It has been over nine months since I bought my Kata 3N1-33 Sling Backpack so lets take a look at the bag and how it's held up through daily usage so far...

Kata 3N1-33 Sling Backpack
Kata 3N1-33 Sling Backpack

Initially I made the purchase because I need to carry a laptop every day for work and am still in the thick of my Photo 365 Challenge. The main compartment of the bag is comprised of a number of velcro sided dividers that can be configured to fit whatever gear you may have. I can easily fit my EOS 6D and with battery grip paired with a 70-200 2.8 in the center, with room for 4 or 5 lenses. My typical daily setup consists of 3 lenses, my filters, and a Canon 430EX flash (with diffuser). I sacrifice a lens slot to accomodate the grip side of the SLR body, otherwise its just a bit too tight for my comfort.

Kata 3N1-33 Sling Backpack
Inside the main section of the Kata 3N1-33

Above is the bag laying on its back, photographed from above. The bottom 'row' sits at the very bottom of the pack. The compartment is zippered to allow access from either right or left sides. I have my 50mm Macro lens, my filters and filter holder, and my small 50mm 1.8 tucked in the corner. Directly across from the body on the left side of the bag is my old zoom lens. The top row consists of my 430EX Flash with room for its diffuser, as well as another slot for a lens. The very last lens spot has been inverted to make room for the grip side of the SLR body. The lens sections are very deep and really meant for professional grade glass. Kit and small body lenses tend to wander around the bag if you're not careful. For example the 50mm 1.8 is a tiny lens, and if I don't stuff the Kata rain cover (included with the bag) with it, it will usually jump out of its slot which makes me very nervous. I have never had problems with anything falling out of the bag when opening, and the whole thing is generously padded so it holds up to daily use with ease. Its been with me to work every day as well as my London and San Francisco trips.

It's an extremely rugged bag meant for heavy outdoor use. Kata proudly advertises its versatility as both a regular backpack and a sling bag. The straps can unclip and clip back to either side, allowing you to sling it over either shoulder. I don't use it as a sling bag, but having it over one shoulder allows me to simply swing it around my front giving me full access to the main portion of the bag for quick lens changes or accessing other gear without putting the bag down. It came with an additional rain cover which has kept my gear nice and dry while commuting during the rainy Chicago spring (and fall) this year.

Kata 3N1-33 Sling Backpack
Inside the top section of the Kata 3N1-33

The top of the bag has plenty of general storage for extra gear, as well as a zippered pouch which I keep my wired remote, my wireless flash triggers, extra memory cards, and other small items. The open area is perfectly sized for my lunch and a bottle of water (I doubt they had that in mind, but it's a great perk. You can also see the slot for the laptop which will easily accommodate laptops up to 17 inches.

The bag is very comfortable even fully loaded. The straps are wide and very well padded, and there are two great handle straps on either side of the top of the bag. Im not sure if it's their purpose, but I slide two tripod legs through them to hang it off one side. My only two complaints are very minor which speaks volumes to the quality of the bag. One is the small strap that keeps the laptop from sliding out of the sleeve - I find myself closing the top of the bag and getting the zipper hung up on it, having to flip it back into the bag before closing the top (I admit its a minor annoyance). The other is the fact that the left shoulder strap is black on both sides while the right is white on the underside. This is meant as a visual clue for the sling feature - the tabs where the straps click in on the bottom of the bag are the same way but on opposite sides, letting you know you can click the left strap to the right side (white to white), and vice-versa. My problem is that over nine months of daily use the white part of the strap has turned an ugly dark grey.

Overall the bag is still almost new, with no wear on it whatsoever. I feel very secure carrying my gear and laptop in the bag and rarely have any fears of damaging equipment. I would highly recommend this bag to anyone who is looking for a high-quality SLR/Laptop (or just SLR) bag. Check out Kata Bags for their full range of products as well as videos of their bags in use.