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Kata Revolver-8 DL Review

Kata Revolver-8 DL Review - The Kata Revolver-8 DL backpack has a unique revolving internal magazine design to make it easy to access your lenses. Daniel Bell puts it to the test.

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Category : Bags, Cases and Straps
Product : KATA Revolver-8 DL
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Features
Handling and Performance
Verdict
Specification

Revolver-8 DL   Kata Revolver-8 DL

The Kata Revolver-8 DL was awarded a 2012 Red Dot Design Award for its unique revolving magazine which makes it easy to access your lenses from just one opening in the bag and spinning the magazine. With its side opening, you can access all your gear without having to place the bag on the floor. It is available in black for £229.00.

Kata Revolver-8 DL

Kata Revolver-8 DL Backpack Features

  • Unique internal revolving magazine
  • Soft padded harness-straps with clinch clasp sternum strap
  • Compatible with Kata camera straps
  • External top pocket stores personal effects such as mobile phone, keys and wallet
  • Carry your tripod on the front of the bag with provided straps
  • Compatible with trolley (sold separately) to allow you to carry the case on a trolley
  • Elements cover - grey side for sun protection or black side for rain protection
Fits
  • DSLR with grip and standard lens attached
  • 4-5 lenses and accessories
  • Laptop up to 15.4 inch
  • Other personal gear
Kata Revolver-8 DL

Kata Revolver-8 DL Backpack Handling and Performance

The bag caters for both left and right handed users as it gives access to the lens magazine on both sides. The zipped area can be opened up just enough to swap your lenses or you can completely open it up and even remove the magazine. This makes it easier to swap all your lenses, or you can take them out and keep them safely elsewhere while you use the bag for other uses.

The magazine can hold a 70-200mm lens and four small lenses, or you can use the extra divider to split up the middle section and hold a total of six lenses. We managed to pack it with varying lenses such as a 10-24mm, 70-300mm and 18-55mm. The 70-300mm is perhaps a little too big but at a push it does fit and allows the magazine to rotate, but it does catch the side of the bag on occasion.

Kata Revolver-8 DL

There's plenty more to the bag as well. The top opens up to allow you to keep your camera with a standard lens attached. There's even room to store more accessories here, or perhaps a sandwich and a drink for when you're out for the day. This top part also has an external zipped pocket for your phone, wallet or keys. It would have been better if this pocket was only accessible internally to make it harder for your valuables to be stolen easily.

The storage doesn't end there, there are two pockets on either side of the bag which are easily big enough for flash units, spare batteries, filters etc or even a play to tidily keep your cables and chargers. On the back there is space to carry a laptop, up to 15.4 inch. There's plenty of room if you'd prefer to carry a tablet, notebook or magazine / newspaper. On the back is a sleeve, you could keep items such as maps in there, but it's not protected from the elements, unless you have the cover on.
Kata Revolver-8 DL
Speaking of the cover, it has two purposes. If it's raining, make sure the black side is facing out to protect your kit. If it's a red hot day (you must be abroad!), the grey side will give your kit protection from the sun. The cover comes in a separate mesh bag which has a little clip and can be attached to the bag in various places, such as the zip loops.

The back of the bag is extremely well padded, as are the straps, making the back extremely comfortable. There are two straps to go across your chest and waist to secure the bag and spread the weight, although they don't look too flattering on the large person if they are too tight.

Kata have even made it possible to attach your tripod to the bag, there's two straps supplied which hold it in place. The top straps have two loops to go through, the bottom one just goes through one loop, but there are five different heights to choose from, so you can pick the correct one that's perfect for your tripod. There's no particular place to keep the straps when not in use, so make sure you don't lose them.

Kata Revolver-8 DL   Kata Revolver-8 DL

Value for money

Priced at £269.00 the Kata Revolver-8 DL certainly represents an investment. Kata also produce a Pro-V 610 PL Backpack which can fit a 500mm telephoto lens, this costs £419.95. National Geographic have an Earth Explorer backpack for £359.95 which can hold lenses up to 300mm in length as well as a 17 inch laptop. If you have more than one DSLR, the Lowepro Pro Trekker 600 AW will carry 2-3 with grip and lens attached and much more, priced at £264.95. Available for less than the Revolver-8 is the Vanguard Skyborne 51, which holds 1-2 DSLR's with lens attached, available for £189.99.

Kata Revolver-8 DL Backpack Verdict

The revolving magazine certainly is a unique feature and it definitely makes it easier to reach all your kit, but Kata didn't stop there when designing the Revolver-8 DL. There's plenty of room for your camera, lenses, accessories, laptop, tripod and an elements cover that will protect your gear from both the rain and the sun. It's comfortable to wear and is suited for both left handed and right handed users. It's an expensive backpack and will be out of many photographers' budget, but if you've invested in expensive gear, in the long-run it's just the price you have to pay for an excellent bag that will ensure it's well protected and easy to carry.

 
  The Kata Revolver-8 DL features a unique design and is a fantastic bag, with plenty of storage space.

Kata Revolver-8 DL Backpack Pros

Rotating magazine is unique
Ample other storage areas for other gear
Elements cover protects against rain and sun
Holds tripods of varying sizes
Room for a laptop
Side pockets on both sides - ideal for left and right handed users
Comfortable to wear

Kata Revolver-8 DL Backpack Cons

Pocket for valuables is on the outside
Expensive
Some lenses may be too big to fit comfortably (i.e. 70-300mm)

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
OVERALL  

Kata Revolver-8 DL Specifications

Bag type
StyleBackpack
MaterialUnknown
Dimensions
Weight1300g
Width250mm
Height490mm
Depth330mm

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