Kata Bumblebee PL 220

In the months leading up to the recent Indee 500 Desert Race, I was looking for a bag that I could use to keep the gear safe. As I was riding my bike this year, I needed to find something that had plenty of protection (In case I stacked it!!), solid straps and a compartment for  the water bladder out of my Camelbak.

After plenty of time deliberating, I decided upon the Kata Bumblebee PL 220. Reasons being that there was a truckload of room, there were plenty of smaller compartments, and I just installed the water bladder in the laptop compartment. The straps, although I need to do some trimming of some, were solid and easily adjustable, and I was about to test this bag in the harshest of conditions. I was also wearing a Leatt neck brace, and the bag didn’t interfere with the brace, and I didn’t feel at all uncomfortable.

Just to put into perspective what the bag went through, it was fairly well loaded. This is the gear I carried; my Nikon D3, 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200 lenses, an SB900 flash and 2 x SD9 battery packs, as well as spare batteries, 2 x pocket wizards, a Gorrillapod, blower, lens cleaning cloths, 3 x spare batteries for the D3 and 3 spare CF Cards. I also had 2 litres of water in the bladder and a few muesli bars stashed. (If I was keen, I could have organised it to fit the 200-400mm.)  There was probably 12kg’s all up, not really sure. Now put that in this situation, riding a dirt bike at up to 130kmh (that’s as fast as my Honda CRF250x will do!!) during a desert race, which is not the smoothest of rides, and the constant battering that the straps and bag would have had, not to mention my shoulders and back!! At the end of the weekend, there was not a trace of dust inside the bag, which I was extremely surprised with, as the dust up here will get into all the places you don’t want it to. To say I was happy with my choice in bag would be an understatement. So if you’re after a bag that is tough, can carry plenty of gear and comfortable to wear, I would definitely recommend the Kata Bumblebee PL 220. I got mine through Ben at Team Digital.


~ by Jamie Nicolaou on August 14, 2010.

10 Responses to “Kata Bumblebee PL 220”

  1. That looks like a bulletproof backpack Jamie, nice choice!
    Tell me more about your tripod.

  2. That bag doesn’t look like it would hold that much. Where did the Gorrilapod go in there? And is it really sturdy enough to hold your D3 plus one of the lenses??

    • I’m not sure which way to take this comment, but I say it as I see it, with no bullshit. I get nothing out of this, this review was done relative to what I used the bag for, if you read the story. I was carrying it on my back, whilst riding a dirt bike. The Gorrilapod sat where it is in the 2nd photo. I detached the lens and had the D3 in it’s own compartment. If you click on the images you will see a larger version. And is it sturdy enough? I rode about 150 kms, fairly pushing it, and it’s still in one piece, as well as the gear, and there is no sign of damage to the straps. If you needed to carry more gear than this for this sort of job, I think you may be carrying too much. I hadn’t filled all the available space either.

      • Sorry Jamie, I didn’t mean it the way it sounded. “The bag doesn’t look like it would hold that much” a comment of amazement. Caffeine, before I start commenting next time 🙂

        The study question was around the Gorrilapod. I imagine your camera body to be a pretty heavy beast in itself, nevermind with lens attached. How do you find your Gorrilapod does holding up that body plus a lens?

      • To be honest I really bought the Gorillapod so if I needed to attach the off camera flash to anything, like a tree branch or the handlebars of my bike, or just sit it on the ground. I had only just got it, so haven;t tried it for the camera, although I do reckon it will hold ok.

  3. […] Kata Bumblebee PL 220 August 2010 6 comments 3 […]

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