Manfrotto Street Slim Backpack at a glance:

  • £87.95
  • Holds a camera and three lenses
  • Upper space for personal items
  • Removable slip for 13in laptop
  • Measures 43 x 29 x 18cm

When you need to carry other items alongside your camera kit, for example food, clothing or a laptop, a backpack will often be the most practical choice of bag. But then the question arises as to how you’d like to access your kit. While traditional front-loading designs are convenient for getting at your camera and lenses, the rear-access approach is more secure. This can be desirable when shooting in an unfamiliar location.

Manfrotto’s Street Slim backpack ingeniously addresses this conundrum by providing two access points front and rear, with a reversible camera module that can be set facing either way. To make this work, the laptop pocket (which takes devices with a screen size up to 13in) is also removable and can be placed at either the front or rear of the bag. In fact, for maximum security while travelling, you could even position it to block access to your camera from either side, although this isn’t really how the bag is designed to be used.

Manfrotto Street Slim Backpack

The Manfrotto Street Slim Backpack will hold a camera and three or four lenses in its lower padded section

Manfrotto Street Slim Backpack key features:

  • Side pockets: Elasticated expanding pockets on either side will hold a water bottle, umbrella, or small tripod
  • Phone holder: An ingenious folding pocket on one strap can be used to carry a smartphone, complete with a leash to hold it in place
  • Trolley strap: This can be slid over the handle of a rolling suitcase for transporting the backpack more easily
  • Convertible: Both the camera unit and the laptop pocket can be removed, allowing use as an everyday backpack

In terms of capacity, the generously padded camera insert will accept a camera body and three zoom lenses up to 19cm long – roughly the size of a 70-300mm telephoto. At 10cm deep, it’s perhaps better suited to a mirrorless setup than an enthusiast DSLR. I was able to fit in my Olympus E-M1 Mark III with 12-40mm f/2.8, 40-150mm f/2.8 and 8-18mm f/2.8-4 zooms, plus a few other bits and pieces. Alternatively, a Sony Alpha 7R IV with 24-105mm f/4, 16-35mm f/4 and 50mm f/1.4 lenses also fits nicely.

The upper half of the bag is mostly unpadded and accessed through a separate flap on top. It provides enough space to carry a packed lunch, or essentials for an overnight stay. A series of internal pockets act as convenient organisation for travel documents, chargers and so on, while expanding external pockets on either side are handy for carrying a water bottle or compact tripod.

Typically for Manfrotto the bag is nicely assembled, yet it’s also very light, at 800g. To achieve this, though, the shoulder straps and back panel are only lightly padded, and there’s neither a sternum strap nor a waist belt to help stabilise the load. I found it was still reasonably comfortable to carry fully laden for an hour or so, but it isn’t going to be the best choice for long hikes.

The ideal complement: Manfrotto Street Tech Organiser

Manfrotto Street Tech Organiser

Manfrotto’s Street Tech Organiser will hold such things as chargers, cables, microphones and lights

If you’d like a way of keeping all your electronic items in one place, the Manfrotto Street Tech Organiser is worth a look. This rectangular pouch measures 26 x 7 x 13 cm and has internal pockets for chargers, powerbanks, or other accessories, along with a cable organiser. It fits neatly into the top of the Street Slim backpack and costs £27.

Manfrotto Street Slim Backpack: Our Verdict

Cleverly designed and well made, the Manfrotto Street Slim Backpack would be a good choice for photographers taking a day trip or city break.

4.5 stars