Kata HB-207 backpack review
Although a Peli case protects my camera whilst it’s being transported there are times when I need to be able to take the camera with me on foot and a hard case just isn’t practical, that’s when I use the HB-207 backpack from Kata. The HB stands for Hiker Backpack.
The HB-207 is extremely well designed and put together, it comes with padded dividers and internal mesh bags that attach to the soft lining with Velcro. External straps and mesh bags are also provided to enable you to secure larger items on the outside of the pack including a small tripod or mono-pod.
The bag itself has an extra padded compartment to allow you to carry a laptop, this could be especially useful if you use tapeless cameras and need to offload footage in the field. The part which zips up to close over the contents is hardened and curved to provide protection for the main contents, the exterior of this part also contains additional pockets and loops to attach gear.
The HB-207 comes with it’s own rain cover which fits over the bag offering some protection should you get caught out in a downpour. As you can see in the image below, the EX1 on it’s own fits in the bag perfectly and it’s possible to arrange the padded dividers to allow other bits and bobs to be secured too. I especially like the Velcro attached mesh bags which stick fast to the inside of the bag and have pull string tops to secure small items such as batteries in place.
If I’m using my EX1 on the Proteus rails with the Brevis attached I can still use this bag by removing the large padded divider that fits between the main compartment and the small pocket at the top of the bag. This obviously makes the top pocket below the carry strap a bit useless, but it’s nice to be able to get the Brevis rig inside. I can even fit the rig in with one of my smaller 35mm lenses attached.
The HB-207 is a fantastic backpack, it’s comfortable to wear and extremely well made. The shoulder straps are fully adjustable and clip together using a snap fastener.
The main waistband is nicely padded and fully adjustable, it really makes you feel like your wearing a proper backpack and not just a bag with shoulder straps. You can also purchase a trolly from Kata that can be inserted into the front of the backpack to enable you to wheel it around airports etc.
If you’re using an EX1 or similarly sized camera I highly recommend this backpack. I wouldn’t suggest any soft bag or backpack for protection during transportation over something like a Peli case, but if you need a pack that allows you carry your gear while your walking then this is a great choice.
You can buy the HB-207 in the US from B&H Photo Video for around $200.
In the UK Amazon.co.uk sell them for £148.
I use an EX1 and I’ve been looking at the Kata 207. My EX1 is kitted out with a Genus mattebox AND rail system, and I’d prefer to keep it all intact to be ready on a shoot. Do you think when rigged this would still fit into the 207 ?
I used to fit my EX1 in with a Brevis 35mm adapter and so it might be long enough although that rig was very compact. I think the only way to know would be to try it, it’s going to be close but I really wouldn’t like to guess.