Since the birth of the first mirrorless camera in October 2008, our photography equipment has tended to get smaller and more compact.
The same thing has been happening with all the supporting accessories – especially camera bags.
Creating a backpack that’s light-weight, not too bulky and has enough space to shelter all the things you need for an upcoming photoshoot is not an easy task.
The Altura Photo Camera Sling Backpack tries to cover all the main points that make a bag desirable and trustworthy.
Let’s check how successful their attempt was in the review below!
Altura Sling Backpack Specs
- Great value for money
- Very light when empty
- Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
- No laptop or tablet storage capacity
- No rain cover available
Dimensions: 17 x 8.1 x 6.4″ (431.8 x 205.74 x 162.6 mm)
Weight: 589.67 g (1.3 lb / 20.8 oz)
Build & Appearance
The name of the Altura Sling Backpack can be a bit misleading at first. This is actually a camera sling bag and it does have only one shoulder strap.
The sling design gives you the opportunity to very quickly rotate the bag from the back to the front of your body.
After you’ve turned the bag to the front, you can take advantage of the zippered side opening. These two functionalities combined grant you fast and effortless access to your gear.
In case you’re more physically active when you go out shooting, there’s an additional strap which can bring you extra stability and further secure your belongings.
The backside of the bag and the inner part of the main strap are covered with breathable mesh-like material which is another significant advantage for those who are more active photographers.
The zipper handles are made of matte black plastic material which feels really nice. They also have excellent grip which makes zipping and unzipping a pleasant experience.
The Altura Sling Backpack is all black except for a touch of grey on the front – the grey central strap. Another nice accent you’ll be able to notice right away is the logo of the company – it’s located on the right upper front part of the backpack itself and it definitely adds to the overall look.
When choosing a photography backpack, one of your prime criteria will be its features.
Staring with the exterior features, you’ll probably be looking for a tripod strap, bottle holder pocket, a small utility pocket, and easy access to your gear.
The Altura Sling Backpack has all those external features available for you. Sadly, due to being on the same side, you can either choose to carry a bottle or to strap a tripod – you can’t fit both. However, you can easily fit a Manfrotto lightweight series tripod or the newly sprung up Peak Design one.
One other downside to have in mind is the lack of a rain cover. Most camera backpacks have a foldable one on the bottom of the bag, but this is not the case here.
On the top front of the bag, you’ll find the small external utility pocket, which can be used for some small personal belongings like keys, documents, etc.
The side quick access is a really nice feature of the sling backpacks and this one is no different.
You can choose to use the additional strap, to help you keep the bag in one place, or you can put it away and tuck it into the lower back, behind the breathing surface.
The inside of the Altura Camera Sling is really nicely done. It’s all padded, as expected, and can easily fit your camera and two more lenses.
Thanks to adjustable dividers, you can re-organize the compartments any way you want to best suit your needs.
When you open the bag on the back of the quick access, you’ll find another conveniently located pocket. It can fit a smartphone, a handful of SD cards or a few batteries.
On the top of the backpack, there’s another spacious compartment big enough for a power bank or a charger and a pocket notebook. Or some lens filters if you so desire.
There, at your disposal, are two more small pockets that you can use for any of the smaller things you carry, like USB cables, flash drives or maybe even a portable hard disk.
Overall, the Altura Sling is well suited to fit most of your must-have travel kit – and with its size and customisation options, it can easily be your to-go bag.
Now let’s see how much you’ll actually be able to fit into the Altura Sling Backpack.
In the main compartment, you can fit a DSLR camera (or, as in my case, a mirrorless camera) and three to four lenses (just bear in mind that it really depends on the size of the lenses).
To make the most of your configuration you need to move around the padded dividers, which are really easy to operate.
When you open the top zipper pocket you’ll discover that it’s quite spacious for the overall size of this sling backpack.
As I’ve suggested in the paragraph above, it’s quite convenient for fitting some extra stuff. As well as your charger or pocket notebook, you could also fit in an additional camera lens or a Bluetooth portable speaker to take your tunes with you if you’re photographing models.
Some backpacks are big enough to hold your laptop in case you intend to shoot tethered, but the Altura Sling Backpack doesn’t have this capacity.
Ease of Use/Comfort
One of the first things I’ve noticed about the Altura Sling Backpack is that it’s actually quite light when it’s empty.
The padded main strap feels really comfortable and it prevents any hard fabric from digging into your shoulder.
It also feels stable especially if you opt for using the additional strap to further secure the position of the backpack.
I took it with me on a short mountain trek and I didn’t feel any discomfort even after carrying the backpack around for a total of two hours.
Value for Money
At under US$30, one of the biggest advantages of the Altura Sling Backpack is its fair price – especially bearing in mind all the capabilities it offers.
There aren’t that many products which combine quality materials and durability at this price range.
In my opinion, it’s definitely worth giving it a try, especially if all the features listed above sound like something you’re looking for in a sling backpack.
Altura Sling Backpack Review | Conclusion
When it comes to summing up all the points we’ve covered so far, it’s worth reiterating the affordable price of this bag. The price tag is for sure one of the Altura Sling Backpack’s biggest advantages.
Along with the good price you’ll be pleased to discover that the backpack possesses many of the features that make a photo bag well appreciated.
This is not a camera bag that will gather together all the professional equipment that you have available, but it is a bag which is fully able to carry around the essentials that you need for a photo shooting day.
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