T-214 GDC Torso Pack Camera Bag
Georgiou, February 2007
gear and a desire to walk around with some of it
a long time camera user, one of my biggest problems
has been in finding some way to efficiently carry
my kit around with me, without having to carry a
large camera bag. I had a Lowepro Magnum which worked
well for me on fixed and location shoots. However
on days when I'm doing a walkabout and want to carry
my kit around with me, the Magnum proved irksome.
I really needed a backback or sling style bag with
enough storage to meet my needs. Lo and behold, I
came across a release for the T-214 from KATA. I
knew I had to try one out.
is a company which began by creating body armor
and gear for the Special Forces Group of the Israeli
Defence Force. Kata then branched out into making
more products for the military security, video/photo
and high tech markets such as: personal body armor,
combat & security, functional vests, backpacks,
lightweight protective carrying systems for sensitive
equipment, bags and cases for photo and video cameras
T-214 and much of KATA's other gear reflects this
history. It looks the part, like it would be protective,
strong and very usable — a real piece of
heavy duty photography gear. From the protective
armor-like padding on the front to the concealed
pockets and secure fastenings and straps, the T-214
is built for a rough and tumble existence.
opening the package when it arrived, I was impressed
by how well produced and useful the T-214 looked.
I was also a little confused by one of the straps
until I realised it was there to secure the T-214
when it was slung around my back. The main compartment
is also very secure because of the use of a double
zipper system and a velcro flap and the strong
click-lock fastener used to secure them. The main
storage compartment can house a long lens, camera
body with medium zoom lens and either another lens
or some other accessories.
case, I store a 70-210 F4 lens, a 50mm F1.8, Canon Eos
5D with 28-105mm F3.5-4.5, Canon EX550 Flash and a Sekonic
508 lightmeter, all of which fit with ease. In addition
to this I store my extra memory cards in the side pocket
and a couple of manuals in the back pocket. The front expandable
pocket, which I’ve yet to use much as I’m looking
for a decent portable storage unit, easily fits my O2 XDA
used sling bags for years I was quite comfortable with
the Kata T-214 configuration and straps, and over several
days I was very happy with the performance of this bag.
The mesh on the back of the bag also helped keep me cool
in the hot undergound system here in London.
rigged up a spare third-party velcro dividers to vertically
stack my 50mm and 28-105mm lenses in the central bay. Kata
should supply one or two additional dividers — they
literally triple the number of possible internal configurations.
I also tried placing a small ultralight PC into the compartment
at the back of the bag and although it fit, it wasn't something
I could do with comfort or peace of mind. The excess strap
length was also a bit of a bother, so rather than cutting
it, I coiled it securely using a clip.
other shortfall was an obvious solution to fastening a
decent tripod. I tried rigging something for the bottom
edge of the bag but couldn't come up with a solution that
made me happy.
not try the Bag in Kata's so-called EPH mode, where it
can be attached to a back pack and slung around the front,
but can see how it would be immensely useful in this configuration.
The T-214 is not a bag designed for sports use, as it will
not support the storage of the longer lenses common in
this type of photography. However for the journalist and
photographer who doesn't use these long lenses it will
more than fulfill your requirements.
main sling strap is too narrow through it's lower end as
it passes beyond the padded section and attaches to the
bottom of the bag. The result is frequent twisting which
over time will cause premature wear to the strap and the
seam. The solution is quite simple — just sew or
tack a small section of strap to the wider pad — but
Kata should redesign the strap.
light and strong. Excellent construction. Fast and easy
access to your equipment. Lots of secure and useful storage.
When I first got news of this product, I knew I had to
try it. The T-214 more than met my expectations and quite
comfortably allowed me to roam around without getting into
any discomfort. This bag is the perfect walkabout bag for
day shoots in the city or for rambling or orienteering
in the country. Highly recommended.