The Manfrotto Pro Light FastTrack sling bag is the first camera sling on the market to feature an integrated camera strap. How it works is, photographers remove their camera from the sling’s main compartment, then pull the sling strap and the camera rises to their hands.
The Pro Light FastTrack sling’s strap features lockable buckles that attach to the strap rings on the sides of your camera. These buckles then clip to the integrated strap on the Pro Light FastTrack sling to prevent the camera from slipping, as well as tangling up with the shoulder strap.
Designed for mirrorless cameras, the bag is water-repellant and weighs 0.73kg / 1.6lbs. Externally it measures 42 x 24.5 x 14cm, and internally it offers 40 x 22.5 x 13cm of space.
Inside the main compartment you can fit your camera body with lens attached, plus two additional lenses (Manfrotto suggests a 70-200 mm f/4 and 16-35 mm f/4 as examples).
There’s also a pocket that can hold a tablet or device up to 9.7 inches and an internal bungee cord for your mini tripod.
Other features include safety locks on the clips, lockable zipper pulls and quick side access to your gear in the main compartment.
The Manfrotto Pro Light FastTrack sling bag is clearly aimed at street and travel photographers, and anyone who wants to bring a basic kit with them on the go. It’s priced at £109.95, and for the past month we’ve been using it on our excursions.
The Pro Light FastTrack sling is made of lightweight materials, but feels rigid and solid in its form. The shell is sturdy, while the fleece-lined interior has more give and sort of wraps around your camera when you slide it in.
The zippers have handy pulls that you can find easily when reaching blindly, and everything opens and closes with ease.
The bag and shoulder strap are lined on the rear with a padded mesh material that is comfortable to wear for long periods, and breathes well in warm weather (not that we have any of that in the UK, ever).
The strap is sewn securely to the top and bottom of the bag and runs along the sling. The strap is adjustable for heights ranging from about Tyrion Lannister to Michael Jordan. You can adjust it quickly via a pull attached to a clip. Simply pull the clip up to open it, then move it up or down to adjust the height, then close the clip again.
It’s very quick and easy, and the buckles are are strong and secure. I never felt like my camera was in danger. Quite the opposite: I was glad it was so close.
The bag is very comfortable to wear, but let’s get down to brass tacks here and talk about that strap. The integrated strap is what’s unique about the Pro Light FastTrack, and if you’re reading this what you probably want to know is… does it keep my camera safe?
The sight of your camera dangling free by your side might be a little unnerving, but rest assured that it’s perfectly safe and secure.
I used a Panasonic GH5 and an Olympus PEN E-PL9 in my tests of the Pro Light FastTrack, and the buckles take just seconds to thread through the camera strap rings on your camera body. These then clip to adjoining male and female clips attached to the strap on the sling, allowing your camera to hang freely at your side.
For peace of mind, each clip also has a safety lock you can slide in place to ensure you never accidentally unclip your camera and send it tumbling.
It’s a really simple, yet innovative system that has been a real pleasure to use. Out in Bristol recently I was able to carry the camera in the sling on my back and walk to my location. Then once there, I could simply slide the bag around to my front and remove the camera.
Clipping it to the strap, I could let it hang by my side while I waited for my decisive moments. Like a gunslinger, you can simply reach down to your thigh, grab hold of the camera and pull it to your eye in one, fluid motion. It was great!
When not in use, it’s also worth pointing out that the strap manages to keep the camera flush against your side. My fear initially was that walking with the camera at my side, it would swing forward and backward with my motion. But it doesn’t. It stays safely where you want it.
I wore the Pro Light FastTrack for several hours straight, and it’s so light I hardly knew it was there.
A lot of bags are sold on the promise of quick access, but I think this is probably the quickest access you can get from any camera bag that I”ve tested.
If you need a light and compact bag for travel, or if you’re the type of photographer who always prefers to have a body and a lens or two on you rather than rely on your phone, the Manfrotto Pro Light FastTrack is the bag for you.
Where it shines is for travel and city breaks, allowing you to always have your camera at the ready without having to compromise on quality or safety.
It’s suitable for most mirrorless cameras and small DSLRs and is the bag you should buy for travel if you don’t require taking a massive kit with you, but rather a trusted body and your two favourite lenses.