New photography bags come and go so often that you wonder how many more types there could be to release. After all, how much does a backpack cost?
And what is so different from one to the other? The best camera bags can really enrich your shooting experience, and yet there will never be a camera bag that everyone will like, and you can’t just have a camera bag either. all situations.
Shooting in an urban environment will require something modern and understated – a classic bag that just happens to be protecting your camera kit. A wildlife photographer will need capacity for longer lenses, while a landscape photographer needs waterproofing to be a priority.
The Tenba Fulton v2 (we tested the generous new 16L size with enhanced weather protection) reminds you of what a good camera backpack can be: functional without being cheesy, stylish without being luxurious, spacious without being be gargantuan and comfortable enough for a long day.
Although this review focuses on the 16L backpack in a Black Camo colourway, 10L and 14L versions are also available. Tenba says the 10L can accommodate a mirrorless or DSLR camera with 2-4 lenses, as well as an iPad or iPad Pro up to 11 inches (28 cm). The 14L should hold a mirrorless or DSLR camera with 3-4 lenses, as well as a laptop up to 13 inches.
Unloaded weight : 1.27kg
Materials (exterior): water repellent nylon
Materials (interior): brushed knit
Waterproofing: yes, plus rain cover included
Dividers: 9 velcro dividers
Is holding : Mirrorless or DSLR camera with 5-7 lenses (up to 70-200mm f/2.8 attached)
While Tenba Fulton’s original design was available in 10L and 14L sizes, this second iteration also includes a roomier 16L option, which in addition to just holding more camera kit can take a laptop up to 16 inches. .
This makes it much more versatile, allowing the v2 to become a carry bag or office bag, as well as something suitable for content creators and professional photographers who tend to carry their MacBook Pro wherever they go.
In terms of design, the new 16L Fulton builds on its predecessor rather than overhauling it – which is good, given the popularity of the original bag. There is, however, a marked improvement in the weather resistance of the bags; it features a waterproof and water-repellent zipper on the front compartment and comes with an included rain cover inside the main compartment.
The bag itself is made from a water-repellent canvas that feels sturdy without being plasticized, and the stitching makes it look like it was built to last.
The main camera compartment features a brushed tricot interior – for those of us who aren’t aware, the tricot is a textured twill weave, with two yarns twisted around the weft yarns to provide fabric solid and clear. That equates to durability and a product that’s likely to last a good amount of rough handling.
A small design quibble is the mechanism for attaching a tripod to the side pocket of the bag. Rather than there being a quick release clip or buckle, there is only one side of the side strap that you pull tight to hold the tripod securely. To store or remove the tripod, you must loosen this strap and then pull the tripod completely out. It sounds simple, but more often than not the tripod legs get stuck in the loop and reaching the tripod takes much longer than you expect.
Capacity and friendliness
Moving on to the capacity of the Fulton 16L, the main compartment can accommodate a DSLR or mirrorless camera, additional lenses, as well as flashes or video accessories such as mics and LEDs. Adjustable velcro dividers keep everything in place and it’s easy to reconfigure them to suit your needs.
On one occasion I was able to carry a Nikon D800 and a Sony A7 III (both with kit lenses) along with extra lenses and chargers. You can also use the Fulton v2 just as a drone bag, as it would fit perfectly on a DJI Mavic with accessories.
Elsewhere there’s the large padded pocket on the front of the bag, a tripod or monopod pocket on one side and a water bottle pocket on the other. Personal gear – clothes, keys or, in my case, snacks – goes in the rolltop, which can be (as the name suggests) rolled up tightly or expanded to provide extra space as you go. You need it.
At first I thought this design would be more of a hindrance than a help, but it takes a few seconds to open the pouch and rummage around for what you need – great news when you’re feeling peckish on a mission of street photography. Likewise, although you have to remove the bag or sling it over one shoulder to access the rear-access camera compartment, it’s not a problem and provides a sense of security if you’re shooting in a busy environment.
The Fulton v2 16L was a joy to haul around town all day. Like most modern camera bags it has padded mesh to prevent sweat against your back, although we tested it in UK winter temperatures we cannot vouch for its effectiveness in warmer climates.
The padded shoulder straps are comfortable, and for shooters or those with smaller frames, you shouldn’t see the bag slip off your shoulders, as can sometimes happen with bags designed just for men. Not a moan, just an observation.
The Fulton All Weather Backpack comes with Tenba’s signature double-sided WeatherWrap – the rain cover – which is silver on one and black on the other for a more low-profile look. Luckily we didn’t have to use it during testing, but it seems just as well made as the rest of the backpack and will suit those who want to keep shooting even in rainy conditions.
While we’re due to return our sample of the Fulton v2 16L shortly, we’d love to add it to our everyday bag rotation, especially when shooting around town.
The Tenba Fulton v2 16L will suit photographers after a modern bag that houses all the essentials in a waterproof, adventure-ready design. It’s very secure, surprisingly roomy, and can be easily customized as a drone carrier, as well as a photography bag for urban shooters and content creators. The ability to carry a 16-inch MacBook Pro will really suit those who shoot and edit on the go.
If you’re using a full-frame DSLR with longer telephoto lenses, you might find the camera storage is a little too small for your needs, as 70-200mm lenses are really the maximum the bag backpack can take. However, modern mirrorless shooters should have more than enough space for a full day’s work. Smart and sensible, the Fulton v2 range offers versatile storage at a reasonable price.
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