Let me preface this post with a quick disclaimer…
Any equipment reviewed on this site was purchased by me or given to me as a gift from a friend or relative. I am not sponsored by anyone, nor do I get any kind of compensation for providing a positive review. As a matter of fact I am going to gloss over the good points and focus on the bad ones. With that out of the way, lets do this.
Ok, so here you will find my take on the Dakine Sequence Photo Backpack. I purchased this pack when I found my old Lowepro Vertex 100 getting a little small to carry all of my stuff. I really liked the fact that this pack doesn’t look like a photo bag. Now, I’ve heard other people say this about some of the Lowepro or Tamrac bags and sometimes I wonder what they are on. Those bags are the epitome of a camera bag. I feel quite comfortable saying that this pack just might make your high school sophomore jealous.
So, what does it do well? It holds a lot of equipment. It’s comfortable. There are a lot of organizational options. I also like how the pack opens from the back panel. To me this is great because when I take the pack off I don’t have to set the straps down in the mud, or the snow. Also, when the rain cover is on you still have easy access to the main compartment. Personally, I think all photo pack should open this way. If you are a skier or boarder, this pack will easily carry your board or skies, shovel, probe and even you ice axe. Also, the top set of compression straps have this nifty little keeper that holds them in place when you disconnect them to get into the front pocket. It’s little things like this that make this pack really enjoyable to use.
Alright, now what doesn’t this pack do very well? As an outdoorsy kind of person, I am usually quite active when using this pack, and any skier or snowboarder using this is also going to work up a sweat. Now, you can fit a water bottle in one of the side pockets, but it would be nice if there was the option to used a hydration system. Also, the tripod carrying system is for shit. It consists of two loops with buckles that are supposed to wrap around your tripod and hold it in place. The problem is that these two loops are only attached to the pack at a single point so the tripod is not held in place at all. If you do manage to get the straps secure, you tripod will still flop all over the place making anything but a brisk walk dangerous. On top of that the buckles on the straps are poorly positioned. When trying to secure my bogen 3021 tripod the buckle falls right over the apex of one of the legs. This positions the buckle in a way that causes it to constantly loosen. Combine this with all the wagging around and you have a system that makes me wonder if they ever tried it out before putting it into production. The only other thing I think I should mention is the front pocket. The zippers only go about halfway down the front of the pack making it difficult to get into. It might not sound like that much of a problem, however it has caused me to store only the things that I don’t use very often. If Dakine would extend the zipper to the bottom of the pack they would fix this problem and then all they would have to do is develop a different tripod carry system.
Overall, the pack seems to be built very solidly, it’s comfortable, versatile, holds a ton of gear, protects said gear, looks good on the slopes and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
This pack is ideal for outdoor adventures.
Here you can see the rain cover that folds out from a small zippered compartment on the bottom of the pack. It is easy to put on and always ready to go.
Here you can see the top pocket. It does a good job of holding your goggles, wallet, notebook, pocket wizards… anything that you might need quick access to. It doesn’t have much structure, but it is convenient and much larger than it initially looks.
Here you can see the front pocket on the pack. To tell you the truth, I find this storage area pretty useless. The front flap only zips about halfway down to the base of the pack. This makes access to the internal areas more difficult than necessary. Also, for whatever reason, the way the zippers are positioned for the inside pockets make them difficult to get in and out of. I do find that this area is good for my Honl lighting accessories and random odds and ends. This is where I keep things that I don’t need to use very often. I think if they extended the outside zipper, and changed the zipper configuration on the inside pockets things would be much easier to use.
This is how the pack looks when it is open. I’ve seen other images of this pack with small zippered storage pockets on the back-panel that folds down. Also, the catalog that I ordered this pack out of showed the same organizational feature. I have to say I was pretty bummed when my pack showed up lacking this feature. Maybe I just got an old version of this pack… but I still feel cheated. Anway, the internal area holds quite a bit of stuff and is perfect size for just about all my needs. Here’s what I can fit:
– D300 w/grip with 24-70 f2.8 (hood attached)
– 70-200 f2.8
– 12-24 f4
– 10.5 f2.8
– 50 f1.8
– 35 f2
– SB 800 in pouch
– SB 26
– Rocket Blower
– Lens cloths
– 2 extra en-el3 batteries
– extra battery for grip
– SC-28 off-camera cord
– Think Tank memory card wallet
– extra AA batteries
– Aquatech rain cover (when needed)
All of this fits inside the pack. You still have the two large side pouches, top pocket, and front storage areas. I can’t imagine too many people needing much more than this. Combined with the compression straps on the side, I often use the side pockets to carry light stands, tripod/monopod, or my FourSquare softbox.
Here you can see how the modular system breaks down. I think it’s great that this pack does double duty as a standard pack, or skiing/boarding pack. I can’t say that I’ve used the camera pouch on its own yet. However, I can imagine it being pretty useful on it’s own.