backs at the end of the day, though a sweaty patch on our shirts are inevitable. The BPP backing foam is tough yet comfortable and corrugated, hence I believe it allows the back to 'breathe'. The shoulder straps need to be flipped to the front, in order to open the backpack (from the rear). This is a safety feature like that of the Whickey and Cox, to avoid pickpockets.

Only on the left side of the BST (as viewed from front), there is a loop for any possible expansions. There are netting pouches on both sides for holding things such as bottles. I feel that my Manfrotto tripod is not possible but a small one is possible.

Like Crumpler, the huge zippers (which are good to hold) bear the icon.

Unlike the Whickey & Cox (abbreviated here as WC), which its detacheable laptop flap in the front of the backpack, the BST has a built-in laptop sleeve that can easily fit a 15" MacBook (mine is 12") with a securing strap and some padded pockets. The padding in here though is soft but IMHO sufficient.

The main feature of the BST is of course the camera holding area. There is a netting that separating the laptop compartment from the camera compartment. The netting can be opened with another huge zipper. The innards look exactly like the WC. I flex the dividers. As expected, they are softer that Crumpler's. Crumpler's dividers are tough does not compromise to the weight of lenses or even a DSLR. However, the Bagman's dividers are soft, and when I held the bag up, the dividers tend to flex, suggesting that they are not tough enough to support the weight of a DSLR with lens, suspended in the middle, supported by the dividers. I understand this because I have tried my D200 on a Kani's clone of the Crumpler 7MDH. It is a disappointment here. However, since the dividers can be detached, like Crumpler's, and velcro back to form different layouts, I believe one can come up with a layout, such that the wieght of the camera is resting on the bag and not the dividers. The capacity and default layout of the innards are similar to the the WC, which means that two DSLRs are possible.

I was surprised when I realised the camera compartment can be detached from the main BST. Might be useful if one just need a backpack and not the camera compartment for special situations. Alternatively, the camera compartment can possibly go into a cyclist backpack (which has better back ventilation).

The front top compartment allows small items such as memory cards and pens.

The bottom compartment also allows small items to be desposited. You can put your lens cleaning tissue here, just do not ever put your passport in the front compartments.

Unlike the 3-compartmented Tamrac Adventure 9 and Lowepro CompuTrekker, two well-received laptop-cum-camera backpacks, the BST does not require the user to lay the bag down to access the camera compartment. For me, I just bring the bag to the front, sling the left shoulder strap on your right shoulder, flip the right shoulder strap over to the front and unzip the bag. In a way, it can still be rather quick-accessible.

Trying the BST on, the size is just nice for my 176cm height. The backpack does not make me look like a turtle too much. I love pink anyway, though there is a whole range of colours to choose from. It is a discrete looking laptop-cum-camera bag, that will not attract undesireable attention to it. For the price of S$90 (estimated retail price), compared to the Whickey and Cox (>S$200). I am willing to pay for it and suffer the scorns of avid Crumpler supporters. After all, all I need is a good and valuable backpack, not the agreement from others!

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1 comment:

Laurens said...

Almost kena busted by the security guard who walked pass 3 times with incresingly suspicious gazes.