My Review of the Case Logic SLRC-206 Camera Backpack
An Affordable Camera Case That Can Hang with the Big Boys
First off, let me start off by describing what I was looking for in a camera case. I am currently working part-time as a semi-professional photographer. I have shot engagements, proms, birthday parties, newborn sessions, family sessions and still life. I have an older Canon Rebel XT that I started off with years ago. Currently, I am shooting with a Canon EOS 6D. I have a few lenses which includes the kit lens that came with my XT, a nifty 50, a 23mm wide angle and an 85mm prime. Since the 6D doesn't have a built in flash, I also have a basic speedlite. Along with this, I have a couple of memory cards, lens cleaning kits, a wireless shutter remote, some Eneloop batteries/cases, a couple of camera straps, etc. All this being said, not for a critique of my gear, but to express the amount of stuff I was looking to manage into one camera bag.
Before receiving the Case Logic SLRC-206, I was using a trendy red Golla camera bag (the Erica model). I loved the look of this bag, but I quickly outgrew it when I got my second lens (and definitely when I purchased the full frame 6D). So I started a hunt for a new bag. On my "musts" list were the following:
- Adjustable interior so I could re-adjust with each new purchase
- Roomy enough for two camera bodies and at least 3 lenses
- A padded compartment for my laptop (or at very least my little 7" tablet)
- A compartment that opens quickly and fully so that I could use the bag like a holster or sling (basically quick access for those unexpected shots).
- Affordable...meaning less than $100 since I am currently trying to buy more professional level equipment, business insurance, etc. I am wanting to wait until I have a steady business before dropping $300-$500 on a camera bag.
At first I was leaning towards single strap sling-style bags. They provided quick access to the camera and could be worn across the back or under the armpit. However, after looking I found that most of these were not roomy enough. Eventually, I settled on a backpack style. They were roomy enough and many models accommodated good-sized laptops. From this jumping off point, I totally and completely fell in love with Ape Cases. There was one problem though...their prices. So in comes my second choice...the Case Logic SLRC-206.
My DSLR Backpack
Like the Ape Cases, the Case Logic bag has brightly colored interior. This is great because the bright orange interior is a great contrast from my mostly black equipment. When I am working in a dim situation, it makes it a little easier to find the things that I need. I have now had this bag a couple of years and I am still happy with it. So far, its is still checking all the boxes that I need it to.
Case Logic SLRC-206
- Heavy-duty padded straps for comfort
- Upper hand loop for alternative carrying
- Multiple pockets and organizers for SD cards, cables, etc.
- Rubberized bottom to protect your gear from the damp ground.
- Tripod straps so you can attach your sticks to the side of the bag.
- Two velcro straps over the outer zipper to keep the zipper from traveling too far and dumping your stuff (handy when you are using your pack like pseudo-sling).
- Sling system to cushion your camera body.
- Camera is at the top of the bag for quick access.
- Bright orange-yellow interior for easy sighting of equipment.
- Adjustable velcro dividers so you can customize the inside of the pack for your particular equipment.
- Roomy pack that is still a manageable weight.
Why I Like It
I like this particular pack because it has proven to be durable and it carries just about everything that I need on a shoot. When I bought this camera backpack a couple of years ago, I paid just under $100. I still feel that it was money well spent. The straps are still firmly attached. There has been no threads unraveling and my equipment has been well protected in damp weather more than once.
I really enjoy the sling system that hold the camera. It is basically a suspended divider that is located just inside the upper portion of the pack. If you do not want to fully open your pack, you can just unzip the top bit and pull out your camera. It is quick, convenient and it helps protect your camera if your bag is dropped. This is because the camera isn't resting against the sides of your bag. Instead, it is suspended at the top of the inner compartment of the bag.
The bag is roomy and super adjustable. Straps can be adjusted and the inside dividers can be moved around to suit your needs. Currently, I have a Canon 6D (full size DSLR), four lenses, 1 Canon Rebel XT body, 2 batteries for each camera body, 2 wall chargers (1 for each charger), a spare SD card, 2 USB cables, 1 Zoom mic/recorder, 1 Yongnuo flash, 4 Eneloop batteries in a clear case in the main compartment of the bag. All of this equipment easily fits. In the side pockets and the other inner pockets, I have even more things light portable light diffusers and camera manuals stored.
One of the original draws to this bag was the ability for me to carry my laptop around easily (my portable editing station). I wanted the choice of shooting tethered or to edit my pics on the spot. I have a large 17" Dell Inspiron. While I believe this bag is designed more for the 15" laptop (or ultra thin 17"), my laptop fits just barely. I can get the 1.5" thick laptop in there easy enough, though the zipper can be a little sluggish zipping up around the contours of the huge laptop. If I do not need the laptop, I usually load in my mini tablet and use the rest of the space for additional equipment. At the time of this writing, I have an articulating arm, 32" collapsible 5-in-1 reflector, a Grifiti Nootle Tablet Tripod Mount and a few other bits and pieces in the laptop compartment.
I have taken this backpack on several shoots and on many photography class assignments. The straps are pretty comfortable, but after walking around with it all day fully packed, it does get a bit heavy. If you are going on a typical 1-2 hour shoot, it is pretty comfortable. However, when I have to trek for hours in the Southern humidity, it does get hot on the back. The back is cushioned and a bit raised for improved air flow, but it can not compete with the summer heat. Like any loaded backpack, it will get uncomfortable after a while. When depends on your personal tolerance.
Case Logic SLRC-206 Camera Backpack
Would I Buy It Again?
Since I originally wrote this article, I have used this backpack for the better part of two years. I do not use it daily, but I do use it on a regular basis. So far after my moderate use, the backpack is no worse for the wear. One caveat: I try not to overload it and since it contains thousands of dollars worth of equipment, I tend to treat it well. I think the quality is good for a budget camera bag, even if I were to use it every day. I love this bag! Yes, I would buy it again. You should, too. This bag is awesome!