The AmazonBasics Sling Backpack protects DSLR cameras and holds several small accessories.
DSLR cameras are becoming increasingly popular with consumers due to advancements in technology and price drops for many of the entry-level models have made them more affordable than ever. While there is a significant performance increase when switching from an point-n-shoot to a DSLR, there are also several drawbacks and one of them happens to be portability. Unlike a standard point-n-shoot camera, you often don't have the option to store the device in a purse or traditional backpack due to their large size and it can be a real pain holding one for long periods of time or simply relying on a neck strap to bear the weight.
For this reason, many companies have set out to produce specialized bags designed to help consumers store and protect their DSLR cameras, lenses, and accessories. These bags range in price from $20 all the way up to $250 with the increase in price harnessing more features and better quality materials being used.
Amazon is thought of solely as a retailer to most, but they also produce physical goods of their own. In this review we are taking a look at the AmazonBasics Sling Backpack for DSLR cameras. We got our hands on this backpack in black so this review is based solely off our hands on experience with the product. Priced affordably at $25, we didn't expect much in terms of product packaging and weren't surprised to see that it takes advantage of Amazon's signature “frustration free packaging” meaning it just came shipped in a regular box with no labels or promotional packaging.
Design & Build Quality
After unboxing the AmazonBasic Sling Backpack, I was immediately impressed at how nice the build materials were given the $25 price tag. They chose to use a durable polyester and nylon exterior which makes it built to last and ready to take on the wear and tear that often occurs throughout regular use. On the inside of the backpack, Amazon chose to use a bright orange felt-like material to make dark-colored gear easier to find and protect it from harm's way.
Unlike a traditional backpack, this product uses a single “sling” strap which goes over your chest much like the top half of a seatbelt. There are several reasons why they chose this design, but the main one being that you can access the bag's contents quickly without the need to take it off your body. You do this by sliding the backpack from your back to your front and unzipping the compartment.
Some additional features to the backpack's design include exterior mesh pockets, a padded waistbelt, a buckled strap for mounting a tripod, built-in memory card pockets, and rubber feet on the bottom of the bag to allowing it to be stood upright.
For $25, you probably aren't expecting much in terms of features and you're right. The AmazonBasics Sling Backpack doesn't come packed with all the advanced bells and whistles you'd expect in models priced 4x higher and if that is what you're seeking this bag is not for you. What it is capable of doing is aiding in the basic storage, protection, and transport of your DSLR camera along with a few accessories.
A nice feature about the bag's interior is that the design utilizes velcro dividers. This gives you the ability to mix up the compartments and resize them to your liking or to your specific camera setup. Personally, I found completely removing one of the dividers freed up some room and let me insert my 5D Mark III with the 24-105mm lens still attached. Besides that, there isn't all that much extra room although I was able to fit an extra telephoto lens, 50mm lens, and a few small cleaning accessories within the main compartment.
The top compartment is perfect for storing an aftermarket flash or shoemount LED video light, but won't hold much more than that. While the side tripod mount is convenient, the strap is rather small and won't be able to support large tripods (especially video tripods) whom have a large diameter.
The AmazonBasics Sling Backpack works well for photographers who like to travel light and carry a DSLR body and a few lenses while on the go. However, the space is limited in comparison to higher priced competitors and it won't be the type of bag that you'll be able to store all your camera gear in when not in use (unless you only own a few accessories).
I am going to use this bag while shooting at upcoming events and sporting events where I want a lightweight and portable option. However, I plan to switch to my larger and much more expensive Ape Case ACPRO2000 to store all my camera gear when not in use and during travel so I can bring all or most of my gear without the need for multiple bags.
I find the “sling” style strap to be a bit uncomfortable and unnatural feeling as truthfully I've never been a fan of these types of bags. I'd rather have a two strap style backpack, but some of you may like or even prefer this one strap design. The bag fits on your back nicely and unlike many competing DSLR bags, it doesn't suffer from extreme bulk or look ridiculous when wearing in public. The black color is neutral and the lack of branding helps hide the fact that you could be carrying several thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment inside.
In the end, I found the AmazonBasics Sling Backpack for DSLR Cameras to be a decent product for the affordable $25 price tag. It features solid build materials, several pockets, rearrangeable divider tabs, and side strap for holding a small tripod. While I prefer a standard two strap design over the one strap “sling” style this bag uses, it gets the job done and is excellent for the mobile photographer who wants to carry a DSLR body, 1-2 lenses, and a few small accessories. If you're in the market for an entry-level DSLR bag and don't have a large budget to work with then the AmazonBasics Sling Backpack should fit your needs nicely. If you're looking to spend $5 more, you also have the option to get a traditional two-strap style DSLR bag also made by AmazonBasics.