I’ve never been a great lover of stowing my photographic gear in backpacks, but a few weeks with the Hama Daytour 180 kindly supplied by lovecases.co.uk has gone some-way towards changing my mind.
One of my issues has always been that whilst a backpack has the benefit of spreading the load and leaving your hands free, when it comes to grabbing your gear it is never the quickest or simplest of jobs. In addition you nearly always end up laying the bag down to open it and if the ground is wet then the bag can get drenched and usually around the area which you then put back onto your back!
The Daytour largely alleviates these problems with three outside compartments including a top flap which gives easy access to your camera and attached lens. In addition it features a flat base which has a rubberised feel to it for standing the bag on and the Hama literature shows that you can also wear the backpack on your front, meaning that you don’t even have to remove it to get hold of at least some of your gear.
Each side of the bag features compartments for equipment you need readily, or a drinks bottle and snacks to keep you going, whilst on the back there is a neat bag which you can pull out to put the feet/foot of a tripod or monopod in, attaching it with a strap further up the bag to hold things secure. An inbuilt rain cover is also neatly tucked away in an all but invisible pocket.
Some well placed reflective piping gives the bag some style whilst ensuring a little extra safety should you undertake any assignments in the dark.
With chest and waist retaining straps the backpack stays nicely in position when running, climbing and cycling. My preferred placement was on my back but I did try using the backpack as a front-pack and it was certainly usable like this, actually doubling as a camera rest.
To access the main cover you have a zip around the inside edge, so should you need to lay the bag down you will actually only need to lay it on its back and that also means that if conditions are damp you can leave the rain cover in place.
There is the standard arrangement of Velcro’d divisions inside, which you use to customise the layout to taste, as well as multiple pockets to stow your accessories, memory cards, lend cleaning cloth (included) etc.
All in all this is a nice useful backpack which is comfortable to wear when walking or cycling. I managed to transport a fair amount of kit in the bag including a couple of bodies, flashgun, three or four lenses and accessories.
With some moving around of the interior I even managed to squeeze a Canon 1 series body with 300mm 2.8 lens attached and hood reversed, although it was quite tight to get in and out through the top flap and there was only minimal space left for other equipment when used in this configuration. Less industrial sized cameras like the Canon 5D’s or Nikon D800’s with 70-200’s or 100-400’s and smaller fit much easier.
The Daytour 180 does have a rounded appearance on its extremities and this does dictate that inside the compartments get narrower as they go down, although in practice I never found this to be a problem.
All in all I enjoyed using the Daytour 180 and would have no hesitation in recommending it to NPS users. At the time of this review Lovecases were offering the Daytour 180 at just £54.99 and NPS members can gain an additional 10% off this or indeed any other bags at Lovecases with the code found in the members area. Simply apply the code during the checkout process.