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Camera Bags Compared - Manfrotto Pro Light RedBee 310 Vs Noreg Backpack 30 Backpacks

We compare two of Manfrotto's latest ranges against each other to help you choose the right camera bag. Trendy streetwise Noreg or security-minded Redbee? Read on to see which bag will fit your needs the most.

|  Noreg backpack 30 in Bags, Cases and Straps
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Choosing the right camera bag is a very important decision - you need to make sure that it fits your needs - and most importantly your kit - well. 

Manfrotto have recently added to their prolific bag collections with two new offerings - the RedBee collection, which is part of the pro light family and the Noreg collection - a backpack and shoulder bag designed with those who travel a lot in mind. Here, we take a look at a bag from each collection to help you pick the right one. On test here are the Manfrotto Pro Light RedBee 310 and Manfrotto Noreg Backpack 30.

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Noreg backpack 30     
 

                                                                         Noreg                                                                                   RedBee

Gear

The RedBee collection has 2 sizes - 110 and 310. The smallest, the 110, has a 15L capacity and is designed primarily for CSC kit - 2 bodies and attached 70-200mm lens along with spare lenses and other accessories. The 310 has a 22l capacity and is designed for DSLR/camcorder kit, with the capacity for 2 Pro DSLR bodies and a 400mm lens attached as well as room for several lenses and accessories. In for test here is the 310. 

The Noreg collection is comprised of a rucksack and shoulder bag, both offering a similar capacity - a premium mirrorless or small DSLR body with 2 spare lenses and plenty of space for personal accessories. On test with us is the rucksack. 

Both bag collections have modular dividers allowing you to dedicate space to kit or personal accessories as required. The Noreg is more modular - featuring detachable parts that you can use separately. Both collections will hold a 15-inch laptop and tablet, as well as the ability to hold small drones like the DJI Mavic and accessories as well. 

Verdict - The RedBee wins on capacity - you can fit more kit in the RedBee offerings. However, on flexibility for different types of kit, the Noreg offers you more options with the ability to carry the camera section of the bag separately - really handy when travelling. 

 

Accessibility


 

The Noreg features a large top pocket for personal belongings with dual-zip entry, inside which is a zipped storage pocket. On the outside of this is a small zipped pocket ideal for documents. 

The bottom half of the bag has a double zip which runs around the front and sides of the bag, giving access to the camera storage bag, which can be removed and used as a standalone camera bag. To the rear of the bag is a laptop bag which can be fully unzipped from the bag, again to be used separately. On the front of the bag is a flap secured by two metal hooks which gives access to horizontal tripod straps. Two more metal hooks and straps higher up allow you to hold further personal effects on the outside of the bag. There's also a monopod holder on the side. 

The Noreg offers good accessibility - the main zips feature metal grips allowing for quick and easy utilisation. Everything is laid out well and comes together neat and tidily. Gear can be accessed keeping the bag on one shoulder when wearing it, eliminating the need to put it down to get to gear, ideal when you're on the go. 


 

The RedBee main gear access is through the back of the bag, and there is also a top hatch for quick access to the camera with attached lens, and smaller side access flaps for lenses and accessories. A tripod can be held on the side and there's also a half-size document pocket on the front. Laptop and tablet storage is found on the inside of the back flap.

The zips have ring-pully style attachments, making swift access possible. The RedBee offers less separate pockets but more access options to the main compartment. However one of these is obstructed if you choose to mount a tripod to the side. 

Verdict - The RedBee has the easier zips to use and more access via different means to the main kit compartments - however, it's more awkward to access all the kit without taking it off, and there's another zipped mesh panel between you and the kit. This is a tough call but the Noreg wins on ease of access thanks to its modular design and easy to reach zips. 

 

Versatility


 

The Noreg's modular design means there are plenty of options for ways to carry your kit. The large top half of the bag can be used for personal effects, or extra kit (flashguns, mini tripod etc) as necessary. 

The fact that you can fully remove the camera unit and use the bottom half of the bag for more things too if you need to, and even open the middle divider to make the bag suitable for everyday use makes it extremely versatile. You can also choose whether or not you want to carry the laptop compartment on the back of the bag or not. 


 

Although not as versatile in terms of everyday use, the RedBee does offer plenty of versatility for adjusting dividers in the main compartment. They can be shaped or removed as required to accommodate your kit, and also create a dedicated space for personal effects if necessary. There's also a generous number of ways to enter the bag and get at your kit - so versatility in this sense is good. 

Despite being a more traditionally designed camera bag, the RedBee can accommodate for a lot of different kit and usage scenarios.

Verdict - The Noreg wins on versatility, thanks to its modular system allowing you for more packing and carry options overall. 

 

Comfort


 

The Noreg offers padding on both the laptop compartment and underneath this for wearing the bag without it attached. This isn't as thick as we'd like, and this also goes for the straps, which feel a little flimsy when worn. When the bag is fully loaded it lacks a little in comfort. It offers a chest strap but no waist straps.


 

The RedBee is very well padded on the back and shoulders with a channel down the middle for breathability. There is a chest strap and waist strap, although this isn't padded. When worn the RedBee is snug, comfortable and easily adjusted to suit.

Verdict - The RedBee is more comfortable when worn thanks to its thicker padding.

 

Weight

      
 

The Noreg weighs in at 1620g compared to 1850g for the RedBee. At 230g lighter the Noreg comes out as the lighter bag, but at the sacrifice of less padding and sturdiness of structure. 

Verdict - The Noreg is the lighter bag. But for an extra 230g you do get a lot more padding on the RedBee.

 

Security 


 

The Noreg doesn't really look like a camera bag on first glance - which plays in its favour in an urban environment. This aside, The main camera compartment is accessed from the front of the bag - leaving it vulnerable to being opened when worn. The modular design does mean that the laptop compartment of the bag should be safe when it's worn - it would take a lot of stealth to be able to detach this without the wearer noticing. 


 

The RedBee is primarily accessed from the back, meaning that when worn it is very secure. There's also that extra layer of zipped mesh to get through for the kit. The top and side access zips are more difficult to undo when on the move and don't give access to all the kit at once. 

Verdict - The RedBee's rear main access and extra mesh layer make it the more secure bag. 

 

Protection


 

Inside the camera compartment of the Noreg, you'll find the same padding as in the RedBee - the Manfrotto Protection System. The camera compartment is well padded and when inserted into the rucksack effectively offers double the protection as the outer rucksack is padded too. This gives kit a good amount of protection from knocks and bumps.


 

The RedBee offers a slightly thicker, sturdier outer shell and has thicker dividers, designed for extra reassurance with longer prime lenses. The mesh barrier also protects kit from things accidentally dropped when the bag is open. 

Both bags have a rain cover for protection against the elements. 

Verdict - Both bags give more than adequate protection where it counts, but the sturdier shell and thicker dividers of the RedBee give it the edge. 

 

Price

Coincidentally, both bags cost exactly the same amount, at £159.95. So, we'll need to look at value to determine a winner in this category. This is a difficult one to call as it'll probably depend on what you want the bag for, as to what you'll class as valuable between the two. 

Ultimately, if you want versatility and are happy carrying less kit then the Noreg is going to be a strong contender, if you value the extra security and padding for your kit then the RedBee might appeal more. 

Verdict - The RedBee is better value in terms of how much you can fit in the bag. However the Noreg wins on looks and Versatility. 

 

Manfrotto Noreg Backpack 30

The Noreg offers a streetwise look with an innovative modular system allowing you to carry your kit securely and protect it. There's ample space for your personal belongings and for urban use, it's an inconspicuous choice. However, it lacks in comfort and security compared to the RedBee.

+ Pros

  • Trendy
  • Modular and versatile
  • Well padded camera compartment
  • Holds a tripod without obscuring access

 

         Buy now 

- Cons

  • Shoulder straps are a little flimsy
  • Front opening could make kit vulnerable
 

 

Manfrotto Pro Light RedBee 310

The RedBee 310 is more of a traditional camera bag, that holds more kit and has plenty of padding both internally and for comfort when worn. The rear opening means it's more secure when out and about plus there are multiple points to access select kit from. It is less modular however, with a lack of space for personal belongings and one of the side pockets is obscured when a tripod is mounted. 

+ Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Secure
  • Plenty of room for kit
  • Light for the amount of padding
  • Quick access for key kit

 

          Buy now

- Cons

  • Not as versatile
  • Mounting a tripod obscures an access pocket
 

 

Looking for more bags? Have a read of our complete buyer's guide to camera bags.


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