The Manfrotto Off Road Stunt backpack is a bag designed to go anywhere..
Not so long ago if you wanted a camera bag then the options open to you were pretty limited: black backpack, black hold-all, or black shoulder bag, bar a few obvious exceptions, of course.
In stark contrast today we have a huge choice, and one bag that combines both bright colour and stand-out aesthetic design is the ultra outdoorsy Manfrotto Off Road Stunt Backpack.
The Manfrotto Off Road Stunt Backpack is designed for CSC’s and action cameras, rather than traditional cumbersome SLRs, and the bright red, compact design reflects its intended use and youthful outdoorsy market.
It’s also available in black of course – but we have the red….
Manfrotto Off Road stunt backpack is designed for action
Action cameras are designed to be taken anywhere and likewise, CSCs, although not designed on the whole to be waterproof or shock resistant, are equally suited to being taken anywhere.
If you have cameras that are designed to travel then you need a backpack to suit. The Off Road Stunt Backpack is that bag, looking less photo and more off road.
Yet despite the colour and design it still manages to pack in features that every photographer would want and shows that it still has its feet firmly planted in photography.
Manfrotto Off Road Stunt Backpack Build and Handling
The exterior shell of the bag is made from a ripstop fabric but unlike other photo backpacks that have used this in the past the outer shell is reassuringly padded. The exterior is also clean with just a couple of discreet straps for shoulders waist and chest.
Less straps is good if you’re involved in outdoor activities as there’s nothing worse that having to untangle your bag from your equipment.
On either side bag at the front there are two slim side pockets. These are perfect for storing a phone, wallet or memory card holder. These pockets are fine if you’re out in the country, but I’d be a little cautious about putting any valuables in these if you’re in or around town, as they’re easy to access.
The straps give plenty of adjustment and keep the pack secure. When running or cycling there are the usual chest and waist straps. Compared to other packs you will notice that the Off Road is designed for small to medium build people and those with a rounder midsection may struggle to connect that waist strap.
Reinforcing the out door theme of the bag the main shoulder strap features a GoPro style mount which is a handy addition.
Although the pack is water resistant there’s also a rain cover that can be installed with relative ease when needed.
Manfrotto Off Road Stunt backpack offers plenty of storage capacity
Taking a look at the all important storage the top of the Off Road Stunt backpack incorporates a semi hard case section that forms the lid, the storage part of this is accessed through the zipped base once opened.
This top section is an ideal place to stash away any extra mounts, additional cameras and cards for your action cameras, or an accessory or two for your CSC. This section is zipped to the main body of the bag.
As main sections go there’s plenty of space in there, which is accessible by first unzipping the lid with the two zips and then unzipping the front. This design is unique and enables you to unzip just one side at a time or the whole thing dependent on what you need.
Inside are two additional small zipped removable bags, these are similar in their design and shape to a standard wash bag. They can hold your cameras, be it CSC or action camera along with a lens or two. One of these bags also features some padded divides just to keep things safe and separate if needed.
Size wise these bags are just large enough to fit a Sony 7R and 24-70mm with Peak Design Slide strap attached. The other bag can then be used to hold more lenses and an accessory or two, or even an action camera such as a GoPro or Olfi one.five with a TurnsPro for some time-lapse action.
With the two bags in place at the bottom of the bag there’s an open cavity left above for a waterproof of some other personal effects. In test I found that stuffing a coat into the bottom of the bag along with anything else I wanted to carry and then putting the bags on top seemed to work best for accessing kit.
A nice feature of the bags is that each has a small handle which enables you to easily pull the bag you want out when needed. This push pull technique is very much a feature of this bag, there’s no delicacy to the way that kit is accessed, but it all fits the outdoors theme of the design.
Alongside the main cavity there’s also a tablet slot at the back so if you take along an iPad you can review your days images and video.
Manfrotto Off Road Stunt Backpack Verdict
The Manfrotto Off Road Stunt backpack is a great all-round bag when it comes to looks and features.
The quality of the materials used is good, and the use of a the zip system; two to release the lid and one through the center back of the bag all starts to makes sense once you use the bag.
Whilst in dry conditions the bag performed well there were a few niggles with the zips at the top sticking and although this was easy enough to resolve you really don’t expect zips to stick at all.
One issue some users will find is the rear access, this means if you put the bag on the ground to take out kit, the back of the pack needs to be placed on the ground. Fine in good conditions but not in typical British weather as it’s going to get covered in mud.
The way to extract kit in muddy conditions is to remove the pack, sling it over one shoulder on your front, unzip one side of the lid and then reach inside and grab the handle of the bag you want and pull.
The process isn’t elegant but it works. Getting the bag back in simply involves stuffing it in until it fits. During the test this system worked pretty well and as long as the pack wasn’t stuffed the bag was actually a pleasure to use aside from the occasional sticking zip.
If you’re looking for a decent photo backpack that you can take anywhere, then the Off Road Stunt backpack is a pretty good all-rounder, but lacks the finesse of other photo backpacks when it comes to accessing kit.
However this is a pack aimed at a young active audience and the throw it in approach to design really reflects this. If you want your kit carefully ordered and like a bag where everything has it’s place then this definitely isn’t for you.
If you like a bag with a bit of fun, plenty of protection for your kit and the rough and ready to go approach and built in GoPro mount then the Off Road Stunt backpack will appeal.