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Thread started 09 Sep 2008 (Tuesday) 14:34
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Review: Kata T-214 Torso Bag

 
SYS
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Sep 09, 2008 14:34 |  #1

KATA T-214 TORSO BAG:

Ever since I first got the Kata R-103 backpack some years ago, I've been a fan of Kata products ever since. I now own five Kata bags: Kata R-103, T-212, T-214, H-14, and S-308. Probably more to come, most likely to update the H-14 to H-16.

My latest Kata bag purchase is the T-214 Torso Bag, which is the updated T-212 that I already own. I loved T-212 for its concept, but I wanted a larger version that can comfortably hold my 40D with the grip and the long lenses. But after having read some negative comments on this forum regarding this bag, I wasn't too sure about ordering one blindly, as local merchants don't carry one. Well, I decided to take a chance based on my high satisfaction level with all of my Kata bags that I had purchased. Here's what I found...

THE OBJECTIVE:

Just like the T-212 Torso Bag in concept (quick draw and shoot) but large enough to carry more gear, specifically to accommodate my 40D+grip attached to either of my 70-200 f/2.8 or 100-400 w/reversed hood and a couple other, smaller lenses, OR my 40D+grip attached to either of these long lenses AND my backup 20D attached to a smaller lens.

The bag itself:

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3251/2843003293_ea37d4dd8f_o.jpg

As a company that makes body armors for the Israeli special military forces, the outer turtle shell covering offers extra protection in case of accidental bumps:
IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3236/2843840044_91ef50ff6a_o.jpg


The side view with zipper opening/closing:
IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3124/2843840082_efc5157cae_o.jpg

The interior view showing just one divider (the bag comes with two dividers) and the pouch for batteries and/or cards:
IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3244/2843003177_62499ce3bf_o.jpg

With the 40D+grip+70-200 f/2.8 w/reversed hood on one side of the divider, and the 20D (no grip) with the 85mm lens attached, on the other side of the divider:
IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3086/2843840304_3baa69886b_o.jpg
Without the backup 20D+lens, I can place two smaller lenses in its place with the other divider.

How does the above fit? Rather comfortably, I'd say. Here's the closed image with the above configuration inside:

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3180/2843840272_10ef3205cd_o.jpg
I tried fitting the 20D attached to the 24-70 (instead of 85mm) with the hood reversed, and it did fit with the exact same configuration of the 40D above, but it wasn't a comfortable fit.

The bag comes with three outer pockets. This image shows my 580Ex comfortably fitting inside the pocket that lines with the turtle shell covering which is designed to expand with your gear, while the other pocket can be used to store manuals, portable HD drives, etc.
IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3032/2843003521_5d87d08095_o.jpg

The third pocket, which is situated in the middle -- between two pockets shown above -- is good for holding an iPod or a cell phone (fits better without the cell phone leather housing, though) or such:
IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3148/2843003403_ba90000e3e_o.jpg

CONCLUSION:

Camera bags are all subjective and personal. For those who were dissatisfied with this bag for whatever reasons, those reasons are valid for them, I'm sure. As for me, though, this bag is a drastically improved version of the T-212, and I'm thrilled that I decided to take a chance even after having read negative comments about it.

For those who want a sling style bag, this bag will work as a sling bag, but it's really designed, as the name says, as "torso" bag. I don't like the sling style bags and always have avoided them. Using it as a torso bag, this product really shines in comfort, protection, and function. This bag is ideal for those who enjoy outdoors photography where you want to have your gear ready to shoot at any moment without hesitation but do not want your gear dangling haphazardly around your neck. I enjoy photography while hiking, and this bag is just perfect for me. I intend to use this bag for general photographing situations, as well, and not just as an outdoors specialty bag the way I used to do with the T-212. My 11 year old son now uses the T-212 for his field trips or hiking along with me and using his P&S camera.


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_aravena
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Sep 10, 2008 08:48 |  #2

I'm liking this! Any shots of it on you? I want something that wears like a backpack for hikes but I wasn't sure I wanted a backpack. This thing is perfect for the necessitates of hiking. I assume any accessories on would have goes in with the flash?

Possible pics of you wearing it? $90 ain't bad for Kata. It was this or the H-14 but I didn't want another shoulder bag.


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neil_g
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Sep 10, 2008 09:04 |  #3

i think i love you. ive been looking for a bag for ages.

hows the weatherproofing?

edit - dont worry found it on t'internet. http://www.kata-bags.com …sp?p_Id=324&Ver​sion=Photo (external link) just ordered one from the states, even with shipping its cheaper than UK prices. win.


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SYS
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Sep 10, 2008 12:00 |  #4

_aravena wrote in post #6278743 (external link)
I'm liking this! Any shots of it on you? I want something that wears like a backpack for hikes but I wasn't sure I wanted a backpack. This thing is perfect for the necessitates of hiking. I assume any accessories on would have goes in with the flash?

Possible pics of you wearing it? $90 ain't bad for Kata. It was this or the H-14 but I didn't want another shoulder bag.

No, I don't have a photo of me wearing it. Maybe I'll have my son take a picture of me wearing it, but in the meantime, here's another review (more thorough than mine) of the bag with the picture of someone wearing it:

http://www.shuttertalk​.com/articles/katat214 (external link)

I was actually thinking about ordering the H-16 to update my beloved H-14, but I thought the T-214 would be more useful and functional for me since it could handle more gear (like two bodies with lenses attached!).

If you do go on hikes with your camera, THIS BAG is, in my opinion, just perfectly suited for that purpose. I just LOVE being able to simply unzip, pull out the camera, and shoot. You CAN adjust the bag to be higher up or lower on your torso, so it doesn't matter what your height is. When I'm riding my bicycle, I simply wear it higher for freer leg movements, or simply wear it on the back sling style. This is another area where the T-214 improved on its predecessor, T-212, which you couldn't do sling style, only torso.



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SYS
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Sep 10, 2008 12:10 |  #5

neil_g wrote in post #6278821 (external link)
i think i love you. ive been looking for a bag for ages.

hows the weatherproofing?

edit - dont worry found it on t'internet. http://www.kata-bags.com …sp?p_Id=324&Ver​sion=Photo (external link) just ordered one from the states, even with shipping its cheaper than UK prices. win.

Although you've already found some info on your question, let me add my own personal experience in terms of the Kata bag quality specifically in relation to weather.

I should have gotten the T-214 for my recent trip to South Korea, but I took the H-14 shoulder bag (along with the R-103 backpack) that I already had in my possession. While I was hiking with my family in Namsan, Gyeong-ju (in spite of the locals warning me NOT to due to rain and poor visibility!), we were pelted with heavy rain near the top. We had absolutely no cover from the heavy rain, and I forgot to bring the rain cover that comes with all Kata bag purchases (T-214 comes with the rain cover, too, so you know). In other words, we were soaked and lost our ways a couple of times, for a few hours at that, in the mountain. In spite of the fact that I didn't have the rain cover, all of my gear stayed dry inside the Kata H-14. Now, I was IMPRESSED!! If anyone wonders why I keep buying nothing but Kata line of bags, that's because their quality, in my humble opinion, simply cannot be beaten by any other brands out there. So enjoy the bag when it arrives! :D



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neil_g
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Sep 11, 2008 02:58 |  #6

excellent, thanks for adding that im even more happy with my purchase now..

just have to wait USPS to ship it now..

cheers


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SuzyView
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Sep 11, 2008 06:21 |  #7

Dang it! You know I'm going to have to get one of those now. :)

Nice review. I've been looking at this bag of late, but I love my Domke. But if I ever decide I need a torso bag, this is the one.


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SYS
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Sep 11, 2008 08:32 |  #8

SuzyView wrote in post #6285434 (external link)
Dang it! You know I'm going to have to get one of those now. :)

Nice review. I've been looking at this bag of late, but I love my Domke. But if I ever decide I need a torso bag, this is the one.

Well, what's ONE more bag when you already have TWELVE! ;) Go for it!



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Sep 11, 2008 08:43 |  #9

Nice review Soo! I also looked at this bag but, I was more partial to the Tamrac Velocity 9.




  
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Familiaphoto
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Sep 11, 2008 12:09 |  #10

Very tempting, sounds like a perfect solution for vacations. Kata's are my favorite bags next to my Domke's, I just love my R-103.


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lnk
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Sep 11, 2008 12:15 as a reply to  @ Familiaphoto's post |  #11

Would i be abkle to fit a gripped 40d with a 300mm f4 attached and a 70-200 f4 at the side...??

Leigh


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SYS
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Sep 11, 2008 12:19 |  #12

jdizzle wrote in post #6286012 (external link)
Nice review Soo! I also looked at this bag but, I was more partial to the Tamrac Velocity 9.

The Tamrac V9 looks pretty good as a sling style bag. Although the Kata T-214 can be used as a slinger, as well, I've never felt comfortable with the sling style no matter the brands. I bought the T-214 to be used as a "torso" bag. It's so convenient when you're hiking and have the camera strap around your neck but the camera inside the bag in front of your torso.



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SYS
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Sep 11, 2008 12:41 |  #13

lnk wrote in post #6287078 (external link)
Would i be abkle to fit a gripped 40d with a 300mm f4 attached and a 70-200 f4 at the side...??

Leigh

Having the 70-200 f4 at the shallower, right side (where my 20D is in the above photo) is not a problem at all. The 70-200 f4 is 6.8" in length, and I can easily fit my 70-200 f2.8, which is 7.6" in length.

However, as for the deeper, left side of the pocket, your 300mm is 1.1" longer than my 70-200 f/2.8 lens. From my calculation your gripped 40D with the 300mm won't fit, but it looks like the ungripped 40D with the 300mm would fit okay, as there's about an inch of free room at the top with my ungripped 40D with the 70-200 attached. Hope this helps.



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bakatari
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Sep 11, 2008 14:41 |  #14

SYS, great review. I was thinking of this bag, but since you can't see them in person, I was always off on getting one. Now I am thinking this might be a great bag for me.


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Sep 11, 2008 19:34 as a reply to  @ bakatari's post |  #15

SYS wrote in post #6285946 (external link)
Well, what's ONE more bag when you already have TWELVE! ;) Go for it!

She's also craving a 1D3 like she's seen me using . . . Ask her. She'll tell you I'm a terrible influence!


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Review: Kata T-214 Torso Bag
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