I was recently looking for a good waterproof camera bag to hold up to the rainy conditions we experience in New Zealand and one of the bags that was in the running was the National Geographic Camera Backpack (model a5270)- which I discuss in more detail below.
The Nat Geo Camera bag came a close second to my original choice. It was a close call but unfortunately Amazon were out of stock and that was a big factor in my decision. I was in a bit of a hurry so if I had decided on this particular bag the unavailability factor would have eliminated it from the get-go.
Let’s give you a quick rundown of this bag and hopefully Amazon will have them in stock again soon.
National Geographic NG a5270 Product Overview
Product: National Geographic NG A5270 Rucksack
Price: Check Amazon for availability – at time of writing they were out of stock |
Cheapest Place to Buy:
Weight: 2.8 Pounds
Guarantee: Warranty subject to authorized dealer’s Terms and Conditions, plus Amazon’s Standard Warranty
Manufactured by Manfrotto
My Rating: 8.5 out of 10
My Criteria For a Good Quality Waterproof Camera Bag
I had four basic requirements (yours will most likely be different).
- A specific size to fit my existing equipment and also to allow for any future purchases.
- A sturdy bag that would maintain it’s shape despite regular and frequent use.
- Waterproof or at least water and weather resistant.
- A bag specifically designed for photographers with customisable partitions.
Other features that I was interested in but that weren’t essential included:
- A sling option for quick and easy access.
- A bag with a different look to one that screams “Camera Gear!”
- Didn’t cost the earth but wasn’t a cheap product either.
- A lightweight bag if possible.
#1 Choice – Zecti Waterproof Canvas Professional Camera Bag
#2 Choice – National Geographic NG a5270 (the one this post is about) and
#3 Choice – LowePro ProTactic 450AW Camera Backpack
The National Geographic Camera Backpack (model NG a5270) ... impossible not to like
There is so much to like about this camera bag!
For starter’s its manufactured by Manfrotto. I was surprised to learn this but then I realised that National Geographic’s brand is such that it makes sense for them to use the best camera bag manufacturing company in the business.
- Ergonomically designed for comfort. It’s a slim bag with weight distribution evenly spread over your back but carried by your shoulders. You won’t feel as if you have a big round boulder pressing into your back. The design was created with all day comfort in mind and works exceptionally well. Breathable fabric ensures cool comfortable carrying.
- Ergonomically designed for comfort.
It’s a slim bag with weight distribution evenly spread over your back but carried by your shoulders. You won’t feel as if you have a big round boulder pressing into your back. The design was created with all day comfort in mind and works exceptionally well. Breathable fabric ensures cool comfortable carrying.
- The build quality is excellent.
The finish on this bag is really classy and durable looking. It is after all made by Manfrotto so no surprises about the looks and durability. Buy this bag and you know you won’t need another bag for a very long time. Chances are it will outlast you unless you as many owners attest to.
- Plenty of room for camera equipment.
With a top and a bottom compartment there is ample room for either 2 bodies and 2 or three lenses or one body and three of four lenses. And plenty of spare pockets for batteries, chargers, cleaning kit and filters.
- Top and bottom entrance to the camera equipment.
The bag can be packed to your specific requirements with the body and lenses you use more frequently accessible in which ever compartment you prefer without having to open all your gear to the elements at the same time.
- Fully adjustable to fit all sizes of humans
Amazingly this bag is fully adjustable to fit all sizes.
One of the Amazon reviews (Jewels of Kent) states that she is 5’4″ while her husband is 6’1″ and the bag suits both of them. You can buy this bag with confidence regardless of your height or shape.
- Room for a 15.3″ laptop.
Laptops are a popular item for photographers to carry around and laptop sections have become the norm in camera backpacks. If you don’t carry a laptop around (I don’t) then this is a handy compartment for notebooks, user manuals and photography magazines. Bonus! – I say
- Room for a tripod on either side.
The design is such that the addition of a travel tripod fits on without protruding and sticking into others in crowded areas.
- Weather sealed and comes with a raincoat too.
Should be good for most weather conditions but for New Zealand I would have it treated (but that’s just me).
- Complies with “hand luggage” requirements when traveling.
Need I say more?
- The look.
It really is a stunning looking back – you wouldn’t expect anything less from Nat Geo and Manfrotto.
- The Price
Really hard to believe you can get a Manfrotto bag, with such a high quality finish, for this price.
It Cannot Be Perfect ... so what's not to like?
If I said it was perfect I would be lying because it was, after all, my second choice.
So what did I not like about it – or more to the point where did it let itself down?
- First of all it was not available when I wanted to buy a new bag, and as I said earlier I am an impatient kind of fellow.
- While watching the video and after reading the reviews I decided I did not like the bottom entrance to the bottom section. For me this left the possibility of being left open and my expensive gear falling out.
- Security was not as good as bags that have to be removed for access to back entrance backpacks. If you’re a traveler like me then this may be important but if you just want to go hiking in good ole safe new Zealand then this is less of a problem.
- Not totally waterproof.
- It looks and sounds just a wee bit small but reviewers all say that there is ample room. So I could be wrong here. Certainly the dimensions seem adequate.
- The price point was above my budget – but had the other requirements been met I am sure I could have found the extra dollars.
The nat Geo Camera Backpack is an Investment in Manfrotto!
Seriously folks the Nat Geo a5270 Camera Rucksack (to give the full name) looks and sounds like a fantastic camera bag. I don’t think you will go far wrong if you purchase one. Hopefully Amazon will have them in stock again soon – This bag either sells fast or has been replaced by a newer model (see comments below)
Check stock availability at Amazon here
If not available it may have been replaced by the bigger NG a5290 but while you are there why not check all the Nat Geo camera rucksacks out – they sure are snazzy!
Let me know your thoughts on what models you like and why – leave me a comment below or send me a message.
As always I appreciate your thoughts.
Why not tell me what bag you have or what you are looking for in a bag?