Manfrotto Pro Light Camera Sling Bag (FastTrack-8) Review

Manfrotto Pro Light Camera Sling Bag (FastTrack-8) Review  - Manfrotto has combined a camera sling bag with a strap to create the Pro Light FastTrack camera bag for CSC shooters and we've taken it for a photo walk to see how good the hybrid bag/strap really is.

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Manfrotto Pro Light FastTrack-8 PL in Bags, Cases and Straps

1/50 sec | f/2.8 | 10.4 mm | ISO 160

 

There are two accessories a photographer will always need: a camera strap and a camera bag and while you can buy pretty decent individual bags and straps, Manfrotto has come up with the innovative idea of combining the two. 

The Manfrotto Pro Light Camera Sling Bag FastTrack-8 is designed for CSC shooters who can attach their camera to the adjustable camera strap then store their CSC in the sling without detaching it from the strap. Practicality and safety-wise, it sounds like a great idea but how useable is the bag when out taking photos? We took the Manfrotto Pro Light camera sling bag FastTrack-8 for a walk to find out. 

 

Manfrotto Pro Light Camera Sling Bag FastTrack-8 Features

1/125 sec | f/3.2 | 10.4 mm | ISO 160
 

The main feature of the Manfrotto Pro Light camera sling bag FastTrack-8 is that it's a camera bag and strap in one. It's perfect for CSCs such as the Sony Alpha A7 Mark III or Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark II seen in the images below and has plenty of space for a CSC camera with lens attached, 2 additional lenses (e.g. a 70-200mm f/4 and 16-35mm f/4 in the main compartment),  a tablet or laptop up to 9.7" in size and small accessories (memory cards, pens etc.). Plus, an internal bungee cord can secure a mini tripod and kit can be organised as you like thanks to the modular divider design found inside the camera bag. 

Like all Manfrotto Pro Light models, the Pro Light camera sling bag FastTrack-8 is made from water-repellent fabric and kit is protected by the built-in Manfrotto Camera Protection System as well as lockable zipper pullers. 

As for the built-in camera strap, this features standard camera strap connectors so the tripod socket is always kept free on your camera and as of writing, the sling fits the standard to fit as carry-on luggage.

The Pro Light FastTrack camera sling bag FastTrack-8 for CSC is available now for £109.95.

Key Features

  • 2-in-1 -  sling bag plus camera sling strap
  • Perfect for CSCs
  • Hands are kept free for fast lens changes via easy side access
  • CPS and lockable zipper puller for extreme gear security
  • Standard camera strap connectors keep the tripod hole free
  • Carry-on luggage friendly 
  • Modular design

 

Manfrotto Pro Light Camera Sling Bag FastTrack-8 Handling & Performance 

1/80 sec | f/2.8 | 10.4 mm | ISO 160
 

As a camera bag, the Manfrotto Pro Light camera sling bag FastTrack-8 is a really great piece of kit as it's not too bulky but still has plenty of room for kit and all of the accessories you could need.

Kit is easy to access thanks to the several pockets and compartments found in the bag. Plus, you don't even have to open the main compartment carrying your spare lenses, notebooks, accessories etc. when you want to grab your camera for shooting as this sits in its own compartment at the bottom of the bag. When you do want to access other bits of kit, this is done through a second easy-access side compartment which you can get into without removing the sling as you just need to spin the sling around from back to front. You can also access the tablet/laptop pocket this way, too. This not only makes the bag ideal for days out at busy tourist attractions where space is a premium but it also makes it ideal for travel as you can access passports, tickets etc. on-the-move without having to juggle your bag while you walk. The bag also fits into overhead luggage compartments very easily and will probably fit comfortably under a plane seat, too. 

All of the compartments in the bag are cushioned with thick padding so you know your kit is safe from knocks and it won't move around in transit. The inside compartment of the main bag is modular so the dividers can be adjusted but due to the compact size of the bag, this isn't as easy to do as it is with bigger backpacks. We're not saying it's really hard work, it's just not as easy as it is in bags with more volume. Having said that, it's pretty well laid out anyway so chances are, you won't need to adjust it. There's also an internal bungee cord that you can secure a mini tripod to or, as we did, it's also ideal for pens (you don't want to be without a pen when travelling). 

 

1/80 sec | f/2.5 | 10.4 mm | ISO 160

 

The meshed pockets make it easy for you to see and find small accessories and once you've finished accessing kit, pockets are secured with zippers that can be locked in place with a simple, but rather genius, elastic cord. The zipper on the compartment that houses your camera also has a robust plastic pully on it that makes the zipper even quicker to open/close and it also means it won't snap off anytime soon. 

 

1/40 sec | f/2.5 | 10.4 mm | ISO 160
 

There's a robust grab handle for when you want to simply pick the bag up off of the floor and a sturdy loop is also found on the bag which you can use to help twist the sling around but the bag does move easily enough by just pushing the strap around.

 

1/40 sec | f/2.0 | 10.4 mm | ISO 160
 

That's about it for the bag aspect of the 2-in-1 sling so we'll talk a little about the built-in camera strap next.

We have to admit that when we first heard of the design we were a little sceptical but it actually works really well. You can attach a CSC camera to the adjustable camera strap then store your CSC in the sling without detaching it from the strap. Then, when you want to capture a photo, you just need to remove the camera from the padded compartment, pull and extend the camera's sling strap.

Plus, once you've captured a shot, you can move to the next location without having to store the camera back in the bag as the lockable buckles make sure the camera is safely fixed.

1/125 sec | f/2.5 | 10.4 mm | ISO 160
 

1/125 sec | f/3.2 | 10.4 mm | ISO 160

 

1/125 sec | f/2.8 | 10.4 mm | ISO 160


1/125 sec | f/2.8 | 10.4 mm | ISO 160
 

As a camera strap is built in, it means you no longer have to carry the weight of your camera around your neck on a separate strap as your shoulders and back take the brunt of the weight. Plus, the buckles and strap locking system made the camera feel very secure and at no point were we worried that it would fall off or bang around too much while walking. As for accessing the camera from the bag, this was a doddle as all you have to do is spin the sling around, unzip the bottom compartment so you can access your camera then pull and extend the camera’s sling strap so you're ready to capture your images. Sliding the camera from hip to the eye was really quick, too, reducing your chances of missing a shot. 

Another plus point of having the camera strap built in is that it makes it harder for thieves to steal the camera off you. Your camera is stored in a pocket at the bottom of the bag which in itself is tricky to access for thieves and the fact that the camera is fastened to the bag via a strap means that even if someone did manage to open the zipper pocket, they won't be able to 'grab and run' as they'd be taking you with it! Plus, having a camera secured to a strap that's secured to a bag means that moped thieves won't be able to simply snatch the camera out of your hands. The bag/strap combo also means that they never get tangled and twisted which can be annoying when walking or trying to remove kit. 

Overall, equipment is easy to access, the bag is comfortable to wear and it keeps kit very safe. Plus, the overall design is modern, sleek and not attention grabbing (all plus points when you're on a city walk with a camera or exploring a foreign country). You don't have to worry about the weather either (a plus in the UK) as a specially applied coating means the bag is resistant to moisture.

 

Value For Money

The new Manfrotto Pro Light camera sling bag FastTrack-8 is available at £109.95 but as it's the only camera sling bag on the market to feature an integrated camera strap, there's no direct comparison for it. If we look at it as just a sling, you have the Lowepro Passport Sling III which is designed for travelling and holds a DSLR with an extra lens or mirrorless kit. It's a lot cheaper but isn't as robust, only has the main compartment and as said, doesn't have the built-in camera strap. Peak Design offers two sling designs - 5L and 10L both of which have a lovely design and prices start at around £70 and reach a similar price to the Manfrotto sling of around £105 (at the time of writing, converted from USD) but again, there's no built-in camera strap. There are plenty of very basic camera sling bags available on Amazon UK but we can't guarantee the quality will be as good as that on offer from Manfrotto. Prices for these start at £23.99. 

For more bag choices and suggestions, have a read of these top lists:

 

Manfrotto Pro Light Camera Sling Bag FastTrack-8 Verdict

The Pro Light camera sling bag FastTrack-8 from Manfrotto surprised us as, actually, it's a design that really does work. It could quite easily have been a product that's over-engineered and gimmicky but it's far from that, offering security, space and comfort for photographers who travel a lot or enjoy photo walks. Plus, it's built incredibly well, looks smart and isn't overly expensive when compared with competitor bags that don't have the 2-in-1 design built in. 

If you're looking for a camera sling that's compact, lightweight, easy to access and secure, the Pro Light camera sling bag FastTrack-8 is ideal then when you add the built-in camera strap into the mix, the Pro Light camera sling bag FastTrack-8 turns into a product that's doubly useful. 

Highly Recommended. 

 

Manfrotto Pro Light Camera Sling Bag FastTrack-8 Pros

  • 2-in-1 unique design
  • Build quality
  • Easy access to equipment
  • Comfortable

Manfrotto Pro Light Camera Sling Bag FastTrack-8 Cons

  • Only available in 1 capacity 
  • Not as easy to adjust dividers as it is in other bags

Features5/5
Handling4.5/5
Performance5/5
Value4.5/5
Overall Verdict

Manfrotto Pro Light FastTrack-8 PL Specifications

ManufacturerManfrotto
Bag type
StyleSling Bag
MaterialNylon
Dimensions
Weight730g
Width140mm
Height420mm
Depth245mm

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