Man­frotto Pro Light FastTrack-8 sling

Michael Topham tests a novel sling bag

Amateur Photographer - - Testbench - ● £110 ● www.man­frotto.co.uk

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.

Ver­dict

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.

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