You can never have too much RAM, too much money or too many photo backbacks. With that in mind, I set out to try the KARACHI OUTPOST from Crumpler.
My primary interest in this bag was it’s ability to hold a 17″ laptop and still fit in an airline overhead. Most camera/computer backpack combos only hold 15″ laptops. The Karachi provides a well padded insert that easily holds my new unibody 17″ MacBook Pro. The computer sleeve fits on top of the camera compartment. It’s well designed and not a kludge like I’ve seen on other bags.
The bag is very attractive and doesn’t look like a camera bag. That’s a plus since it cuts down on the likely hood that thieves will target it.
Where this bag really shines is its unbelievable construction. It’s very well made. There’s nothing (and I mean nothing) cheap about it. The firmly padded shoulder straps set nicely on the shoulder. There is also a cross strap which ties the two straps together across your chest and d-rings for clipping small accessories.
Now lets talk about the zippers. This bag has the sturdiest and most durable zippers that I have ever seen on a backpack. The pull tab makes it easy to pull the zipper and I am sure it will stand up to even the toughest of environments.
The back of the backpack is very nicely padded and includes what Crumpler calls a spine slot. This is designed to prevent any pressure from being applied to your spine. The amount of padding here is significant and provides more than enough protection for your gear once the pack is off your back.
Inside is a heavily-padded, removable compartment. There are the usual user-configurable pockets using velcro ties to hold the dividers in place.
The bag weighs 6.6 pounds and is made of water resistant 1000D Nylon shell & 420D Ripstop Nylon lining.
You can arrange the pack to carry a DSLR, flash and some lenses. I think Crumpler did a good job of providing you with plenty of room, but not so much that you’d be tempted to bring everything you own. My big problem with camera bags is I over pack them. This bag will force me to select the gear I need and leave me comfortable hauling it.
My only slight criticism of the bag is that it’s form and shape make one end somewhat less useful due to an odd concave shape. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but does remove some of the bag’s useable space. I don’t know if it’s a fashion thing or if the designers thought this made the bag ergonomic. In any event, it’s unusual.
Other than that I give this bag two thumbs up. It isn’t cheap, but quality never is. You get what you pay for. If the configuration of the Crumpler Karachi Outpost works for you I have no doubt you’ll be glad you bought it.