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...
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:
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:
The side view with zipper opening/closing:
The interior view showing just one divider (the bag comes with two dividers) and the pouch for batteries and/or cards:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.