Review: Manfrotto Pro Light 3N1-36

Whether you do photography as a hobby, or as a profession, I’m sure many photographers can relate to the need for a good, quality backpack that can fit all your gear.  It’s usually not just a camera body that you will need to pack around, but also multiple lenses that you will use throughout the day.  Or if you’re like me and do photography professionally, it’s usually carrying multiple camera bodies, several lenses, strobes, etc.  So when the opportunity arose to test out the Manfrotto Pro Light 3N1-36 backpack, I jumped at the opportunity.

Specifications:

  • Camera Backpack with Removable Rain Cover
  • Fits 15” Laptop 
  • Fits DJI Phantom Quadcopter
  • Fits Pro Video Camera or Multiple DSLR Camera Bodies with Multiple Lenses
  • Top Storage Compartment with Organizer
  • Triple Entry Camera Compartment
  • Tripod Attachment
  • Dual Front and Dual Side Zip Pockets
  • Five Small Interchangeable Padded Dividers and Two Large Flexi Dividers for Main Storage Compartment
  • Interchangeable Back Straps Can Be Worn in Multiples Variations: Standard Backpack, Cross Backpack and/or Left / Right Sling
  • Waist Belt
  • Interior Dimensions: 18.3 x 13.8 x 11.0”
    • Laptop Compartment: 18.5 x 12.2 x 1.57”
    • Camera Compartment: 12.2 x 12.2 x 6.69”
    • Personal Compartment: 5.91 x 12.2 x 6.69”
  • Weight: 4.4 lbs


My Thoughts:

While I’ve gone through my fair share of camera (and non camera) specific backpacks, with the hope of finding the perfect backpack, the Manfrotto Pro Light 3N1-36 comes close as an everyday, walk-around backpack.  It’s light, comfortable to wear and fits the majority of the equipment I’ll need for a day's shoot.  You won’t be able to double the Manfrotto Pro Light 3N-36 backpack as an overnight camping / photography backpack, as there just wouldn’t be enough room, but driving from different locations throughout the day, this will suit the novice / professional photographer just fine.


With the Manfrotto Pro Light 3N1-36 backpack I was able to easily carry two DSLR bodies, one of which easily fits in the padded, removable pouch that comes with the pack, a 100-400mm lens, 16-35mm lens, 24-105mm lens, 85mm lens, 1.4 extender, microphone, flash, and a light jacket.  The two pockets on the front and the two pockets on the side are great for extra batteries, portable phone chargers, etc.  The laptop compartment also easily fits my 15” Macbook Pro with room to spare.  I would venture to say it will hold a 17” laptop as I had roughly three inches to spare.

Personally, I would rather have my drone transported around via hard case, although the Manfrotto Pro Light 3N1-36 was able to fit the Phantom 4 Pro+ just fine.  The Phantom fit snug and I didn’t have to worry about the copter being bumped around and the controller fit well in the top compartment, with room to spare.  I was also able to fit a DSLR body with several shorter lenses in the backpack along side the drone.  The backpack padding is sufficient for protecting it’s contents, yet the sides are not solid and could be squashed with heavier objects stacked on the backpack.

Conclusion:

After two months of using the Manfrotto Pro Light 3N1-36 backpack on a daily basis, I can say, without a doubt, I will keep using it as my daily camera backpack.  It’s been thrown in and out of the vehicle everyday, bounced around on the back of a Razor and the padding has consistently protected all of the valuable contents inside.  It has just enough pockets to store all the miscellaneous items and plenty of dividers / room to easily store more than enough camera bodies / lenses.   The only thing I can’t seem to get passed, with this backpack, are the four zippers-- which all can be used to open the main compartment (camera compartment and personal compartment).  A velcro divider separates the two compartments, so if you open the camera compartment too much, all of your items in the personal compartment will fall to the ground.  It happened to me and one of my camera bodies crashed to the cement below.  In my opinion, the main compartment should be two completely separate compartments.




Disclosure of Material Connection: I was given the equipment used in this review in consideration for review publication.



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Author
Living Overland, Toyota Cruisers & Trucks
Jeremy Thies is landscape and wildlife photographer based in Casper, Wyoming. You can follow Jeremy, and his travels, on Instagram. If you feel like being inspired for the next eclipse, check out Jeremy's website for some spectacular images.


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