A good backpack can go a million miles. And by that I don’t mean actual distance, though I’m confident that Booq’s bag will last the test of time. By that I mean the return on money. Case in point the Booq Python Slimpack.
While it doesn’t hold a laptop – probably my only resentment – it’s outstandingly small and all the while holds a good amount of gear. And to emphasize, or exemplify this point, I went from Chrome’s Niko Pack bag to the Python Slimpack and didn’t have to leave anything out. Yes, I was able to fit the following in the Python Slimpack.
- Sony NEX-6
- A Sigma lens
- Two GoPros with mounts
- Two bungee cords
- A pack of SD cards
- A shotgun mic
- A Zoom H1 recorder
- 4 pack of AA batteries
- Two additional GoPro batteries
Beyond size, there is also the quality factor. I don’t want to make this an outright comparison, but the Chrome Niko Pack’s zippers are painstaking to zip and unzip. Which is to say they’re not buttery smooth and easy to open like Booq’s. And although this might sound like a moot issue, trust me, when you want your gear, and you want it fast, this becomes a factor.
Now, there are a few things to keep in mind. The Booq Python Slimpack is not outright waterproof. So Booq includes another bag, a sort of condom if you will, to put the Python Slimpack inside of in the event there is a heavy downpour. Unfortunately, there is not special pocket to store this, and since I have two GoPros, an extra lens, etc, the waterproof bag has to share the camera pocket with my Sony NEX-6 – it folds up to a relatively small ball. Also, the side pockets, while accommodating to a certain extent, are fairly tight, but good enough for headphones, batteries, memory cards and those alike. And on a final note, if you want to grab your gear, you’ll need to take the bag off (it unzips from the back padding), save for the camera pocket which is accessible, and quite useful, from the top of the bag.
And on a final note, fit wise the Booq Python Slimpack is comfortable. The straps have a nice shape that hug my shoulders and do a good job of distributing the weight across my upper body.
So all together I’ve very, very happy with Booq Python Slimpack. As mentioned, it doesn’t have space for a laptop, which until recently could be resolved by getting the larger brother of the bag, though that one is now discontinued (update: the Python Sling holds a 11/13″ laptop). Value wise I’m a bit torn, as the Booq Python Slimpack might be a bit pricey for some. But what’s $145 – Chrome’s Niko is $180 – when you’re stuffing $1,000 worth of equipment inside of it.
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