Product Review – F-Stop Loka with Medium ICU
First of all – WOW! What a piece of kit, this bag is more than I expected and there is a reason for that!! Let me explain.
I have been after a decent camera bag for some time, I had quite a strict criteria. The bag had to be a rucksack, it had to be an ‘outdoor’ bag, which basically means it had to be tough and flexible, it had to have a removable inside so I could use this as a normal rucksack and more importantly I had to be able to get to my camera without going through all my stuff and digging it out from the bottom.
I looked for several weeks, looking at all the shops, online stores, forums and manufacturers. Not one bag matched my criteria exactly. The bag which I kept coming back to was the Lowepro© series, it was the best on the market which matched my criteria as close as possible and was a reasonable price. I still wasn’t happy as they didn’t look right and I couldn’t remove the inners (on the specific model I was looking at). I started trawling the web again to see what i could find, THEIR MUST BE SOMETHING OUT THERE! I stubbled across a forum in the US which mentioned the F-Stop© brand.
WOW, I was blown away with the range and flexibility of the bags. I knew as soon as I saw the Loka© that it was just what I was after. I spent that next few days mulling over the bag and looking at the website, I placed all my items in the basket and totalled the cost. Oh, it was outside of my budget! In fact it was well over my budget! The shipping from the US was also a ‘killer’ plus I would probably pay import tax and duty to add to the cost. I couldn’t order this from the US, their must be a UK supplier or link. After a bit of searching I found two suppliers, they were a little cheaper but still fairly expensive, I quickly turned to the popular second hand website we all know and love!
I found one for sale with a medium ICU (internal camera unit) which are removable, it was in very good condition and had hardly any use. So now how much do I pay for it, I set my maximum budget and waited for the last few minutes. BOOM, I won and under my budget! To say I was chuffed was an understatement.
I have now been using the bag for the last several months. It has been on walks, in the rain (I haven’t bought the additional rain cover), bike rides and on a few photo shoots. It has always performed well, stored all the items I need for the day plus all my camera kit and more. The external attachments are very useful and tough, the pockets and compartments are perfect and store what I need and is easily accessible. The bag is robust, the material is strong and resists water and overall is comfy to wear.
I am chuffed with my purchase and I would highly recommend F-Stop© gear to anyone who needs an outdoor camera rucksack which is robust but also flexible.
Here are a few pictures.
The kit that I can store in the slope medium ICU is the following;
Nikon D7000 with a 50mm lens.
Nikon 18-105 and 55-300 lens’s.
Nikon SB-910 and accessories.
Charger and spare battery.
Selection of filters.
Two wireless triggers.
Memory cards in a case.
Air pump and cleaning cloth.
The rest of my kit is then stored in the main compartments and pockets of the bag.
The slope medium ICU is a good size and is my preferred ICU when I was looking on the website. It’s the perfect size of ICU for photographers like myself and for the Loka© bag. I am tempted to purchase the pro small ICU to put my camera and essential kit in, just for the days when I need more kit and less photography gear and they would both fit in the bag for the days when I have loads of photography kit!
To finish off, I would like to say that this bag has been a success for me and it’s superb, I think I will always have an F-Stop© bag, unless, the competition pick up their pace and come out with a competitor to the Loka©.