Manfrotto Pro Light FastTrack-8 sling
Michael Topham tests a novel sling bag
THE INCREASED popularity of mirrorless cameras has seen a steady rise in the number of smaller photo bags being made. One of the most intriguing examples to be released of late is Manfrotto’s Pro Light FastTrack sling, which is like no other sling bag we’ve seen before. It’s the first of its kind to combine a sling strap with a camera strap and the idea is that it solves the issue of getting your bag’s strap and camera strap into a tangle, while making it fast and convenient to access kit and stow it away when on the move or in a hurry. It’s an innovative idea, so how exactly does it work?
Just like a normal sling bag there’s one thick, well-padded strap that’s worn diagonally across the body from which a second thinner, fully adjustable, camera strap branches off. Attached to this camera strap are two buckles. These are designed in such a way that they slide up and down the camera strap, and attach to your camera via short tethers that loop through the camera’s strap eyelets. The beauty of the system is that it lets you store the camera in the bag with the strap attached, or if you know you’re going to be using the camera frequently, you can leave it to dangle at your side ready to grab and pull up to your eye when a shooting opportunity presents itself. Better still, the camera can be released from the camera strap in seconds should you wish to use it with a tripod, and each buckle has a lock, which offers reassurance that your camera won’t accidentally unfasten. It’s a clever and well- executed strap arrangement.
The camera compartment happily accommodates a premium mirrorless camera minus a battery grip with a standard lens attached. The side compartment is a useful area for storing a couple of small primes or one larger zoom like the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS that I managed to cram in. There are a couple of pockets for storing cards and cables too, with the well-padded area behind the main and side compartments being a good place to slot a tablet up to 9.7in in size.
If you’re a mirrorless user looking for a convenient sling to throw over your shoulder for day trips or a city break, you won’t go far wrong choosing this bag from Manfrotto. It’s not the biggest of bags and you do pay a premium for its integrated camera strap, but within a short space of time you realise how good it is for travelling light. Most important of all it’s comfortable, well made and has good security measures in place to ensure your kit remains safe.